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This is another clearinghouse diary for the posting of additional news (with links to their source) and intelligent commentary about the ongoing nuclear disaster(s) in Japan.  

THE JNI coverage is for reporting and analysis of events in Japan following the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and the meltdowns at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It is NOT a place for editorializing or POVs on nuclear power. (boilerplate... we editorialize a LITTLE so...)  

Please provide links to credible news stories.  

For older information on news and a timeline of the events following the March 11 Japanese Earthquake, visit the Mothership. The Mothership provides a more extensive list of news and data sources, social media, crisis mapping and other relevant information. Although the ROV's aren't too shabby either.

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.

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From JNI ROV #57: Multiple 10-Centimeter Holes in Reactor 2 Containment Vessel at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

So says the Mainichi Shinbun reporters who must be reading the report submitted by TEPCO on May 23 and released on May 24.

Multiple 10-centimeter holes in the Reactor 2 Containment Vessel, and one 7-centimeter hole in the Reactor 1 Containment Vessel.

Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University was so right. The Containment Vessels' integrity has been long gone. TEPCO should have known all along, and all the experts, including Koide, must have known. The original Tepco data recordings from the beginning of the Fukushima crisis are here www.houseoffoust.com

And now to the news...

5/30 -  Fukushima hits Chernobyl dead zone level radiation according to Bloomberg News h/t by mahakali overdrive

Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japan's crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a dead zone remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded.

Soil samples in areas outside the 20-kilometer (12 miles) exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant measured more than 1.48 million becquerels a square meter, the standard used for evacuating residents after the Chernobyl accident, Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said in a research report published May 24 and given to the government.

Radiation from the plant has spread over 600 square kilometers (230 square miles), according to the report. The extent of contamination shows the government must move fast to avoid the same future for the area around Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant as Chernobyl, scientists said. Technology has improved since the 1980s, meaning soil can be decontaminated with chemicals or by planting crops to absorb radioactive materials, allowing residents to return.


Also of note 5/27 -- High radiation detected 190 miles down Japan's coast"
Japan has revealed radiation up to several hundred times normal levels has been detected on the seabed off the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, a report said Saturday.

The science ministry announced late Friday highly radioactive materials were detected in a 300-kilometre (190-mile) north-south stretch from Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture to Choshi in Chiba Prefecture, the Kyodo news agency reported. The ministry warned that the contamination could affect the safety of seafood, the report said, without giving figures for the radiation levels detected.


For more on this story, see enews h/t to Adept2u

5/29 --Reactor #5 lost power

The seawater pump in the cooling system for the Fukushima power plant's No. 5 reactor broke down Saturday evening, prompting repair crews to install a backup pump on Sunday afternoon, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The temperature of the core and the fuel pool had reached 93.6 degrees and 46 degrees, respectively, by noon Sunday compared with 68 degrees and 41 degrees at 9 p.m. Saturday. The backup pump kicked in at 12:31 p.m. Sunday, and the temperature of the core had been brought down to 83 degrees by 1 p.m., a Tepco spokeswoman said by phone later Sunday.

The temperature must stay below 100 degrees to maintain cold shutdown status.

5/31 Team of Scientists estimate ecological damages to Fukushima wildlife


Two months after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a nuclear crisis in Japan, French scientists report that wildlife near the stricken power plant may have received radiation doses that far exceed safe levels for sensitive species (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es201637c).

The analysis, conducted by Jacqueline Garnier-Laplace and colleagues from the French Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, is the first assessment of the ecological consequences from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
Garnier-Laplace and her colleagues reconstructed radiation doses for wildlife near the plant based on radioactivity measurements made by Japanese researchers on March 31 of three radioisotopes: cesium-134, cesium-137, and iodine-131. A radiation dose, measured in milligrays (mGy), is the amount of energy that an organism absorbs from the decay of radioactive material.

The dose that an organism can tolerate varies significantly between species, Garnier-Laplace says: In general, invertebrates can withstand radiation doses that are 100,000 times greater than most vertebrates can. In an earlier study, she and her research team used data from published field studies to determine that 0.24 mGy per day is the highest dose rate that most terrestrial and marine ecosystems can endure. Above that rate, sensitive species begin to die.

More coverage from JNI team 5/24 - 6/1

5/30 - Japan Times says the 6-9 month plan has been scrapped h/t by ricklewsive & willisnewton

Japan Times:
Stabilizing the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant by the end of the year may be impossible, senior officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, throwing a monkey wrench into plans to let evacuees return to their homes near the plant.
The confirmation of core meltdowns hitting reactors 1 through 3, accompanied by breaches to the critical pressure vessels that hold the nuclear fuel, has led officials to believe that "there will be a major delay to work" to contain the situation, one official said.

And the other piece of great news today is (from Japan Times)
6/1 Speaking of "Fucking Boom," oil is leaking out of the reactors into the ocean h/t by mahakali overdrive

Oil was leaking into the sea from heavy oil tanks for reactors 5 and 6 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday, adding the spill may have been ongoing since the March 11 quake and tsunami.  Tepco said workers at the site saw an oil slick floating on the sea at 8 a.m. Tuesday near the intakes of units 5 and 6. The oil slick is believed to be 200 to 300 meters long.

Radiation contaminated fish found over 1400 miles away in Taiwan h/t by mahakali overdrive

Greenpeaces recent independent monitoring has shown more about the radiation in the area

Greenpeace said it detected seaweed radiation levels 50 times higher than official limits, which it charged raised "serious concerns about continued long-term risks to people and the environment from contaminated seawater". It also said that tests, which it said were independently verified by French and Belgian laboratories, showed above-legal levels of radioactive iodine-131 and caesium-137 in several species of fish and shellfish.

6/1 -- Elderly Japanese to volunteer to battle Fukushima nuclear disaster h/t  Lorikeet:

Yasuteru Yamada cringes at any comparison to the kamikaze, pilots who flew suicide missions during World War II. The retired engineer has rallied more than 200 aging workers who have volunteered to tackle the nuclear crises at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. But he says, this is no suicide mission. "We don't want to die," says the 72-year old, a former engineer for Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. "We just want to stabilize the nuclear plant, nothing more."

The team of volunteers call themselves the Skilled Veteran Corps. The group is made up of former engineers, doctors, cooks, even singers. The common thread is that they are all over the age of 60.

5/30  NYT's comprehensive explanation of how nuclear dependence was fueled in Japan  h/t by ricklewsive

Experts and some residents say this dependency helps explain why, despite the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the accidents at the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear plants, Japan never faced the levels of popular opposition to nuclear power seen in the United States and Europe and is less likely than the United States to stop building new plants. Towns become enmeshed in the same circle which includes politicians, bureaucrats, judges and nuclear industry executives that has relentlessly promoted the expansion of nuclear power over safety concerns.

5/31 -- Ongoing worker safety issues at Fukushima plant, from the Daily Yomiuri:

The health ministry on Tuesday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. and a partner firm to correct practices regarding their failure to prevent workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from being exposed to radiation. The order, issued by the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry in connection with the firms' violation of the Labor Safety and Sanitation Law, was made retroactive to Monday. According to the ministry, TEPCO and Kandenko Co. allowed some employees to work at the plant without wearing dosimeters. The law requires operators to ensure workers wear dosimeters on the job.

and also from Reuters:
(Reuters) - Two workers at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant may have exceeded the government's radiation exposure limit, the plant operator said, adding to concerns about health risks for those fighting the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.
If confirmed, it would mark the first cases of excess radiation exposure among the hundreds of emergency workers who have struggled to bring Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi plant under control after it was wrecked by a massive earthquake and tsunami two and half months ago.

6/1 - In other news, the IAEA calls for more oversight (after a boot-on-the-ground investigation of Fukushima)
Japan's nuclear regulators need more powers to prevent a repeat of the Fukushima disaster, which was triggered by insufficient defenses against the March earthquake and tsunami, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

Nuclear regulatory systems should address extreme external events adequately, including their periodic review, and should ensure that regulatory independence and clarity of roles are preserved in all circumstances in line with IAEA safety standards, the UN agency said today in a report on the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant disaster.

The government-run Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has been criticized for not ensuring Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, heeded warnings that a tsunami could overwhelm its defenses. A reorganization of Japan's atomic regulators is unavoidable, Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, said after the IAEA released its report.

There's concern that things have become a little bit cozy and complacent, Stephen Lincoln, a professor at the University of Adelaide and a specialist in nuclear power, said by telephone today. It seems in Japan they relied very much on commercial operators to oversee the safety aspects, and if you are running a commercial operation you've got to make a profit.


5/28 -- Meanwhile, TEPCO and Japan's Government seem to be in a bit of an argument about what's really going on: h/t peraspera Doubts deepen over TEPCO's truthfulness after President's sightseeing trip uncovered
Suspicions that Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is hiding information were heightened on May 27 with revelations that its president was not where TEPCO had said he was on the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

TEPCO had claimed that on March 11 its President Masataka Shimizu was on a trip to meet with Kansai-area business leaders. The Mainichi discovered, however, that Shimizu was in fact sightseeing in Nara -- a discrepancy that TEPCO now refuses to discuss. According to sources close to the matter and the Nara Prefectural Government, Shimizu, his wife and secretary checked into a hotel in the ancient capital on March 10 for a two-night stay. The trio had planned to go watch a traditional event at Todaiji temple the next day.

And just for good old-fashioned educational fun, do you remember Mr. Wizard? Well here's a great retro reminder about radiation:

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Coverage@Kos Diaires

Please visit JNI group page or The Nuclear Free DK for diaries on ongoing situation in Japan. To continue following this coverage, just click the heart icon (underneath the group profile picture).


GameSave

A 5-week competition in which teams build a demo and working concept for a game which addresses disaster mitigation.  Building virtual disaster games takes you through the challenges of response to prepare you for when things actually happen.  Register by June 10

Burners without Borders: Ongoing Reports on their work in Japan

Sculpture Workshop

Today I taught a class at a rec center in Kessenuma. The children and I made animals out of kami nendo. Afterwards they showed me lots of origami and then we hopped around like kangaroos. It was a really great time and it was wonderful to see their smiles. A big thank you to Tanaka-san from the Kessenuma Volunteer Center for helping me organize this project and acting as my translator

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 evolved diary has stopped being 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  Needed???
TEPCO livecam
h/t Joieau
Tokyo Radiation Levels Citizen Page h/t jgnyc

                                                       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Best News Sources
   


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


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Recent Diaries

Radioactive Fukushima Water Nears Overflow by FishOutofWater
Fukushima: Crimes Against Humanity by Adept2U

If you have a diary to submit to JNI for republication, please just mention it in the comments! Thanks.

Originally posted to Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  dear parents (15+ / 0-)

    dear parents,

    while we poison you children, please be advised to have them wear long sleeve shirts.  This will show and indicate to us, just how stupid you are, and just how worthless a parent you have become.

    Thanks for not making a fuss as we slowly kill your children

    Japan govt and school district

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

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:34:24 AM PDT

  •  Breaking: new rise in Strontium soil levels (38+ / 0-)

    http://english.ruvr.ru/...

    The content of radioactive strontium in the soil around the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been growing for the first time since the accident on March 11th.

    According to the plant operator, the TEPCO Company, strontium concentrations are 10 times above the pre-accident amount. Radioactive isotopes were found in soil samples, taken within the 20-kilometre alienation zone.

    Earlier, it was only radioactive isotopes of iodine and cesium that were found in the air, soil and water in the Fukushima plant area. All these substances are the fission products of uranium that emerged from the nuclear fuel meltdown.

    Strontium causes bone cancer.

    I've been watching for this every day. This is the first I've seen it mentioned at all. It's a really big deal, IMHO. Also, it is new... what does that tell you?

  •  thank you, MO (23+ / 0-)

    for hosting a new ROV and keeping us up to date on this situation... so appreciated.

    Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:45:35 AM PDT

  •  omg, the skilled volunteers over 60... (20+ / 0-)

    just so heartbreaking ...

    Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:47:55 AM PDT

    •  Actually, I think it's a good idea (14+ / 0-)

      Some of the effects of radiation exposure at certain levels may not be felt for several decades, and these workers likely would be dead by then anyway.

      It also seems characteristically Japanese from a cultural perspective - a form of self-sacrifice for the greater societal good.

      Of course, it would have been better were none of this necessary at all, but that's not the reality the people of Japan now face.  So, in light of that, it actually makes sense to me. I'm a scientist.  If I had skills that could help in a similar situation and I were in my late 60s or beyond, I think I would seriously consider volunteering for something like this.

