Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cesium Fallout from Fukushima-Daiichi ALREADY Rivals Chernobyl....

Cesium Fallout from Fukushima-Daiichi ALREADY Rivals Chernobyl....

Listening to these experts makes me wonder whether the western corporate media is, yet again, engaging in another cover-up to protect its corporate and political bosses...

To get a good idea of the real extend of the damage suffered by the Fukushima nuclear plant please click here for some high resolution overhead pictures.

Many experts say that the Fukushima plants will keep on leaking for months. See this and this.

And the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl....
As the New York Times notes, radioactive cesium is the main danger from the Japanese nuclear accident:

Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”
It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.


Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk.
So it is bad news indeed that, as reported by New Scientist, cesium fallout from Fukushima already rivals Chernobyl:

Radioactive caesium and iodine has been deposited in northern Japan far from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, at levels that were considered highly contaminated after Chernobyl.
The readings were taken by the Japanese science ministry, MEXT, and reveal high levels of caesium-137 and iodine-131 outside the 30-kilometre evacuation zone, mostly to the north-north-west.
After the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the most highly contaminated areas were defined as those with over 1490 kilobecquerels (kBq) of caesium per square metre. Produce from soil with 550 kBq/m2 was destroyed.
People living within 30 kilometres of the plant have evacuated or been advised to stay indoors. Since 18 March, MEXT has repeatedly found caesium levels above 550 kBq/m2 in an area some 45 kilometres wide lying 30 to 50 kilometres north-west of the plant. The highest was 6400 kBq/m2, about 35 kilometres away, while caesium reached 1816 kBq/m2 in Nihonmatsu City and 1752 kBq/m2 in the town of Kawamata, where iodine-131 levels of up to 12,560 kBq/m2 have also been measured. "Some of the numbers are really high," says Gerhard Proehl, head of assessment and management of environmental releases of radiation at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
While Japan has been exposed to very high levels of cesium, so far, the levels of cesium in other parts of the world appear to be relatively low:

And see this.

But anyone who believes that Fukushima cannot possibly become as bad as Chernobyl
has no idea what they are talking about.
Regarding the animation in the blue square:

it was done by the "Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Cologne" in Germany.
In the report it states: "The release rate is estimated as 1015 Bq/d. This is approximately one tenth of the Chernobyl release. This simulation is a so called "worst case scenario" with continuous release rate. The value of 0.001 Bq/m3 correspond to
approximately one millionth of the concentration at the source. At distances more than approximately 2000 km away from the source, the concentrations are not harmful to health."

for the direct link as updates will occur as data becomes available.



How high is the radiation from Japan's leaking Fukushima Daiichi complex?

People have measured very high levels of radiation some 40 killometers from Fukushima:

The Japan Times reports that there are extremely high levels of radiation in and around the nuclear plants:

Radioactive iodine-131 readings taken from seawater near the water intake of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant's No. 2 reactor reached 7.5 million times the legal limit, Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted Tuesday.
The sample that yielded the high reading was taken Saturday, before Tepco announced Monday it would start releasing radioactive water into the sea [see this for background], and experts fear the contamination may spread well beyond Japan's shores to affect seafood overseas.
The unstoppable radioactive discharge into the Pacific has prompted experts to sound the alarm, as cesium, which has a much longer half-life than iodine, is expected to concentrate in the upper food chain.
According to Tepco, some 300,000 becquerels per sq. centimeter of radioactive iodine-131 was detected Saturday, while the amount of cesium-134 was 2 million times the maximum amount permitted and cesium-137 was 1.3 million times the amount allowable.
The level of radioactive iodine in the polluted water inside reactor 2's cracked storage pit had an even higher concentration. A water sample Saturday had 5.2 million becquerels of iodine per sq. centimeter, or 130 million times the maximum amount allowable, and water leaking from the crack had a reading of 5.4 million becquerels, Tepco said.
Masayoshi Yamamoto, a professor of radiology at Kanazawa University, said the high level of cesium is the more worrisome find.
"By the time radioactive iodine is taken in by plankton, which is eaten by smaller fish and then by bigger fish, it will be diluted by the sea and the amount will decrease because of its eight-day half-life," Yamamoto said. "But cesium is a bigger problem."
The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years, while that for cesium-134 is two years. The longer half-life means it will probably concentrate in the upper food chain.
Yamamoto said such radioactive materials are likely to be detected in fish and other marine products in Japan and other nations in the short and long run, posing a serious threat to the seafood industry in other nations as well.
And NHK news points out that radiation levels are so high in some locations that they are literally "immeasurable":
A radiation monitor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers there are exposed to immeasurable levels of radiation.

