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This is another clearinghouse diary for discussion and commentary about the ongoing nuclear disaster(s) in Japan.   For updated information on news and a timeline of the events following the March 11 Japanese Earthquake, visit the Mothership.  provides a more extensive list of news and data sources, social media, crisis mapping and other relevant information.

If you would like to recommend this diary feel free to do so. All previous liveblogs published to the Japan Nuclear Incident group can be found here. The group also serves as an archive for Coverage@Kos. (For more details on this ongoing 24/7 breaking news resource and information on how to follow this @ Kos, please read below the fold.)

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News Stream:17 May JST. JNI Combined Sources..... Quake not tsunami caused meltdown in No.1 ...  Storage barge for radioactive water arrives ...Gov't demands Tepco reveal  ... 3 years to dispose of debris from quake/tsumani ... Polyester structure temporary fix for trapping 'some' escaping radioactive materials..  .....  Search for missing radioactive water continues ...  TEPCO to release outlook for ending nuke crisis, evacuation …  Disaster damaged or destroyed 7,254 companies in coastal areas of Tohoku   .... Death toll from Earthquake tops 15,000 ... Radioactivity way up in Seawater from Fukushima 1, 2 & 3 Meltdowns (references in comments and FOoF's diary linked below)

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On board with the story:

Japan Reactor-Core Damage Is Worse Than Expected, Delaying Tepco’s Cleanup (Bloomberg, May 12)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said one of the reactor cores at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant is more seriously damaged than previously thought, setting back the utility’s plan to resolve the crisis.

Fuel rods in the core of the No. 1 reactor are fully exposed, with the water level 1 meter (3.3 feet) below the base of the fuel assembly, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility known as Tepco, told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. Melted fuel has dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is still being cooled, Matsumoto said.  

Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima plant Telegraph, May 12.

One of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant did suffer a nuclear meltdown, Japanese officials admitted for the first time today, describing a pool of molten fuel at the bottom of the reactor's containment vessel.

“Fuel rods in the core of the No. 1 reactor are fully exposed, with the water level 1 meter (3.3 feet) below the base of the fuel assembly, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility known as Tepco, told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. Melted fuel has dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is still being cooled, Matsumoto said.”
In other words, officials have been forced to admit for the first time that reactor 1 suffered a nuclear meltdown, leading to concerns that “radioactive fuel may have burned a hole through the bottom of the containment vessel, causing water to leak.”

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/... (NHK 5/14)

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is trying to locate thousands of tons of radioactive water that has leaked from one of the damaged reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says contaminated water is apparently leaking from the No.1 reactor, which is in a state of meltdown.

TEPCO has injected more than 10,000 tons of water into the reactor since the March 11th disaster damaged the plant. But, less than half that amount is believed to remain in the reactor or its container vessel.

The utility says the leaked water is likely in the basement of the reactor building -- still a no-go zone due to concerns over high radiation levels.

Twitter 'vital' link to patients, say doctors in Japan (BBC 5/14)

In the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan, Twitter is proving "an excellent system" for communicating with chronically-ill patients, say doctors.

In letters written to The Lancet, Japanese doctors say social networking sites have been vital in notifying patients where to get medication.

Although telephone networks were disrupted after the earthquake, internet access remained reliable.

But Japan must now strengthen its primary care system, they said.

Free fish meals a treat for earthquake-hit town Yomiuri 5/15

KESENNUMA, Miyagi--An association of owners of long-distance fishing boats provided 2,000 donburi bowls topped with bonito and tuna to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in Kesennuma on Saturday.
People started to gather at 5 a.m. in front of a restaurant where the meals were to be handed out, and the line kept growing until 10:20 a.m. when distribution began.
Kesennuma is one of the nation's largest bases for long-distance fishing, but was devastated by the March 11 tsunami. The association's members wanted to cheer up disaster survivors with the dishes of rice topped with bonito and tuna brought from Yaizu Port in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Association head Hiroaki Katsukura said, "We wanted to express our gratitude to the people of Kesennuma, because they've helped us out in the past. We also wanted to do something to encourage them."
Hamako Koyama, 72, tasted both donburi types and said the free meals were a treat. "I haven't been able to eat much fish since the disaster," he said.
The association plans to hold similar events in Onagawacho in the prefecture and other disaster-hit areas.

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Fukushimafaq

Detailed temperatures and pressures are posted every few hours at http://www.tepco.co.jp/... - the links for each reactor are just below the apology box about 2/3 down the page. Google will translate the link titles OK. Refresh every access to ensure the latest linked PDFs are picked up as the URL changes with every new release.

Gov't compiling road map for nuke crisis-affected areas (TOKYO, May 14, Kyodo)
The government is compiling a road map to clarify how it will restore areas affected by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and allow evacuated people to return home, for release as early as Tuesday, government sources said Saturday.
The release may be delayed, however, as the latest findings by the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. indicate a meltdown of the troubled No. 1 reactor's fuel in a development that may affect its aim of bringing the crisis under control within six to nine months.

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Action:

Picnic 4 Degrowth !

In solidarity with the people of Fukushima! What do you want? Clean energy! When do you want it? now!
Change always starts with a nice chat around a good dinner! :)
On Sunday 5th of June, we invite you to gather with friends, relatives and neighbours to have a wonderful picnic in a park or even in your street. The 2010 edition was organised in about 70 cities, in more than 20 countries. This year edition is organised in solidarity with the people who were at the center of the huge crisis that happened in Fukushima. While media are slowly going away in quest for fresher news... WE DO NOT FORGET! This pic-nic is a simple action to put it clearly to our governments that we want 100% clean energy as nuclear energy is simply not safe, and human beings do not master this technology. Moreover, to give an example, in Europe only, 143 nuclear power plants provide no more than 20% of the total energy needed! So is it worth taking such a risk for 20% of energy supply? The answer is clearly NO! The answer of many degrowth movements around the globe is, first, to consume less energy and, then, to choose clean energy. This is the message behind this year pic-nic. We hope you'll join us!

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Updates

A massive update for CatDat Situation Report (Part 15)

UPDATE 5/17

•  scribble live 5/16

16 May 6:00 Plant Parameters: www.meti.go.jp 16 May Bad Plant Parameters: www.meti.go.jp 16 May Radiation Monitoring: www.meti.go.jp 16 May NISA Report 140: www.meti.go.jp 15 May NISA Report 139 (English): www.nisa.meti.go.jp 14 May NISA Report 138 (English): www.nisa.meti.go.jp 16 May JAIF NPP Status 132: www.jaif.or.jp 16 May JAIF Earthquake Report 83: www.jaif.or.jp 16 May JAIF Overall NPP Status: www.jaif.or.jp MEXT Environmental Radiation Readings (dust, air, water, by-prefecture): www.mext.go.jp TEPCO Press Releases: www.tepco.co.jp

PDFS

www.toshiba.co.jp
www.iaea.org fukushima #3 shroud replacement document for your reading enjoyment
www.krrao.com very good document on BWR core internals replacement, stresses etc.. with great break away drawings...
netfiles.uiuc.edu one of my sources
reindeerflotilla.wordpress.com
www.nucleartourist.com this is going to be pinned up
www.ucsusa.org very cute little link that will be used with my presentation
www.ornl.gov

• Latest videos from 200 Watts (France: Understanding the Nuclear Industry)

WHO Status report 11 May (download report)

5280 injured and 9853 missing. There are now 115 098 evacuees.
Health situation monitoring, needs and risk assessments and response in the earthquake and tsunami affected areas are ongoing.

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JNI Team analysis (from previous ROV)

This is gonna hurt ....  h/t procrastinator john on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:41:18 PM PDT

 
Back at the end of March the CEO of TEPCO denied rumors that the company had withheld information:

[Katsumata] faced criticism that the company had supplied a flow of opaque and occasionally wrong information, including a misleading radiation reading, but denied TEPCO withheld details on the Fukushima situation.
"I am very sorry that there have been various mistakes and delays in the timing (of making announcements). But we have never concealed information," he told reporters.

The  Asahi Shinbun(Japanese) reports a different story today:
Concerning the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, Tokyo Electric discovered that it did not release data about the high level of radiation in the reactor building of unit 3 that suffered a hydrogen explosion on March 14, even though it had the data on hand on March 13th. TEPCO ascertained this from internal documents. Nuclear power experts indicate that "since this is information needed by workers and the public, they have an obligation to release specific data as soon as possible."
This news is seriously going to piss off Kan and Edano, not to mention a lot of the public. The incident is definitely going to be investigated by the government. March 13, by the way, was the last time the company president, Shimizu, made a public appearance until early in April, after he was released from the hospital.
がんばれ日本!

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Coverage@kos

Radioactivity way up in Seawater from Fukushima 1, 2 & 3 Meltdowns 5/16 by FishOutofWater
Fukushima Dai Ichi Unit 1 is officially in a state of Meltdown 5/12 by Adept2uFollow
Confirmed: Fuel rods at Fukushima reactor have mostly melted. Taxpayer-funded bailout announced 5/13 by Meteor Blades
Fukushiam Roundup 5/14 by Joieau

Regularly Updated Data Sources


@Kos: A database of temperature, pressure, radiation levels, etc readings over time can be found in: The Daiichi Database  This is an evolving diary that will be updated regularly.
Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF)
RSOS Emergency & Disaster information Services - Japan
EPA RadNet Map View & EPA's Radiation Air Monitoring
Scribble Live
Japan Municipal Water Charts  (in Japanese)

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Best News Sources

Kyodo Nuclear News Feed
NHK Japan Live
OilDrum
Asahi on Facebook
Fukushima Wikispaces
WHO situation reports
METI Twitter Feed

Rules of the Road


Given the seriousness of this situation, please use this diary for posting information DIRECTLY Related to coverage of the developing news!

The"ROV" (a Remote Operating Vehicle) is a 'child diary' for liveblog coverage of major breaking news stories. (The term was borrowed from the Gulf Watchers coverage of the Deep Water Horizon crisis.)

To continue following and participating in the breaking coverage in Japan Nuclear Incidents series, click here and then click the heart icon underneath the profile picture to the Right. This will bring these diaries directly into your personal "stream."

Due to extensive coverage, Coverage@KOS is including diaries covering two-day periods. All coverage is then archived to the group page.

You can assist us in including relevant diaries by providing links to any postings we may have missed to insure they are included in this coverage. Also, note below if diaries are being reposted to other groups so we can direct readers there as well.

Please be kind to kossacks with bandwidth issues. Please do not post images or videos. Again, many thanks for this.

Remember when posting to the thread:  STICK TO THE FACTS. Source and link all new information.  (This includes insuring authenticity of twitter sources.) Both the Mothership and the ROVs are for reporting and discussing the developing news. Neither space is for opinions or for editorializing on the subject of nuclear energy. The JNI team has decided that diaries which are not factual or which sensationalize this event are not included in Coverage@Kos.

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Originally posted to Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs on Sat May 14, 2011 at 06:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This diary is NOT INTENDED FOR WRECK LIST (25+ / 0-)

    It serves as a week long space for those who are following and reporting on the ongoing crisis @ Fukushima as well as on the broader crisis throughout Japan to check in.

    There is currently a fabulous diary on wreck list. If you haven't already, please read and wreck and comment there!

    Thanks. And kudos to the JNI team who continue to follow this story day in and day out.

    You guys just ROCK!

    "A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool." Robert Bulwer-Lytton

    by boatsie on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:05:15 PM PDT

    •  I thought for a moment you were going to inform us (14+ / 0-)

      that TEPCO had decided that the word "meltdown" was too discouraging, so the incident had been redefined as and "upward unfreezing."  

      Or and "situational re-location" of the uranium fuel pellets.

      Or, even better, how about a less distress headline,

      "TEPCO Investigates An Unexpected Situation-Based Reconfigaration of Nuclear Plants, At Fukashima."

      "The pubic will be informed "as-needed" as fact emerge.

      "And, in other news, Bongo, the Panda, passed gas, at the Tokyo Zoo, to the delight of vistors.  Now, going live to our International Panda correspondent, at the the Tokyo Zoo...."

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:46:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could someone (7+ / 0-)

        please explain the term meltdown and what it means?  I have heard it but do not understand it. Thanks

        Obama,how many innocent people did you kill today with your drones for the corporations?

        by snoopydawg on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:36:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  AFAIK, without coolant, the fuel rods can (11+ / 0-)

          exceed melting point temperatures, and the rods melt forming a puddle on the floor of the reactor.

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sat May 14, 2011 at 09:14:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'll defer to the experts, snoopydawg. (15+ / 0-)

          But, until they get here, I can share with you some of what I've read.

          The word is not as precise as one might hope, and I've read many complain that it is imprecise, and misunderstood, so you are not the only one with this question.

          When the water cooling the fuel rods falls below the top of the fuel rods, a number of unfortunate events can apparently occur that damages the fuel rods.

          But, the common theme is that without channeling off the heat these rods generate from their fission reactions, the excess heat can damage or "melt" the rods.  Although, some experts have told us that sometimes it's more of a "crumbling,"  than a melting.

          Also, after a few hours the zirconium cladding encasing the uranium pellets can catch of fire, but this takes at least 3 or 4 hours of exposure to air.  This is the biggest risk in the spent fuel ponds.