      •  Workers Over 50 Or 60. . . (10+ / 0-)

        I beg to differ. . .

        Working in a nuke plant isn't an air conditioned office with a water cooler around every corner. . . In fact there are no water coolers around because you don't want to get an intake. . .

        During a normal refueling outage the work is tough. I'm in my early 50's and it's no longer the "workout" I once perceived it to be in my 40's.

        The job these folks have to do is massive physical labor often with respirators, which place a huge strain on the heart lungs.

        It REALLY sounds like a great idea, but let me assure it isn't going to work out well.

        Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

        by Gilmore on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:28:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the point is (4+ / 0-)

          that respirators may not be used in as many places as the people doing the work are not looking to lower exposure using personal protective equipment as much as a typical worker would. Because of their age and willingness to volunteer, I suspect they would likely be willing to accept higher exposure than a younger person might.

          I agree that respirators are tough on a person.  I had to wear them periodically in the early days of Superfund when I did field work.

        •  While what you say is true... (5+ / 0-)

          ...as a 60+ myself, I know that hard physical labor is more difficult at this stage of life than in earlier decades, and while I understand that the risk of immediate adverse health effects in the form of possible cardiovascular risk, etc. (not to mention the arthritic pain factor)--as a grandparent, I would put consideration of my grandchildren's futures over consideration of possible risk to myself, if I knew my work might save their lives and give them a future.

    •  Actually, I suggested (9+ / 0-)

      50 and older volunteers early on, since these responders are inevitably going to get limiting doses, and younger folks (breeders) really need to get as far away as possible. If they're lucky, the older folks won't develop cancers for 20 years, maybe longer or never. Their cells aren't reproducing fast anymore.

      But of course, the on-site death toll will skyrocket due to heat stroke/exhaustion and heart attacks and such. I surely wouldn't have gone anywhere near TMI-2 after the meltdown if I had been expecting to have any more children...

      Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

      by Joieau on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:20:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  have to say he we are in june (19+ / 0-)

    and the news just keeps growing worse and worse from all impact reports...

    Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:49:29 AM PDT

  •  So tired of imprecision (20+ / 0-)

    that in some cases seems deliberate.  Reporting like several times above regulatory limits.  How much is several, and while they are at it, why dont they put down an amount measured with mean and stnd errors.  And how many places were sampled?  Or like the quote above on strontium "10x above the pre accident amount."  Without knowing the pre accident amount and how much was actually measured this is meaningless.  And annoying.

    There seems to be a reluctance to let anyone conduct independent health risk assessments, for which you need exposure levels.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:53:48 AM PDT

    •  I agree. It's that imprecision which has (16+ / 0-)

      been nearly untenable in terms of oversight. It's what prompted Greenpeace to assess independently (and they released very extensive .pdf's with accurate information). Currently there is a bit of a gag order on the Japanese media. Coupled with TEPCO's own incomplete/incompetent information (they're now bankrupt as of yesterday, I believe it was), we really don't have full data. The USC has taken an excellent position on this throughout and is part of the model that I assume when following this all: question everything.

    •  Okay, I've found an actual measurement (15+ / 0-)

      of the Strontium levels being reported. However, I'm not sure what they mean in the context of health and soil (they're reported in becquerels, the significance of which differs depending on the type of substance that they're in):

      http://www.rttnews.com/...

      (RTTNews) - High levels of a radioactive substance that can cause cancer were found in soil samples from Japan's quake-wrecked nuclear power plant.

      Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, said on Wednesday that it had detected up to 480 becquerels of strontium-90 per kilogram of soil taken at three locations about 500 meters from two reactors at the plant.

      Japan's sole public broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday that the measurement was about 100 times higher than the maximum reading recorded in Fukushima prefecture in atmospheric nuclear tests conducted by foreign countries during the Cold War.

      It also states this...

      TEPCO also reported detection of 2,800 becquerels of strontium-89 per kilogram of soil at the same location, NHK said.

      In March, both strontium-90 and -89 were also found in soil and plants in Namie town and Iitate village, more than 30 kilometers from the ill-fated power station.

      I want to know where the reports for Strontium in Namie and Iitate have been hanging out because I have been reading these reports and have no recollection of these being published at all. And I have been looking.

    •  I third that, especially the measurement errors. (5+ / 0-)

      Since I used to be a nuclear material safeguards measurement engineer, I often wonder "what are the error bars on that" when I see a measurement, especially a radiation measurement. One of the main functions of my job was to come up with the error number, as it was a requirement that an overall error number for the entire special nuclear material inventory of the site be reported and also be defendable.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:51:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cynic that I am (16+ / 0-)

    especially as regards to corporate management, I suspect the only reason to admit to all the early meltdowns now is to divert attention from an ongoing bigger disaster(s).  

  •  I have a question about Tokyo (13+ / 0-)

    The world gymnastics championships are being held there in October.

    The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) met with Japanese officials and their scientists and assured them it was safe to hold the championships in Tokyo in October.

    It's an important competition, not only because it's the largest of the year, but also a first step for teams and individuals to qualify to the Olympics in London. However, many countries have expressed concern about going to Japan.

    Are they bullshitting us about Tokyo? How are the radiation levels there? I have some grave concerns....I mean, what do we really know?

  •  bringing all these awful facts to light (9+ / 0-)

    imp for many reasons, not the least of which is to give the most accurate and reliable data to those who are in a position to assess risk to the US and other parts of the world: through wind, rain, sea, foodstuffs and other imports that have the capacity to carry any dangerous material.

    We need to galvanize our inspections, not collapse into an attitude of 'everything's fine,' in order to protect all the industries interested in public silence.  Not to mention the all powerful nuke lobby. "Move along, these are not the droids you are looking for..."

    Protection of citizens (of the world) first.  Profits second.

    We belong to the "Party Of US" not the "Party of ME, ME, ME"  

    We believe in the common good and I believe, we need to fight for its protection right now.

    If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

    by SeaTurtle on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:15:46 AM PDT

    •  Cozy, Overly Reliant on Industry Self-Enforcement (8+ / 0-)

      insufficent in predicting or accepting predictions of severe events (I would add, even of which there was evidence of historical prescedent), lack of hardened on-site emergency response center, and inadequate defense in depth for severe long term combinations of external events (especially with common mode implications).  

      Tell me how this does not describe (with uncanny similarity) our  NRC's approach to spent fuel safety, reappraisal of seismic riskto all critical NPP systems (not just reactors) and long-term Loss of Offsite Power with implications of Station Blackout (for instance, in the event of regional grid loss from severe geomagnetic disturbance discussed here?
      , here, and here, with a free Executive Summary here (pdf).  

      We should be taking a serious look at whether the same recommendations should apply to the US and any other nation with NPPs.

      A reorganization of Japan'€™s atomic regulators is €œunavoidable, Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, said after the IAEA released its report.

      There's concern that things have become a little bit cozy and complacent, Stephen Lincoln, a professor at the University of Adelaide and a specialist in nuclear power, said by telephone today. It seems in Japan they relied very much on commercial operators to oversee the safety aspects, and if you are running a commercial operation you'€™ve got to make a profit.
      ...
      The events at Fukushima had been foretold in an investigation published in the U.S. two decades ago. The 1990 report by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent agency responsible for safety at the country’s power plants, identified earthquake-induced diesel generator failure and power outage leading to failure of cooling systems as one of the “most likely causes” of nuclear accidents from an external event.

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

      Excerpts from the IAEA webpage announcing release of the prelimiary report:

      International Fact-Finding Mission UpdatesUpdates of 22 May - 1 June 2011Staff Report

      ...
      •The tsunami hazard for several sites was underestimated. Nuclear plant designers and operators should appropriately evaluate and protect against the risks of all natural hazards, and should periodically update those assessments and assessment methodologies;

      •Nuclear regulatory systems should address extreme events adequately, including their periodic review, and should ensure that regulatory independence and clarity of roles are preserved; and

      •The Japanese accident demonstrates the value of hardened on-site Emergency Response Centres with adequate provisions for handling all necessary emergency roles, including communications.

      Exceprts from the IAEA INTERNATIONAL FACT FINDING EXPERT MISSION OF THE NUCLEAR ACCIDENT FOLLOWING THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE ANDTSUNAMI  24 May- 1 June 2011Preliminary Summary
      (I'll spare you what appears to be politically required gushing about how wonderful and transparent both the Govt and TEPCO have been in their response.) :

      They had to work in darkness with almost no instrumentation and control systems to secure the safety of six reactors, six associated fuel pools, a common fuel pool, and dry cask storage facilities.

      [In addition to the preliminary recommendations described above, the report also contains additional recommendations that deserve to be highlighted there and here. ITW]

      • Defence in depth, physical separation, diversity and redundancy requirements should be applied for extreme external events, particularly those with common mode implications such as extreme floods.
      ...
      • Severe long term combinations of external events should be adequately covered in design, operations, resourcing and emergency arrangements.
      ...
      • Hydrogen risks should be subject to detailed evaluation and necessary mitigation systems provided.

      • Emergency arrangements, especially for the early phases, should be designed to be robust in responding to severe accidents.

      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 Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 02:33:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hear your fury, ITW, when will DC? (6+ / 0-)

        I don't have the knowledge or background to assess what you have described, but it seems just god awful, samo, samo, 'profit is king.'

        Yes, this should put to death the merest whisper of the idea that industries/corps can or should regulate themselves.....

        UGH....but will it?  Or will the Koch (et al) spinmeisters weave a spider's web around it and call it cotton candy?  will they attack and demean (and send attacking twitters about) those who rip their benign masks off and reveal them for the worm-infested ravenous beasts that they are?

        If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

        by SeaTurtle on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 03:07:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What can be done to get the US media (13+ / 0-)

    to focus more attention on Fukushima? The rundown of events since ROV #57 is as bad a week at Fukushima as any, but it seems there is a media blackout.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:16:22 AM PDT

  •  link is broken (4+ / 0-)

    High radiation detected 190 miles down Japan's coast link is incomplete or missing

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I am a volunteer for Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:18:20 AM PDT

  •  Reading ,Writing and Radiation (4+ / 0-)

    That  is what most Japanese student look forward  on a school today, the IAEA should advise the Japanese that they have reached critical mass and they  should take steps too ensure the safety of Japanese student, It time for the Japanese too admit that only outside assistance could bring them from the brink of a nuclear abyss

    •  This seems to be a new story and a must-read (14+ / 0-)

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

      Fukushima effect: Japan schools take health precautions in radiation zone

      At first sight, there seems little out of the ordinary on this wet afternoon for the pupils of Oyama primary school. They wave from classroom windows as they rush to finish the day's cleaning chores; outside, the wind and rain sends the school's pet rabbits into a retreat deep inside their hutches.

      But buried beneath the surface of the school playing field is evidence that life in this village, about 40 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is far from normal: a large quantity of radioactive soil, wrapped in tarpaulin.

      -cut-

      In April, Japan's government sparked anger when it raised the upper limit of safe radiation exposure for children from 1 millisievert (mSv) a year to 20mSv a year, the same level the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends for nuclear plant workers.

      The decision prompted Toshiso Kosako, a Tokyo university professor, to tearfully announce his resignation as a government nuclear adviser, describing the revised upper limit as "intolerable".

      cont...

      For copyright reasons, I can't republish more than that, but really, it's an important overview of this issue. As a parent, it's hard to relay how this makes me feel (although I would guess most sane humans would respond similarly).

      •  Workers Exceed Pre-Fuku Emerg. Limit by 150%. (8+ / 0-)

        As with the exposure limit for children discussed above (which was increased by 20 times from 1 to 20) the exposure for workers inside the plant during the period of a nuclear emergency was also raised post-incident from 100 to 250 millisieverts.  

        So by exceeding the 250 limit they have already exceeded the 100 limit by 150%, at a bare minimum.

        How many other workers have exceeded the pre-incident limit previously in place "for nuclear-related emergencies"?  

        What is the limit for worker exposure during non-emergency, ordinary operations?

        If the exposure of these workers has exceeded the new limit of 250, the older limit of 100 by 150%, how many times over have many of them exceeded the limit established (pre-event) for ordinary workers during standard operations?

        Are employee's benefits and assistance from either the Japanese Government or from TEPCO affected by this 'revisionist' approach to worker safety?

        In other words, WTF?


        Measurements of external exposure and radioactive iodine in their thyroid glands suggested that the two male workers, one in his 30s and the other in his 40s, had surpassed the maximum set by the government of 250 millisieverts over the life of the control and clean-up project.