The monitor told NHK that no one can enter the plant's No. 1 through 3 reactor buildings because radiation levels are so high that monitoring devices have been rendered useless. He said even levels outside the buildings exceed 100 millisieverts in some places.

10 things to learn from Japan after the recent natural calamity that country faced

10 things to learn from Japan after the recent natural calamity that country faced and how it dealt with it?

Earth As You've Never Seen It

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. No looting and irrational complaining. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architectures, for instance: Tall Buildings swayed but didn’t fall. Earthquake proof building codes are strictly enforced and followed.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something. No reports of hoarding or inflating the prices

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding and consideration for fellow human being.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors fully aware that they were risking their lives. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. No stupid and childish comments. No exploitation of human tragedy for raising
Television Rating Points .... Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Real-Time Radioactivity Distribution In Japan; Projected Global Radioactivity Dispersion

Google-Earth Based 3D Map Of Real-Time Radioactivity Distribution In Japan; Projected Global Radioactivity Dispersion

Make sure to have the GoogleEarth API set up in advance of checking out the plugin.

There are now hundreds of radiation-related feeds from Japan on Pachube, monitoring conditions in realtime and underpinning more than half a dozen incredibly valuable applications built by people around the world. They combine 'official' data, 'unofficial' official data, and, most importantly to us, realtime networked geiger counter measurements contributed by concerned citizens. Now we're even seeing some tracking radiation measurements of tap water.

Related: TEPCO Admits To Another Cover Up As Radioactivity In Seawater Near Fukushima Soars To 1,251 Above Legal Limit


Informed decision as to the dangers we face from these radioactive plumes hanging overhead...

The Wall Street Journal has a story that points out the dangers of ownership of the industry which they are charged to regulate.

TOKYO—Japan's nuclear regulator has amassed power while growing closer to the industry it regulates, according to former regulators and industry critics who blame the trend for lapses that may have contributed to the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Bucking the global standard, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has two distinct and often competing roles: regulating the nuclear power industry, and promoting Japanese nuclear technology at home and abroad.

The setup recalls U.S. regulation of offshore drilling before last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in which the same agency regulated the industry and promoted offshore oil-and- gas development.

Nuclear Regulator Tied to Industry

In the States, the most powerful banking regulator is the the Fed, which is essentially OWNED by the industry which it purports to regulate. And the last time I looked, the WSJ was part of the choir singing the praises of self regulation of the various segments of the financial sector, taking every opportunity to undermine independent regulation.

And they probably do not get it. You just have to laugh at this kind of irony.

Well, derivatives are a bit like radiation, something resembling a neutron bomb. They kill off the life in a society, while leaving the buildings intact.

Speaking of the extended analogy, Radioactivity 100,000 Times Normal at Fukushima Reactor 2. The good news is that it is not 10 million times normal as reported by TEPCO earlier today.

Reminds one of the recent report on the US banks by the Fed.....

URGENT - USA / Europe - Radiation and Jetstream FORECAST UPDATE - march 27, 2011

Plumes of Cesium 137, Iodine 131, and Xenon 133, have reached the United States as of March 23, 2011.

Higher plumes, reaching 5000 meters (15,000 feet) are forecast to reach Portugal, Spain, and central europe.

All animations are from professional forecasting services. Links are below.

The radiation flow, forecast and shown by these several models... tells the tale of the isotopes coming our way... .. it will be up to you to decide if you should go outside during the time these clouds are over the USA, Canada, and Mexico...

