Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History


Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

 

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 in Ukraine suffered several explosions, blew apart and burned for 40 days, sending clouds of radioactive materials high into the atmosphere, and spreading fallout across the whole of the Northern Hemisphere — depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk.[2]

The likelihood of similar or worse reactor disasters was estimated by James Asselstine of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), who testified to Congress in 1986: “We can expect to see a core meltdown accident within the next 20 years, and it … could result in off-site releases of radiation … as large as or larger than the releases … at Chernobyl.[3] Fukushima-Daiichi came 25 years later.

Contamination of soil, vegetation and water is so widespread in Japan that evacuating all the at-risk populations could collapse the economy, much as Chernobyl did to the former Soviet Union. For this reason, the Japanese government standard for decontaminating soil there is far less stringent than the standard used in Ukraine after Chernobyl.

Fukushima’s Cesium-137 Release Tops Chernobyl’s

The Korea Atomic Energy Research (KAER) Institute outside of Seoul reported in July 2014 that Fukushima-Daiichi’s three reactor meltdowns may have emitted two to four times as much cesium-137 as the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl.[4]

To determine its estimate of the cesium-137 that was released into the environment from Fukushima, the Cesium-137 release fraction (4% to the atmosphere, 16% to the ocean) was multiplied by the cesium-137 inventory in the uranium fuel inside the three melted reactors (760 to 820 quadrillion Becquerel, or Bq), with these results:

Ocean release of cesium-137 from Fukushima (the worst ever recorded): 121.6 to 131.2 quadrillion Becquerel (16% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq). Atmospheric release of Cesium-137 from Fukushima: 30.4 to 32.8 quadrillion Becquerel (4% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq).

Total release of Cesium-137 to the environment from Fukushima: 152 to 164 quadrillion Becquerel. Total release of Cesium-137 into the environment from Chernobyl: between 70 and 110 quadrillion Bq.

The Fukushima-Daiichi reactors’ estimated inventory of 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq (petabecquerels) of Cesium-137 used by the KAER Institute is significantly lower than the US Department of Energy’s estimate of 1,300 quadrillion Bq. It is possible the Korean institute’s estimates of radioactive releases are low.

In Chernobyl, 30 years after its explosions and fire, what the Wall St. Journal last year called “the $2.45 billion shelter implementation plan” was finally completed in November 2016. A huge metal cover was moved into place over the wreckage of the reactor and its crumbling, hastily erected cement tomb. The giant new cover is 350 feet high, and engineers say it should last 100 years — far short of the 250,000-year radiation hazard underneath.

The first cover was going to work for a century too, but by 1996 was riddled with cracks and in danger of collapsing. Designers went to work then engineering a cover-for-the-cover, and after 20 years of work, the smoking radioactive waste monstrosity of Chernobyl has a new “tin chapeau.” But with extreme weather, tornadoes, earth tremors, corrosion and radiation-induced embrittlement it could need replacing about 2,500 times.

John Laforge’s field guide to the new generation of nuclear weapons is featured in the March/April 2018 issue of CounterPunch magazine.

Notes.

[1]Duluth News-Tribune & Herald, “Slight rise in radioactivity found again in state milk,” May 22, 1986; St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, “Radiation kills Chernobyl firemen,” May 17, 1986; Minneapolis StarTribune, “Low radiation dose found in area milk,” May 17, 1986.

[2]Ian Fairlie, “TORCH-2016: An independent scientific evaluation of the health-related effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” March 2016 (https://www.global2000.at/sites/global/files/GLOBAL_TORCH%202016_rz_WEB_KORR.pdf).

[3]James K. Asselstine, Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Testimony in Nuclear Reactor Safety: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, May 22 and July 16, 1986, Serial No. 99-177, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1987.

[4] Progress in Nuclear Energy, Vol. 74, July 2014, pp. 61-70; ENENews.org, Oct. 20, 2014.

