Saturday, March 19, 2011

4,277 tons of nuclear fuel at Fukushima-Daiichi....

The oil companies couldn't be happier with the coverage of this sad event in Japan....

  • Preparing for a new capital of Japan: Osaka. Swiss moving embassy to Osaka.



  • U.S. military considering mandatory evacuation of Yokosuka naval base due to radiation concerns. USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered carrier, ordered out of base....
    6.6 quake off Honshu. Another strong quake startles quake-weary Japan.

    Science Insider noted yesterday:
    The Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan ... had a total of 1760 metric tons of fresh and used nuclear fuel on site last year, according to a presentation by its owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The most damaged Daiichi reactor, number 3, contains about 90 tons of fuel, and the storage pool above reactor 4, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) Gregory Jaczko reported yesterday had lost its cooling water, contains 135 tons of spent fuel. The amount of fuel lost in the core melt at Three Mile Island in 1979 was about 30 tons; the Chernobyl reactors had about 180 tons when the accident occurred in 1986.
    And see this.

    That means that Fukushima
    -Daiichi has nearly 10 times more nuclear fuel than Chernobyl.

    It also means that a single spent fuel pool - at reactor 4, which has lost all of its water and thus faces a release of its radioactive materials- has
    75% as much nuclear fuel as at all of Chernobyl.

    However, the real numbers are even worse...

    Specifically, Tepco very recently transferred many more radioactive spent fuel rods into the storage pools. According to
    Associated Press, there were - at the time of the earthquake and tsunami - 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools plus 877 tons of active fuel in the cores of the reactors.

    That totals 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel at Fukushima

    Which means that there is almost
    24 times more nuclear fuel at Fukushima-Daiichi than Chernobyl.
    Yesterday, a top physicist says:
    What [the Japanese] are doing is basically using squirt guns against a raging forest fire...?
    "So, you said you were reconnecting electricity to the number 5 & 6 reactors, and even though these were non-operational at the time of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and even though reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the 'core' of the problem, and even though the spent fuel stored in numbers 5 & 6 was blown all around, scattered all about, and even though even these reactors sustained incredibly serious damage to their housing and structure, how could you expect the cooling systems to possibly work in even these facilities?"
    TEPCO and/or Government Official: "Hey look, war broke out in Libya."

    He says the Japanese should instead use the Chernobyl style approach of entombing the reactors in boric acid, sand and concrete....
    Today, nuclear expert Robert Alvarez - a senior U.S. Department of Energy official during the Clinton administration - pointed out to Kyodo News that dumping seawater on the reactors might actually further damage them:
    When combined with the high heat at the reactor site, the seawater currently being poured on the facilities could destroy their cooling pumps or even corrode the containment vessels holding the plant's nuclear fuel, increasing the difficulty of containing the radioactive material....

    "Bid to 'Protect Assets' Slowed Reactor Fight" There needs to be a lot of political/legal reform in Japan, and quite a few people need to go to jail.....

    Governments Have Been Covering Up Nuclear Meltdowns for Fifty Years to Protect the Nuclear Power Industry...

    As a History Chanel special notes, a nuclear meltdown occurred at the world's first commercial reactor only 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and only 7 miles from the community of Canoga Park and the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

    Specifically, in 1959, there was a meltdown of one-third of the nuclear reactors at the Santa Susana field laboratory operated by Rocketdyne, releasing - according to some scientists' estimates - 240 times as much radiation as Three Mile Island.

    But the Atomic Energy Commission lied and said only there was only 1 partially damaged rod, and no real problems. In fact, the AEC kept the meltdown a state secret for 20 years.

    There were other major accidents at that reactor facility, which the AEC and Nuclear Regulatory Commission covered up as well. See this.

    Two years earlier, a Russian government reactor at Kyshtm melted down in an accident which some claim was even worse than Chernobyl.

    The Soviet government hid the accident, pretending that it was creating a new "nature reserve" to keep people out of the huge swath of contaminated land.

    Journalist Anna Gyorgy
    alleges that the results of a freedom of information act request show that the CIA knew about the accident at the time, but kept it secret to prevent adverse consequences for the fledgling American nuclear industry.
    1980s Studies and Hearings

    In 1982, the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs received a secret
    report received from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission called "Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences 2".

    In that report and other reports by the NRC in the 1980s, it was estimated that there was a 50% chance of a nuclear meltdown within the next 20 years which would be so large that it would contaminate an area the size of the State of Pennsylvania, which would result in huge numbers of a fatalities, and which would cause damage in the hundreds of billions of dollars (in 1980s dollars).

    Those reports were kept secret for decades.

    Other Evidence

    Well-known writer Alvin Toffler
    pointed out in Powershift (page 156):
    At least thirty times between 1957 and 1985—more than once a year—the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant near Aiken, South Carolina, experienced what a scientist subsequently termed "reactor incidents of greatest significance." These included widespread leakage of radioactivity and a meltdown of nuclear fuel. But not one of these was reported to local residents or to the public generally. Nor was action taken when the scientist submitted an internal memorandum about these "incidents." The story did not come to light until exposed in a Congressional hearing in 1988. The plant was operated by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company for the U.S. government, and Du Pont was accused of covering up the facts. The company immediately issued a denial, pointing out that it had routinely reported the accidents to the Department of Energy.

    At this point, the DoE, as it is known, accepted the blame for keeping the news secret.
    And former soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said on camera for a Discovery Network special ("The Battle of Chernobyl") that the Soviets and Americans have each hidden a number of nuclear accidents from the public.

    (17:02 into video.)
    In light of the foregoing, the following quote from the San Jose Mercury News may not seem so far-fetched:

    EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California. Margot Perez-Sullivan, a spokeswoman at the EPA's regional headquarters in San Francisco, said the agency's written statement would stand on its own.
    Critics said the public needs more information.
    "It's disappointing," said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. "I have a strong suspicion that EPA is being silenced by those in the federal government who don't want anything to stand in the way of a nuclear power expansion in this country, heavily subsidized by taxpayer money."
    And see this.

    The Chernobyl Arch....

    Being Built by Novarka Consortium, Headed by Paris-based Vinci Group, Novarka includes France’s Bouygues S.A. and Nukem Ltd., U.K.