Radiation forecasting links:

EUROPE radiation monitoring link:

Spain radiation link: (click on radiation update)

Dutch radiation monitoring:

Swiss radiation monitoring:

Finland radiation monitoring:

French radiation monitoring:

jet stream forecasting:

Toyota tells U.S. plants 'prepare to shut down'

Into the Spider's Lair

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.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Japanese nuclear industry tries to cut Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano out of the full picture of the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster....

    Japanese nuclear industry tries to cut Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano out of the full picture of the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster....

    Rebuilding trust key for Japan

    A crucial part of any recovery preparation for Japan includes questions on how to raise money and ensure it is properly invested. Reconstruction of trust in both government and nuclear power is an essential part of the process. - Haruko Satoh

    March 19, 2011 -- TEPCO and Japanese regulator NISA, stonewalling on nuclear plant Fukushima-Daiichi crisis...

    We have learned of a concerted campaign of the stonewalling of key Japanese government officials by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, and Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) nuclear regulatory watchdog. We have been told by informed Japanese sources that the close relationship between TEPCO and NISA neutered effective oversight of TEPCO's safety problem-ridden reactors for a number of years. The lack of effective contingency planning and TEPCO's overriding interest in it's corporate bottom led to the post-quake/tsunami Level 5 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant. The lack of effective NISA oversight is a direct result of the cozy relationship between the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency, according to our sources...

    One of the major reasons why the Japanese Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has not been fully informed of the dire situation at the Fukushima-Daiichi reactor facilities is that Chief Cabinet Secretary, attorney Yukio Edano, cut his teeth in politics as an outspoken opponent of Japan's nuclear power industry...

    We have been told that TEPCO and NISA, skeptical of Edano's past anti-nuclear stance, feared that Edano stands to amplify the threat posed by the current nuclear disaster at Fukushima-Daiichi. TEPCO and NISA have, therefore, acted to limit what information has been passed to Edano to avoid the Cabinet Secretary heightening fears during his many news conferences. Edano has been the chief Japanese government's face in televised news conferences on Fukushima-Daiichi's nuclear meltdown and radiation release....

    Edano's past anti-nuclear stance also extended to his opposition to nuclear-powered U.S. Navy ships from being homeported in Japanese ports.... There are some indications that the Obama administration, which fully supports the U.S. nuclear power industry, has also quietly supported TEPCO and NISA from providing Edano with too much information, especially since Edano also holds the portfolio of Minister of State for Okinawa Affairs. The people of Okinawa have been adamant about the need for the U.S. to pull its military bases off the island....

    Japanese face painful nuclear dilemma

    Amid rolling blackouts and food and fuel shortages, Japanese in the danger zone of radiation fallout face a stark choice between believing repeated government assurances it's safe to bunker down or leaving their homes to join the foreign exodus. While foreign media have been accused of sensationalizing the situation at the stricken nuclear plant, Japan's mind-control machine has a history of deliberately downplaying the truth. - Christopher Johnson (Mar 18, '11)

    TRACKING RADIATION MAP- U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Philippines, Alaska and Hawaii

    Click here for real-time U.S. / Canada map.

    TRACKING RADIATION MAP- U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Philippines, Alaska and Hawaii

    The National Radiation Map, depicts environmental radiation levels across the USA, updated in real-time every minute. This is the first web site where the average citizen (or anyone in the world) can see what radiation levels are anywhere in the USA at any time.

    Click here for a Map of Japan

    Click here for a Map of Alaska and Hawaii

    Helicopter View of Devastated Fukushima Nuclear Plant....

    Helicopter overflight from March 16 at 4pm local time. h/t: Zero Hedge

    Status of Fukushima power plant

    Japanese Should Use the Chernobyl Approach Fast...

    World-renowned physicist Michio Kaku (known for being a leading string theorist) told MSNBC that dropping water from helicopters is pointless, and advocates using the Chernobyl approach instead:

    [Kaku] What they are doing is basically using squirt guns against a raging forest fire.


    It's not effective, because the workers cannot get close enough to put water here. That's why I would personally advocate the Chernobyl option. Do what Gorbachev did, call out the Japanese air force, get the army to bring a fleet of helicopters armed with sand, boric acid and concrete, entomb it, bury it in concrete.