        Exposure to 250 millisieverts of radiation is equivalent to more than 400 stomach X-rays. That is below the level for acute radiation sickness. Experts are divided about the long term health effect but agree higher levels of exposure correspond to higher risk of cancers.

        The government relaxed its upper limit for exposure for the Fukushima disaster, allowing 250 millisieverts for male emergency workers compared with the conventional maximum of 100 millisieverts for nuclear-related emergencies. ...

        Fukushima workers may have passed radiation limit

        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 Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:03:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The IAEA needs to end their MoA with WHO (8+ / 0-)

      limiting the latter's involvement in nuclear power and radiation issues. The IAEA's mission statement includes promoting the use of nuclear energy. They are not suited to regulating or honestly overseeing the industry without a major overhaul of their own structure and personnel.

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

      by Andhakari on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:25:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Even Their Report Talks About the Need for (7+ / 0-)

        structural overhaul of the regulatory system and significant changes in existing facilities' readiness.

        (It also contains some gag-inducing flattery of both TEPCO and the Japanese Govt handling of the matter, including their 'transparency'.  It will be interesting to see how the re-write goes between preliminary and final.)

        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 Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 02:39:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Really great info (13+ / 0-)

    presented with links and without hyperbole. We need more of that.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:29:47 AM PDT

  •  Speculations that SFP #4 collapsed (8+ / 0-)

    From a Scientist in Hawaii, republished in a paper there.

    http://hawaiinewsdaily.com/...

    Not saying whether he's right or wrong. As he himself says, who knows? But worth cataloging since so far, the only speculation about the recent "boom" has been that it was a gas explosion of some type. Time will tell.

  •  500,000 Bq/Kg of radioactive Cesium 75 miles away (8+ / 0-)

    http://enenews.com/...

    Google Translation

    Professor Iwata Prefectural Assembly Committee on 山形大 ▽ “to stop dangerous agricultural cropping areas,” Proposal

    Special Committee on Earthquake East subcommittee of the County Council in 30 days, the impact on the dispersal of radioactive materials within the prefecture, after hearing the opinions from the experts. Professor Iwata Takahiro of Science 山形大 level “does not have any living normal” adding, “and sludge on the drain, there is a risk of high concentration topical damned swept and rain of radioactive material,” he said was.

    Professor Iwata and reporting of radioactive cesium was detected 500,000 becquerels per kg of the roof drains from the surrounding dust Yamagata University. The comparable figures were detected in the sludge of sewage treatment plants in Fukushima Prefecture, “‘s possible that soil contaminated with high concentrations in the agricultural land is undeniable. Also avoid harmful rumor, find a hazard, crop such measures must be taken not “and suggested.

    Every moment in life contains an off ramp. Never be afraid to use it.

    by Adept2u on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:52:46 AM PDT

  •  Great job on gathering all this info, Thanks, (9+ / 0-)

    depressing as it is.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 11:53:01 AM PDT

  •  Thanks mahakali (8+ / 0-)

    for all the information. It's like the media in this country has totally lost interest. Meanwhile in Germany, massive anti-nuke demonstrations and yesterday it was announced that they're going to shut down all of the country's nuclear power plants by 2022.

  •  Low level radiation in California produce/milk (6+ / 0-)

    Found this from another link (here: http://redgreenandblue.org/...):

    On May 25, the University of California Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering (UCB)—one of the few organizations testing food, soil, air and water in the U.S.—reported that it had detected the highest level of radioactive cesium 137 in nearly a month in raw milk samples taken from a dairy in Sonoma County where the cows are grass fed. UCB also reported elevated levels of cesium 134 and cesium 137 in pasteurized, homogenized milk samples with a “best by” date of May 26 from a Bay Area organic dairy “where the farmers are encouraged to feed their cows local grass.”

    From there I link to this...

    http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/...

    and this:

    Table of current (5/25) UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department's tests of radioactive material in California produce from Fukushima:

    http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/...

    Not sure that I see the data from the tables that appear in the Op-Ed, however? UC Berkeley keeps reporting declining levels, although there are a lot of links and tables here and perhaps I'm not going through the correct one.

    •  The discrepancy may lie here, not sure? (6+ / 0-)

      http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/...

      5/24 (10:17am): Since we have at this point received several "raw" milk samples, including five from a single farm, we have created a separate page for raw milk results, including plots of that farm's data.

      In the process of refining the raw milk data, we found that we accidentally overestimated the Iodine-131 concentrations in raw milk. Our first measurements of raw milk had been reported with levels of I-131 that were much higher than store-bought milk. The root of the problem was that our analysis code accidentally over-corrected for the decay of I-131 in raw milk, and so the activity reported for I-131 was about 5 times too high. We have revised the code to report the correct activity, and the values are on par with the store-bought milk. This includes recent non-detections of I-131, and declining levels of Cs-134 and Cs-137.

  •  Keep up the good work ! ! ! (5+ / 0-)

    If you need help with coding next time, send me a message.

    Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

    by Gilmore on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 12:39:30 PM PDT

  •  US Plant: Forced Shutdown (7+ / 0-)

    Limerick Station in PN

    Unit 2 shut down early Sunday morning when a turbine control valve tripped after scheduled testing and maintenance on an electrical system in a non-nuclear section of the power plant.

    http://www.therepublic.com/...

    Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

    by Gilmore on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 01:16:12 PM PDT

    •  PN should be PA as in Pennsylvania (5+ / 0-)

      I was like "Papua NewGuinea??"

      Anyways, just another nothing to see here moment in the history of nuclear power. Thanks for the link.

      No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

      by Magster on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 01:19:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ?? Tests to uprate capacity? Timing seems right? (5+ / 0-)
      NRC Grants Exelon a Power Uprate for Limerick Reactors
      April 12, 2011
      ...
      On Monday the agency announced that it has approved Exelon’s application to increase the generating capacity at each of the plant’s two units by 1.65 percent. The approval will boost the units’ electric power output to 1,205 megawatts, according to an NRC release. Exelon plans to make the changes to unit 1 within 90 days and to increase power at unit 2 after a refueling outage scheduled for later this year.

      After analyzing the plant’s fire protection, accident evaluations, nuclear steam supply, instrumentation, electrical and other systems, the agency determined that “Exelon could safely increase the reactors’ power output primarily through more accurate means of measuring feed-water flow,” according to the release.

      Limerick uses two General Electric Type 4 boiling water reactors with Mark II containment, according to the NRC.
      ...

      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 Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 02:56:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Status of GI-199 Individual NPP Seismic Tests? (6+ / 0-)
      As a result of the new seismic data, the NRC study looked at all 104 nuclear plants in the country and increased the risk probability of an earthquake damaging many of them. In fact, only eight had their risk of earthquake damage lowered, MSNBC reported.

      The risk of an earthquake damaging either or both reactors at Limerick was increased by 141 percent, now making it the third most at risk, after the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant in Plymouth Mass. and the Indian Point Atomic Generating Station in Buchanan, N.Y., according to the analysis by MSNBC.

      ...
      As a next step, the NRC has now selected several plants from which it will seek additional data in order to get a better estimate of the possibility of catastrophic failure from an earthquake.

      NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan confirmed on March 12 that the NRC has selected Limerick as one of the plants requiring further study....

      http://www.thereporteronline.com/...

      Have to check if the NRC included testing of some kind in its enhanced review under GI-199.

      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 Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Link not working (4+ / 0-)

    The story about the retirees links to a diary that has been deleted.  The actual article seems to be here http://abcnews.go.com/...

  •  Did you see the batshit crazy NYT article 5/30? (7+ / 0-)

    You excerpted it.  In the larger article, the "journalists" argued that despite Fukushima, Japanese civilians are still clamoring to have nuclear plants located near them.

    Thanks again for your work.

    •  It's possible that some may not know (6+ / 0-)

      the extent of the situation given the media censorship; that was definitely a factor initially... and that was before measures were increased to avoid media "rumors." While I'm not sure if it's a matter of that, or of economic desperation, either way it's interesting. As we know in this Country, people don't always well understand their own interests when they live in a Nation with serious corporate stranglehold on propaganda and spin.

      Not sure if you ever saw TEPCO's old brochures, but they made it out like they were putting up the fountain of eternal youth or something. Really, really big spin there.

      You're entirely welcome; glad to help keep others informed and involved.

  •  Breaking: Nuclear water - 5 days until overflow (9+ / 0-)

    and apparently they've begun the process of entombing some of it in concrete?

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

    Radioactive water accumulating in Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant is set to start overflowing from storage trenches in five days, data provided by the company show.

    To prevent leakage into the ocean, the utility has poured concrete and gravel to seal off storage trenches closest to the sea containing water from the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, according to Hikaru Kuroda, a nuclear facility maintenance official at the company.

    “Even as we have sealed these trenches, there is still the risk of radioactive water leaking into the sea,” he said to reporters after a media conference yesterday. The company is seeking additional storage space to move the water from trenches to reduce such risk, he said.

    cont...

    due to copyright reasons, I cannot repost the entire article but... you should read this.

  •  RIP nathguy. Skull and crossboned mojo status (4+ / 0-)

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 08:48:20 PM PDT

  •  Fatigue sets in on nuke responders (8+ / 0-)

    From The Japan Times:

    Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are facing an increased risk of accidents due to human error caused by chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue, an expert on social medicine said Wednesday in Tokyo, as he called for improved working conditions at the plant.

    Ehime University professor Takeshi Tanigawa, who has visited the crippled power plant twice since the March 11 quake, said workers are getting only two days off every four days as they go about the trying task of keeping the nuclear reactors cool. Although they finally got separate beds last month, the workers still don't have proper shower facilities, he noted.
    ...

    "There is the danger of their work, and they are also themselves victims of the earthquake," Tanigawa said, adding that most lost at least one family member or friend in the disaster.

    There is also mention they have cut the number of workers, increasing the workload for those remaining. It's not clear if that cut was discretionary of whether they are losing staff due to exposure limits.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 06:57:02 AM PDT

  •  First mention of Daini in a long time (5+ / 0-)

    A blurb from The Japan Times about energy contracts between TEPCO and Tohoku Electric focuses on the Fukushima #2 plant:

    Tohoku Electric Power Co. may seek compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co. over its failure to meet a power supply contract following the March quake and tsunami, sources said.
    ...

    Tohoku Electric contributed 25 percent of the funds used to build reactors 3 and 4 at the Fukushima No. 2 plant and is entitled to receive the same percentage of electricity generated by them. But Tepco has failed to deliver on the contract due to damage to the plant from the disaster, the sources said.
    ...

    Tohoku Electric could demand compensation worth tens of billions of yen if reactors 3 and 4 at the No. 2 plant are decommissioned, the sources said.
    ...

    I don't know if that last bit was simply speculation drawing from the uncertainty of nuclear plants on the east coast of Japan, or whether Daini actually sustained some damage that puts its future in doubt. There has been very little said about that plant.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 07:05:04 AM PDT

  •  Water situation is looking grim (8+ / 0-)

    From NHK World:

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is struggling to remove pools of highly radioactive wastewater as fears of an overflow get more intense.
    ...

    The utility is also considering using 2 additional buildings inside the compound as storage.

    The level of wastewater inside the No.1 reactor building dropped 8 centimeters on Thursday morning from Wednesday, unlike the other facilities.

    It's been noted before how close the various pools and trenches of water are to overflowing but this bit about #1's level falling stood out. Looking at TEPCO's report on the water in the subdrains (PDF) you'll see that the contamination levels in the drain of #1 is rising again.

    It was reported a week or more ago that the water level in the treatment facility, the primary store for water removed from the reactor buildings, was falling as well. So it seems the treatment facility and #1 are no longer water tight and bad water is seeping out into the surrounding groundwater.

    There has been no mention of what they do with the water collecting in the subdrains, if anything. The can't have unlimited capactity and if they pump them there's no mention of where they pump them to.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 07:35:57 AM PDT

    •  And TEPCO has no real plan here (5+ / 0-)

      from their 6/2 press release (to NISA mainly):

      On May 20th, 2011, NISA received a countermeasure report from TEPCO against water including radioactive materials (hereafter called "contaminated water") to the outside from around the intake canal of Unit 3 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

      On the report, as countermeasures to prevention of recurrence, obstructing the shaft, installing some sandbags inside the intake canal, implementing
      circulating purification system, etc. will be implemented.
      Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (hereafter called "NISA"), in addition to countermeasures TEPCO reported, would like TEPCO to implement following actions by each due date in order to enhance countermeasures against prevention of recurrence of contaminated water outflow at the site.