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A Chinese/French Nuclear Power Plant? And the Parts are Made in China? Sounds like harmony to me…



Cracks found in Taishan nuclear power plant
– Friday, December 15, 2017 – 2 weeks ago No Comments 2,596 Views

https://macaudailytimes.com.mo/cracks-found-taishan-nuclear-power-plant.html

One of the key power generation system components of Unit 1 of Taishan nuclear power plant cracked during an earlier pre-production test, according to a report by FactWire News Agency.

“A ‘boiler’ in Unit 1 appeared to have cracked during functional testing and must be replaced, according to a nuclear plant employee,” the FactWire News Agency report reads.

“He also told FactWire undercover reporters when they visited the site last month that representatives from Harbin Electric, the Chinese manufacturer of the ‘boiler’, came to the plant for a week in late October to discuss with the plant operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture, a plan to replace the faulty ‘boiler’,” according to FactWire.

Taishan Nuclear Power plant is being made by the joint venture between the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), which is a China state-owned company, and the French electricity company Électricité de France.

CGN, in a reply to Fact Wire News Agency, said “the Unit 1 of of Taishan nuclear power plant has already completed the cold functional and thermal functional tests. The test results were in line with design requirements. The deaerator is a common equipment of a conventional island thermal system, […] it does not belong to the nuclear safety related system.”

“China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the developer of the Taishan nuclear project, said on Tuesday afternoon that there were ‘partial defects’ in the welding of the deaerator in question, but insisted ‘replacement work was near completion’,” FactWire News Agency writes.

CGN’s official document says that the deaerator of Taishan Unit 1 is 46.6 meters long and 4.76 meters in diameter.

“Last week, a Dongfang Electric engineer also confirmed to FactWire that the deaerator was supplied by Harbin Electric and the welding on the deaerator was ‘problematic’,” the FactWire News Agency report reads.

Dongfang Electric is also co-responsible for manufacturing components for the Taishan nuclear power Unit 1.

The power plant is located 67 kilometers from Macau and 130 kilometers from Hong Kong, and is still under construction.

Safety concerns were raised last year after components of the nuclear plant were discovered to have been made in mainland China, not in France as previously thought.

According to FactWire, China had been hoping to launch Unit 1 this year, whereas French engineers who were sent to Taishan for the project, told FactWire that it could only be launched in 2018 at the earliest.

“The National Nuclear Safety Administration of China stipulates that a nuclear plant must seek permission from the agency before loading fuel assemblies to conduct tests. But public records show that Taishan Unit 1 has yet to have received such a permit,” FactWire reported.

Last year, members of the civil society had asked the MSAR government to clarify both issues related to the emergency plan and possible risks posed by the nuclear plant to Macau’s population. A local delegation visited the nuclear plant to check the safety of the infrastructure.

The head of the Security Forces Coordination Office, Choi Lai Hang, led the local delegation and explained that Macau would not require protective measures, even in the event of a very serious nuclear incident (level 7) at the Taishan nuclear power plant.

Jersey Evening Post, Feb 25, 2017 (emphasis added): Radioactive cloud could be heading our way



Officials warn mysterious radioactive cloud is spreading — Authorities ‘baffled’ over release… “Could indicate leak from nuclear plant” — Particles “very radioactive”
By ENENews, on February 25th, 2017

Published: February 25th, 2017 at 5:01 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/officials-warn-mysterious-radioactive-cloud-is-spreading-authorities-baffled-over-release-could-indicate-leak-from-nuclear-plant-particles-very-radioactive

Jersey Evening Post, Feb 25, 2017 (emphasis added): Radioactive cloud could be heading our way — A CLOUD of mysterious radioactive particles floating across Europe… could enter Jersey airspace, Environmental Health have said… scientists have yet to work out where the radiation comes from… Caroline Maffia, assistant director of Environmental Health in Jersey, said the department was aware of the situation but 24-hour-a-day air monitors placed across the Island had not detected anything yet. CAPTION: ‘We are not picking up anything at this moment. We are slightly out of the way of where it seems to be going but depending on wind direction we could detect something here,’ said Ms Maffia.
http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/02/25/radioactive-cloud-could-be-heading-our-way/