    [Question] So the sand and -- the approach they use in Chernobyl . Is it too early to do that?

    [Kaku] They keep saying that the thing is stable. That's like saying you're hanging on your fingernails and saying it's stable, stable, every six hours it gets worse. If I was the prime minister, I would put the air force on standby, get the helicopters in case they have to exercise the Chernobyl option....

    It took 206 days to bury the Chernobyl reactor in concrete....
    Any attempt to create a Fukushima sarcophagus will create a temporary solution, but a temporary solution that must be used at this time. Just like in Chernobyl, in twenty years, the whole thing will need a new layer of concrete, at the least, until we learn how to undo or at least to control runaway nuclear reactions. SEE: Chernobyl Sarcophagus:
    "The scientists admit that the sarcophagus which encases the damaged nuclear reactor is now cracking open and leaking out lethal doses of radiation. In 1988 Soviet scientists announced that the sarcophagus was only designed for a lifetime of 20 to 30 years. Holes and fissures in the structure now cover 100 square meters, some of which are large enough to drive a car through. These cracks and holes are further exacerbated by the intense heat inside the reactor, which is still over 200 degrees Celsius. The sarcophagus’s hastily and poorly built concrete walls, which are steadily sinking, act as a lid on the grave of the shattered reactor.

    Only 3% of the original nuclear material was expelled in 1986, leaving behind 216 tons of uranium and plutonium still buried inside the exploded reactor, is a chilling reminder that the explosion was not the end, but rather the beginning. Scientists now agree that this sarcophagus will eventually collapse, and when it does there will be an even greater release of radioactivity than in the initial accident."

    Good China to California weather map here:

    Use the left nav to go to "North Pacific/ North Pacific Ocean (all)"

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant: "Spent Fuel Rods Could Go Critical"

    The Daily Galaxy via Kyodo News and

    Things are getting increasingly dicey at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant: The Tokyo Electric Power Company has admitted that a nuclear chain reaction could restart if the spent fuel rods could go critical.

    The greatest danger comes not from the reactors, but from the spent fuel ponds, where the water level has fallen and temperatures have risen, which could result in the stored fuel rods breaking open and releasing their radioactive contents.

    Japans Kyodo News reports that "Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it is considering spraying boric acid by helicopter to prevent spent nuclear fuel rods from reaching criticality again, restarting a chain reaction, at the troubled No. 4 reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. "The possibility of recriticality is not zero," TEPCO said as it announced the envisaged step against a possible fall in water levels in a pool storing the rods that would leave them exposed."

    In Great Britain reports via BBC that the company is now 'caught between a rock and a hard place': "If the fuel rods are dry and hot, there could be damage to the cladding and the release of light radioactive nuclei. To prevent that, you would want to inject water. But water on its own is a neutron moderator and would enhance the chances, however small, of criticality... [water] reduces the speed of the neutrons, meaning they can be captured by uranium nuclei in the fuel rods,inducing them to split. Without water, the neutrons travel too fast, and are not captured.


    "Hence the company's proposal to add boric acid, which would mop up the neutrons and hopefully stave off the reactivation of a nuclear reaction. If this did happen, it does not mean there would be a nuclear explosion, but the rods would heat up, the zirconium cladding would probably split, and the likely release of radioactive material into the atmosphere would be significantly higher."

    'Out of control': This dramatic pictures shows radioactive steam pouring from the Fukushima reactor number three after it was damaged in an explosion .


    "We’re not afraid to die": Extraordinary courage of the Fukushima Fifty as they return to stricken power plant to fight nuclear disaster

    Japanese emergency teams say they are ‘not afraid to die’ as they face dangerous levels of radiation in the fight to stop catastrophe at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

    The stricken power station was abandoned for hours today, as soaring radiation forced the emergency workers to flee for their lives and authorities were reduced to spraying reactors with police water cannons.

    But 180 workers this afternoon bravely headed back towards the plant to pump water on to the over-heating reactors. Some experts speculated that they were on a ‘suicide mission’ as options to control radiation leaks rapidly run out...