          But, after the integrity of the casing of the fuel rod is damaged, the fuel crumbles, or melts and falls to the floor of the reactor vessel.  

          The fearsome "China Syndrome" where the fuel turns to a molten lava of "corium" is apparently rarer, or at least, much more difficult to achieve than I had initially believed.

          But, if this fuel is extremely hot, and achieves "recriticality" the fear is that it would melt through the bottem of the containment vessel, and other sub-structures like a Torus, and even the concrete floor of the reactor structure, into the earth, below the reactor.

          Last night, there was an intense debate about this possibility, that I will not try to recount here.  Perhaps, we will re-experience here soon.

          The biggest fear is that if this "molten lava like like corium"  or even just hot pebbles of radioactive crumbled fuel  hits a water table, the steam can launch radioactive particlulates into the atmosphere.

          Otherwise, it melts to some depth, becoming less dense, so then sits in the bedrock for 30 to a couple 100 years.

          Apparently, this is the state of the Chernobyl fuel.

          However, many nuclear reactor experts here, suggest that this scenario is unlikely, and not happening here.

          First, as the uranium fuel pellets crumble they scatter along the bottom of the reactor vessle, where they are not dense enough to achieve criticality.  Plus boron, and other neutron absorbers purportedly mitigate fission.  Although, this assertion draws an angry response that because the fuel is not longer seperated by water, neutron moderation is not longer relevent.  IDK.

          This is where my knowledge is not sufficient to give you any further idea, and I hope folks that know better can help us out.

          Apparently, something has been hot enough to either melt, or create small holes in the reactor vessle, so some fuel has apparently escaped the reactor vessel.

          But, if the fuel has escaped from the bottom of the floor of the whole unit, one expert suggests, this would totally change the strategy for dealing with it.  It will then be too difficult to remove, and he says we should stop even spraying water on it, but rather dig a trench around the entire site to the 55 feet deep bedrock, and then build a think concrete, and still wall around the entire site, eventually, encasing the entire side in concrete once the heat levels drop low enough.

          Although, this hasn't been done yet at Chernobyl, and we would now be talking about a 100 year plus mangement plan.  

          I know from teaching a course in computer simulation of strategy and scenario planning to the folks at the Idaho National Labs, that the rule of thumb seem to be that waste containment needs to be done for 10 to 13 times the half-life of the longest lived isotopes.

          Ceasium 137 has a half life of 30 years.  Strontium 90, 29 years.

          So, this would mean isolating the radioactive wastes for at least 300 years.

          A common isotope of Plutonium has a half-life to 24,000 years which is why the weapons grade waste likely to be stored eventually at Yucca Flats, or remain on site, will need to be contained for 250,000 years.

          I don't know if the MOX fuel at one of the reactors has enough Plutonium in it to require such lengthy storage.

          But, if the site is turned into a nuclear waste dump, the immediate area will be unusable for any other purpose for centuries.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Sat May 14, 2011 at 09:21:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Link (11+ / 0-)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Nuclear meltdown is an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating. The term is not officially defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency[1] or by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[2] However, it has been defined to mean the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor,[3] and is in common usage a reference to the core's either complete or partial collapse. "Core melt accident" and "partial core melt"[4] are the analogous technical terms.

          A core melt accident occurs when the heat generated by a nuclear reactor exceeds the heat removed by the cooling systems to the point where at least one nuclear fuel element exceeds its melting point. This differs from a fuel element failure, which is not caused by high temperatures. A meltdown may be caused by a loss of coolant, loss of coolant pressure, or low coolant flow rate or be the result of a criticality excursion in which the reactor is operated at a power level that exceeds its design limits. A meltdown is considered a serious event because of the potential for release of radioactive material into the environment.


          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Sat May 14, 2011 at 10:35:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  UCS - What is a Partial and Complete Meltdown? (7+ / 0-)

          From Union of Concerned Scientists' general information FAQ page  - a description:

          ...
          What is a “partial meltdown” and what is a “complete meltdown”?

          “Meltdown” refers to damage to fuel rods due to excessive heating when the reactor’s cooling systems fail. Because of their high level of radioactivity, fuel rods in a reactor core or a spent fuel pool generate a lot of heat even if the reactor is not operating. So they must be surrounded by water that is circulated and cooled to carry heat away from the rods. If something disrupts this cooling, the fuel rods will heat up the water and eventually cause it to boil off.

          If the water drops low enough to expose a significant length of a fuel rod, it will get hot enough that the zirconium cladding of the rod will start to oxidize (i.e., burn). This damage to the cladding will begin to allow the release of radioactive elements in the rod. If heating continues, the fuel pellets in the rod will start to release much larger amounts of radioactive gases. Eventually, the temperature can get high enough that the fuel pellets will begin to melt. If only a fraction of the fuel pellets melt, that is called a “partial meltdown.”

          A partial meltdown will release large amounts of radioactivity. In general, that radioactivity and the damaged fuel will be contained in the steel reactor vessel, which is isolated from the environment by the reactor’s primary containment structure. That means that even if a partial meltdown occurs, it may not lead to a large release of radioactivity into the atmosphere, since it will be confined inside the reactor. That is what happened during the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979.

          However, if a partial meltdown occurs in fuel that has been moved to a spent fuel pool, the radiation released is much more likely to get into the atmosphere. The pool is not surrounded by the same layers of confinement as the reactor vessel. In the case of the Fukushima reactors, explosions have damaged the reactor buildings, allowing radioactive gases from the spent fuel pool to be released directly into the atmosphere.

          A “complete meltdown” can occur when the level of cooling water drops enough that the nuclear fuel in the reactor core is entirely uncovered. If a large quantity of fuel melts, the molten mass can run to the bottom of the metal reactor vessel and may remain hot enough to burn through the vessel floor. The mass would then drop onto the concrete floor of the primary containment. In the case of the Mark I containment used in the Japanese reactors, if the mass of molten fuel is large enough, it could spread to the metal containment wall and burn through it. If that happened, the containment would be breached and radioactivity would escape.

          Emphasis added.

          We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

          by Into The Woods on Sun May 15, 2011 at 11:03:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Situational-based reconfiguration (6+ / 0-)

        of the core." Sounds like a winner!

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:46:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for doing this boatsie. (13+ / 0-)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:17:03 PM PDT

    •  no problem. (8+ / 0-)

      just wish we had a way to have these rovs published by JNI group rather than an individual...

      "A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool." Robert Bulwer-Lytton

      by boatsie on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:19:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm. (12+ / 0-)

        It's among the diaries on the page for the Japan Nuclear Incident liveblogs. Meteor Blades' green diary rescue is just above it.

        Hah! Updated your tags!

        Thanks for all your fine work, boatsie.

      •  Why can't we create a UID called JNI? (8+ / 0-)

        Then  you could publish the JNI resource diariew under that name?

        Not that it seems to be a problem.  If you do the work, you should get the credit as a personal diary, IMO.

        Perhaps, there are other issues, I don't understand.

        So many confusing things have happend lately, that I haven't really followed, I feel sort of out of the loop.

        How sad to see these recent disturbing developments at the plants.  For a little while there, it seemed as if, TEPCO were getting things under control.

        Now, in addition to the apparent meltdown, we apparently have the risk that Unit #4 may be in a process of slow collapse?  

        Why do we not hear more about this in the traditional media.

        Even, the Japanese media seems to downplay these developments.  We see astonishing revelations mentioned in a few almost bland paragraphs in NHK, or other short articles.

        Do the Japanese have anything equivalent to the NYT as a paper of record, for their national news?

        Why have we not seen more editorial, and opinion pieces by noted Japanese journalists, and/or pundits, giving their opinions and asking more pointed questions, as we would if something of this magnitude were happening here?

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:34:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  good question ... that would be great! (6+ / 0-)

          "A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool." Robert Bulwer-Lytton

          by boatsie on Sat May 14, 2011 at 10:35:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jni needs to handle bad news (0+ / 0-)

            Before it matters.

            As long as the administrators of that group only publish what t he authorities tell them, they will be of zero value

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 06:17:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What do you mean nathguy? What authorities? (6+ / 0-)

              There has been lots of breaking bad news presented here?

              I don't want to get in the middle of any personal disputes, but if there is something that pertains to the whole editorial position of the JNI, perhaps, it should be discussed.

              BTW Just as a point of reference, I was the first here to break the INES Level 7, and also, i believe the first to challenge the credibility and transparency of TEPCO, and the Japanese government, "In Evidence of Lack of Candor ..Emerges.."

              I have not hesitated to report negative news when I can verify it.

              And, as you know I've rec'd several of your diaries, and many of your comments.

              My only issue with you has been that when you've gotten angry at some of the specific pro-nuclear advocates which you tussled with, your counter-response has sometimes been overly broad counter-attacks that seem to catch innocent bystanders in the cross-fire.

              When I see these kinds of interactions, it has sometimes maked it difficult to tip, or rec your material which, otherwise, merits commendation.  But, if he seem to be taking non-targeted swipes at other frequent writers here, then I don't want to appear to be taking sides in fights I don't have the history on.

              I didn't witness the original incidents where you were apparently slammed by some of the pro-nuclear editors at JNI, but I've seen that kind of thing, especially, prior to Fukushima.  

              My only request is that now that it seems, that many of your positions have been, at least, partially vindicated, you try to make sure, your retaliation is a focused as possible on the specific factual disputes, and people involved.

              I'm not sure but I think I am still one of dozens of editors at JNI, although, I am not one of the insiders.  

              But, remarks like this cast aspersions on all of us.  

              Is that your intent?

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Sun May 15, 2011 at 01:53:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the conspiracy of silence (0+ / 0-)

                by the JNI editors is something I feel free to take swipes at.

                That i was summarily banned from the JNI Group mail and posting without any discussion or response,
                is to me worthy of discussion.

                Makhali Overdrive says it's because i've been branded
                an anti-semite. I may not be very politically correct,
                well fuck that noise. I ain't running for governor.

                Personally I think it speaks to the level of close mindedness
                of the JNI group that i've been banned not for anything
                i posted there but for things i've posted independently.

                So by the standards of the JNI, the JNI group would
                bar Heisenberg because he had been a nazi, and god forbid
                we can't ever have a former nazi commenting on nuclear engineering.  

                George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                by nathguy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 05:13:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, that's not what I said (5+ / 0-)

                  Please do not mischaracterize what I said. I said that this was one of the four issues that some users and others here had with you, since you said something very different in the body of your diary which smeared ALL JNI participants.

                  You have made some very strong allegations about JNI in your diary that you have not provided links for, stating that you were "banned" for anti-TEPCO statements by the "nuclear industry shills" here, and so on and so forth.

                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  Thank you for not bringing this in here further and for taking any of your individual concerns or queries to private messaging.

                  I am not going to engage with you further due to the off-track and inflammatory nature of some of your commentary, sorry. I otherwise value your contributions.

                •  Thanks for responding to my question nathguy (3+ / 0-)

                  I was not part of any of those discussions, so I can not offer any opinion, other than to respond to what you say here.

                  I believe you should be given a proper response, and fair discussion.  

                  Not that there is any rule about about it that I know, but because as Democrats, progressives, and liberals, we should value due process, and respect for individuals.

                  Even though, I've never met her (or him?)  personally, or exchanged personal information with Makahali Overdrive, I've come to think of her as a friend, and have often tipped, and rec'd her work.  

                  But, I will inquire about it, if you like.  Maybe she will resond here.

                  But, you are able to post here, as I'm reading your comment.   So you must be talking about the JNI email.  I think I'm on that, however, I haven't found any of any gruops email to be very useful.  Old messages never get deleted, and I can never tell when I have new mail for me, or when it is just sent to a whole group.

                  So, I'm not sure you are missing much.

                  But, I can understand the hurt feelings that occurred to be excluded without a better explanation.

                  I've never really thought about the dynamics of group control before.  

                  I don't support anti-Semitism, but neither does the whole site.  So, if you haven't been banned from DailyKos your comments must have been ambiguous, at worst.  Or  murky.   The fact, you didn't make them here, so we can't evaluate them, makes the situation, even murkier, so I don't know what to think about this.

                  You do seem to have a point worthy of discussion to challenge whether remarks you make elsewhere should be used against you here.  

                  If you had been banned from the diary, I would agree this was not right.  Whether Makahali Drive, and the other administrators have the right to choose, or ban folks from being group editors, on whatever basis they choose, is a more difficult issue, I would like to see discussed.  I could can already see strong points on either side.

                  I suspect that the reality is problem more complicated than this, but, maybe someone who knows, can tell us.  I agree you should be entitled to an explanation.

                  I did see two comments about you, here, in the public discussions from two editors.  

                  One, resigned in protest, a few weeks ago, I think, because he felt you, and all the other "anti-nuclear" folks , and so many others at JNI lacked nuclear expertise, and discipline in making non-substantiated charges against nuclear power, he felt he couldn't affilate with us any longer.  

                  I couldn't tell how much of his reaction, was due to specific "non-factual" statements, or how much, was that after so many developments he, and other pro-nuclear advocates said were impossible, often in pissy ways, have now happened, so it could have been a face-saving "retreat."  

                  The other related to specific harsh language, and flamboyant hostility you used against one of the other other pro-nuclear editors, who you felt had slammed down as impossible and ignorant, suggestions you made that later became proven by development as Fukushima.  One of the Front Pagers, or "big-wigs" here suggested he couldn't affilate with us here, if you were going to make scathing attacks against his friends, which he felts were overly broad, and not focused.