      1. On TEPCO's report, although 27 points of vertical shafts, which lead to seawater piping trench will be obstructed using concrete etc by the end of June, 2011, we would like TEPCO to investigate the status of vertical
      shafts and seawalls (cracks of quay etc.), which has not been confirmed the status yet. For such points that TEPCO cannot deny the possibility of water outflow, TEPCO should take countermeasures to prevent water
      outflows and report to NISA by June 1st, 2011.

      2. On TEPCO's report, continuous monitoring of seawater inside/outside of port at the site and enhancing monitoring system as same as Unit 2 for
      analyzing seawater inside of the silt fences at Unit 1, Unit 3 and Unit 4 will be implemented. However, we would like TEPCO, in addition to the above mentioned measures, if TEPCO confirms significant increase in density of radioactive materials based on the result of monitoring inside the port, TEPCO should immediately conduct visual investigation etc... around the port and if some water outflows are confirmed, TEPCO should
      implement proper measures to stop the water outflows. Also, the results must be reported to NISA.

      3. Accumulated contaminated water should be property reduced and to decrease the possibility of occurrence of water outflow, TEPCO should conduct investigation to a maximum extent regarding the status of accumulated water inside the facility. The storage and disposal plan for contaminated water must be reported to NISA by June 1st, 2011.

      For anyone ambitious, it looks like they haven't checked for Plutonium in the water since the 18th, but the NRC has ordered them to. Their are .pdf files in there that my computer can't read ("dots" instead of characters). If anyone wants to take a stab at TEPCO's recent Plutonium monitoring under NRC orders, feel free. With all of the water about to go flooding into the sea, it seems kind of pertinent.

  •  Why does this warrant an article? (5+ / 0-)

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

    Governmental workers, trying to save power, aren't using their A/C's... so instead of wearing business suits, they're wearing short sleeved and Hawaiian shirts and jeans.

    Of course, as everyone in California knows, in hot weather we don't always have A/C -- it can go from 100 to 50 over the course of a day. So we have that whole California casual look. I've known many business people who lived in jeans and polo shirts or short sleeved, lightweight shirts.

    Why is this news?

  •  Energy efficiency as the solution (7+ / 0-)

    This is what I feel is what can ultimately make up some of the nuclear power loss without any trouble (Hawaiian shirts aside)...

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

    Energy-efficiency companies are the “stand-out” winners after Japan’s atomic-power disaster that resulted from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Impax Asset Management Group Plc (IPX) Chief Executive Officer Ian Simm said.

    Rising oil prices, political unrest in countries from Libya to Bahrain and Germany’s retreat from nuclear energy after Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi suffered a reactor meltdown have boosted interest in environmental markets, a sector that includes efficiency, renewable power and water management, Simm said today in a telephone interview.

    “Energy efficiency is probably the stand-out winner,” Simm said. “The payback periods on investments reduce significantly as the oil price goes up. The logic is that everybody has an incentive to save money when oil is over $100 a barrel.”

    cont...

  •  Really really well done here (8+ / 0-)

    This is Facebook-friendly.

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 07:53:29 AM PDT

  •  Incredible site for food contamination data (9+ / 0-)

    It seems to be put together by citizens. You have to Google translate (top right option) to "English" and then click "View summary results"

    http://yasaikensa.cloudapp.net/

    After that, you can see what is currently over the legal limits for several nuclides, at what rates, from where, and by what province.

    Salmon, for example:

    http://yasaikensa.cloudapp.net/...

    All neatly graphed out, I can see that salmon has tested just barely over the 500 bcq limit (conveniently broken down by foodstuff on the main page) for cesium on two occasions... 5/23... in Fukushima and Date City.

    If I click the "more" tab on the right, I can map it:

    http://yasaikensa.cloudapp.net/...

    This site should definitely be added to our database!

  •  Aggregator of all radiation aggregators (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.safecast.org/

    radiation readings throughout Japan sourced from official, non-profit/educational, and crowd sourced rates.

    Another well worth adding to the database, IMHO.

  •  Live - future of nuclear energy on cspan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, mamamedusa, peraspera

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

    by Just Bob on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:24:46 PM PDT

    •  Chairman focusing on spent fuel (4+ / 0-)

      and advocating Yucca Mountain.

      No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

      by Magster on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:32:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I am here to learn from people who know more... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Into The Woods, mamamedusa, peraspera

        Is Yucca Mountain worse (excluding for this question the valid NIMBY arguments Nevadans have) than having overloaded SFPs at each of the nuclear plants, considering what is going on in Japan?  

        No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

        by Magster on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:35:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Waxman is awesome (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, peraspera

          Can't wait 'til 2012.

          No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

          by Magster on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:49:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nevermind, Rep. Berkley just explained... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, peraspera

          very eloquently.

          No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

          by Magster on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 12:53:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Problem is, by the time Yucca Mtn Was Ready (5+ / 0-)

          I think we'd have almost enough fuel to fill it to it's current statutory capacity.  (The idea is evidently that the authorized capacity could be increased by around 70%.)

          It's an ugly issue with only ugly and uglier solutions.  

          A 2009 CRS report and two recent GAO reports here and here,  give some worthwhile background.

          The timelines involved during which containment of these spent fuels and waste must be maintained is literally hard to imagine.

          Senator Reid expressed support for President Obama’s Energy Secretary, former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Steven Chu, contending that “Dr. Chu also knows, like most Nevadans, that Yucca Mountain is not a viable solution for dumping and dealing with nuclear waste.”12 In a 2005 interview posted on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory website, Chu noted projections from his lab that waste canisters in Yucca Mountain would begin to fail after about 5,000 years, which would require the underlying rock formations to prevent unacceptable migration of radioactive material into the groundwater.13

          ...

          Under NWPA, EPA sets the radiation protection standard that NRC must use in licensing Yucca Mountain. After an earlier version of the standard was struck down by a federal court, EPA published a final standard October 15, 2008, which sets individual radiation exposure limits of 15 millirems for the first 10,000 years after disposal and 100 millirems after 10,000 through one million years.15 The State of Nevada has sued to overturn the EPA regulations, contending that there is no justification for a higher limit after 10,000 years.16

          http://assets.opencrs.com/...

          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 Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 04:58:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Motion to withdraw from Yucca Mountain - DOE (6+ / 0-)

      http://www.energy.gov/...

      The science of Yucca Mountain investigations has advanced over the decades to the point it is no longer a viable plan due to geology and hydrology. There will be earthquakes. There will be water intrusion.

      The EPA requirement to protect the waste as long as it is dangerous was the deathblow. We can neither demonstrate, nor even imagine, any technology that will endure for hundreds of thousands of years.

      There was once a concept of deep ocean sequestration in some area like the Mariana Trench. Then we discovered hydrothermal vents.

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

      by Just Bob on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 01:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  8:30pm EST for me, which is 9:30 am june 3 (5+ / 0-)

    for the TEPCO live feed.

    I've seen what looks like it could be morning fog, which rolled in from the right over the last half-hour.

    I check the weather at wunderground and they say, "partly cloudy."

    Is this smoke? Or is it fog? Is there a wide-angle live angle of Fukushima, or aerial, available, anyone know?


    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 Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 05:34:32 PM PDT

  •  Breaking: Radioactive water is rising (8+ / 0-)

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

    Just up less than an hour ago...

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the amount of radioactive water accumulated at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant increased to about 105 million liters (28 million gallons).

    The water may start overflowing from service trenches after June 20, the company known as Tepco said in a statement. The amount of radiation in the water is estimated to be 720,000 terabecquerels, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the company, said at a briefing in Tokyo today.

    A de-contamination unit being built at the plant will start operating after June 15 and an underground tank capable of holding 10 million liters will be installed by the middle of August, Tepco said in the statement.

    cont...

    Bear in mind that earlier today, Bloomberg (who have been the first up with news suddenly for a few days now... odd...) was saying that it was estimated to potentially overflow by June 6th. Unsure if this is just their deferring to TEPCO or what.

    •  TEPCO to use another condenser to store water (5+ / 0-)

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

      The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to resume transferring radioactive-contaminated water within the No. 3 reactor’s turbine building by securing additional room to pool it, company officials said Thursday.
      [...]
      The officials said TEPCO plans to transfer water in a condenser to a temporary storage tank, and then fill the condenser with the tainted water from the No. 3 unit’s turbine building.

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

      by Just Bob on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 03:11:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TEPCO fears that water filtering might not work. (6+ / 0-)

    It seems odd that TEPCO would express concern over the French filtration system working without stating why.

    NHK WORLD English

    ...TEPCO says 16,200 tons of water has been leaked outside Number One, 24,600 tons at Number 2, 28,100 tons at Number 3 and 22,900 tons at Number 4. It says another 13,300 tons of water has already been moved to a storage facility.

    It says the 105,100 tons of water contains an estimated 720,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances. Tera stands for one trillion.

    On June 15th, TEPCO plans to start using equipment that can filter 1,200 tons of toxic water a day. In mid-August, it will also install an underground storage tank that can hold 100,000 tons of highly radioactive water.

    TEPCO fears that the toxic water could overflow if the filter fails to work. It plans to secure more storage facilities.

    Friday, June 03, 2011 14:05 +0900 (JST)

  •  Water inlets to sea to be plugged by end of month (6+ / 0-)

    Good news that #2 temperature is down.

    TEPCO plans to seal off water inlets at damaged nuclear plant by end of June - The Mainichi Daily News

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has submitted plans to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to finish blocking water inlets near intakes at its damaged Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant by the end of the month, company officials said on June 2.

    By June 2, TEPCO had filled in 28 of the 45 tunnel entrances and pits near intakes of the plant's No. 1 to 4 reactors. It plans to seal off the remaining 17 by the end of the month. The pits and tunnel entrances are connected to the reactors' turbine buildings, and it is possible they have contributed to the flow of contaminated water.

    So far 4.7 petabecquerels of radiation have been detected near the intake of the plant's No. 2 reactor, while 20 terabecquerels have been recorded near the No. 3 reactor -- far exceeding the limit allowed to be released into the sea. Responding to the massive leaks of radiation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency asked TEPCO to submit a report by June 1 to rectify the situation.

    On the evening of June 2, TEPCO announced that the temperature in the pool for spent fuel at the plant's No. 2 reactor had fallen to 40 degrees Celsius over a two-day period after it started a circulatory cooling system....

  •  Ashai Shimbun editorializes on worker safety (5+ / 0-)

    asahi.com(朝日新聞社):EDITORIAL: It is essential to protect health of workers at Fukushima plant - English

    It's good to see that someone is speaking up for much-needed improvements in working conditions for the Fukushima workers.

    ...
    Of the 7,800 workers engaged in the efforts to contain the crisis, only 1,800 have so far been checked for internal exposure.

    All should be checked swiftly.

    Measuring radioactivity within the human body requires a special instrument called a whole body counter.

    TEPCO has only several of these units.

    The company should seek cooperation from medical institutions across the nation to check the emergency workers for internal exposure as soon as possible.

    TEPCO also needs to review measures to protect workers from radiation and the on-site risk management system.

    It should be remembered that the airtight masks and radiation protection suits will put a huge physical strain on the workers as temperatures and humidity rises in the coming weeks.

    All practical ideas should be considered to figure out ways to secure a safe working environment at the radiation-spewing plant.

    Needless to say, it is also essential to improve the living conditions of the people tackling tough and risky tasks at the plant and enhance health care for them.

  •  Government bans some tea leaves from market (5+ / 0-)

    From Japan Today:

    The government banned on Thursday the shipment of green tea leaves grown in four prefectures in eastern Japan after samples were found contaminated with radioactive cesium above the permitted level. The shipment ban covers tea leaves, including dried leaves in a processing stage, harvested in parts of Tochigi, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures and all of Ibaraki Prefecture, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.

    It is the first time tea leave shipments have been banned after radiation leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by the quake-tsunami disaster in March began to cause shipment restrictions for some farm and fishery products.

