Tracking the continued, “quiet” breakdown at Fukushima

comentator2A. Tepco fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima No. 1 trenches
22 Nov 2014, The Japan Times News
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Kyodo: Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted failure Friday in its bid to halt the flow of toxic water into underground tunnels alongside the ocean at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and said that it will try using a specially developed cement instead.

Some 11,000 tons of highly radioactive water have accumulated in the tunnels, trenches dug to house pipes and cables that are connected to the reactor 2 and 3 turbine buildings of the wrecked facility, according to Tepco.

There are fears that this toxic buildup, which is being caused by the jury-rigged cooling system and groundwater seepage in the reactor basements, could pour into the Pacific, which is already being polluted by other radioactive leaks. Groundwater is entering the complex at 400 tons a day. (400 tons of water = 96,523 gallons a day –Mr. Larry)

Extracting the toxic water is a critical step in Tepco’s plan to build a huge underground ice wall around the four destroyed reactors to keep groundwater out.

Initially, Tepco sought to freeze the water in a section of tunnel connected to the No. 2 reactor building. This was intended to stop the inflow and allow the accumulated water to be pumped out. The utility said it took additional measures that also failed.

On Friday, Tepco proposed a new technique for the tunnels: injection of a cement filler especially developed for the task while pumping out as much of the accumulated water as possible.

Under the new method, however, it would be difficult to drain all of this water and some of it would be left behind, endangering plant workers, Tepco acknowledged.

Nevertheless, a Nuclear Regulation Authority panel of experts green-lighted the new strategy at a recent meeting. Some of the experts argued that Tepco should stick to the original plan and draw out all of the water. Others said giving up on it may hamper the construction of the ice wall.

Mr. Larry note: A standard 30 ft by 50 ft in-ground swimming pool, 4 ft deep in the shallows to 8-9 ft in the deep end, holds 56,200 to 62,500 gallons water. Rather than actually solving the radioactive pollution and environmental poisoning at the damaged and leaking Fukushima reactor site, highly radioactive water is accumulating at the rate  of about 1-1/2 large swimming pools per day, 7 days a week with no end in sight.

fukushima pool

On a 7 x 365day basis, the volume of 1.5  large swimming pools or  a 90,000 gallon storage tank of highly radioactive ground water is accumulating on the Pacific coast of Japan and this is not first class public news? Mr. Larry.


B. Worst Spill in 6 Months Is Reported at Fukushima
20 Feb 2014, The New York Times, By Martin Fackler
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TOKYO — About 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one of the hundreds of storage tanks at the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said Thursday, calling the leak the worst spill at the plant in six months.

The operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the leak, discovered on Wednesday and stopped on Thursday, happened far enough from the plant’s waterfront that none of the radioactive water was likely to reach the Pacific Ocean, as has happened during some previous spills. Still, the leak was an uncomfortable reminder of the many mishaps that have plagued the containment and cleanup efforts at the plant, as well as the hundreds of tons of contaminated groundwater that still flow unchecked into the Pacific every day.

The company, known as Tepco, said it had traced the latest leak to a pair of valves that were left open by mistake.

The leaked water was among the most severely contaminated that Tepco has reported in the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, when damage caused by an earthquake and a tsunami led to meltdowns in three of the plant’s reactors. Each liter (quart) of the water contained, on average, 230 million becquerels of particles giving off beta radiation, the company said. About half of the particles were likely to be strontium 90, which is readily taken up by the human body in the same way that calcium is, and can cause bone cancer and leukemia.

That means the water was about 3.8 million times as contaminated with strontium 90 as the maximum allowed under Japan’s safety standards for drinking water. It also showed levels much more radioactive than a worrisome groundwater reading that Tepco announced earlier this month. That reading — five million becquerels of strontium 90 per liter — which was detected at a location closer to the ocean than the latest spill, prompted criticism of Tepco because the company waited five months to report it publicly.

Critics have assailed the company since the accident, saying that it has been slow to acknowledge problems at the stricken plant and that it has disclosed too little information about the conditions inside. Even so, the [Japanese] government has left the company largely in charge of the cleanup work there.

Tepco has struggled to deal with the hundreds of tons of groundwater seeping each day into the plant’s damaged reactor buildings, where it is contaminated by the melted nuclear reactor cores. To keep the radioactive water from running into the Pacific, the company must pump it out of the reactor buildings and store it in rows of huge tanks it has erected on the plant’s grounds.

So far, Tepco said, about 340,000 tons of water have accumulated in the tanks, enough to fill more than 135 Olympic-size swimming pools. A ton of water is equivalent to about 240 gallons.


 C.  Pentagon Agency Admits It Began Stockpiling Potassium Iodide Due to Fukushima
11 Jan 2014 , by EUTimes, reprinted from Kit
Pasted from:

fusushima KI

“The recent earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 and the resultant nuclear crisis has renewed interest in” potassium iodide, the Defense Logistics Agency said in a solicitation.

Radiation leaks from nuclear plant “renewed interest” in iodide, agency said in 2012.

A federal bid notice reveals that a Pentagon agency began stockpiling potassium iodide in 2012 due to its concerns over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, shedding light on why the Dept. of Health and Human Services is now ordering 14 million doses of iodide.

The Defense Logistics Agency posted a solicitation on FedBizOpps in 2012 asking contractors for 75,000 packages of potassium iodide tablets because the “recent earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 and the resultant nuclear crisis has renewed interest in this item.”

“The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency has submitted a MILSTRIP (Military Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedures) for this item to ensure that critical operational forces are protected in the event of nuclear fallout,” the solicitation added.