Wakefield Express, Feb 24, 2017: Mysterious radioactive cloud moves towards UK… The spike has sparked speculation that Russian president Vladimir Putin is testing nuclear weapons… However, the CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation) ruled out a nuclear test had recently taken place… It’s possible that the particles could have come from an incident at a nuclear reactor. The compounds may also have also come from an Iodine plant. Iodine-131 has a very short half life of just eight days, making it very radioactive…
http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/environment/mysterious-radioactive-cloud-moves-towards-uk-as-plane-which-tackled-chernobyl-called-in-to-find-source-1-8407845


Euronews, Feb 23, 2017: Europe baffled by “recent release” of radioactive Iodine-131… France’s IRSN stresses the amounts of radiation detected pose no health threats, but says its “detection is proof of a rather recent release”… Iodine-131, as described by the IRSN, is of anthropogenic origins – meaning an environmental pollutant originating from human activity… The mysterious origin of the radioactive element has baffled authorities, some of whom claim its presence could indicate either a secret Russian nuclear missile test launch, or a leak from a nuclear power plant. Iodine-131 has historical links to United States and Soviet nuclear tests… It has also been found among the radioactive contamination following Japan’s Fukushima reactor meltdown… The element is also commonly used in medicine… leading to speculation of a yet unidentified, or reported, leak at a pharmaceutical plant.


See also: ‘Mystery’: Radiation spikes being detected in many countries — US military secretly deploys ‘nuclear sniffer’ aircraft — Radioactivity levels quadrupled — Officials: Iodine-131 is “proof of rather recent release… the origin of which is still unknown”

“Smoke emerged at a service building of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday but it quickly halted after a firefighting effort by workers”



“Smoke billowing” from Japan nuclear plant — Possible fire reported near reactors — TEPCO “has not identified the cause of the incident”
By ENENews, on February 23rd, 2017
Published: February 23rd, 2017 at 8:58 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/smoke-billowing-from-japan-nuclear-plant-possible-fire-reported-near-reactors-tepco-has-not-identified-the-cause-of-the-incident

Kyodo, Feb 23, 2017: Smoke emerges at TEPCO’s Niigata nuclear plant — Smoke emerged at a service building of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday but it quickly halted after a firefighting effort by workers, its operator said. Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said there was no radiation leak in the incident. The utility has not identified the cause of the incident. The plant operator confirmed smoke coming out around 3:25 p.m. from a locker room inside the service building, located near the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the plant…
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170223/p2g/00m/0dm/083000c

Xinhua, Feb 23, 2017: TEPCO unaware of cause of smoke at Niigata nuclear plant in latest blunder – Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) on Thursday said that it had detected smoke billowing from a service room near two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, located on the west coast of Honshu island. TEPCO said that there was no radiation leak as a result of the possible fire which occurred close to its Sea of Japan-facing reactors, although the utility has yet to comment on the cause of the fire. The plant operator said that it noticed smoke billowing out of a locker room inside the service building near its No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the facility…
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-02/23/c_136080119.htm

Tepco is dangerous to the rest of the world!

See also: Tepco finds bent, damaged spent fuel assemblies in multiple fuel pools at Japan nuclear plant — Concern about prompt moderated criticality

ENENews: “Experts: Billions are being exposed…”



TV: Scientists fear Fukushima radiation hitting US to worsen… “A lot of people are very concerned” — Experts: Billions are being exposed… Reactors “will continue to pour water into Pacific for the rest of time” (VIDEO)
By ENENews, on February 21st, 2017
Published: February 21st, 2017 at 10:15 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/tv-scientists-fear-fukushima-radiation-hitting-us-to-worsen-a-lot-of-people-are-very-concerned-experts-billions-are-being-exposed-reactors-will-continue-to-pour-water-into-pacific-for?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Arnie Gundersen, former nuclear engineer (emphasis added), Feb 2, 2017: “When I went to school, the saying was ‘dilution is the solution to pollution,’ and that’s what the Japanese believe. If they dump [radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi] on their side and it floats over to the West Coast of the U.S. — the Pacific’s a big place — it’ll dilute out. I don’t think that’s appropriate… people are going to die. Regardless of how low the radiation is, it does cause cellular damage and cancer. So if you spread it out in a big body of water, the concentration goes down, but on the other hand, you’ve got a couple billion people exposed to it because they’re on the edge of that big body of water. So the concentration is down but the population is up and you’re still going to get cancer; it’s inevitable.”