    This has come up before: the production sites for some of these tea leaves is quite a ways from Daiichi. Anyone know if tea plants concentrate cesium? This contamination has quite the range so far and can't get anything but worse as they look closer.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 06:26:45 AM PDT

    •  Tea and cesium-137 (5+ / 0-)

      Some claim that because tea is not eaten but instead brewed, that it should be treated differently than "vegetable," (500 bcq limit) or "water" (200 bcq limit). Unsure if this answers your question about tea plants concentrating cesium? Basically, certain plants are particularly good at concentrating Cesium, and so we saw sunflowers IIRC grown around Chernobyl to leach the soil (also of Strontium). But all plants are good at this to varying degrees, because they do store Cesium -- although I cannot recall what it element it tends to replace; Strontium replaces Calcium and thus tends to collect in calcium-rich plants... Cesium, I don't remember specifically and cannot find it online now. But it readily enters into plants and then sticks around for a while.

      My guess is two-fold about why tea from so far away are collecting high rates of Cesium:

      1. It must be like sunflowers or mushrooms, with some chemical constituent or biological structure that readily precipitates Cesium aggregation. (if it's high in these regions, my next question would be how are wild-grown mushrooms rating? Are they also high? Shiitakes have shown to be good Cesium absorbers if grown outdoors... thus restrictions abound on wild shiitakes too).

      and

      2. Higher rates of Cesium collected in some far, "leopard-spot" pockets, characteristic of fallout, further than the Japanese Government has yet fully realized.

      It's half life is almost 30 years.

      I'm going to think more about this. It's a very good question for a Botanist or Biologist, as well as, perhaps, a Chemist. I wonder if this has been discussed by any of the Biological Societies which Japan surely must have?

      •  Is it just the tea leaves themselves (4+ / 0-)

        or are the processing plants or collection centers getting contaminated now too from the radioactive tea? If the soil and the plants are contaminated for 30 + years, the Japanese tea industry is in deep trouble.  I imagine the same can be said for many other agricultural products as well.

        At least Cesium has a honey/lemon flavor...

        No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

        by Magster on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 09:02:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As for using plants to sequester, ... (4+ / 0-)

        the part I never hear about it 'what then?' All the plants I've heard mentioned in that regard are short lived and the cesium is destined to be recycled back into the environment after the plant dies unless the plants are harvested and 'disposed of.'

        Along this line, I find no mention of just what farmers are supposed to do with all this banned produce.

        Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

        by ricklewsive on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 09:03:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I think they ought to do is as (5+ / 0-)

          as they are doing with chickens. Dispose of the bio-hazardous waste now and be compensated by the Japanese Government (at least) for it, if TEPCO cannot directly compensate them, because the risk of keeping around a radioactive plant (meaning, in this case, a camellia plant) is not good.

          Camellia Sinensis can have a life span of up to 50 years, although I'm not sure if the Japanese process their entire tea plants or let them grow and keep bearing leaves (more like an apple tree than, say, growing spinach) because they produce Kukicha tea from the stems. Unsure if they ever cut the entire plants down (although it doesn't look like it in the video above, then again, perhaps that is only for Matcha and also, presumably, Sencha).

          Yes, some plants, spinach, say, would aggregate Cesium in the short term and then subject to a recycling back into the environmental chain on its own unless harvested. But with tea, it's a shrub -- really a tree -- and so it continues to produce leaves... what a mess. Are they meant to chop the whole tea plants down? Are they doing this, moreover?

          This is a definite issue.

          Even for me. I'm an enormous consumer of Japanese tea... I drink pots and pots per day of it.

          I'll see if I can find out what is happening to any of the banned goods since no, other than with livestock, I haven't seen it mentioned either.

          •  Okay, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, (5+ / 0-)

            and Fisheries, here is what they are telling Japanese farmers to do with produce that has high radioactivity levels, based on advice from the NRC:

            http://www.maff.go.jp/...

            Vegetables

            - Plowing them under farmland and burning them are not recommended.

             * Some of them are not checked their level of radioactive substances, yet.

            - Re-spread of radioactive substances must be avoided.

            - The vegetables after harvest should be gathered and stored in one place.

            - The vegetables can be harvested without plowing if they leave unharvested. After their harvest, farm works such as tillage can be done. Those harvested products should be gathered and stored in one place except for the evacuation zones and planned evacuation zones.

            also

            Common guidance

            Q1. Until when do we have to continue this response?

            A1. In principle, this response will be required until the radioactive substances' release from the Nuclear Power Plant ends and the situation of radioactive substances' spread becomes clear. According to the circumstances of the moment, new information will be provided.

            Vegetables
            Q2. Does the difference of “burning” contain the burning through the waste collection by municipality?

            A2. Yes.

            Q3. What does it mean concretely “be gathered and stored in one place”?

            A3. It can be stacked in the limited area in the farmland or store them in the packing mode. As its purpose is to prevent the spread of radioactive substances, it is not required to store literally all vegetables in one place and it is enough to recognize where you store them.

            Q4. What should we need to do after we store the vegetables?

            A4. Regarding a disposal method of the stored vegetables, MAFF is now under discussion with related authorities.

            Q5. Do we need to do something to the vegetables plowed? How about the vegetables which is already distributed?

            A5. There is no need to do specially regarding the vegetables disposed or distributed to the market before the shipment restraint.

            So, it sounds like it's still being discussed with "related authorities." This is their most recent update on the matter from April 26. It seems generally inadequate. It also doesn't sound like there is any compensation.

  •  Kan faces renewed calls for early resignation (4+ / 0-)

    Surprising this has not been talked about much. Kan survived a vote of no confidence this week after he pledged to resign once the nuclear crisis was under control. That is a pretty vague target. Now he says maybe January, but the powers that be are not happy with him. I wish some of the folks in the know might fill in the blanks. He seems to be standing up to the industry-banker-government power structure and I don't know what happens if he's tossed out.

    From Japan Today:

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday faced renewed calls for his resignation in the immediate future from both ruling and opposition lawmakers, only a day after he survived a no-confidence motion in parliament.

    There are no signs that Kan will be able to get out of the current morass as even members of his cabinet have started to push him into corner, with Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto, who is also in charge of disaster management, saying Kan should be replaced by the end of this month.
    ...

    Ruling party lawmakers who helped Kan at the last minute to vote down the opposition-sponsored motion in the House of Representatives on the premise that he would step down soon say they are angry, claiming they have been duped by him.
    ...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 06:34:22 AM PDT

  •  New, longish article on the water overflow issues (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    too long to quote but page 2 mentions documents detailing the buildings. Also, quotes from Dave Lochbaum of the UCS and discusses the whole feed and bleed flawed method.

  •  IAEA's report contains surprisingly upbeat tone (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/...

    As the IAEA notes:

        To date no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident.

    Feet melting anyone?

    •  IAEA deems Japan's response "exemplary" (3+ / 0-)

      unless Bloomberg is intending to go into competition with The Onion.

      I interpret that to mean that what we are seeing in Japan is the best that all the golden nuclear boys and girls on the planet can muster. IAEA was quite critical of Japan's behavior before the fact so I am expecting to be hearing a lot of spin in the future about preventative measures and crickets about improved crisis response.

      IAEA Says Japan's Nuclear Regulators Need More Oversight After Fukushima - Bloomberg

      Jun 1, 2011 4:33 AM CT
      ...
      “Japan’s response to the nuclear accident has been
      exemplary, particularly illustrated by the dedicated, determined and expert staff working under exceptional circumstances,”
      the report said.

      Nuclear power can exist even amid natural disasters as long as the safety of reactors is secured, Mike Weightman, the leader of the IAEA fact-finding team in Japan, said at a news conference.

      “We cannot predict natural disaster precisely, but you can try to predict the consequence of it,” Weightman said at a news conference in Tokyo today. “That’s the lesson taken way to the world.”

  •  Hey, the youtube guy responded to me... (5+ / 0-)

    saying he found the video from the earthquake last night on the live feed and will be uploading it shortly.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 12:41:06 PM PDT

  •  FOOW diaried on the water overflow situation (7+ / 0-)
  •  New plant high of 3,000–4,000 mSv at #1 (6+ / 0-)

    There is no indication of why the basement water is hot enough to be giving off steam nor what level of radioactive contamination they expect the steam to carry offsite. Also absent, any mention of why things have reached this unfortunate state of affairs.

    No potential fix is mentioned.

    Steam, high radiation detected at No.1 reactor | NHK WORLD English

    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says steam was observed coming out of the floor of the No.1 reactor building, and extremely high radiation was detected in the vicinity.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company inspected the inside of the No.1 reactor building on Friday with a remote-controlled robot.

    TEPCO said it found that steam was rising from a crevice in the floor, and that extremely high radiation of 3,000 to 4,000 millisieverts per hour was measured around the area. The radiation is believed to be the highest detected in the air at the plant.

    TEPCO says the steam is likely coming from water at a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius that has accumulated in the basement of the reactor building.

    The company sees no major impact from the radiation so far on ongoing work, as it has been detected only within a limited section of the building.
    ...
    Saturday, June 04, 2011 13:23 +0900 (JST)


  •  Tanks for radioactive water on the way (5+ / 0-)

    Better late than never but it is disturbing that TEPCO did not previously act on what should have been an obvious need. Also, TEPCO is finally getting around to installing accurate pressure monitors to the replace the ones they suspect are providing iffy readings.

    Fukushima nuclear plant gets radioactive water tanks - The Mainichi Daily News

    Tanks for storing radioactive water were on their way Saturday to the crippled nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan where reactor cores melted after the massive earthquake and tsunami.
    ...
    Two of the 370 tanks were due to arrive Saturday from a manufacturer in nearby Tochigi Prefecture, TEPCO said. Two hundred of them can store 100 tons, and 170 can store 120 tons.

    The tanks will continue arriving through August, and will store a total of 40,000 tons of radioactive water.
    ...
    TEPCO also said robots with cameras that entered Unit 1 --one of the three reactors whose cores have melted -- found Friday that steam was spewing from the floor. Nationally televised news Saturday showed blurry video of steady smoke curling up from an opening in the reactor floor.

    The radioactive fumes were suspected to be coming from the suppression pool area, which is near the reactor core.
    ...
    In one progress update, TEPCO said workers were successful in attaching additional pressure monitors at Unit 1. The plan is to keep adding pressure-reading equipment at all three hobbled reactors. The ones already there may have been damaged by the tsunami and quake, and may not be working properly.
    ...

    (Mainichi Japan) June 4, 2011


    •  To be fair (6+ / 0-)

      given the scheduling of the deliveries it looks like the tanks are being fabricated and sent as completed, so they likely ordered them some time ago. The magnitude and dynamics of the water problem has taken some time to comprehend. I'm sure it has come as a shock to them to realize massive storage of water has become the only answer short of simply dumping it over the side, which they are trying to avoid.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Sat Jun 04, 2011 at 07:22:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fuck Fair the dumb asses (4+ / 0-)

        So when the Gulf spewed how quickly did dumb as media heathers suggest rolling an oil tanker or a fleet of oil tankers in there.  It's not rocket science to think the water you put in someplace has to go someplace, and the idea of oil tankers, fleets of barges and etc just aint that hard.  Fuck thier shock, fuck their ineptitude we need to get the Hague opened up these motherfuckers were minimizing cost and hiding from responsibility at all points in time, fuck them fuck them fuck them.

        Every moment in life contains an off ramp. Never be afraid to use it.

        by Adept2u on Sat Jun 04, 2011 at 07:26:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NISI admits to more critical data bogarting (8+ / 0-)

    One wonders what type of magical thinking NISA was engaging in to think they could hide the fact that the fuel had melted.

    Gov't didn't release radiation data after accident | NHK WORLD English

    The Japanese government has expressed regret for not disclosing some important results of the radiation monitoring conducted near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant soon after the accident.
    ...
    A reading on March 12th, one day after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the plant, shows that radioactive tellurium was detected 7 kilometers away. Tellurium is produced during the melting of nuclear fuel.

    Three hours before the data was collected, the government expanded the radius of the evacuation area around the plant from 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers.

    But the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported at a news conference several hours later that the nuclear fuel was intact.

    The government also failed to disclose the high radiation levels in weeds 30 to 50 kilometers from the plant. On March 15th, 123 million becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per kilogram were detected 38 kilometers northeast of the plant.
    ...
    Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu of Gakushuin University says radioactive iodine has a high effect on children. He says that if the data had been released earlier, more measures could have been taken to protect them from exposure.

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 15:27 +0900 (JST)


    •  Te and other fission products were also noted on (4+ / 0-)

      an online forum filled with amateur bloggers who noticed that the Fukushima nuclear disaster seemed to be put on by the opium-riddled cast of a lost Monty Python episode. Next time, can they spare us all and just make it into an Ice-Capade version instead? That would be dandy.

      Bogarting data is correct.