Potassium iodide keeps radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland and therefore it is commonly taken in the event of a severe nuclear emergency, such as the current Fukushima crisis.

As Paul Joseph Watson reported on Jan. 1, HHS ordered an unprecedented 14 million doses of potassium iodide for delivery next month.

A government source later told Anthony Gucciardi that this purchase is bizarre given the massive amount requested on such a short notice.

Although HHS did not list a reason for its order, the DLA’s open admission reveals that it is highly likely that the health department is also stocking up on potassium iodide due to Fukushima.

But why would HHS wait until now?

Because several oceanographers concluded last August that the radioactive plume from the Fukushima disaster will reach the U.S. coast early this year.

Additionally, another major earthquake hitting the already delicate nuclear plant could force tens of millions to evacuate Japan.

Yet unlike the Pentagon agency, the health department has been silent on its preparation for such a crisis.

When Gucciardi called the procurement office for HHS about the iodide purchase, the representative denied that HHS was stockpiling potassium iodide for any particular reason.
“Do you have any concerns about Fukushima?” Gucciardi asked.
“I have no idea about any of that… there’s no hidden agenda here,” the representative responded.

But given the DLA’s open proclamation that it is in fact stockpiling potassium iodide because of the radiation leaks from Fukushima, it appears that the health representative’s denial is as weak as the duct tape repair work made to the crippled nuclear plant.

fukushima duct taped

 Duct tape on control rod system pipes (upper left). Notice the rust on the supports and bolts above the tape. Besides the earthquake and tsunami,Tepco had a management and maintenance issue. Tepco’s culture and level of social-economic “responsibility” apparently has not changed. Its politically expedient for politicians, globally, to accept the status quo; fingers and blame can be pointed else where when plutonium 90 contaminates broad areas of mainland Japan and the waters of the Pacific ocean on a large scale. Then folks, we’ll find it was not Tepco, but an act of God that brough golbale radiation problems, God made the support hangers rust and caused the control rod system pipes to be duck taped rather than repaired too (smile). When the SHTF, Listen for political statements, partial quotes from the future: “What did we know”, “What could we have done?” , “They told us it was under control”. “In a act of God….”, “Questions are being asked.” 


D. Big quake near Fukushima would ‘decimate Japan, lead to US West Coast evacuation’
7 November 2013,, by
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The stricken nuclear plant at Fukushima in northern Japan is in such a delicate condition that a future earthquake could trigger a disaster that would decimate Japan and affect the entire West Coast of North America, a prominent scientist has warned.

Speaking at a symposium on water ecology at the University of Alberta in Canada, prominent Japanese-Canadian scientist David Suzuki said that the Japanese government had been “lying through its teeth” about the true extent of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

He attributed the cover-up to the Japanese government’s collusion with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that administers the plant.

“Fukushima is the most terrifying situation that I can imagine,” Suzuki said, adding that another earthquake could trigger a potentially catastrophic, nuclear disaster.

“The fourth [reactor] has been so badly damaged that the fear is if there’s another earthquake of a 7 or above then that building will go and all hell breaks loose,” he said, adding that the chances of an earthquake measuring 7 or above in Japan over the next three years were over 95 percent.

“If the fourth [reactor] goes under an earthquake and those rods are exposed, then it’s bye, bye, Japan and everybody on the west coast of North America should be evacuated. And if that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is,” Suzuki said.

‘Too proud’
Addressing the Japanese government’s attempts to bring the crisis under control, Suzuki said the scientists charged with the plant’s safety “don’t know what to do.”

“The thing we need is to let a group of international experts go in with complete freedom to do what they suggest,” Suzuki said, adding that the only thing impeding this was the “pride” of the Japanese government that was refusing to admit this was necessary.

Suzuki referred to the current scheme of freezing the soil around the reactor to prevent radioactive leaks as “cockamany.”

TEPCO has accepted the US government’s help in undertaking the risky cleanup operation of the Fukushima site. Teams of experts will begin the removal of fuel rods from the fourth reactor in mid-November in a decommissioning process that is likely to take decades. One wrong move in the delicate operation could result in horrific quantities of radiation being released into the atmosphere or trigger a massive explosion.

Dr. Helen Caldicott described the risks of removing the rods to RT as “terribly serious” because of the danger of releasing a large amount of radiation.

“Two rods could touch each other in this process which has been done before and there could be a fission reaction and a very large release of radiation.”

Suzuki, a prominent environmental campaigner and scientist from the University of British Columbia, whose television science programs and books have gained a wide international audience, has been very vocal in his criticisms of Japan in its handling of the disaster.

Despite his prominence in Canada, Suzuki has been criticized in the past by the media for double standards and his credentials as a scientist have been queried. While his television programs encourage society to consume less fossil fuel and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, Suzuki reportedly lives in one of Vancouver’s most exclusive areas and has faced criticism over his globetrotting airplane travel.

However, with regard to the current situation at Fukushima, a number of scientists have echoed Suzuki’s concerns. Nuclear technology historian Robert Jacobs told RT that there could easily be more destruction at the plant’s fourth reactor.

“If this building were to collapse, which could happen, it would spill these spent nuclear fuel rods all over the ground which would make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics impossible and could threaten all kinds of health problems throughout northern Japan and Tokyo itself,” Jacobs said.

fukushima babelA vision of things to come? Technologically speaking, nuclear power is a modern Tower of Babel (by Pieter Bruegel the Elder-1563). The realization that mankind occasionally over steps his bounds is not new, it surfaces with the growth of large cities and attendant  innovation,  it is the blow off phase of civilization. Mr. Larry


(News & Editorial/Tracking the continued, “quiet” breakdown at Fukushima)


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