                  Something I have seen you do.  Which is why I encoraged you to clarify above exactly what you issue was, and to whom you were directing it to.  As an editor, my first response was that other folks might think you were attacking me, and accusing me of taking actions against you that I have not done.  

                  No need to create new enemies, unnecessarily, eh?
                  Maybe you very open, fast expressive style works better in person, when folks can better infer the context.  The same style in writing, may not work as well, or may be creating unintended side-effects you do not intend, or may not be aware of?

                  For example, I have serious "phobias" around social conflict, so I stay away from those kind of discussions, as a matter of compulsion.  

                  I only am responding here, out of a sense of fair play, hope for facilitating a solution, and become you seemed to include me in you broadside.  

                  Which doesn't seem fair to me, nathguy.

                  I hope you remember I did support you about a month and a half ago, when the same pro-nuclear editor you apparently have the biggest problem with, criticized you for making an anti-nuclear remark, in his diary, against his rules of dicussion forbiding controversial, or non-technical material, after he violated his own rule?

                  Do, you remember that?  

                  I sort of support authors preference in laying down the rules for their own diaries, but, then they need to be even handed about it.

                  And, the rules in that case, were, perhaps, dubious, anyway, as it can be nearly impossible to seperate policy and technical details in some cases.  

                  So, I took the unusual step of rec'ing your comment there, for moral support.

                  This rules were ambigous anyway,  For example, is it permissable to bring up that the majority of the academic community supports the Linear Non-Threshold Model of radiation dose-reponse curves, or is this "anti-nuclear" incitement.

                  One finally, point here, if I may, for future clarification.  You've made many excellent points in your Fukushima diaries, that I've agreed with more often than I've been able to rec, and you  have been the first to alert us to a lot of important developments, which when properly documented, I've tried to tip, or rec.

                  But, you also seem to have a lot of anger, and are quick to use fowl, and inflammatory language, as you just did in you previous comment.   And, the biggest problem I have is when you are angry, you seem to launch broadsides, that catch innocent bystanders in the flak, as I pointed out in your comment above.  I still do not know if you think I'm part of a conspiracy against, you which I am not.  But, how can I rec you when I see you do this to others as well?

                  I grew up in a culture that didn't display such harsh language, or even the kind of defiant, highly hostile undertones, but, I try to look past that to the substance of your points.  

                  Personally, I can get along with just about anyone who gives me a fair chance.  

                  But, just so you know where I'm coming from, now, I would normally, tip, such a response to a direct question I addressed to you as a symbollic sign of what Gandhi called "constructive engagement."  

                  But, I didn't only because I didn't want Makahali Overdrive, to think I was joining you in your criticisms of her.   I don't know the facts, well enough to take sides.  If you both, want to try to resovle it here, I willing to hang in as long as it takes.

                  But, I'd prefer not to get involved in taking sides against either one of you, if you two have a personal dispute.

                  But, I don't think I am the first to tell you that you confrontational angry style, is going to scare off folks that might otherwise support you?  

                  Whatever...

                  Sorry for my overylong point.   I am not trying to criticize you but to reach out, and see if we can harness all of our, and your abundent talents and ways that best advance our progressive goals, and builds our team, relationships, and effectiveness here.

                  Cheers.  

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Sun May 15, 2011 at 06:17:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i have no personal disputes (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HoundDog

                    with anyone here, but i will call out the shillig, the conspiracy of silence and the owardice of hiding behind "There is no evidence" when the evidence is smoking on CNN

                    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                    by nathguy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:16:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks for responding Nathguy (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Into The Woods, rja, evergreen2, Just Bob

                      I found the people here to be great resources, and very friendly.

                      I was just googling for more Fukushima news, and found this annoucement that the governement is expanding the evacuation zone to include Iatate village and another village about 30 km from the plant.

                      I'm surprised that they haven't encouraged pregnant women, and infants to a much larger radius.  

                      http://www.abc.net.au/...

                      With radiation levels remaining high, small children and pregnant women were the first to be moved with thousands more to be shifted into shelters and temporary housing.

                      As the evacuation zone widened more details have emerged about the meltdown in Fukushima's reactor number one, with revelations the fuel rods probably melted in the hours after the magnitude nine earthquake in March - a fact not discovered until last week.

                      North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy reports from Tokyo.

                      (Sound of a man speaking Japanese)

                      MARK WILLACY: It was the news the people of Iitate village had been dreading. A touch over 30 kilometres from the Fukushima nuclear plant Iitate is outside the evacuation zone, or it was until now.

                      (Norio Kanno speaking)

                      "I'm sure most of you have lived in this village all your lives and have never planned on moving," Iitate's mayor Norio Kanno tells residents. "To those of you that I now have to ask to pack up and leave your homes, I am deeply sorry," he says.

                      About 8,000 residents of Iitate and the nearby village of Kawamata are being asked to move, joining the tens of thousands who've already been forced out of their homes by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant.

                      snip...

                      (Japanese woman speaking)

                      "It's such an incredible shame to have to leave the house I've lived in for so long," says this woman clutching her grandchildren. "I can't express it in words," she says.

                      The first to leave were small children and pregnant women. Thousands more will follow in the coming days.

                      Because of wind patterns Iitate and nearby communities have been swathed in high radiation and authorities aren't willing to let people nstay any longer.

                      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                      by HoundDog on Sun May 15, 2011 at 10:44:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  So Tokyo Did Evacuate? Or did I miss it? (3+ / 0-)

                      You're carrying that burning martyr torch every chance you get and now attacking both the group and individuals?  

                      Rash claims without (or before) source material can be provided to substantiate those claims hurts the credibility of the discussion and hurts the ability of botht he group and the web site to carry both news and views that are not being carried by the mainstream news-sites and are very often directly opposite of what the "authorities" would like.

                       

                      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

                      by Into The Woods on Sun May 15, 2011 at 11:14:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  You can make a sock puppet. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, rja, mahakali overdrive

        for JNI. I think I've seen Black Kos still using one. However, I think it puts people off considerably if you don't put up a custom tip jar or at least a reply to the tip jar indicating who wrote the diary. It would also probably be a good idea to drop a line to tech support to let them know you are creating the sock and why.

  •  Those in the "know" (14+ / 0-)

    understand if it comes from you, it's the JNI group. . . Unfortunately, everyone isn't "knowing".

    THANKS ! ! !

    Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

    by Gilmore on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:23:01 PM PDT

  •  OMG, (19+ / 0-)
    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is
      trying to locate    thousands of tons of radioactive water that has leaked from one of the damaged reactors.

    Is that like forgetting where you parked your car at the Mall?

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:41:34 PM PDT

  •  I'm guessing the meltdown @ #1 (7+ / 0-)

    was a while ago. I'll bet that by the last week of March the fuel was mostly/all on the floor. And not just @ #1 either.

    I started thinking 1/2 to 7/8 of the fuel was on the floor by March 27th.

    Its like this, once you've lost normal cooling, if you spray the reactor with a fire hose, can you prevent a meltdown conditions?

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:53:08 PM PDT

    •  These reactors were scammed early. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      synductive99

      Before the tsunami hit.

      Never, ever was there the massive heat release that would have accompanied anything approaching a "total meltdown."

      It's bullshit.

      Same for claims of a massive aerial radiation release. Never happened. Not a threat.

      Google [ speedi japan ] for the daily readings. bousai web site.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:48:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The daily readings from before (14+ / 0-)

        they admitted they'd been suppressing SPEEDI numbers, or since?

        The outcry stemmed partly from revelations that the government has not released much of the data on radiation spread forecasts computed by its Nuclear Safety Technology Center's computer system, called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, known as SPEEDI.

        Because people can't seem to find the full numbers. Does one wear a special hat or something to receive those, so their opinion is based on sound data which nobody else can see?

        Also, hey those Japanese must be pretty stupid to get all worked up like this, abandoning towns, destroying animals, dumping their own food and fish produce, arranging to pay tens of billions in damages, and shit. They must have no clue what they are doing.

        btw, you keep posting "nothing unusual." Are you waiting for, say, No. 1 to sprout wings and sing opera before you think the word fits?

        Because I'll bet you everything I have there's no fucking manual, study, paper, or essay on the face of earth that says

        A) pour tons of water in everyday for weeks to cover the rods,
        B) then discover that you haven't,
        C) then wonder where the water went,
        D) then wonder if melted fuel punched holes in the vessel,
        E) figure some water must be cooling the fuel you can't actually examine and of which you can't say how much is where,
        and finally,
        F) then wonder if the same, or similar, condition holds in 2 other reactors.
        Job accomplished, everything is going exactly as planned!

        This, just merely one of a whole slew of events the word "unusual" applies to in customary English usage.


        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:06:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That Mainichi article says no such thing. (0+ / 0-)

          Not even close.

          "...they admitted they'd been suppressing SPEEDI numbers..."

          That is a blatant lie.

          Also, since the numbers are all either in the normal background rad range or close for the one area in Ibaraki Prefecture, this whole topic is misleading.

          There is no significant threat to anyone from radiation outside the evacuation zone.

          D'oh.

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Sun May 15, 2011 at 07:04:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get it. You are really anti-nuke, and you're (7+ / 0-)

            trying to parody and discredit pro-nukers. Finally your posts make sense.

            I know you are not stupid, so is it you are just poor on reading for comprehension?

            The outcry stemmed partly from revelations that the government has not released much of the data on radiation spread forecasts computed by its Nuclear Safety Technology Center's computer system, called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, known as SPEEDI.

            See the important words there: outcry; revelations; government; not released; NOT RELEASED MUCH; MUCH OF THE DATA. Try to run it all together, holding the previous words in your mind as you move on to the next ones.

            It looks like this

            The outcry stemmed partly from revelations that the government has not released much of the data on radiation spread forecasts computed by its Nuclear Safety Technology Center's computer system, called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, known as SPEEDI.

            If you think that doesn't amount to, well, "The government has not released much of the data" and that amounts to "has suppressed," you need to acquire reading comprehensions skills before you post again. Seriously, dude.

            Let it be noted you entirely skipped over the devastation I laid upon the "Not Unusual" gibberish you keep spouting.

            I take it you are some kind of 70s, or maybe 60s trained computer-geek, engineer-geek type who can't think outside the formula and the received wisdom. I've known many, and all very bright and mostly nice people. But tell them Cathedrals were a kind of spaceship and their head explodes. "But there's no wiring!" I urge you to get more familiar with how ordinary people use language. Then "unusual" "suppressed" and these other words that confound you won't lead you to saying all the foolish things you say.

            PS: The SPEEDI data you've been pushing has had "MUCH OF THE DATA" unreported, i.e, suppressed.  


            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Sun May 15, 2011 at 11:31:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whiskey Tango (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rja
              But tell them Cathedrals were a kind of spaceship and their head explodes.

              Er, what?

              I admit I am neither a medieval historian nor a rocket scientist but I'm pretty certain that both Cathedrals in my home city were mainly designed as nice auditoriums with good acoustics and a belltower on top.

          •  About those SPEEDI numbers (9+ / 0-)

            There are two ways the numbers have been used.

            1) They have been distributed fairly broadly, in real time or close to it, to show levels of radiation in various parts of Japan. Those numbers have not been suppresses, or anything close to it.

            2) There have been models of radiation spread that were calculated based on SPEEDI numbers. Those models have been suppressed. The evidence for that suppression has been around for a month and a half or so. The phrase

            radiation spread forecasts computed by its Nuclear Safety Technology Center's computer system
            refers to the models that have been suppressed. Typically the models estimated the spread of radiation across the sea to foreign countries.

            It is inaccurate, as far as I know, to say that SPEEDI numbers have been suppressed. It is entirely true that estimates of radiation spread based on SPEEDI numbers have been suppressed.

      •  Rather than argue with you (7+ / 0-)

        I'll just supply a link for primary source documents related to station blackout and subsequent meltdown and loss of containment:
        http://sustainableenergytoday.blogspot.com/...

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:31:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you can't or won't THINK about the facts, (6+ / 0-)

        can you please stop talking like YOU ALONE KNOW THE TRUTH and everyone else on the planet either just isn't paying attention or is part of the larouchian Big Oil-Big Coal Murder Conspiracy?

        If you were as smart as you seem to think you are, you'd be smart enough to see the discrepancies between the known facts and your "narrative".

        Thank you.

        "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

        by chmood on Sun May 15, 2011 at 05:01:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Scammed is exactly the right word vets74 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamamedusa

        Scammed is exactly it.

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 06:18:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So, it's your view that the fuel... (10+ / 0-)

        ...rod assembly in Reactor No. 1 was not completely out of the water, and that the rods themselves were not collapsed and melted on the floor of the containment vessel, and that the vessel has no holes in it through which contaminated water is leaking?

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun May 15, 2011 at 07:49:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  TEPCO says 2800°C after scram - no bullshit n/t (4+ / 0-)
  •  Do we need stronger international monitering (8+ / 0-)

    groups, to keep track of the names of these workers, residents, and everyone else exposed to radiation in this event?

    Along with the amounts of  radiation exposures, so we can do life-long studies, on their incidents of cancer and mutations.