Dr. Helen Caldicott, Feb 13, 2017: As the water flows beneath the damaged reactors, it immerses the three molten cores and becomes extremely radioactive as it continues its journey into the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Every day since the accident began, 300 to 400 tons of water has poured into the Pacific where numerous isotopes including cesium 137, 134, strontium 90, tritium, plutonium, americium and up to 100 more, enter the ocean and bio-concentrate by orders of magnitude at each step of the food chain… tuna, salmon and other species found on the American west coast now contain some of these radioactive elements… [Fukushima Daiichi] will continue to pour water into the Pacific for the rest of time…

Fox News, Feb 8, 2017: Adam Housley, who reported from the area in 2011 following the catastrophic triple-meltdown, said… small levels of radiation are still being detected off the coasts of California and Oregon and scientists fear it could get worse. “The worry is with 300 tons of radioactive water going into the Pacific every day, what is that doing to the Pacific Ocean?” said Housley…

Fox News video transcript excerpts, Feb 8, 2017: Nearly 300 tons of radioactive water is dumped into the Pacific Ocean each and every day… There is still radiation being detected off the west coast of California and Oregon… The worry is with 300 tons of radioactive water going in every day to the Pacific — what is that doing to the Pacific Ocean?… We really don’t know what this radioactive water is doing to the Pacific I think a lot of people are very concerned about that…. As we know that water moves toward the west coast of the US.”

Watch the FOX News broadcast here

Gun control heartburn: Radioactive boars are amok in Fukushima


https://nuclear-news.net/2017/01/04/gun-control-heartburn-radioactive-boars-are-amok-in-fukushima/

Gun.control.heartburn.Radioactive.boars_.are_.amok_.in_.Fukushima-1.jpg

 

The “most adaptable animals that you’ll ever find” are running rampant across parts of rural Japan in the wake of the 2011 nuclear catastrophe and strict gun laws aren’t helping.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, in which a boiling water reactor nuclear power plant largely went Chernobyl after a tsunami knocked it offline has left Japan with a host of problems to include radiation-induced health impacts, some 200,000 displaced locals and possible exposure of groundwater to melted down nuclear fuel for decades to come.

Oh yeah, and the wild hogs.

According to an article in The Washington Post last April, the boar population, lacking natural predators is booming. Worse, thousands of the animals roam an area where highly radioactive caesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years, has been confirmed.

Most agree that the best way to eradicate the rapid population of would-be Orcs is through hunting, but in gun control-friendly Japan, that is easier said than done.

“Something that complicates wild boar management in Japan is the exceptionally restrictive ownership, use, and access to firearms,” says Dr. Mark Smith, a forestry and wildlife professor at Auburn University, told Outside online. “This includes not only the general populace, but also with researchers, wildlife biologists, and natural resource managers.”

According to the Australian-based Small Arms Survey, the rate of private gun ownership in Japan is 0.6 per 100 people with only 77 handguns in circulation and just 0.8 percent of Japanese households containing one or more legal guns, most often shotguns.

Smith went to Japan to study the problem in 2013.

“Although [recreational] hunting does occur in Japan, it is very limited,” says Smith, “and hunter numbers are declining by the year, so there are fewer and fewer hunters out there harvesting wild boar.”

Plus there is the problem with the meat. In short, there is no good way to make caesium-137 infused pork a balanced part of your complete meal without the diner glowing in the dark, no matter how much BBQ sauce you use.

In Japan, they have to incinerate the carcasses (at 1,771 degrees Fahrenheit) then obliterate the fragments left over with hammers and box them up. Carefully.

Furthermore, the animals are very smart.