    Read more:

    Emergency at Onagawa nuclear plant, radiation 700 times over normal

    Goto said:
    “It is difficult to say, but that would be a core meltdown. If the rods fall and mix with water, the result would be an explosion of solid material like a volcano spreading radioactive material. Steam or a hydrogen explosion caused by the mix would spread radioactive waste more than 50km. Also, this would be multiplied. There are many reactors in the area so there would be many Chernobyls.
    And Goto accused the Japanese government of deliberately withholding vital information that would allow outside experts help solve the problems:
    For example, there has not been enough information about the hydrogen being vented. We don’t know how much was vented and how radioactive it was....
    The former editor of the Japan Times - Yoichi Shimatsu - states that after a high-level government meeting, “Japanese agencies are no longer releasing independent reports without prior approval from the top,” and that censorship of what is really occurring at the plant is being overseen under the Article 15 Emergency Law.

    France is also accusing Japan of downplaying the nuclear threat.

    And Haarertz notes:

    Since the Japanese government has not provided accurate information regarding the possible threat posed by the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, experts in Israel and abroad are divided on the scope of the disaster and the ramifications for the environment.

    There are some very incomplete real-time monitoring networks such as this and this (both of which are both run by companies which sell Geiger counters). But the number of monitors is very small and incomplete....(and these guys).

    Make sure you give your location (city, state and country) so people know where you are, the make and model of your Geiger counter, and the units of radiation being counted (i.e. counts per minute, milli-roentgens per hour or micro-sieverts per hour).

    (click here for a moving graphic time-line.)

    'In addition to under reporting the fires at Fukushima, the Japanese government has not told the people about the ominous fact that the nuclear plant site is a hellish repository where a staggering number of spent fuel rods have accumulated for 40 years.
    It appears that the Fukushima nuclear disaster will be worse than Chernobyl, possibly MUCH worse, because 600,000 spent nuclear fuel rods are stored there. All that radioactive material will likely vent into the atmosphere, and spread around the planet.


    The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven pools dedicated to spent fuel rods. These are located at the top of six reactor buildings – or were until explosions and fires ravaged the plant. On the ground level there is a common pool in a separate building that was critical damaged by the tsunami. Each reactor building pool holds 3,450 fuel rod assemblies and the common pool holds 6,291 fuel rod assemblies. Each assembly holds sixty-three fuel rods. In short, the Fukushima Daiichi plant contains over 600,000 spent fuel rods – a massive amount of radiation that will soon be released into the atmosphere.'
    This here is live-feed from Japan - the govt admits that the area housing the fuel rods itself is on fire.

    The German media are running a story in Frankfurter Rundschau today saying that each reactor has 3,000 tons of spent fuel rods stored on top plus whatever active rods are used for reactor operation and there are 25 to 30 such reactors with this quantity in Japan.

    I suspect everything is in full meltdown and they lost control of the situation and it is beyond going in and securing anything due to radiation and temperatures.

    WNA table of comparison posted on the BBC Q&A -- The table is attached for reference....
    I looked at the highest radiation levels from the measurements ...
    The max was 170 microSv/h at c. 30 km NW of the plant at 14:00 on March 17.

    170 microSv/h = 0.17 mSv/h = approx. 1, 490 mSv/yr

    If sustained for a year, this level would therefore be past the level of 350 mSv/lifetime which, according to the WNA table, was the “criterion for relocating people after the Chernobyl accident”. Of course, the 170 miscroSv/h radiation dose is unlikely to be sustained for a year and it may go down quickly.

    BUT, from the measurements in the attached document, it seems like this high level is recurring: 167 microSv/h was recorded at 13:10, 170 microSv/h at 14:00, and 158 microSv/h at 15:00. So I think this means that these ‘high’ levels cannot be associated with one ‘blast’ as was explained when the 400 mSv recording occurred a couple of days ago....

    These levels equivalent to 1, 490 mSv/yr are definitely past the naturally-occurring background radiation level typically from about 1.5 to 3.5 mSv/yr.