    TEPCO has already proven it has too many immediate crises to manage this additional long-term aspect of this "incident" well.

    Last week, we read of one of these day laborers who was not given a radiation detector badge until his forth day of work.

    And, I've heard no discussion, of experts in the impact of radiation on health, on the ground, assessing, and keeping track, of what's going on.

    And, such radiation studies were not done at Chernobyl, because the government did not "prioritize" it.

    We do not need to be cynical progressives to suspect, that the Ukrainian government may have been covering their own .... "risk of embarassment "

    With such tremendous conflicts of interest, where almost unimaginable compensation and liability may hinge on the analysis of this data, neither TEPCO, nor the Japanese government should be put in the ackward position, of having to manage these studies.  And, some might even question their credibility in this regard.  

    Rather, than realize to late, a year from now, that we've lost track of these folks, or noone established a proper scientific data-base, how can we get this rolling now?

    After such a long history of such incidents, going back to the Bhopal, Love Canal, Chernobyl, BP Gulf Oil spill, and now Fukushima, do we need any additional case studies to indicate that we need stronger international bodies capable of, and trustable for,  oversight, accountability, and intermediation of such trans-national events.

    Sadly, I've read that the radiation exposures of Hiroshima are still one of the only major life-long major longitudinal studies on the health impacts of radiation on general populations.

    And, this kind of radiation is sufficiently different in nature to that of this Fukushima event, that it's not clear  we have sufficient base data to calculate expected cancer and mutation rates in Northern Japan.  And, from those that eat contanminated food, seafood, or drink water.

    Most of the exposures at Hiroshima, that were followed, were from the very brief burst of alpha, beta, and gamma rays, from the explosions.  The exposures from Chernobyl, and Fukushima, will be primarily from particle fallout that works its way through the food chain.  

    Once, these particles are incorporated into our bodies cells, the particle radiation will be more concentrated, repeated, and over a much longer duration.

    Sadly, the IAEA, WHO, and other international bodies that we might think of as our last line of defense for global health, are not inspiring a great deal of confidence, so far.   Pehaps, through no fault of their own, as their charters seem to require them to defer all decision-making, and action to the local authorities.

    How sad.  

    But, at big picture level we seem to be witnesses a mismatch world's capacity to manage events of this magnitude.

    Totally, beyond what's happening in Japan, we need to ask ourselves what would we do, if an event like these major disasters occured in a much smaller, less capable government.  Or, one where corruption, or conflict of interest seriously impeded the management of the aftermath?  

    Should we not be more proactive?

    Radiation, toxic chemicals, and financial corruption know no international bounderies.

    We need stronger global governance, accountability, oversight, and if, necessary intermediation.  And, legal institutions, in place to intervene if local governments and/or companies get in over their heads.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:22:05 PM PDT

    •  From Tuesday: (7+ / 0-)
      (Reuters) - Countries using nuclear energy must ensure their reactors are built to withstand multiple disasters after Japan's accident revealed gaps in safety standards, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

      http://www.reuters.com/...

      But we do have the International Atomic Energy Agency (same link)

      "Accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl have shown the international community that severe emergencies even of low probability need to be addressed in emergency plans," said Elena Buglova, acting head of the incident and emergency center at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

      The radical right in my neck of the woods would be squealing about "one world government."

      Ugh!

      •  True cotterperson, but some of them are still (7+ / 0-)

        squaling about any government at all.

        Some of these folks seem to oppose the EPA, FDA, public libraries, public health, and all other forms of civilization.

        Your right, that such discussions will set off a shitstorm of controversy.

        Just as the idea of forming the United States, from the colonies offended many hundreds of years ago.

        This can not stop the rest of us, from trying to analyze, discuss, and decide on what are the best ways to promote the common good, at every level necessary for the survival, and benefit of our species.

        I'm not suggesting I know the answers.

        Only, that these quesitons seem to be popping up, from every direction we look.

        Don't you agree?

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:46:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree absolutely. (9+ / 0-)

          The Oilpocalypse and Fukushima just might have woken enough people that we can finally get something done. If the corporations want globalization, I think they should get the whole package --  including responsibility!

          If you scroll down here to "Nigerian Nightmare - Oil Production," you'll see just how bad it is in Nigeria, where Shell has inserted itself into the government. Wikileaks exposed it, but I don't know if it changed anything.

          Transnational corporations obviously need regulation before they kill us all!

          BHP [Australia!] in February agreed to buy Chesapeake’s Arkansas shale gas assets for $4.75 billion, making its first move into U.S. shale gas. The transaction, completed on March 31, expands BHP’s oil and gas reserves by 45 percent.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/...

          Two of Chesapeake's injection wells are shut down in Arkansas because they caused the worst earthquake, a 4.7, here at the end of February.

          No nuclear reactors were affected as far as I know, but it's possible one of our 60 y/o Corps dams got some of its generators broken. We need to stop it as fast as we can!!

          •  I've worked for both Royal Dutch Shell (6+ / 0-)

            and the Nigerian government trying to help them us systemic thinking, scenario planning, and organizational learning approaches to acheive some breakthrough in the terrible problems in the Niger Delta.

            If was frustrating in that I've never had such a strong feeling that I could have help the parties achieve big improvements, but then not be able to overcome relatively less challenging obstacles such as logistics, safety, contracting, social corruption, and other problems that should not have blocked us from achieving  success.

            I've been trying to think of ways I might be able to still help in this region from afar, (through the internet).

            But, I traveled to Nigeria over a dozen times, and have always been impressed at how optimistic people can be facing such overwhelming odds.

            But, Nigeria is aslo just on several cultural divides.  In addition to something like 100 ethnic groups, rich versus the the Christian-Muslim, and Euro-African divides were just starting to heat up more last time I was there.

            The new Mandaging Director of Shell was shocked that he required a medium size army to travel up the Niger Delta to visit their operations there.  On his previous visit, he felt safe to cruise up in a single power point.

             

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Sun May 15, 2011 at 05:18:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fascinating story. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rja, HoundDog, Just Bob, evergreen2

              That would be a most interesting diary, especially now that it's been publicized by Wikileaks. Otherwise, I'd have no idea. It bothers me when corporations are involved in "partnering" with governments. Have the transnational corporations grown so large that governments must do that?

              Some of the problems you mention -- "logistics, safety, contracting, social corruption" -- are significant in the rise of the drug cartels in Mexico, where ~35,000 have been killed in about four years.

              When I think of what the banksters and transnational oil have done to the US and its people and the revolving-door that binds us, I suppose there's not much difference.

              It seems like an problem to me, but Obama has "partnered" with FedEx, UPS and a few others to drive fleets of vehicles with alternative fuels. To me, that's a "good," so maybe that's just the current state of the world and hardly needs my approval :)

              Thanks for the most interesting comment. I do hope you'll consider a diary.

              •  In a lot of third world governments, that were (5+ / 0-)

                colonized by the British, and Dutch, the multinational corporations have essentially, run  the governments for centuries.

                But, now that greater sensitivities about colonialism, and corporate explotation have developed, such "collaberation" is ackward.

                However, some countries have serious shortfalls in capabilities and skills.

                I spent most of my adult lifetime as a consultant in systems thinking, computer simulation, strategy, organizational learning, etc, and have worked with lots of multinational corporations, and government in executive training.

                But, one price, consultants must pay, for access is discretion, so we generally do not discuss work with clients.  

                It's hard to predict what someone might be embarassed by.   Even if we try to write so what we are saying is flattering and intended to be helpful, we risk misunderstanding, and future unemployment, and loss of our reputations.

                 

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:46:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Plausible Deniability (11+ / 0-)

      The cynic in me thinks that all of the calculations about how much radiation people can be exsposed to and how big an area will eventually be permently walled off hinges not on actual known risk factors but rather on plausible deniability. I think the amount of increased cancer and other side effects they are willing to assume is directly related to their ability to cast doubt that any of the problems have any connection to the radiation from Fukashima. Saddly this has been the case in every large scale manmade disaster. Knowingly expose people to grave risk and count on the effect that by the time the effects materialize too much time will have passed to prove any connection.

      •  Yes, dfe, you make an exellent point here, and (6+ / 0-)

        this is just one of the "conflicts-of-interest" that suggest that we must have strong, independent, international bodies, to design, conduct, and analyze the health data collected in this events.

        Vested interest, will stall, and obsruct at every point, so we will end up with a useless mess like with Chernobyl, which should have been the focus of the largest radiation exposure studies in history.  

        Just two days ago, one really obnoxious pro-nuclear advocate was shooting down, every opponent.   At one point, he used Chernobyl as evidence of how safe nuclear power was, since he claimed there was no scientific evidence that anyone actually died as a consequence of that accident, while we know that hundfreds of thousands have died from coal burning.

        Not to mention, the may tragic deaths, we can expect from construction workers falling off roofs, and ladders constructing solar, and wind collectors.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun May 15, 2011 at 06:31:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Especially with the After-the-fact tampering (4+ / 0-)

      with the "acceptable" exposure limits, I think this is an excellent suggestion.

      Ten years past and in the US we're still struggling to get 9-11 first responders their needed medical care and assistance.

      What does raising the "acceptable" limits do to these workers chances for being treated fairly later?

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Sun May 15, 2011 at 11:27:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  photos from inside No. 1 (12+ / 0-)

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/...

    It just seems to be a NHK video where they show the picytures, but it looks like there is lots of interior damage from the hydrogen explosion.

  •  Good diagram of situation at Reactor #1 here: (8+ / 0-)

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/...

    Daily Yomiuri Online

    ...More than 10,000 cubic meters of water had been injected into the reactor as of Thursday, exceeding the combined 360-cubic-meter capacity of the pressure vessel and the 7,800-cubic-meter capacity of the containment chamber.

    It is highly likely that water is leaking from both the pressure vessel and containment chamber and flowing into underground parts of the reactor building and the adjacent turbine building, TEPCO officials said.

    To proceed with the water-entombment, it is necessary to accurately grasp the water level in the containment chamber and the conditions of pipes that take in or release cooling water, experts said...

  •  boatsie, can you explain to me (12+ / 0-)

    what good putting a polyester tent is supposed to do?  I'm asking in all sincerity here, as I don't see how a polyester tent keeps radiation from escaping.  Does polyester have some sort of magical radiation repellent powers?

    It strikes me as being as stupid as trying to plug a torrent of water leaking out of a crack with dumping diaper filler on it.  But I don't have a firm grasp on the science here so the logic of it all may be escaping me.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Sat May 14, 2011 at 08:29:12 PM PDT

  •  What if we comment (7+ / 0-)

    en masse to the The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future? It

    is charged with submitting a draft report to the Secretary of Energy by July 29, 2011.  As a first step toward meeting that deadline, the Commission directed the staff to prepare this report summarizing the key themes the Commission has heard up to this point in the process.  By publishing this staff report, the Commission desires to provide individuals and organizations who have given us input an opportunity to confirm that their key messages have been heard or to highlight something that may have been missed, and to give those who are following the work of the Commission, but who have not yet provided input, an opportunity to raise issues they believe the Commission should consider as it prepares its report.

    The Commission will use this report and comments received to help guide its examination of options as it develops a draft set of recommendations for the Secretary.  We welcome your comments on the report and will provide them to the Commissioners for consideration as they develop their draft recommendations.  Please submit your comments to brc@nuclear.energy.gov"

    http://brc.gov/...

  •  My heartfelt thanks and utmost respect (16+ / 0-)

    for staying with this story when it would have been easy----and wrong!----to have abandoned the effort, as the MSM pretty much did once it didn't have any new video of explosions.  As on quite a few other issues, turns out some
    progressives did a better job getting it right than did the Serious((ly Overpaid) People.

    Forgive me or not contributing more, but my MS tends to protest by the end of the first typed sentence these days.

    But I can still read, and do about this disaster on a daily basis.

    Gambaro!

    ;-)

  •  It's "in the basement" (6+ / 0-)

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Man, that's the nuclear industry's vision of this whole mess. It's the family secret, the monster nobody wans to see, and not really there if we ignore the creepy howls and the missing neighborhood children.
    Just throw a sacrifice down the stairs from time to time.
    Hey, I haven't seen any radiation; have you?

    "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

    by Andhakari on Sat May 14, 2011 at 11:00:11 PM PDT

  •  Thank so much boatsie. (6+ / 0-)

    You and the JNIL team continually provide important in depth information about the devastating situation in Japan.

    Just wish you didn't have to.

    "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it." President Obama

    by Onomastic on Sun May 15, 2011 at 06:52:50 AM PDT

  •  meta (5+ / 0-)

    i did some housekeeping in the membership roles ... sent out emails to explain. it was nothing personal  If anyone feels they were 'demoted' ask an admin to up your rating.

    "A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool." Robert Bulwer-Lytton

    by boatsie on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:42:54 AM PDT

    •  nathguy has a big spiel up in his diary (4+ / 0-)

      about how he's being persecuted by JNI for his "independent" views. I don't know if you saw that. I did say something briefly. He's slurring this group and it's really weird. Why would anyone do that? We have an open admin policy, more or less.

      •  You guys really need (7+ / 0-)

        to ignore him. Every time you (or I) have tried to answer his drama queen hissy-fits, he just gets his troll-battery energized. Nobody's buying the schlock. Unless you are, by answering to it.

        Really.

