Monthly Archives: March 2015

Gov’t Expert: Fukushima caused gov’t 70,000-fold increase in Plutonium-241 in Japan — US Nuke Lab: Events such as Fukushima have resulted in plutonium contamination of large areas of oceans — Officials: Molten fuel is now ‘particle-like’ and contains ‘special nuclear materials’


[snip]
Taeko Shinonaga, head of Radioanalytical Laboratory at Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (research institution founded jointly by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education & Research and Bavaria’s Finance Ministry), scientists from Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany), Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft 2013 meeting (emphasis added): Detection of long-lived plutonium isotopes in environmental samples by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) —Plutonium isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu and 242Pu are anthropogenic radionuclides emitted into the environment by nuclear activities. Pu is accumulated in the human body and hence, poses a considerable hazard to human health. Due to the long half-lives, these isotopes arepresent in the biosphere on large time scales and a build-up can be expected. Therefore it is important to study the contamination pathway of Pu into the drinking water… a method to detect long-lived Pu isotopes by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is being developed. AMS requires only few milligrams of sample material… Consequently, more samples from different locations can be taken which is essential when searching for locally increased Pu concentrations as in the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima accident… Samples from different locations in the Pacific Ocean and from the snow-hydrosphere are planned…
Taeko Shinonaga, head of Radioanalytical Laboratory at Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, Nov 2014:  Comparison of activity between [nuclear bomb testing] fallout Pu particle and Fukushima origin Pu particle
Global Fallout Pu in Japan [GF]
  • Pu240: 1,360 Bq
  • Pu241645 Bq
  • Total: 208,005 Bq
Fukushima Pu found in our study
  • Pu240: 197,000 Bq [145 times GF]
  • Pu24143,700,000 Bq [67,752 times]
  • Total: 44,061,000 Bq [212 times]
[end snip]
read full article:

Nearly all fuel in Fukushima No. 1 reactor has melted, says TEPCO : Japan Times


 [snip]
TOKYO —

New tests show almost all of the fuel inside one of the Fukushima nuclear plant’s reactors has melted, its operator said Thursday, the latest step in the clean-up after Japan’s worst ever nuclear crisis.
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the technology, which uses elementary particles called “muon” to create x-ray style images, gave the most concrete evidence yet the fuel had dropped to the bottom of No. 1 reactor.

The data, though largely expected…

Engineers have not been able to develop a machine to directly see the exact location of the molten fuel, hampered by extremely high levels of radiation in and around the reactors.

“While our previous analysis have already strongly suggested that fuel rods had melted down, the latest study provided further data that we like to regard as progress in our effort to determine the exact locations of the debris,” said a TEPCO spokesman.

TEPCO plans to eventually use robots to locate the fuel debris as part of the decommissioning process, which is expected to take three to four decades to complete.

[end snip]

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/nearly-all-fuel-in-fukushima-no-1-reactor-has-melted-says-tepco?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2015-03-20_PM

Congenital Anomalies Statistically linked to Fukushima


The Researchers Joseph Mangano* and Janette D. Sherman, working for the Radiation and Public Health Project, New York, USA, published an article titled:

Changes in Congenital Anomaly Incidence in West Coast and Pacific States (USA) after Arrival of Fukushima Fallout

The Article begins:

“Radioactive fallout after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown entered the U.S. environment within days; levels of radioactivity were particularly elevated in the five western states bordering on the Pacific Ocean.” [http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=54828#.VQtsu47F9Ai]

This is an acknowledgement that fallout was falling at high levels, at least along the coast, and that public health officials knew of it. The article then asks the scientific question:

“The particular sensitivity of the fetus to radiation exposure, and the ability of radioisotopes to attach to cells, tissues, and DNA raise the question of whether fetuses/newborns with birth defects with the greater exposures suffered elevated harm during the period after the meltdown.” [http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=54828#.VQtsu47F9Ai]

Research like this ought to be using rhetorical questions. But there has been so much propaganda and disinformation on the subject that researchers have to act like they don’t already have evidence on the subjects. And sure enough:

“increase of 13.00% in the five western states is significantly greater than the 3.77% decrease for all other U.S. states combined (CI 0.030 – 0.205, p < 0.008). Consistent patterns of elevated increases are observed in the west (20 of 21 comparisons, 6 of which are statistically significant/borderline significant), by state, type of birth defect, month of birth, and month of conception. While these five anomalies are relatively uncommon (about 7500 cases per year in the U.S.), sometimes making statistical significance difficult to achieve, the consistency of the results lend strength to the analysis, and suggest fetal harm from Fukushima may have occurred in western U.S. states." [http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=54828#.VQtsu47F9Ai]