      And even I have been banging the drum about radioactive iodine and exposure risks since day one of blogging here.  Professor Muramatsu is right to say this.

      What absolutely hubris from TEPCO and the rest.

      I felt the reactors were breached very early on after reading some of the more "reassuring" diaries here that it wasn't. Unsure why. Something about seeing the forest for the trees. The individual trees, there were too many of them, too many signs that there was a bigger problem than was being discussed. Also, we'd all seen this before. Since when doesn't it go this way with giant corporations? Lies. Check. Cover ups. Check. Arrogance. Check.

      We were also told that cigarettes didn't cause cancer either for decades.

      I believe in being reality-based and Science-oriented. But sometimes there are these gaps that just seem absurd. TEPCO is a prime example of this. I wouldn't trust them to change my car oil let alone deal with a nuclear meltdown.

  •  TEPCO still confused about #1 hydrogen explosion (5+ / 0-)

    Despite the Mainichi headline TEPCO is still wandering around in "probably" and "possible" land.

    TEPCO says venting failure caused hydrogen explosion at No. 1 reactor - The Mainichi Daily News

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has announced that an explosion at the No. 1 reactor of its crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in March was possibly triggered by a failure to vent hydrogen gas out of the reactor building.
    ...
    The hydrogen gas is believed to have been generated after heated zirconium -- a material covering nuclear fuel rods -- reacted with water. The No. 1 reactor building contains pipes that are intended to release gas outside the reactor building as well as pipes meant to release gas from the containment vessel. The two types of pipes converge and are connected to an exhaust stack outside the building.

    Workers started venting hydrogen gas from the No. 1 reactor shortly after 10 a.m. on March 12, after pressure inside the reactor's containment vessel mounted, threatening to damage the vessel.

    However, it is likely that workers were unable to close a pipe valve that was designed to prevent the backflow of gas into the reactor building following the loss of power in the wake of the tsunami. It is also possible that hydrogen gas leaked in the reactor building from the joints of pipes.

    TEPCO is set to further investigate the cause of the explosion.

    (Mainichi Japan) June 4, 2011

  •  US Congress urged to reject nuclear loan program (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, peraspera

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/...

    This is the first mention that I've seen of Fukushima causing ripples in U.S. politics.

    WASHINGTON, DC, June 2, 2011 (ENS) - More than 180 organizations and small businesses representing millions of Americans are urging members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to reject President Barack Obama's request for $36 billion more for the U.S. Title 17 nuclear loan program, and instead to end the program entirely.

    --cut--

    Michael Mariotte, executive director of the nonprofit Nuclear Information and Resource Service, which coordinated the letter, said, "It would be bad policy and bad politics to continue this risky program that the American people do not want and that cannot meet its goal of spurring some quixotic dream of a nuclear revival. The future will belong to those nations that can most quickly move to implement safe, clean and affordable energy. Nuclear power is none of those things," Mariotte said.

    After the meltdown of nuclear fuel at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi power plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami the groups contend that the nuclear loan program, authorized under Title 17 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, no longer makes sense.

    cont...

    The letter makes repeat, explicit mention of Fukushima.

  •  40 more workers tested for high radiation exposure (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, stunster, peraspera

    http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/...

    Two nuclear plant workers have exceeded Japan's radiation exposure limit for men and others who toiled without sufficient protection in the earliest days of the disaster could show high levels as well, the government and plant operator said Friday.

    The two control room operators at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are the first men to surpass the government-set limit. About 40 workers are being tested further after preliminary findings showed high exposures, TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said.

    -cut-

    "Monitoring of internal exposures has been slow. I'm afraid we'll see more people exceeding 250 millisieverts," Goshi Hosono, director of the government's crisis management taskforce, urging TEPCO to speed up monitoring of workers' health and take appopriate steps.

    cont...

  •  Kan says he will step down when Fukushima is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, peraspera

    under control:

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

  •  New photos of tsunami water inside plant (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, stunster, peraspera

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

    Just amazing to me.

    •  TEPCO only now collecting damage data (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RWood, rja

      Why the two month delay in organizing data for damage assessment?

      "We found the photos just recently as we collected and organized information about damage," said a TEPCO official in explaining why it took over two months for the utility to release the photographs to the public.

      May 20, 2011

       


  •  Radioactive water leak to be prevented for 3 days (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, stunster, rja

    The story doesn't specifically state whether the plant will overflow in three days or not although there isn't a whisper about TEPCO having a possible window until June 20 before the plant overflows. There is also no reference to TEPCO using the tanks that were mentioned in previous reporting before the middle of August.

    NHK WORLD English | Radioactive water leak to be prevented for 3 days

    Tokyo Electric Power Company has decided to increase the transfer of radioactive water by about 1,500 tons to a facility at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The company says the transfer can keep contaminated water from leaking outside for about 3 days.

    More than 105,000 tons of contaminated water is thought to have accumulated in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings. An additional 500 tons or so flows into the basements per day as a result of the injection of water into the reactors.

    The situation is raising concern about the possible overflow of contaminated water.

    On Saturday, TEPCO obtained Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency permission to increase the water transfer from its initial plan. It began transferring 12 tons of water per hour from the basement of the Number 2 turbine building to the basement of a facility for nuclear waste.

    The utility will start filtering 1,200 tons of highly radioactive water per day on June 15th. It also plans to set up tanks to store 10,000 tons of water underground at the plant in the middle of August.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011 11:59 +0900 (JST)

    This story from May 26 indicates that the basement of the nuclear waste facility was leaking and it would seem the above story is indicating that is the place to which TEPCO is currently transferring contaminated water. Perhaps TEPCO fixed the leaky waste facility basement but I can't find any mention of them doing so.

    TEPCO fears leaks after level of contaminated water in disposal facility drops - The Mainichi Daily News

    TEPCO, the operator of the crippled nuclear power plant, said the level of contaminated water kept in the basement of a building within the central waste disposal facility near the crippled nuclear reactors had dropped by about five centimeters in one day. The water was transported to the building from the No. 3 nuclear reactor. TEPCO said its analysis showed no change in ground water on the premises, and therefore it said, "The possibility is low of the water leaking out of the facility."
    ...
    (Mainichi Japan) May 26, 2011
    •  We're finally to the pinch point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, peraspera, stunster

      The water is accumulating rapidly and it would seem they have maxed out their options. As of a couple days ago they were putting water into the three reactor vessels at a combined rate of 21.5 tons/hr, or 516 tons/day. Plus they continue to dump water into the SFPs, some of which evaporates and some of which probably leaks at least from SFP #4. That might be where they get their 1500 tons = three days of respite.

      As for whether or not the treatment facility is still leaking there has been no mention I've come across. Initially they surmised it was leaking into more underground tunnels and structures, but then they have, every single time, initially propose the least alarming explanation for problems as they come up.

      There has been no mention as to whether the treatment facility has the same ground water collection system that the reactor buildings do but I don't know why it wouldn't. They do not report on it anyway.

      Indirectly there is some evidence suggesting the treatment facility might just be leaking into the surrounding soil. The latest sub-drain report from TEPCO  notes that radioactivity is increasing in the sub-drains of units #1, 3 and 4. That makes sense for #1 since the water level fell without explanation suggesting the structure has lost integrity. I'm not sure what to make of #3, but #4 is the closest to the  treatment facility and radiation levels in that sub-drain started to rise on May 27.

      It would be in keeping with TEPCO's style to date to opt for the most invisible bad option to a problem. Water leaking into the soil is quiet and will take some time to come to light. Water dribbling over the concrete and into the ocean would be plainly visible and measurable in published reports as they are still mandated to report the nearby ocean levels.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:52:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lurker's Questions (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks to all who have put in so much time.  I am afraid that we are not going to be seeing the last ROV anytime soon.  A couple of questions.

    First, do we have some number (1, 2, or 3) of molten masses slowly working their way down to the water table or is what is left of the cores 'contained' and the cement pads are not in danger of being breached as long as cooling continues?

    Second, besides iodine-131 are other short lived isotopes still showing up?  

    •  There are no clear answers (6+ / 0-)

      For one thing no one can actually see what's happening inside the containment structures and the instrumentation gives erratic, sometimes conflicting, sometimes nonsensical information. Essentially they are blind as to what things look like inside the containment. It's all indirect extrapolation from poor data.

      There seems agreement that the RPVs has been breached  and there are fluctuations in the iodine levels reported in the water that comes out of the systems suggesting there has been and maybe still is critical fuel somewhere, especially in #3. Iodine is the only really short lived isotope they are reporting.

      As for the idea of corium working its way to anywhere, it's impossible to say or to check. We may only know how bad that situation has gotten once they can open up the containments and look, which is years away. If the decision is the cement the whole things over, we will never know. Unless of course, corium actually does hit ground water and really awful things happen.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:13:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good answer (6+ / 0-)

        I started looking for anything factual and gave up. That said, I don't believe there's a molten blob heading for ground water. They don't know how much corium has found its way out of the pressure vessel and they won't until they develop the means to take a look.

        That said, at TMI they removed a control rod (or what was left of a control rod) and inserted a camera and a sonar device to evaluate the condition of the reactor. It's likely we are years away from having that sort of capability at Fukushima.

        Just as an aside, I got distracted when I ran across golem and RUR.

        Bring in the robots.

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

        by Just Bob on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:19:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  According to Gundersen (7+ / 0-)

      one and two are completely melted down.  They are not going to get worse.

      Three may be having intemittent criticalities and the fuel pond in Reactor 4 is still a serious issue.

      Have a look at this link for a pretty good run down of the situation over in Fukushima:

      http://www.chrismartenson.com/...

  •  Radioactive rubble to be buried in Fukushima (5+ / 0-)

    as well as incinerated there.

    The headline went up on the Kyoda quite late Japan time and no one is carrying the full story yet. My suggestion would be to bury the radioactive filth in the front yards of TEPCO's major stockholders, board of directors and execs.

    Gov't to OK incinerating, burying radioactive rubble in Fukushima | Kyoda | OANA (The Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies)

    TOKYO, June 5 Kyodo - The Environment Ministry plans to allow incinerating or burying rubble from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the coastal and central parts of Fukushima Prefecture that could be contaminated with radioactive material spewing from a damaged nuclear power plant in the northeastern prefecture, ministry officials said Sunday. While the ministry already allows 10 municipalities where contamination levels are low to handle debris under normal procedures, ...

    5 Jun 2011 21:28


  •  Test run of the treatment facility (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, stunster, peraspera, RWood, rja

    From The Japan Times:

    ...

    The system is being set up at a facility where tainted water from reactors No. 2 and No. 3 has been transferred. It is expected to treat about 1,200 tons per day by reducing the concentration of radioactive substances in it to somewhere between one-thousandth and one-ten thousandth of what it is now.

    The system includes an oil separator, a device to absorb radioactive cesium, decontamination equipment for cesium and strontium, and a desalination apparatus, the officials said. Some of the devices were made with technical cooperation from Kurion Inc. of the United States and Areva SA of France.

    Workers held trial runs Sunday and are to test the equipment further to make sure it is all operating properly, they said.
    ...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:05:44 AM PDT

  •  The powers-that-be push back (5+ / 0-)

    From Japan Today:

    A government task force dealing with new national energy and environmental strategies has come up with draft policy outlines underscoring the promotion of nuclear power generation, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

    At the center of the early-stage draft for ‘‘innovative energy and environmental strategies’’ is to enhance the safety of nuclear power plants to ‘‘the world’s highest levels’’ amid the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi complex, according to the sources.

    This represents a shift from the growth strategies revealed last year by the government, which was highlighted by a push for exporting nuclear power plants, but runs counter to expectations by energy experts and other observers that a more drastic policy change would be made.
    ...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:12:29 AM PDT

    •  Those most able to help develop (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ricklewsive, stunster, peraspera, rja

      nuclear power plants with safety enhanced to ‘‘the world’s highest levels’’ are a bit busy at the moment.

      That sounds like no change in attitude among the powers-that-be. I would expect a push back to the push back.

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

      by Just Bob on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:27:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TEPCO is thinking "design flaw" in vents (7+ / 0-)

    FromAsahi Shimbun:

    This has been posted  before but this article goes into much more detail concerning the configuration and valves and how it all failed to function as per the plan.

    According to internal TEPCO documents, the No. 1 reactor has two emergency exhaust systems. One is the standby gas treatment system (SGTS), which releases gas from the reactor building through a filter to the outer atmosphere.

    The other system is a pressure-resistant vent pipe, which releases gas from within the containment vessel to the outer atmosphere.