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Sun May 15, 2011 at 09:17:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks Joieau (8+ / 0-)

          I have a tendency to lapse into being really literal sometimes. I appreciate knowing if I've gotten redundant. I'm used to answering the obtuse questions of college freshmen and sixth graders; I can just keep on answering all day sometimes! Training. It's this matter-of-fact quality that works well for some things and less well for others.

          It did trouble me to see a slur toward JNI on the rec-list and all I meant was to see to it that the record was set straight. But I have done that as well as humanly possible. At this point, there's not much more to say and it doesn't have to be repeated; you're right.

          God, I am used to repeating myself.

          A day in the life...

          "Get your shoes on."
          "Did you get your shoes on?"
          "It's 8:04. Your shoes aren't on yet."
          "Did you brush your teeth?"
          "Why aren't your shoes on?"
          "Where did you last see them? Are they in your room?"
          "Why haven't you brushed your teeth yet?"
          "You have to get in the car. You can put your shoes on while we're driving."
          "The assignment was due on Tuesday."
          "We talked about this as a class. For Today. Tuesday."
          "Do you have your assignment sheet? It says Due on Tuesday, correct?"
          "What does the syllabus say about extensions?"
          "Well it's due today."
          "Please see me after class."
          "No, you can't have an extension on that, sorry."
          "Because the assignment sheet is clear that it was due today."
          "Where did you leave your lunch box?"
          "I'm turning the car around. Go back and find it."
          "I'm glad your lunch box was on the playground."
          "What do you mean you forgot your Social Studies text book?"
          "I'm turning the car around again. Go ask the janitor to open the class so you can get your text book."
          "Have you done your Social Studies homework yet?"
          "It's 7:45, you need to do your Social Studies homework."
          "I don't know where your Social Studies book is. Is it in your room?"

          Ahhhh... see!

  •  Tepco's motivation to "find" toxic h2o lacking (5+ / 0-)

    Each liter of water poured over this melted fuel becomes a toxic waste problem....  Unless of course it "accidentally" finds its way a few hundred feet to the sea and Tepco can no longer be expected to pump it into tanks and pay to "safely" store it for decades etc.  How convenient.  

    Tepco's filling of another "pit" recently would make a farmer or a plumber laugh.  Heck, it would make a CAT laugh if you think that water at the top of a hill won't run down simply because you fill in one of the trenches that lead down the slope.  

  •  Missed this last night! (6+ / 0-)

    Whoa... glad to see the ROV's are back. Excellent. I'm about to touch off to work again but very, very pleased to see we're back in action here.

  •  Is core #3 in full meltdown? (9+ / 0-)

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    TOKYO—Substantial damage to the fuel cores at two additional reactors of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, further complicating the already daunting task of bringing them to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity. The revelation followed an acknowledgment on Thursday that a similar meltdown of the core took place at unit No. 1.

    -cut-

    The operator, known as Tepco, said the No. 1 unit lost its reactor core 16 hours after the plant was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake and a giant tsunami on the afternoon of March 11.

    The pressure vessel a cylindrical steel container that holds nuclear fuel, "is likely to be damaged and leaking water at units Nos. 2 and 3," said Junichi Matsumoto, Tepco spokesman on nuclear issues, in a news briefing Sunday.

    -cut-

    According to Tepco, hyrogen produced in the overheating of the reactor core at unit 3 flowed through a gas-treatment line and entered unit No. 4 because of a breakdown of valves. Hydrogen leaked from ducts in the second, third and fourth floors of the reactor building at unit No. 4 and ignited a massive explosion.

    Asking because this indicates that there has been substantial damage not only to unit 1's core -- which came as little surprise to me due to following here and seeing the depth and breadth of TEPCO's lies -- but it doesn't really detail what the status of Units 2 and 3 is, although it says they are bad. Last I'd read, Unit 2 was "unknown." Unit 3 contains MOX fuel. If that goes into full meltdown, this is dire as it will release alpha-emitting Uranium (and more Plutonium) into the environment, from what it sounds like, directly into the groundwater and ocean.

    Michio Kaku was calling that scenario a worst case scenario when he spoke on this some weeks ago.

    •  Short answer: of course it is. More below (5+ / 0-)

      The symptoms all seem the same-  the conditions were similar if not identical, and the timing basically the same as well for all three scrammed reactors.  

      For all we know the explosion in the torus of #2 was due to the melted fuel being that low in the overall structure.  Tepco however seems to operate from a "better than best case" scenario when making guesses as to what is going on.  I suspect the theory that hydrogen from #3 somehow ran thru a pipe into #4 causing the explosion there is such wishful thinking, ie bullhockey.  This narrative is seemingly preferable to another likely theory, which is that fuel in the very full #4 SFP melted and created it's own hydrogen explosion.  Until outside fallout measurements and photographs prove otherwise, tepco has consistently tried to pretend that NOTHING is wrong.  ONLY spy drones and the US Navy are keeping these bastards "honest.". I realize that that sounds harsh but events continue to play out in a manner consistent with that idea.  

  •  Reactor 1 basement measures 2,000 mSv p/hr (10+ / 0-)

    http://af.reuters.com/...

    excerpt

    A robot on the first floor of the reactor building on Friday recorded radiation of 2,000 millisieverts per hour. At that level workers could stay in the vicinity for no longer than eight minutes before exceeding exposure limits.
    •  That's 400 R/hr. (11+ / 0-)

      Workers could run in and out in 15 minutes and probably live through it (with a high chance of cancer), but at that rate couldn't do any actual work. 30 minutes would have them puking their guts out, which isn't very useful. An hour is a mostly lethal dose.

      Humans can't work in such conditions, even if they wanted to and weren't afraid of dying. The bodies would pile up way too quickly, and if they came in contact with the water, they'd die on the spot. At TMI, which was much less severe than this situation, the water was 1,000 R/hr on contact with 10 cubic centimeters of it. Which is precisely the AIR readings they were getting off unit-2 trench water last month (it's as high as the meter can read, nobody knows what it really is). This cannot be dealt with by armies of human grunts.

      Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

      by Joieau on Sun May 15, 2011 at 09:31:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More protest presence against Japan nukes (9+ / 0-)

    http://www.euronews.net/...

    This is short, but important:

    Until the Fukushima disaster Japan had no significant anti-nuclear lobby. That has changed, and on Saturday hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the headquarters of the Tokyo Electric Company and Chubu Electric to voice their concerns.

    One protester said:

    “I am here because I am worried everyday as Japan has a lot of earthquakes and you can never know when things can happen again”

    Organisers said they had telephoned ahead and made an appointment with Tepco officials to present their petition, but no one turned up at the arranged time.

    ...

  •  TEPCO - Unit 1 fuel at 2800°C on 3/11 (9+ / 0-)

    TEPCO Press Release

    As a result, we estimate that ¡Èregarding the Unit 1, nuclear fuel pellets
    have melted, falling to the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel at a
    relatively early stage after the tsunami reached the station.¡É

    (May 15,2011)The Reactor Core Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1

    The bottom of page 1 states

    - This analysis result is provisional, and further details will be
    investigated.

    Page 2 of the PDF Attachment has two remarkable graphs, one with Reactor Water Level and one with Maximum Core Temperature.  The temperature graph shows the temp soaring from about 250°C to about 2800°C in a very short time.

    Under the water level graph, it shows:

    - reached top of active fuel in 3 hours
    (around 18:00) after the scram
    - reached bottom of active fuel in 4 and a
    half hours (around 19:30) after the scram

    Under the temperature graph, it shows:

    The core temperature started increasing
    when the reactor water level became lower
    than top of active fuel, then reached the
    core melting temperature.

    Below both of those comments is this:

    Time and operations described herein might be revised according to the accident investigation in the future.

    Page 3 of the PDF attachment shows that ALL of the fuel was below the "Core support plate", and describes that as a "Void (fuel melted down)".

    Attachment:Tokyo Electric Power Company: Reactor Core Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 (PDF 95.4KB)

    NHK World has the 2800°C value in this report

    Rapid meltdown in No.1 reactor

  •  400 tons of saltwater leak into Hamaoka #5 (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.japantoday.com/...

    Chubu Electric Power Co said Sunday that cooling system trouble delayed the cold shutdown of the No. 5 reactor at its Hamaoka power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture for about two hours earlier in the day, while ruling out any external release of radioactive substances.
    [...]
    The Nagoya-based firm said it had found Saturday evening, after a measuring instrument indicated abnormalities around 4:30 p.m., that around 400 tons of seawater had flowed into the condenser of the No. 5 reactor.

    The water also found its way into the reactor, making it necessary to desalinate it, the company said.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Sun May 15, 2011 at 02:11:47 PM PDT

  •  Water level on #2 and #3 to be investigated (13+ / 0-)

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/...

    TEPCO says the gauges at the No.2 and 3 reactors might not be showing the actual water levels, and that the worst case is that the rods have melted down.

    The company says the temperatures of the two reactors are stable, so it can proceed with cooling them even if finds that meltdown took place.
    TEPCO says workers will go into the reactor buildings and fix the gauges, getting the precise data on water levels needed to continue cooling the reactors.

    But conditions inside the buildings are not known and the operation will be difficult.

    I think we will soon learn more about the condition of those reactors and the internal environment of the buildings.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Sun May 15, 2011 at 02:17:01 PM PDT

    •  Yes, I think we will as well (6+ / 0-)

      This might explain the pressure fluctuations that this group has diligently questioned and documented. I read earlier that the pressure gauges were broken (can find a link but don't have it now due to browser crash).

      I thought we had been seeing unstable temperature reports from units 2 and 3, however?

      How can they say that they can continue cooling them if they are also saying they are not sure what the interior building conditions are? If they exceed high radiation limits, they will not be able to continue cooling, as with unit 1, correct?

      Does anyone have insight here? Thanks.

      •  Thoughts, if not insights (6+ / 0-)

        From day 2, if not day 1, the TEPCO response has been to treat the reactors as if they had undergone a design basis accident. While this allowed them to treat the political aspects of the problem as if it were a PR problem, it was certainly inappropriate from a technical standpoint.

        Now that the evidence of meltdown and loss of containment is undeniable, I think we're seeing a different perspective emerging.

        At this point the first things I'd want to know is how much water is in the basement and the drywell. The second one might be difficult, but the answers to those two questions might be the determining factors in all that follows.

        Just as a refresher, the basement is where the torus is located:
        http://www.netimago.com/...

        If the water in the basement exceeds some (unknown) level, they may be ahead of the game to include the basement in their closed loop cooling plans. Which is to say, draw the water out of the basement, treat it, and pump it back into the reactor.

        The basements may be assumed to be leaking. Therefore they may also wish to start working on that underground dam around the buildings in a very expeditious manner.

        That approach would reduce the volume of water involved over the next several years and may even eliminate the need for heat exchangers to cool the water.

        Now then, where did I leave those radiation hardened robots?

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sun May 15, 2011 at 04:51:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Radiation hardened robots... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, rja

          You mean the ones that should have been there a long time ago, reading/analyzing all those monitors that would have told them what the water levels and temperatures were, you mean?  This has been driving me nutz.

          Thanx muchly for your comment.

  •  Japan Times: Unit 1 melted 16 hours after quake (9+ / 0-)

    According to the Japan Times:

    Core of reactor 1 melted 16 hours after quake: New analysis shows damage to fuel rods was surprisingly quick

    The meltdown at reactor No. 1 in Fukushima happened more quickly than feared, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday in a new analysis.

    The core of the heavily damaged reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is believed to have melted 16 hours after the March 11 mega-quake and tsunami rocked the complex in northeastern Japan.

    Preliminary analysis shows that No. 1 had already entered a critical state by 6:50 a.m. on March 12, with most of its fuel having melted and fallen to the bottom of the pressure vessel, the plant operator said. Tepco released data Thursday showing some of the fuel rods had melted.

    The reactor automatically halted operations immediately after the 2:46 p.m. quake, but the water level in the reactor dropped and the temperature began rising at around 6 p.m. The damage to the fuel rods had begun by 7:30 p.m., with most of them having melted by 6:50 a.m. the following day, the utility said.

    It is important to note that TEPCO is admitting that the core of unit 1 melted down (although they are still holding onto the fig leaf that only "some" of the fuel melted). It is also important to note that the meltdown was more-or-less total by the time of the hydrogen explosion on March 12, which happened about 24 hours after the earthquake.

    For a timeline (in Japanese) see this diagram from the Asahi

    •  Walking around my house, trying to comprehend. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja, middleagedhousewife

      Wrapping my brain around this.  Or trying to.  The narrative up until now has been, IIRC, that there was water surrounding the reactor-core rods, and that the earthquake triggered the shut-down of the reactor--i.e. control rods were introduced into the core. Then the power went down, including the cooling system's continuously flushing of the core with water.  But that there was still water surrounding the core.

      So this new narrative says that that didn't happen?

  •  Who could have predicted.... (9+ / 0-)

    The Asahi Shinbun is reporting that contaminated water is leaking into the soil around the Central Waste Disposal Facility.

    To refresh your memories, TEPCO has been pumping contaminated water out of the basements of the turbine buildings in units 2 and 3 and into the basement of Central Waste Disposal Facility.