The PDF of the article contains the following [http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperDownload.aspx?paperID=54828]

The Authors looked at a list of particularly gruesome birth defects and anomolies:
Anencephaly,
Cleft palate or cleft lip,
Down syndrome,
Gastroschisis,
Omphalocele,
Spina Bifida/meningocele

Their hypothesis:

“is that the 2010-2011 rate change of these five anomalies increased more sharply in the five Pacific/West Coast states than the rest of the U.S., based on the presence of elevated levels of fallout from the Fukushima meltdown in the period following March 2011, and the well-documented pattern of risk to humans irradiated in utero.” [http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperDownload.aspx?paperID=54828]

There was no question for them that we were hit with considerable fallout:

“The only measure of radioactivity with large numbers of measurements in the period just after Fukushima, when environmental radiation was highest (March 15-April 30, 2011), along with the prior year, is not a specific isotope, but airborne beta emitters, or “gross beta”. During this 47 day period, well over 1000 samples with detectable concentrations were collected by the EPA at over 100 U.S. stations.”

And note this is a proxy, but under-reports radiation exposure. And they present the statistics in a table:

They then note about the first table:

“For most of the period January 1 to October 4, the ratio of 2011 to 2010 beta averages was similar across the U.S. (0.983 for 18 sites in the western states, 1.018 for 31 non-western U.S. sites). But in the period March 15 to April 30, immediately after Fukushima fallout arrived, the 2011/2010 ratio for the 18 sites in the western states (7.345), was considerably higher than the 31 non-western U.S. sites (2.397). Although this is not a comprehensive assessment of dose by geographic area, it supports the belief that the greater exposures from the meltdown occurred in the five western states, using a broad measure of radiation such as gross beta. Appendix 1 shows the radiation measurement sites used. The group that will be most susceptible”

Again the wiggle words, imposed on scientists due to the confidential nature of their sources and the clamp of top security placed on all things nuclear, including those things that affect whether we know they are killing us, damaging our babies before they are born, or not.

Then they provide associated rates of Birth rates, before and after, in a second table as a baseline:

This allows them to use reported birth defect data and correlate it against the period April to November 2010 and 2011. They measured:

“A 2010-2011 increase in birth defect rates was observed for each of the five states, including Alaska (+69.52%), California (+11.88%), Hawaii (+3.90%), Oregon (+8.87%), and Washington (+15.53%). Compared to the −3.77% decline for all other U.S. states, only the California increase achieved statistical significance (CI0.001 – 0.167, p < 0.05), as 58% of the birth defects in the five states occur to California residents. The unusually large rise in Alaska is countered by the small number of cases (10 and 15 for each year), rendering the change not statistically significant."

But here’s the thing. They make claims of statistical correlation and then discount them for Alaska as “not statistically significant” for lack of numbers. This may be valid scientific-speak. But if someone observes a 69% increase in incidents of birth defects even in a small population I’m not sure the validity of the math they are using. But you see that all over science from this subject. They’ll deny significance of data at the drop of a hat. They weren’t forced to do that in this case. The overall evidence is “statistically significant.” I’m just surprised they were allowed to publish the report. And more importantly they were allowed to admit that.

They conclude:

“Our hypothesis that areas in the U.S. which received elevated levels of environmental radioactivity from the Fukushima meltdown are at risk for increased birth defects is based on the documented evidence of cellular damage from radiation exposure, the particular sensitivity of the fetus to radiation, and numerous reports of elevated congenital anomaly rates after exposure to fallout from atomic bomb detonations and nuclear reactor meltdowns.

And the report sustains that hypothesis:

“We find a consistent pattern of excess 2010-2011 increases in birth defect rates in the five West Coast/Pacific states, compared to the rest of the U.S., for the eight-month period April-November. The April-November 2011 birth cohort was exposed to Fukushima radioactivity while in utero.”

So the truth comes out, with buzzwords, weasel words, and caveats. But the truth always comes out.

Source: http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=54828#.VQtsu47F9Ai

News coverage of Fukushima disaster minimized health risks to general population


Date:
March 11, 2015
Source:
American University
Summary:
A new analysis finds that U.S. news media coverage of the Fukushima disaster largely minimized health risks to the general population. Researchers analyzed more than 2,000 news articles from four major U.S. outlets.