    The two separate systems eventually join into a single pipe which is connected to the exhaust cylinder that releases all gas into the atmosphere.

    When venting the containment vessel at the No. 1 reactor, the valve for the SGTS stuck in the open position after the reactor was automatically stopped following the quake. The subsequent loss of power source led to an inability to close the valve.

    TEPCO officials believe hydrogen gas that should have been released from the vent pipe flowed back into the reactor building through the open SGTS valve after reaching the point where the two exhaust systems converge.

    The hydrogen gas that flowed back into the reactor building is believed to have accumulated and led to the hydrogen explosion.

    It goes on to say #1's containment exhaust system was installed after the Chernobyl accident but did not have a special valve to prevent the back flow of hydrogen back into the reactor building. They state that #2 and 3 have such a valve but then do not explain why the explosion of #3 was so much more violent than #1, nor why the explosion of #2 was in the suppression chamber. It would seem having the valve makes precious little difference.

    In the end, it would seem the ultimate design flaw is a system where it all becomes dysfunctional junk when the power is shut off.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:27:21 AM PDT

  •  Plutonium found outside Fukushima plant (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, peraspera, rja, synductive99

    From NHK World:

    ...

    Shinzo Kimura of Hokkaido University collected the roadside samples in Okumamachi, some 1.7 kilometers west of the front gate of the power station. They were taken during filming by NHK on April 21st, one day before the area was designated as an exclusion zone.

    Professor Masayoshi Yamamoto and researchers at a Kanazawa University laboratory analyzed the samples and found minute amounts of 3 kinds of plutonium.
    ...

    But the 3 substances are most likely to have come from the plant blasts, as their density ratio is different from those detected in the past.

    Professor Yamamoto said the quantities are so minute that people's health will not be harmed.
    ...

    It's probably not possible to determine by ratios whether the material originated from the reactors or the SFPs.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 11:24:27 AM PDT

  •  Pressure in #1 close to atmospheric (5+ / 0-)

    From NHK World: Pressure in No.1 reactor drops close to atmosphere

    The title is misleading since the new knowledge comes by virtue of replacing the gauges that read the pressure. It's not at all clear when the pressure level dropped. It might have been very early in the crisis.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company has found that pressure inside the Number 1 reactor at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant has dropped to close to the outside atmospheric pressure. It reaffirms that the reactor has been damaged.
    ...

    The reading was 1.26 atmospheres as of 11 AM on Saturday, almost equal to normal air pressure. The company says this proves that air inside the reactor is escaping outside.

    But the utility estimates that the lack of a big hole in the reactor is keeping steam inside, leading to the slightly higher interior pressure.

    The plan is to replace the gauges in #2 and 3 as well. Both of those are already thought to be at atmospheric pressure.


    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 11:30:37 AM PDT

  •  High radiation levels around ditches in Fukushima (5+ / 0-)

    Mother nature is concentrating the materials which on the one hand makes their removal a bit easier, but on the other means there are hot spots people need to be aware of.

    From NHK World:

    High radiation levels have been detected above roadside drainage ditches in Fukushima Prefecture, which hosts the crippled nuclear power plant.

    Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission tested radiation levels in the air about 1 meter from the ground at a business district in the prefectural capital on May 24th and 25th.

    The test detected radiation of 3 to 4 microsieverts per hour above ditches covered with mud and fallen leaves. The level reached nearly 100 microsieverts in the mud. It is believed that radioactive dust has accumulated in the mud and leaves.
    ...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 11:35:03 AM PDT

  •  Excellent video from the plant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, peraspera, rja

    This is a video shot from various places and angles at the plant. The violence of those explosions is just hard to comprehend. This is what it looks like when stuff goes horribly wrong at one of these plants. It would be one thing if after the Big Booms you could simply clean up and move on, but inside those massive piles of junk remain dragons which must be contained.

    The video from NHK World.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 11:44:17 AM PDT

  •  950mSv/h found on cement west of #3 reactor (4+ / 0-)

    The latest Survey Map (released on June 5) shows cement that measured 950 mSv per hour just west of the #3 reactor building.  TEPCO also found cement west of #2 reactor building which measured 550 mSv/h.  This was "Measured on June 4" at either "10:00∼11:00" or "20:40∼20:50".

    Survey map of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station(on June,4) - 596KB PDF

    If that cement is just under 1 Sv/h now, then how high was it after the March explosion in #3 reactor building?

    •  Debris removed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, ricklewsive, rja, stunster

      but the story doesn't identify the debris material nor to where they took the debris.

      Highly radioactive debris found at Fukushima plant | NHK WORLD English

      Highly radioactive debris is still hampering the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from bringing its reactors under control, almost 3 months after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

      On Monday, a piece of debris about 5 centimeters in diameter with radiation levels of 950 millisieverts per hour was removed from the west side of the Number 3 reactor building. It had been found on Saturday.

      In May, debris with a radiation dose of 1,000 millisieverts per hour was discovered in the area, while rubble contaminated with 900 millisieverts per hour was found in April.

      Monday, June 06, 2011 19:56 +0900 (JST)


  •  NISA revises radiation release numbers up (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, ricklewsive, rja, stunster

    More proof that innumeracy is an essential job requirement for anyone supplying data to the public about the Fukushima nuclear crises. It would appear as though NISA is simply making up numbers until they find one they think they can peddle to the IAEA without everyone taking their presentation for a comedy routine.

    Radioactivity of materials released in Fukushima nuclear crisis revised upward - The Mainichi Daily News

    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) on June 6 revised the level of radioactivity of materials emitted from the crisis hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant from 370,000 terabecquerels to 850,000 terabecquerels.

    The Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan (NSC) had estimated that the total level of radioactivity stood at around 630,000 terabecquerels, but this figure was criticized as an underestimation. NISA officials plan to present the new figure at a ministerial meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after reporting it to the NSC.
    ...
    The NSC calculated the amount of radioactive materials released into the air between the outset of the crisis and April 5, based on the amount of radiation from measurements taken near the plant. NISA based its calculations on the state of the plant's reactors.

    (Mainichi Japan) June 6, 2011


  •  Soil sampling in Fukushima started today (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, ovals49, rja, Just Bob, juliesie

    For some unstated reason, the findings will not be publicly available until August even though the data gathering will be complete by the end of this month.

    Soil sampling begins in Fukushima | NHK WORLD English

    ...
    The ministry began taking soil samples on Monday as part of efforts to produce a map outlining radiation contamination in the prefecture. The study involves direct sampling of soil for the first time. Until now, the ministry has been measuring soil contamination from airplanes.

    About 80 experts from 35 universities and laboratories across the country are taking part.

    Three experts visited a district in Nihonmatsu City on Monday morning and took soil samples from more than 6 centimeters deep. Samples will be taken every 4 square kilometers in areas within 80 kilometers of the nuclear plant and every 100 square kilometers in areas further away.

    The radiation levels in more than 2,200 sections of the prefecture will appear in the map.

    The ministry plans to complete the study by the end of this month and release the results in August.

    Monday, June 06, 2011 13:51 +0900 (JST)


  •  Plant guidelines should be fully revised (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, Just Bob, peraspera, oldhippie, stunster

    This is kind of a "well duh" story, but the last part is telling as to how humans too close to things generate their own blind spots. From NHK World:

    ...

    The complacency about blackouts has been pointed out as one of the causes of the severe accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

    Madarame [ chairperson of Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission ] told NHK that the guidelines clearly state that a long-term power failure can be disregarded. He said he paid no attention to the explanation until the accidents and he regrets his lack of knowledge, adding that the guidelines should have included the worst-case scenario.

    He said the [ 21 year old ] guidelines were not revised because experts on nuclear power generation are an enclosed group and they tend to avoid vigorous discussions and uncomfortable subjects.

    He concluded that the Fukushima accidents were caused by human error.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:49:51 AM PDT

  •  Crisis management center in crisis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, Just Bob, peraspera, oldhippie

    From the Best Laid Plans Department -- NHK World:

    An internal document from Japan's nuclear safety agency reveals that an emergency response office was nearly dysfunctional at the time of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant on March 11th.
    ...

    Off-site centers were established at 22 locations near nuclear power plants throughout the country after a criticality accident in 1999 at a nuclear fuel processing plant in Tokai Village in Ibaraki Prefecture.
    ...

    [ the document ] reveals that after the power outage, an emergency diesel generator did not work at all, communications were down, and other critical functions were lost.

    The document reveals that officials from only 3 out of more than 20 organizations assembled at the off-site center at around 10:00 PM on March 11th, 7 hours after the earthquake.
    ...

    And after that the nuclear accident management center discovered it was in the middle of a cloud of radiation from the plant and had to be relocated. One gets the impression all these multiple layers of protection are so much window dressing.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 08:01:11 AM PDT

  •  Revisions in the post mortem (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, Just Bob, peraspera, stunster

    From NHK World: No.1 reactor vessel damaged 5 hours after quake

    Japan's nuclear regulator [ NISA ] says the meltdown at one of the Fukushima reactors came about 5 hours after the March 11th earthquake, 10 hours earlier than initially estimated by the plant's operator.
    ...

    The report says the fuel rods in the Number 1 reactor began to be exposed 2 hours after the earthquake due to the loss of the reactor's cooling system in the tsunami. Its fuel rods may have melted down 3 hours later, causing the damage to the reactor. This means the meltdown occurred about 10 hours earlier than TEPCO estimated last month.
    ...

    The agency says the total amount of radioactive iodine 131 and cesium 137 released from the Numbers 1, 2 and 3 reactors for the 6 days from March 11th is estimated at 770,000 terabecquerels.

    That is about twice the figure mentioned in April when the agency upgraded the severity of the accident to the highest level of 7 on an international scale.
    ...

    The timelines for the meltdowns in #2 and 3 were also shortened. The interesting question is why did #1 self-destruct so quickly while the other two took several days.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 08:21:16 AM PDT

  •  CNN reports (finally) the 3 meltdowns... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, ricklewsive, Just Bob, peraspera, stunster

    ... in an afterthought article with no accompanying video story.

    http://www.cnn.com/...

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 08:40:38 AM PDT

  •  Labor ministry inspecting Fukushima (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, ricklewsive, rja, stunster

    The atrocious working conditions at Fukushima have been widely reported for weeks. The labor ministry has just now gotten around to investigating plant working conditions that led to two workers being exposed to more radiation than already raised allowable limits.

    So far, "appropriate action" has consisted of the government publicly scolding TEPCO for lack of adequate basic safety equipment such as boots and dosimeters.

    Labor ministry inspects Fukushima nuke plant over exposed workers - The Mainichi Daily News

    The Japanese labor ministry on Tuesday inspected the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant to investigate the causes of the complex's workers being exposed to radiation exceeding the maximum allowable emergency limit.

    If the on-site inspection finds the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., breaching the industrial safety and health law, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare may take appropriate action against the utility, ministry officials said.

    The utility, known as TEPCO, said last week two employees working at the plant have been exposed to radiation exceeding the maximum limit of 250 millisieverts set for the current emergency situation -- Japan's worst nuclear plant accident triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

    About 130 people had worked in a similar environment with the two at the plant's Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings, according to the ministry.
    ...
    The officials will also check whether workers have worn masks appropriately, as the two men said they were not sure whether they wore masks when a hydrogen explosion hit the plant's No. 1 reactor on March 12, while they were in a central control room for the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors.

    Of the two workers, one in his 30s is estimated to have been exposed to radiation at a level somewhere between 284 to 654 millisieverts, and another man in his 40s in a range between 289 and 659 millisieverts.
    ...
    According to the ministry, 52 workers at the plant saw their internal exposure levels exceeding 20 millisieverts and three other workers saw their levels exceeding 100 millisieverts.
    ...

    (Mainichi Japan) June 7, 2011


  •  "No end in sight" for removing contaminated rubble (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, ricklewsive, Magster, rja

    with the contaminated water and fuel posing even uglier challenges. Asahi Shimbun pokes holes in TEPCO's familiar magical thinking that they commonly use to support laughable rosy scenarios. TEPCO remains mystified as to where the enormous amounts of their nuclear filth will go.

    asahi.com(朝日新聞社):TEPCO faces prolonged battle against radioactive debris, water - English

    2011/06/07

    As workers struggle to bring the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant under control, signs are increasing that the eventual cleanup of the disaster will take much longer than previously thought.