    They recently stepped up pumping out of unit 3 (Asahi story here), and they have been debating whether to pump water out of the basement of unit 1 (since the water they thought was being injected into the reactor core was actually leaking into the basement through holes or cracks in the core) or to recycle it in order to cool the core of unit 1 (see here).

    Now the place they are pumping the water to is leaking.

    The only good news here is that Megafloat, the artificial island that has been retrofitted to hold contaminated water, left Yokohama on the 15th and should be at the Fukushima plant by the end of May. (story here)

  •  Japan Times: reactor damaged before tsunami hit (14+ / 0-)

    Story here

    High radiation readings taken in the No. 1 reactor building the night of March 11 suggest it was the quake rather than the loss of cooling that critically damaged the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, a utility source said Saturday.

    The belated disclosure could trigger a review of quake-preparedness at nuclear facilities across the country. Many have been focusing on increasing defenses against tsunami, which knocked out the plant's poorly placed emergency power generators.

    (snip)

    Based on the dosimeter readings [when workers entered the building in the middle of the night], the radiation level was about 300 millisieverts per hour, the source said, suggesting that a large amount of radioactive material had already been released from the core.

    The source of the steam was believed to be the No. 1 reactor's overheated pressure vessel.

    But for that scenario to hold, the pressure in the reactor would have to have reached enormous levels --- damaging the piping and other connected facilities. It should have taken much more time to fill the entire building with steam.

    A source at Tepco admitted it was possible that key facilities were compromised before the tsunami.

    It sound like TEPCO is inching toward a disclosure that unit 1 did not scram properly after the earthquake.
    •  Pressure relief valves (6+ / 0-)

      I would think the pressure relief valves would prevent "enormous" pressure. OTOH, leaky pipes and seals might well serve that purpose.

      I keep going back to the simulation of a station blackout at Browns Ferry done in 1981 when they predicted that the seals on the Containment Electrical Penetration Assembly (CEPA) would fail in a few short hours.

      http://www.ornl.gov/...

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Sun May 15, 2011 at 05:19:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well holee shit (8+ / 0-)


      imagine if we knew this on March 12.  Quake damage directly to the reactor is another entire scenario.

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Sun May 15, 2011 at 07:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, this is a pretty big revelation (11+ / 0-)

        and the real kicker is that last line:

        A source at Tepco admitted it was possible that key facilities were compromised before the tsunami.
        Given TEPCO's track record, I think we have to assume that the phrase means TEPCO knows that earthquake damage caused the meltdown.

        This adds a new understanding to Kan's decision to shut down Hamaoka. He probably knew that the meltdown at unit 1 was due to the earthquake, and that would be more than enough reason to act. The quake danger to Hamaoka is pretty serious. Exactly when Kan knew about the meltdown at unit 1 is another question, but it may be part of the reason that Kan was going ballistic on the 12th about relieving pressure from the RPV there. Maybe someday will find out more about this story.

        On a totally different note, several weeks ago peraspera took to task a government official who said that the reactors scrammed properly. I poo-pooed the idea because the official was basing his statements on what workers at the plant had said. Turns out I was wrong about that one, and pera was right.

        •  I remember reading some earlier (10+ / 0-)

          conjecture too that it could have been quake damaged. I can't recall now who said it. But it did strike me as a serious point of important information. That's a huge revelation indeed. Also, given how much more common earthquakes are -- not only in Japan but worldwide -- rather than giant tidal waves, it is extremely important to know that this sort of damage could result from earthquake damage.

          It would make a huge case for closing many, many reactors.

          If I recall, there is an earthquake of the same magnitude as the one near Fukushima about every year or two somewhere in the world (this could be the wrong amount of time, I can't recall now, but it was close enough in years to strike me as worrisome).

          •  I've been reluctant to say it (11+ / 0-)

            because I know how resistant to change Japanese society can be. But I think this means the nuclear power industry in Japan is dead.

            It's just a personal opinion, but I think that is how big this revelation is. And there is a huge difference between suspecting something and having it confirmed. It is close to confirmed. The only source on this, yet, is the Japan Times. The Japanese language newspapers aren't reporting the story. They will, soon enough.

            The nuclear power industry will not go down without a fight. And a lot of the politics that have transpired in Japan up to this point probably have something to do with how desperate the nuclear industry must be feeling. The "tell," to borrow one of Josh Marshall's favorite phrases, is that Kan took the bold step of forcing Hamaoka to shut down BEFORE there was a consensus in the government, and he had the strength to make the decision stick despite scathing criticism from proponents of nuclear power.

    •  Sankei and others have also published stories (4+ / 0-)

      about damage to reactor no. 1 from the earthquake before the tsunami hit. Link here. The Japan Times story was dated May 16, and the Sankei and other stories are dated May 15. They all seem to derive from the same Kyodo report (in Japanese).

      The key phrase in the Sankei report is similar to the one I highlighted in the Japan Times story:

      A source connected to TEPCO said that "it is possible that the reactor pressure vessel or supply pipes were damaged by the shaking of the earthquake," acknowledging that some important facilities may have been damaged before the tsunami.
  •  Some context about unit 1 meltdown (9+ / 0-)

    TEPCO finally seems to be admitting what happened to the reactor in unit 1, and the reports we have been seeing over the past few days have either directly introduced new evidence or at least have been based on much better evidence than has been made available in the past.

    It's important to note that most of the new evidence we are seeing has been available within TEPCO (and in some cases NISA) since the day after the earthquake.

    What changed?

    One big change is that workers went inside the reactor building of unit 1, adjusted some gauges, and TEPCO "discovered" that there was no water covering the fuel in the reactor core. Some people, including nuclear industry people who were critical of TEPCO, had been suggesting that for a long time. But now the evidence is so strong that TEPCO can no longer plausibly deny it.

    The other big change is political. There are two upcoming meetings that seem to be driving a very serious investigation in Japan about what caused the disaster and where the recovery efforts stand.

    The first meeting is the Group of Eight Summit. Near the bottom of an Asahi English news story you can find this paragraph:

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan is scheduled to attend the Group of Eight summit later this month and is expected to explain what the government is planning to do to stabilize the situation at the Fukushima plant, as well as in rebuilding areas struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
    Kan cannot stonewall the leaders of the Group of Eight, so he will need good information about where recovery efforts stand.

    The second meeting will be held at the IAEA in June. This is old news. See, for example, this Reuters article from March 30:

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has called a high-level meeting on June 20-24 in Vienna to address nuclear safety after Japan's Fukushima crisis, diplomats said on Wednesday.
    The Japanese government formed a committee to prepare to give a report to the IAEA, and while I can't find the links right now I believe that the Japanese committee includes some foreign members. If that is indeed the case the report will not be a whitewash. The report probably will be slanted in favor of the nuclear industry, but a lot of pro-nuclear officials are livid at TEPCO's response, so pro-nuke doesn't mean that TEPCO will be let off the hook.

    So it appears to be a combination of things that has led to a new openness about what happened at unit 1: really, really bad news that TEPCO can't deny, and the prospect of sharp foreign scrutiny that seems to be driving a serious investigation.

  •  California Shark Deaths? (6+ / 0-)
    Dozens of leopard sharks have been washing up dead in California since April, and now a necropsy shows at least one of the sharks died of massive internal bleeding, such that blood was even coming out of the shark's skin, according to a Daily News report.

    http://news.discovery.com/...

    Can somebody out in California take a geiger to one of these things.  I've heard some speculation that this is radiation poisoning.  If so I'd expect these things to be hot.  (Note I don't really think this is radiation poisoning, but it seems really easy to check).

    http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf From Dictatorship to Democracy, Guide to Non Violent Protests.

    by sdelear on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:02:16 PM PDT

  •  Good graphic showing loss of water in unit 1 (8+ / 0-)

    From the Yomiuri Shinbun. The graphic is based on a new analysis released by TEPCO.

    The blue line shows the water level inside the reactor core. It starts at about 5.5 m above the tops of the fuel rods. The red band shows the height of the fuel rods (the top of the band is the level at the top of the rods, the bottom of the band shows the level of the bottom of the rods).

    The earthquake hit at 2:46 p.m. on March 11. The tsunami hit around 3:30 p.m., and then the water level started dropping. By 7:30 p.m. the rods were fully exposed. Around 5:50 a.m. on March 12 a "hole" was formed in the reactor pressure vessel. After that, the water level remained steady at 8 m below the tops of the fuel rods (more than 4 m below the bottoms of the fuel rods). At 2:50 p.m. on the 12th, they started injecting fresh water into the core. Around 8 p.m. they started injecting seawater into the core.

    •  How did the water level start dropping? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja, cotterperson, mahakali overdrive

      I'm trying to understand what would have made this happen.

      •  If the water heated up due to the loss of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, evergreen2, Wee Mama

        power from the earthquake, perhaps it boiled off?

        I'm sure someone else probably has an explanation, but that makes some preliminary sense to me since it seems to have dropped before the hole was formed. We've seen the boiling that happens in a few of these pools on film now. I presume this is a bit like making pasta, although it's heated due to the fuel itself, which is only cooled provided that the power stays on to circulate water around it to keep it cool; without that, it would heat the water up and perhaps it then boiled off.

        Hopefully someone else can clarify better.

      •  Check out the PDF in rja's comment above (6+ / 0-)

        Link here.

        I scanned the thread before posting a couple of my comments yesterday to see if I was duplicating information, and I didn't notice until later that rja's comment covers almost everything I was talking about, but better.

        If you look at the PDF in rja's comment, on p. 2 you can see more or less the same graph of water loss as the Yomiuri shows, but even better there is a twin graph that shows temperature increase.

        The story from those two graphs together is that the water level started to drop right after the earthquake, and then it fluctuated pretty wildly for some time after the tsunami (for about an hour), then the water level started to drop like a rock. The core temperature dropped right after the earthquake, so it looks like the fuel rods descended more or less as designed into the control rod drive (CRD) housings (see the diagram on p. 6). The core temperature started to rise sharply at 18:00, which is the point where about top 20% of the fuel rods were exposed.

        Notice how the water level drops straight down around 19:00. I'm guessing that some sort of seal or valve failed at that point. At around that time, notice how the temperature in the core is going almost straight up. It goes from about 1100° to 2700° in about an hour. That is roughly the hour from when the fuel rods were 80% exposed to 100% exposed. Not long after that, the temperature stabilizes at around 2800°, which I'm guessing is total meltdown temperature. According to the Yomiuri graph, the hole opened up around 6:00, or roughly 10 hours after the core temperature reached its peak.

        According to the two graphs, the core temperature did not start rising until the fuel was about 20% exposed. So the loss of water must have been due to a leak, and not to water boiling off. Perhaps the earthquake and tsunami damaged some of the control rod drive (CRD) housings, or some other seal or valve.

        •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja, mahakali overdrive, Wee Mama

          for this description, PJ!

        •  earthquake alone likely caused leak (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          evergreen2, mahakali overdrive

          This chart, and other circumstantial evidence is highly suggestive of the idea that the entire plant was damaged by the earthquake alone.  The tsunami did a lot of physical damage to systems outside of the reactor buildings, but valves, seals and/or pipes much closer, as in AT the reactor vessel, seemed to have failed very early - and due to lack of power, been undetected or unattended.  I'm not sure how a tsunami is supposed to have damaged the reactor vessel itself, or systems directly adjacent like a seal or valve.  These were presumably protected by the still intact reactor buildings.  

          This is a significant potential failure to examine since TEPCO still maintains that the plant withstood the earthquake.  Like many other admissions, I predict it is simply a matter of time until they are forced to admit that once again things are worse than they said.  

  •  Kan, the unpopular champion (4+ / 0-)

    I was wondering how he managed to persuade Chubu Electric to shut down the Hamaoka plant without the industry being able to muster much resistance. From Reuters:

    A Mainichi newspaper poll showed 66 percent of respondents welcomed the prime minister's decision...

    A poll by the Yomiuri newspaper showed 68 percent approval for the Hamaoka decision...

    Half of respondents to the Mainichi daily poll wanted Kan to oversee the initial phase of reconstruction efforts after the disaster in northeastern Japan...

    The Mainichi poll showed nearly half believed the number of nuclear plants in Japan should be reduced while 12 percent thought they should all be scrapped

    Despite his championing of what appears to be the popular sentiment his approval ratings remain in the 28-30% level. I've not heard any other high level authority inside the system breaking ranks with the industry or various captured ministries. It seems a peculiar situation for a politician to be so unappreciated and yet the only hope for the people's will.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Mon May 16, 2011 at 06:34:54 AM PDT

  •  Five gets you ten, #3 is worse than #1 (9+ / 0-)

    From Japan Today:

    Tokyo Electric Power Co has been injecting more water into the reactor [ #3 ] than in the past to cool down its vessel as the temperature of it has been rising recently, pushing the level of water up there, company officials said.

    Under a plan by TEPCO, a total of 4,000 tons of water is expected to be pumped out from the No. 3 reactor turbine building to a nuclear waste disposal facility by using hoses.

    The temperature inside the No. 3 reactor has been rising since the beginning of this month, topping 200 C on May 7, compared with around 90 C on May 1.

    While the temperature fell to 141.3 C on Monday morning, TEPCO remains vigilant as there is some skepticism about whether water has remained in the reactor, company officials said.