[snip]

Four years after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the disaster no longer dominates U.S. news headlines, though the disabled plant continues to pour three tons of radioactive water into the ocean each day. Homes, schools and businesses in the Japanese prefecture are uninhabitable, and will likely be so forever. Yet the U.S. media has dropped the story while public risks remain.
A new analysis by American University sociology professor Celine Marie Pascale finds that U.S. news media coverage of the disaster largely minimized health risks to the general population. Pascale analyzed more than 2,000 news articles from four major U.S. outlets following the disaster’s occurrence March 11, 2011 through the second anniversary on March 11, 2013. Only 6 percent of the coverage — 129 articles — focused on health risks to the public in Japan or elsewhere. Human risks were framed, instead, in terms of workers in the disabled nuclear plant.
Disproportionate access
“It’s shocking to see how few articles discussed risk to the general population, and when they did, they typically characterized risk as low,” said Pascale, who studies the social construction of risk and meanings of risk in the 21st century. “We see articles in prestigious news outlets claiming that radioactivity from cosmic rays and rocks is more dangerous than the radiation emanating from the collapsing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.”
[end snip]
Full article:

Fukushima No. 1’s never-ending battle with radioactive water : Japan Times


[snip]

whatmeltthrough
BY KAZUAKI NAGATA
STAFF WRITER
MAR 11, 2015

The disaster that struck four years ago may have abated for most of the Tohoku region, but the nightmare continues at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which suffered three reactor core meltdowns and is plagued daily by increasing amounts of radioactive water.

Tepco hopes to improve the situation via two key measures: a 1.5-km-long sunken wall of frozen soil encircling stricken reactors 1, 2 and 3 and the damaged reactor 4 building to keep groundwater from entering and mixing with coolant water leaking in the reactor building basements, and “subdrain” wells around the buildings to pump up the tainted groundwater for treatment and ultimate discharge into the Pacific.

The utility hopes these steps will drastically reduce the amount of radioactive water, which is currently some 300 tons each day.

Many experts, however, say Tepco can’t expect smooth sailing as a wall of underground ice of such magnitude has never before been attempted.

And Tepco’s plans to pump up tainted groundwater via the subdrains and discharge it into the sea after removing most of its radioactive components also appears iffy. The company has already lost the trust of fishermen over its failure to disclose the extent of the radioactive water flowing into the Pacific.

The crippled complex has to contend with some 300 tons of new tainted groundwater every day, and part of the process has entailed a nonstop effort to build steel storage tanks. The groundwater, mainly rain that seeps into the soil both at the complex and at locations farther inland, flows toward the sea, including into the basements of the buildings housing the three wrecked reactors.

There, the groundwater mixes with radioactive water that is leaking from cracks in the reactors. Tepco must keep pumping new water into the reactors to cool the melted fuel rods within. The basements are too radioactive to enter.

The problematic groundwater flow used to amount to 400 tons daily, but the utility has taken some steps, including paving over part of the complex with asphalt to keep rainwater from seeping underground.

To stop the increase of tainted water, Tepco must keep all, or at least nearly all, groundwater from flowing into the basements.

The sunken ice wall is considered critical to this goal and Tepco has been setting up pipes to run coolant underground to freeze the soil — a process the utility hopes to start at the end of this month if it receives approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Although Tepco said it will take several months to completely freeze the soil into a solid ice wall, it expects the wall to reduce the amount of groundwater flowing into the reactor buildings to 50 tons a day from 300 at present.

One “problem will be how long it will take to freeze soil evenly (to make an ice wall without holes), and we have already seen this problem when Tepco attempted to make ice walls inside the underground trench (connected to the reactor turbine buildings),” said Shigeaki Tsunoyama, an education and research special adviser at the University of Aizu.

“I’m worried that the same thing might happen with the ice wall (encircling the reactor buildings),” said Tsunoyama, who sits on a panel formed by the NRA to oversee the decommissioning of the nuclear plant.

Fukushima No. 1 has a maze of underground trenches connected to the reactor turbine buildings to run cables and pipes, and they are now filled with highly radioactive water leaking from the turbine buildings.

To remove the water in the trenches, Tepco tried for months to block the tainted water running from the buildings by freezing it before abandoning the effort last year.

[end snip]

more: [link to http://www.japantimes.co.jp] http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/11/national/fukushima-1s-never-ending-battle-radioactive-water/#.VQJMJvnohjN

After 4 Years, Public housing for Fukushima facing…


Fukushima Temporary Housing

[snip]


Construction of public housing in Fukushima Prefecture is facing significant delays. The housing is meant for those forced to leave their homes after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing nuclear accident.

Fukushima Prefecture plans to build around 2,700 units for people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. 4,900 are planned for those affected by the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

But only 44 percent of the units for quake and tsunami victims were ready for occupancy at the end of February.

Only 5 percent has been completed for the nuclear evacuees.
[end snip]
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