“They are the most adaptable animals that you’ll ever find: we call them the ‘opportunistic omnivore,’” says Smith.

http://www.guns.com/2017/01/03/gun-control-heartburn-radioactive-boars-are-amok-in-fukushima/

TV: “Astronomical amounts of radiation” found in downtown Tokyo… Directly outside gov’t building — ‘Horrific’ readings where kids playing in Fukushima, ‘extreme’ levels found where food is grown for elementary school lunches — Nuclear expert shocked, upset by discovery (VIDEO)


http://enenews.com/tv-astronomical-amounts-radiation-found-downtown-tokyo-horrific-readings-detected-children-playing-fukushima-extreme-contamination-found-food-grown-school-lunches-nuclear-expert-shocked-upsettin?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

CCTV (Channel 17 in Burlington, Vermont), published Jun 20, 2016 (emphasis added):

  • Margaret Harrington, host: I know you mentioned Arnie Gundersen, the chief engineer at Fairewinds, and he said that he measured the radiation there, too. Could you talk about that a little bit?
  • Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education founder and CEO: He’s working with some other scientists who are studying — both Japanese scientists, the samples that they took, and the US scientists who are evaluating the samples — and they’re finding astronomical amounts of radiation, even in downtown Tokyo outside of METI’s door. METI is the regulatory agency over nuclear power… When he and others were downtown in Tokyo, they took samples right there in a garden right outside the door and on the front doormat, and these are really, really high samples. Frightening, because people walking in Tokyo will then be inhaling that dust. What was the film we saw from Japan that had the mothers who were in an area where kids play and run from middle school?
  • Caroline Phillips, Fairewinds Energy Education: It’s a fantastic video… it’s a mothers organization, they live in the Fukushima Prefecture and they’re actually using Geiger counters that have been issued by the government. They’re walking along the river [in Fukushima City.]
  • Maggie Gundersen: What’s so tragic about it – kids are running along dirt paths doing gym class and track and things like that and the mothers are right down in areas that are not posted and the kids can go after school and play, and people do nature hikes and stuff. And the radiation readings are horrific.

Gendai Business Online (article in Japanese here), Jun 14, 2016: [J]ust before the 5th anniversary of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, a group of young girls in the city of Minami-Soma rode their bikes to school past a shocked and saddened pedestrian. That upset observer was Arnie Gundersen, nuclear reactor expert… “What surprised me at this visit to Japan… is that the decontaminated area is contaminated again,” Mr. Gundersen said while explaining why it was such as sad shock to witness the girls on their bicycles. “This was not what I had expected. I had thought that we would not find such high doses of radiation in the decontaminated area. But, sadly, our results prove otherwise.”… Gundersen collected samples of dust [though] the official data cannot be released before the publication of formal scientific papers, it is evident that high doses of radiation, usually found in nuclear waste, was detected from these samples. “This means that highly radioactive dust is flying around the city. In other words, the decontaminated land is contaminated again. Little girls are affected by the radiation 20 times as much as adult men. The Japanese government’s standard of 20 mSv is based on exposure assessments for adult men. The girls on their bicycles are actually being affected by a radiation dose equivalent to as much as 400 mSv.” Mr. Gundersen also pointed out that human lungs are heavily affected by internal exposures to radiation. “At this visit, I wore a radiation proof mask that can filter out 99.98% of radiation for six hours. I sent my filter to the lab, and they found a high dose of Cesium. But, unfortunately, the Japanese government only cares about the number on a Geiger counter and does not consider the internal exposure. This has resulted in a hazardous downplay of this kind of data and human lungs are affected by the serious internal exposure.”… [T]he radiation from the mountains are coming back to the city by way of wind and rain. Mr. Gundersen noted the extreme radioactive contamination of the mountains… vegetables grown in that area exceed the government’s standard by 1500 Bq. These vegetables were sold at the MichinoEki in Tochigi prefecture, and the bamboo shoot grown in this contaminated region was used for elementary school lunches in Utsunomiya. These school lunches contained more than twice as much radiation as the government’s standard… However, the government continues to push for the end of people’s relocation and force the return to recontaminated areas… Mr. Gundersen also found that Tokyo remains contaminated. He measured dust… and found a high dose of radiation. That dust is in the air that will be inhaled by the visitors and athletes of the 2020 Olympic Games. Needless to say, the current residents are inhaling it every day…

Watch the CCTV Channel 17 interview here