    Some skepticism. A nagging little doubt.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Mon May 16, 2011 at 07:08:23 AM PDT

  •  Greenpeace reaction ...today (8+ / 0-)

    Greenpeace Statement on TEPCO admission of full meltdown and reactor core breach at Fukushima-Daiichi reactor 1 http://www.greenpeace.org/...

    Tokyo, Japan, 16 May, 2011 – Greenpeace today criticised TEPCO and the Japanese government for continuing to underplay the seriousness of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, after TEPCO yesterday admitted (1) that a partial meltdown of the reactor 1 core at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant occurred a mere five hours after the tragic March 11 earthquake and tsunami, followed by a full meltdown within 16 hours.

    The environmental organisation says that TEPCO’s admission – that with temperatures reaching 2,800°C, melted fuel dropped and accumulated at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, which was  the breached, causing radiation to leak from the core and to spread via cooling water to the ground and ocean - clearly shows that there are significant risks to the marine ecosystem along the Fukushima coast (2).

    “That it has taken TEPCO more than two months to confirm that a full meltdown took place at Fukushima demonstrates the nuclear industry’s utter failure to deal with the severity of the crisis or the risks involved in nuclear power,” said Jan Beránek, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaign Leader. “TEPCO should have known that water pumped into reactor vessel 1 would become highly contaminated - it is appalling that company did not do more to prevent massive volumes of contaminated water being released into the ocean, spreading long-lived radioactive contamination along Japan’s East coast.”

    "A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool." Robert Bulwer-Lytton

    by boatsie on Mon May 16, 2011 at 12:51:30 PM PDT

  •  Does anyone know whether uranium has been (4+ / 0-)

    measured in the Japanese environment yet? I'm asking because of the 2-month belated news of core damage in reactor 3, which contains MOX fuel.

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    Also, I know that a small hole was reported in the containment vessel of unit 1. Have there been any updates? Have there been any updates of other breaches in the units 2 or 3 reactor containment vessels?

    I apologize if I've mixed any terms up here.

    •  The government probably has sampled for uranium (9+ / 0-)

      but has not released the data. I tried to give an explanation here.

      I Googled in Japanese for uranium/measurement/Fukushima and got a lot of hits, but mostly found old stories from March (back when they were sampling food and water). The few more recent stories, all from blogs, expressed frustration that the government was not releasing data about uranium and plutonium. These were not sensationalistic blogs at all. I figure where there's smoke there's fire, and if several Japanese bloggers think the government is sitting on the data, that's probably what is happening.

      In any case, a Google search turns up absolutely nothing about recent samples of uranium or plutonium. And that is odd.

  •  Updated: 5/17 AM newsfeed, scribble charts (5+ / 0-)

    a few other things; added FOoW's diary...

    Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Tue May 17, 2011 at 12:11:50 AM PDT

  •  TEPCO says operator shutdown ECC system (8+ / 0-)

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/...

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers may have manually shut down the No.1 reactor's emergency cooling system in order to prevent damage to the reactor. It says pressure inside the reactor had dropped sharply after the earthquake struck the plant on March 11th.
    [...]
    The emergency cooling system was automatically activated but stopped about 10 minutes later and remained off for about 3 hours until after the tsunami arrived.

    TEPCO says plant workers may have manually shut down the cooling system because pressure inside the reactor had dropped sharply from 70 to 45 atmospheres.


    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Tue May 17, 2011 at 01:11:08 AM PDT

    •  More info concerning shutdown of ECC (4+ / 0-)

      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/...

      The release of key data following the March 11 disaster was delayed because most of it was kept in computers and documents in the plant's central control room, where high levels of radiation prevented workers from entering, Tepco said.

      The isolation condenser is designed to inject water into the reactor for at least eight hours after the main coolant system loses power, as happened March 11.

      "It is possible that a worker may have manually closed the valve (of the isolation condenser) to prevent a rapid decrease in temperature, as is stipulated by a reactor operating guideline," Tepco spokesman Hajime Motojuku told The Japan Times.

      A worker may have stopped the condenser to keep cold water from coming into contact with the hot steel of the reactor to prevent it from being damaged.

      I have come across a source that gave a maximum cool down rate of 100 degrees per hour, so that makes at least some sense, as does the reason for delay in obtaining some of the data.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Tue May 17, 2011 at 10:47:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cat's out of the bag now (8+ / 0-)

    From Asahi Shimbun:

    Data shows meltdowns occurred at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, creating huge problems for the plant operator that had presented a more optimistic scenario.
    ...

    At the No. 3 reactor, the melted fuel may have burned through the pressure vessel to the containment vessel, the data showed.
    ...

    Release of the data, which had been kept at the central control room at the nuclear power plant, was delayed because it took time to restore power and remove radioactive materials attached to the papers. [ uh huh ]
    ...

    Radioactive materials, such as technetium, produced when nuclear fuel rods are damaged, have been detected in water in the No. 3 reactor building. That discovery has raised speculation that the melted nuclear fuel has breached the pressure vessel and landed in the containment vessel.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue May 17, 2011 at 06:14:43 AM PDT

    •  "partial meltdown" not so partial after all (4+ / 0-)

      And yet this is all it took to move the news to page twelve.   For a month they stuck to their invented buzzword, a "partial meltdown."  There is no such term.  They MADE IT UP.  And people bought it.  

      TEPCO is setting a precedent here for corporate disaster PR, and they are running a close second to the financial bailout on snowjobs. Lie, obfuscate and stonewall, slow walk the information and NEVER connect the dots...  and do it all with a straight face and the cooperation of the government agencies with a revolving door policy.  

      •  They're following the same line of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja

        ever worsening news releases that BP employed last year. It's not so bad, oops it's a little worse than we said last week, oops it's a little worse than we said last week again, who could have known, no way to accurately measure it, blah, blah, blah.  It is the corporate mindset to hide as much bad info as you can, for as long as you can, in hopes that it all fades into the memory hole.

  •  A couple of well done articles (6+ / 0-)

    For those who've been following since the start these are not news, but for those who wants a quick education on the foundations of TEPCO and a bogus regulatory system gives us events like Fukushima they are good reads.

    When it comes to mighty Tepco, pride goes before the fall from The Japan Times, is a short biography of the company.

    Until quite recently, landing a job at Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan's largest and most powerful electric utility, meant a lifetime of steady employment and generous paychecks, a status envied and often likened to that of a civil servant.

    But those days are gone.
    ...

    It goes on to highlight TEPCO's nuclear history including it's propensity for dishonesty and deception.

    Japanese Officials Ignored or Concealed Dangers from the NYT is a longer article focusing on the history of denial, deception and government collusion that made it possible to build a nuclear industry in Japan. Turns out all the worst case scenario crackpots were prophets and the powers-that-be were either incompetent or lying.

    The nuclear power plant, lawyers argued, could not withstand the kind of major earthquake that new seismic research now suggested was likely.

    If such a quake struck, electrical power could fail, along with backup generators, crippling the cooling system, the lawyers predicted. The reactors would then suffer a meltdown and start spewing radiation into the air and sea. Tens of thousands in the area would be forced to flee.

    Although the predictions sound eerily like the sequence of events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the lawsuit was filed nearly a decade ago to shut down another plant, long considered the most dangerous in Japan — the Hamaoka station.
    ...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue May 17, 2011 at 07:43:59 AM PDT

  •  Scratch one more safety system (6+ / 0-)

    SPEEDI is a system designed as a disaster-prevention system to provide accurate real time and predictive models for the spread of radiation following nuclear accidents. The whole thing has cost more than $150 million and is intended to identify those at risk so something can be done about it before people get hurt.

    That's the theory anyway.

    Radioactive material dispersal prediction system proves useless

    A couple problems came to light...

    Before the commission made available hourly measurements [in late April], it released SPEEDI data regarding the Fukushima accident only twice—on March 23 and April 11. The figures were for the amounts of radioactive materials already released and their dispersal, but did not include a prediction for the future.
    ...

    Commission Chairman Haruki Madarame said SPEEDI was created on the premise that such information as the emission amounts of radioactive materials would always be available, and admitted the system’s inadequacy, saying, ‘‘It cannot be used in an (information-lacking) case like this one."

    One little design flaw: the information needed to run the predictive modeling part of the system required accurate data coming from the site of the disaster. The same site where everything is broken and buildings are exploding almost daily.

    Ok, so not so useful as a predictor, but there's still the real time readings which would be helpful to local governments.

    The commission thought a massive amount of radioactive materials was emitted when the power plant’s No. 2 reactor’s container vessel was damaged March 15 by a hydrogen explosion. It then estimated the following day the amount of released radioactive materials based on the meteorological data on the day of the explosion. But this information was not made public immediately.

    When making public the result of the estimate for the first time on March 23, Madarame said, ‘‘I hesitated to make such an announcement because it would cause social turmoil,’’...

    They hesitate to tell people they are at risk from radiation because the information might put them at risk of reacting to that risk? Big brother is stupid.

    I'm sure it looked good on the drawing board but Fukushima has revealed this safety system to be a bust as far as its intended purpose.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:30:14 AM PDT

  •  The float, the float (7+ / 0-)

    From NHK: "Mega float" arrives at port near Fukushima plant

    A giant storage barge that will be used to hold radioactive water has arrived at a port near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The steel mega-float, 136 meters long and 46 meters wide, can store up to 10,000 tons of water. It has been provided to Tokyo Electric Power Company from Shizuoka City in central Japan, where it had been used as a fishing park.

    The floating structure entered the Onahama port in Iwaki City, south of the nuclear plant, on Tuesday morning.
    After some final checks, it will move to a wharf at the stricken nuclear plant on Friday.

    The capacity seems kind of small now. I don't know the precise rate at which they are pumping into the reactors but I believe it's around 8-10 tons/hr. At 8 the plant is putting around 4,000 tons of water into the reactors a week and most of that is coming back out contaminated.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:39:15 AM PDT

  •  UCS has an update cover recent revelations (6+ / 0-)

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Tue May 17, 2011 at 04:13:48 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the link (4+ / 0-)

      It gives a clear explanation of what happened, and in cases where it is still unclear, the possible explanations of what might have happened.

      •  There's more information on the vents (5+ / 0-)

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        It now appears the vents were hardened but didn't work due to valves that require power to operate and one switch that's kept under lock and key. This article calls into question the assumptions that we in the US wouldn't have the problem should we need to vent a reactor. The last two paragraphs are revealing:

        The design is the result of conflicting schools of thought among United States nuclear officials, said Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator at several American nuclear power plants.

        Mr. Friedlander said, referring to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission: “You have the N.R.C. containment isolation guys who want containment closed, always, under every conceivable accident scenario, and then you’ve got the reactor safety guys who need containment to be vented under severe accident scenarios. It is a very controversial system.”


        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Tue May 17, 2011 at 06:54:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Joieau's new diary: Overview of a Meltdown (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, Magster, stunster
  •  apologies for not linking my sources (5+ / 0-)

    in the newsfeed update....

    Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Tue May 17, 2011 at 07:02:03 PM PDT

    •  No need to apologize! (4+ / 0-)

      You're doing a lion's share, dah-ling! I wound up spending the afternoon sleeping and now must get back to work soon. My last week before summer...

      Also, I queued the diary in my comment above since I thought it was incredibly well-written -- but didn't know if I should republish or not?

      And I republished your last diary to NFDK as well.

      •  Do it do it! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, rja

        I came home and fell asleep at 5:15 for l hour tonight!

        Weather.

        BTW, I am just loving getting to know how your mind works! Brilliant and strategic! Concise. A natural problem solver. Deep thinker.

        Hmmmm. I'm gonna go dig out my grad school reader on Learning Theory and find those tests... see what kind of 'intelligence' you possess...

        Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

        by boatsie on Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:35:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Busby: Fukushima reactors a raging radioactive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magster, mahakali overdrive

    inferno.

    http://youtu.be/...

    A bleak picture painted here.

  •  #3 (5+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately both data pages for the Fukushima plant have stopped updating. #3 was reported to have increasing temperatures last week and it's pretty well accepted now that all three reactors have melted their entire loads of fuel and have breached RPVs.

    From TEPCO latest update (PDF) they are injecting water through both the fire extinction system and the reactor feed water system. The way it's written is a little confusing but the injection rate may have been up to 14 m3/hr on the 14th. They also added boric acid for two and a half hours on the 15th and later that day might have upped the water injection rate to 9 m3/hr through each system, for a total of 18 m3/hr. There is no mention of the temperatures unfortunately. I'll post those if I find them.

    So, is #3 cooking again?

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:12:41 AM PDT

    •  According to JAIF (4+ / 0-)

      the temps for #3:

      RPV temperature (May 16 11:00)
      143.3℃*2 at feed water line nozzle

      That puts the temps about the same place it was when the data page stopped updating on the 7th. Other than that JAIF simply states there was been a trend of increasing temps. The trend matters more than the numbers I think considering the gauges are all screwed up and the RPV is crusted up with salts from the seawater injections. It questionable the water is even reaching the melted fuel at this point. Since the fuel is the only source of heat in the system, more heat is problematic.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:30:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fukushima a warning for US plants (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.upi.com/...

    TOKYO, May 18 (UPI) -- Emergency vents failed to prevent hydrogen explosions at Japan's Fukushima reactors and put the safety of U.S. nuclear plants in question, experts warn.

    -cut-

    The venting system, built by General Electric, used the same power source as the rest of the plant, backup generators in basements that were vulnerable to tsunamis. The earthquake also may have damaged the valves, Tepco said.

    -cut-

    U.S. officials had said American reactors would be spare such disasters by new and stronger venting systems. But Tepco now says Fukushima installed the same vents years ago, the Times reported.

    cont...

    We have to heed this warning for it to be one, naturally.

  •  UK Nuke inspector charged with 'complacency' (4+ / 0-)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    An enormous row broke out on Wednesday after the chief nuclear safety inspector gave Britain's reactor fleet the all-clear and made modest "recommendations" to be incorporated in the planned new plant design.

    Critics immediately accused Mike Weightman of rushing to judgment and "complacency" in his interim report on the lessons to be learned from the Fukushima atomic crisis.

    cont...

    What I'm seeing a strong pattern of today in the media is countries being reprimanded for not learning from Fukushima. The first two articles that I opened today were both about this.

  •  1000's of documents from TEPCO now released (7+ / 0-)

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    TOKYO—Thousands of pages of documents newly released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. paint a grim picture of the tension-filled atmosphere inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's control rooms during the minutes and hours following Japan's massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which set off a chain reaction leading to core meltdowns at three reactors.

    The partially redacted data and photos—some of which depict frantically handwritten scribbles and schematics on a series of whiteboards inside the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor's control room—were retrieved April 30 from the plant but not released until late Monday. "It took us a while to prepare and piece together the materials due to the huge volume," company spokesman Hajime Motojuku said Tuesday.

    -cut-

    But a series of what Tepco terms reactor "diaries" from the first 48 hours after the quake include the most visually arresting materials. These feature snapshots of whiteboards on which plant employees—11 of whom remained in each of the plant's three control rooms—jotted down status updates on the progress of the reactor shutdowns and steadily increasing radiation levels around the facility.

    Using red, black or blue ink markers, the plant operators appear to have scribbled down the notes quickly. Many are smudged or illegible. Others depict complex diagrams and are peppered with technical jargon or acronyms such as SBO for "station blackout."

    continued...

    A must-read for those interested in the conditions of TEPCO after this disaster.

  •  Robot video footage of SFP #3 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, procrastinator john, rja

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    ~ not sure if this was already posted.

    •  Wreckage covers underwater fuel... COMPLETELY (0+ / 0-)

      Some of us have seen this before, but everyone needs to view this video to get a visual sense of how FUBAR this whole plant is.  I'm very, very curious to hear the 'plan' TEPCO proposes to clean up this particular part of the disaster. Because if it were me in charge, after looking at this video I'd throw up my hands in despair and fall on the floor in a fetal position.  Then in about a week I'd crawl to the computer and start googling "radiation proof underwater welding robots and cranes dot com."

  •  Kanagawa tea at 3K becqs of Cesium (!) (4+ / 0-)

    That's really high. Tea limit, like water, is 200 becqs/kg.

    I'd seen this mentioned before, but not with this specific level. That's really high. Apparently, they aren't sure what to do with this tea. Also, it's still strange that it's this high in Kanagawa.

    It seems to be an ongoing problem and this represents the highest that I've yet seen it.

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/...

    Local farmers have been thrown into confusion after the health and farm ministries expressed differing views over shipments of tea harvested in Kanagawa Prefecture after fresh leaves were found to have exceeded government limits for radioactive cesium.

    The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has been trying to restrict shipments of tea leaves from the prefecture about 300 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant due to health concerns. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, however, has claimed that despite the high levels of radioactive material, drinking tea made from the leaves would be safe because the radioactive material would be diluted.

    cont...

    They're basically twisting into pretzels to try to rationalize raising the safe consumption limit, trying to say there are all these reasons why the limit is too restrictive, why the tea is good for you, and why this is all just not a problem. The Government is annoyed as are farmers. Everyone is losing money on this one.

  •  Uncertainty over highly radioactive sewage sludge (4+ / 0-)

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/...

    excerpt...

    ...

    While highly-radioactive sludge will be treated in the same way as radioactive waste for the time being, no plans for the final disposal of such sludge were presented. It will also be difficult to promote the recycling of sludge with high-level radiation contamination. Since relevant laws and regulations do not cover highly-radioactive sludge at sewage plants, the government faces serious challenges in handling the issue.

    According to the announcement, sludge with radioactivity levels of over 100,000 becquerels per kilogram should preferably be incinerated and melted in Fukushima Prefecture before being kept at sewage plants. Ash generated through sludge incineration should be contained in metal barrels to prevent it from scattering. Sludge with radioactivity levels of under 100,000 becquerels per kilogram can be temporarily kept at sewage plants and controlled disposal sites, with radioactivity monitoring required.

    "Radioactive sludge should be treated in the same way as radioactive waste," said an official with the Cabinet Office's Nuclear Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters, adding, "We will look into how to ultimately dispose of it later."

    ...cont...

    •  This story is ruining my day (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja, ricklewsive

      The problem with sludge from treated sewage first came up a couple of weeks ago, and I remember thinking at the time it was going to be a bad long-term problem for Japan. There are two parts of the story that suggest why:

      On May 12, the government announced that highly radioactive sludge will be tentatively kept at sewage plants in the prefecture, while sludge with relatively low-level radiation could be recycled into cement and other material.
      and
      "The volume of radioactive sludge should be reduced as much as possible through recycling," said an official with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, adding that the recycling of such sludge into fertilizer should be withheld for the time being.
      As the story makes clear, sludge is used for several purposes, mainly fertilizer but also building materials. The economic and other incentives all point in the wrong direction for handling this problem well.

      First of all, sewage treatment plants have to be diligent in testing their sludge, and it's too easy to imagine that they won't. Second, because of the nature of how waste water is collected and treated, radioactivity will tend to be concentrated in the sludge. That means the problem will expand well beyond Fukushima, and nobody outside of Fukushima will want to look at it. They'll just ignore it. Third, if radioactive sludge is recycled into cement, it will end up in buildings, and then you'll have radioactive buildings. Knowing how the Japanese construction industry works, this will happen, virtually guaranteed. Ugh.

      I would really like to hear some good news today. Ain't gonna happen.

  •  Tokyo radioactive soil reported...? (11+ / 0-)

    I'd not seen anything on this; it would explain why Kanagawa tea is so deeply contaminated.

    Apparently they've found a high level of radioactivity in the soil in Tokyo now. Not good at all. Attributed to the leapard spot nature of how radiation is distributed. However, that the radiation levels are actually HIGHER than at Fukushima is something else.

    http://www.arirang.co.kr/...

    Highly Radioactive Substances Detected in Tokyo

    Moving on to the latest developments in Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis highly radioactive substances were detected in parts of Tokyo.
    Japan's Asahi Shimbun reports about 3,200 and nearly 2-thousand becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram were found in the soil of Tokyo districts of Koto and Chiyoda, respectively, from testing conducted between April 10th and the 20th.
    This amount is higher than what was found in the prefectures near the Fukushima plant and experts warn that other areas may be subject to radiation contamination as clusters of clouds containing radioactive material remain in the atmosphere.
    Meanwhile, the plant's main operator, TEPCO, says that over 3-thousand tons of contaminated water has been found in the basement of the No. 1 reactor, causing a delay in Japan's latest approach to cool down the reactors.
    •  It's going to get worse before it gets better (8+ / 0-)

      With the complicated terrain and shifting winds associated with large bodies of water bordering on large bodies of land any airborn crap from Daiichi could end up pretty much anywhere. The Ibaraki monitoring station well south of Daiichi spiked to over 10 time normal after the explosions and that was thought to be upwind from the events. Once the radioactive particles are in the wind there's no clean pattern of deposition.

      I believe there was rain in the week following the largest releases so that might have been the event that crapped on Tokyo. There is also the real possibility that Daiichi is putting out more radiocative material than we're aware of. #2 and #3 went to atmospheric pressure rapidly and they've been releasing steam for two months now. Plus the data from #3 as well as the water near the plant is suggesting there is still fuel in a critical state. The ground level radiation at the plant does not seem to have changed all that much in the last month but those steam plumes just keep wafting offshore. Who knows where that material is coming down?

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:39:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chernobyl evac standard on cesium was (3+ / 0-)

      555,000 Bq per cubic meter. Let me shout that: PER CUBIC METER. Your source says Bq per kilogram. Unless the soil types in question are very very light (a cubic meter of water is 1000kg) applying Chernobyl standards says we evacuate Tokyo.
      Another poster was hounded out of here just the other day for airing the possibility of evacuating Tokyo. I am very curious about the accuracy or repeatability or pervasiveness of the numbers from Asahi Shimbun.

      The Chernobyl standard was a de facto judgment call. In a broken bankrupt 'Second World' country that had always treated rural areas as dispensable. People lived hard lives and expected to die young. Seems to me Tokyo would have a much much lower tolerance.

      •  I am definitely waiting to hear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        procrastinator john, rja

        how Japan will respond to this once this information comes to light... and it will. Information cannot be suppressed well in the age of the Internet. I do find this extremely troubling. I feel certain that the USC and Greenpeace will try to address this -- not personally adept enough at the math to figure it out blush

        P.S. Good to damned well see you!

      •  Here is some perspective on the levels detected (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, rja

        The levels detected in Tokyo were less than 1/20th the government limit for agriculture, but higher than nuclear fallout in the 1960s.

        According to the source linked below:

        The concentration of radioactive cesium in the soil in Tokyo Prefecture was less than 1/20th the limit by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for banning cultivation, but it was 3 to 10 times the amount that fell during the years of nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere in the 1960s.
        There is nothing good about this news, but it may be premature to suggest that Tokyo should be evacuated.

        The survey cited in the Asahi story was conducted by Yamazaki Hideo, a professor of environmental studies at Kinki University. In other words, it was conducted independently of the government. The analysis cited above comes from Yamazaki.

    •  This is bad news (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, rja, kumaneko

      but not quite as bad as the Korean source says.

      The original story apparently was on p. 5 of the May 15 morning edition of the Asahi and it does not appear to be available online (I looked but couldn't find it). A blog describes what was in the Asahi story. Here is the table from that blog, translated into English:

      (becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram)

      location of sample concentration date
      Tokyo Chiyoda Ward, Nijubashi 1,904 April 10
        Chiyoda Ward, Imperial Palace 1,311 April 10
        Chuo Ward, Tsukiji 1,147 April 10
        Koto Ward, Kamedo 3,201 April 16
      Saitama Asaka City, Arakawa 484 April 10
      Chiba Chiba City, Tendai Station 1,327 April 11
        Chiba City, Chiba Station 385 April 14
        Tateyama City 127 April 20
      Ibaraki Kamisu City 455 April 20
      Fukushima Fukushima City, Hikarigaoka 27,650 March 19
      As you can see from the table, the highest level in the Tokyo area was roughly 11.5% of the level measured in one neighborhood in Fukushima City. Fukushima City is fairly contaminated, but not nearly so much as the area within 30 km of the Fukushima Plant.

      The quotation from the Korean story cited above says

      This amount is higher than what was found in the prefectures near the Fukushima plant....
      It is easy to misread what it is saying. Chiba and Ibaraki are nearer the plant than Tokyo, and the levels measured there are generally lower than in the places measured in Tokyo. The levels in Tokyo are considerably lower than in Fukushima City itself, not higher. Nonetheless, this is bad news.
      •  That is a very useful table (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        procrastinator john, rja

        Thank you tremendously for posting it. Am I concerned about this? Yes, I am... it should be improving by now and not moving so far. At first, when it was mentioned, Joieau speculated it might be from another plant due to the distance, which seemed to make sense. But that is really high for so far from Fukushima prefecture. I see what you mean now about Chiba and Ibaraki. I'm still finding this very troublesome and am going to keep my eye on it closely, p.j.

  •  Radiation speculated as leaking freely now (6+ / 0-)

    outside of the core of reactor one and into the groundwater...

    http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/...

    Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute is quoted by Mainichi Shinbun as saying that the melted core of the Reactor 1 is not just out of the Reactor Pressure Vessel but out of the Containment Vessel.

    From Mainichi Shinbun, Koide's comments only (5/16/2011):

        小出裕章・京都大原子炉実験所助教は「電源喪失で原子炉が冷やせなくなれば、早い時期に炉心溶融に至ることは想定できていたはずだ。燃料の損傷が限定的だとしてきた東電の説明は完全に誤っていたことになる。データの公表も遅すぎる」と指摘する。

        Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute points out that "[TEPCO] could have foreseen the core melt at an early stage when the cooling of the reactor stopped due to the power failure. TEPCO's assessment that the damage to the fuel was limited has turned out to be completely wrong. The disclosure of the data came too late."

         東電は今回の解析で「圧力容器の損傷は大規模ではない」と説明するが、小出助教は「圧力容器は完全に破損し、溶けた燃料が格納容器の底に穴を開け、原子炉建屋の地下に大量の汚染水が漏れ出す原因になっている」と推定する。

        According to TEPCO, the data analysis shows that damage to the RPV is not extensive. However, Koide thinks "The RPV has been completely damaged, the melted core bore a hole at the bottom of the Containment Vessel, causing the large amount of contaminated water to leak into the ground beneath the reactor building."

    The original Mainichi article link (Japanese only): http://mainichi.jp/...

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