    Containers of rubble, unwanted and of unknown levels of contamination, line the roadside near the plant. Pools of radioactive water at the plant, a constant problem since the March 11 disaster, may pose even longer-term challenges. And full studies on how to remove nuclear fuel and eventually decommission the four troubled reactors have yet to start.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, started using remote-controlled, unmanned heavy machinery in late April to put radioactive debris into containers each with a capacity of about 4 cubic meters.

    By June 5, 279 containers had been filled.

    "We don't know where we can take the containers," said a TEPCO spokesman.

    In fact, the spokesman said the company has no idea about the aggregate volume of the debris nor the amount of radiation for each container.

    TEPCO planned to complete work to remove the rubble within three months, but officials now say that no end is in sight.
    ...
    Radiation levels of some pieces measured more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour, a level that could cause acute disorders if workers are in close proximity for a long time.
    ...
    What to do with highly radioactive water is also a growing concern for TEPCO. Such water at the Fukushima plant is expected to increase to 200,000 tons in December, nearly double the 105,100 tons as of the end of May.

    The water currently contains radioactivity of 720,000 terabecquerels, more than the 370,000-630,000 terabecquerels estimated to have been released into the atmosphere.

    The central waste treatment facility, which is capable of holding 14,000 tons of water, is nearly full.

    The capacity at the facility and other containers will be increased by 4,300 tons, but the increased space will be filled by June 20.
    ...
    Using technology of France's Areva SA, a system will be completed on June 15 that can reduce the radioactivity of contaminated water to one-1,000th by removing cesium and strontium. The water can then be reused to cool the reactors or be stored at tanks for water with low radioactivity.

    But the system is capable of treating only up to 1,200 tons a day.
    ...
    However, it is still undecided how to dispose of the radioactive substances removed from the water.
    ...
    Another huge challenge is how to dispose of nuclear fuel that remains in the reactors and the storage pools.

    The No. 1 to 3 reactors contained 1,496 fuel assemblies, or clusters of fuel rods, while the storage pools for the No. 1 to 4 reactors held 3,108 fuel assemblies.

    An estimated five to 10 years are needed to remove the nuclear fuel from the reactors after they reach a stable cold shutdown state.
    ...
    "We have not made full-fledged studies on how to decommission the reactors," said Junichi Matsumoto, acting general manager of TEPCO's Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division.
    ...
    But a paper carried in the online edition of Britain's Nature magazine soon after Toshiba's announcement said decommissioning work would take decades, even 100 years.
    ...
    But TEPCO will be under pressure to remove the fuel quickly because another major earthquake or tsunami could cause the release of radioactive materials from the reactors.
    ...
    Another problem is how to dispose of the pressure vessels, containment vessels and piping systems that are all contaminated with high levels of radioactivity.


    •  Nature article referenced (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ricklewsive, peraspera

      Highly recommended.

      http://www.nature.com/...

      It should be noted that the date of the article is 28 March. Any comparison of radiation releases and exposures should be taken with a large dose of salt as more recently released information is orders of magnitude higher.

      Of interest is the discussion of the Agenda for Research on Chernobyl Health (ARCH) and the revelation that the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been a major supplier of funds for Chernobyl health studies. Those funds have now dried up.

      The ARCH proposal is to study the possibility and structure of additional studies with additional cohorts, both from Chernobyl and Fukushima. I would think the funding for such studies should be global, perhaps through WHO. In the current US political environment, additional US funding is problematic.

      I do have reservations about WHO. Just as NISA has to be independent of META, WHO has to be independent of IAEA.

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

      by Just Bob on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 06:04:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Independent investigators met for first time today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, ricklewsive, rja

    Matamura doesn't sound like he is wearing rose colored glasses but finding independent nuclear experts may prove to be problematic. There have been several stories in newspapers indicating that people who work for industry, the government and academia all belong to a singular Japanese nuclear club.

    Japan starts probe into Fukushima nuke crisis under expert panel - The Mainichi Daily News

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan has started looking into the causes of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, with an independent panel of experts holding their first gathering Tuesday in Tokyo.

    The meeting of the panel, led by Yotaro Hatamura, a researcher on human error, marks the beginning of a comprehensive investigation and verification of the country's worst radiation-leaking nuclear accident about three months after it was triggered by the March 11 megaquake and tsunami.
    ...
    The panel, entitled to question people concerned, including officials of the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., related Cabinet members and government bureaucrats, would also study the steps taken by the utility and the government's initial response to deal with the disaster.

    The country's nuclear safety regulatory system is also expected to be examined amid criticism over whether it is appropriate to have the nuclear regulatory agency under the wing of the industry ministry that promotes nuclear power.

    Hatamura, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said, "Nuclear power has higher-energy density and it is dangerous. I think it is a mistake to consider it safe." He also suggested the panel will inspect the crippled Fukushima plant as early as this month.
    ...
    (Mainichi Japan) June 7, 2011


  •  Only investigation and verification committee met (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, ricklewsive, rja

    The preliminary report will be completed by the end of the year. The final report won't be issued until the reactors are under control, a rather ambiguous timeframe.

    Govt panel on nuclear accident holds 1st meeting | NHK WORLD English

    A new government panel has decided to set up 4 teams to investigate the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The investigation and verification committee met for the first time on Tuesday in Tokyo. It consists of 10 experts from various fields, and 2 technological advisors.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the meeting that he wants the panel to broadly examine technological and other issues, such as the closed inner circle that makes nuclear-related decisions. He also singled out the fact that the industry ministry is responsible for both the promotion and regulation of nuclear power.

    The committee's head and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo, Yotaro Hatamura, said his panel needs to convincingly answer the public's questions. But he stressed the panel will not aim to clarify who is responsible for the accident.
    ...
    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 13:03 +0900 (JST)


  •  Meta - time for a new ROV? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, Magster, rja

    We're at 255 comments.

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

    by Just Bob on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 06:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Is Michio Kaku a trusted source of info and opinio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera

    Something about the video posted in Dr. Zombie's diary struck me as not to be trusted.  Maybe because he just isn't as low key as Gunderson or that we haven't heard from him for a couple of months and I'm not sure how closely he's followed matters.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 09:13:28 AM PDT

  •  New Gunderson video re: evacuation assumptions... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnpvd0111, rja, peraspera

    .... contained in the Code of Federal Regulations and how those assumptions would have held up had a Fukushima accident occurred in the United States (newsflash: the assumptions are a joke).  Anyways, its a level-headed presentation on the critical need to reexamine evacuation plans.

    http://www.fairewinds.com/...

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 01:18:57 PM PDT

  •  3 hour blackout at #1 & #2 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, Magster, rja

    t would seem that TEPCO has yet to learn that reliable power is important at a nuclear power plant. The fact that TEPCO, a power company, can't even keep reliable power supplied to its own facility is further evidence that they aren't up to the task of handling the nuclear crisis competently.

    Also, because of the high humidity is hampering work TEPCO has asked NISA to approve leaving the door open that links the reactor and turbine buildings. This will release radioactivity into the atmosphere.

    Blackout hits Fukushima nuclear plant's Nos. 1, 2 units ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

    Wednesday 08th June, 06:59 PM JST

    TOKYO — The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered power outages at its Nos. 1 and 2 reactors temporarily Wednesday, with lights in the units’ central control room being cut off and the transmission of radiation data being partially halted.

    The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, said the blackout did not affect its water injecting operation to cool the reactors, while Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the radiation leakage crisis, said the incident did not affect any equipment that could have caused an extremely serious situation.

    Electricity was restored around 5:30 p.m., TEPCO said, adding that it is investigating the cause of the power outage.

    The company said it found that a power panel linked to locations including the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors’ central control room did not work at around 2:30 p.m.

  •  Plan to release 3,000 tons low-level radioactive (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, Magster, rja

    water from the Fukushima Daini plant into the ocean. There is no mention of what constitutes "mostly" permissible levels of specific radioactive nuclides to dump into the ocean. NISI was quoted in the article saying that TEPCO is entitled to dump the water without seeking permission from the Japanese government.

    Tepco Plans Radioactive Water Release from Second Plant - WSJ.com

    TOKYO—Tokyo Electric Power Co. is planning to release 3,000 tons of lightly radioactive water into the ocean from the Fukushima Daini nuclear complex, the sister plant of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi complex, officials said Wednesday.

    While the water is believed to be largely within permissible levels of contamination for discharging into the ocean, the plant operator—known as Tepco--and the government are looking to avoid the kind of backlash from local fishing associations and neighboring countries that followed a far more toxic discharge from the Daiichi plant in April.

    The seawater got into the Daini plant, located 10 kilometers south of the Daiichi complex, when it was flooded by the massive tsunami on March 11. While the tsunami knocked out power at the Daiichi plant, causing a partial meltdown of fuel inside some of its reactors, the Daini complex was safely shut down after the disaster.

    According to plant operator Tepco, the water is currently sitting in reactor and turbine buildings, and other facilities, raising concerns that it might corrode piping, causing the leakage of radioactive material.

    The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the water contains a small amount of radioactive material, including manganese-54 and cobalt-58, but that the amounts are mostly within permissible levels for being discharged into the ocean. The total amount of radioactive materials contained in the 3,000 tons of water is estimated at three billion becquerels, NISA said.

    As a further precaution, before the water is released into the ocean, it will undergo a decontamination process to further reduce the levels of radioactive material, Tepco said.
    ...

  •  NISA increased radiation report based on pressure (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, Magster, stunster, rja

    data. NISA also has a different timeline for the sequence of events than an earlier TEPCO report. TEPCO is in the process of replacing the reactors' pressure gauges because they believe they may not be accurate. One is left to wonder whether concerns about the pressure gauges accuracy is honest or TEPCO's attempt to whiz on the NISA report. There is no mention in the story of whether or not NISA believes the pressure readings on which they based their report are reliable.

    asahi.com(朝日新聞社):NISA: Radioactivity release more than double initial estimate - English

    2011/06/08
    ...The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said June 6 that the pressure vessel at the No. 1 reactor was damaged on the night of March 11, the day of the magnitude-9.0 temblor and tsunami and 10 hours earlier than the plant operator originally reported. The damage resulted from a meltdown, NISA said.

    The agency report, based on a review of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s analysis of data on the accident, said the equivalent of 770,000 terabecquerels (1 tera is 1 trillion) of radioactive iodine-137 was released into the air.

    That figure is more than double TEPCO's previous estimate of 370,000 terabecquerels and in excess of the 630,000 terabecquerels calculated by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a panel within the Cabinet Office, based on readings in areas surrounding the plant.

    NISA said it raised the emission amount on the presumption that the accident had created gaps as big as 50 square centimeters in the outer containment vessel and 300 square centimeters in the suppression pool of the No. 2 reactor after the temperature in its containment vessel soared above 138 degrees, the ceiling it was designed for.
    ...
    NISA also said that meltdowns at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors caused damage to their pressure vessels earlier than the TEPCO report said.

    The No. 1 reactor's pressure vessel was damaged around 8 p.m., about five hours after the Great East Japan Earthquake hit at 2:46 p.m. on March 11. The damage followed soon after the fuel rods melted and fell to the bottom of the pressure vessel.

    TEPCO had reported the damage occurred at around 6 a.m. on March 12.

    As for the No. 2 reactor, NISA said that the damage caused by its meltdown occurred at around 10:50 p.m. on March 14, 29 hours earlier than TEPCO concluded.

    In contrast, the damage to the pressure vessel of the No. 3 reactor came at around 10:10 p.m. on March 14, 13 hours later than TEPCO said it had occurred.

    NISA said its estimate for the No. 3 rector is based on a reconstruction of pressure behavior, which it said is closer to what actually happened than the TEPCO analysis.

    The agency said the reactor core at the No. 1 reactor became exposed from around 5 p.m. on March 11.

    NISA's conclusion on the timing of the reactor core exposure, it said, is consistent with the immediate record of a surge in radioactivity levels that was written at 5:50 p.m. on the whiteboard of the central control room and a jump in radioactivity levels at the building housing the turbine after entry to the reactor building was prohibited.

  •  It's everywhere (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, Just Bob, Magster, stunster, rja

    Unwanted radioactive sewage sludge piling up

    Sewage sludge is processed by incinerating the material and then it's used as a component in concrete, fertilizers, and in some cases processed to remove precious metals.

    The problem is part of the sludge is from rain runoff that enters the sewer systems. This runoff is carrying the fallout from Daiichi and treatment facilities all over northern Japan are finding they are handling radioactive materials.

    The Iriezaki Centralized Sludge Treatment Center in Kawasaki has found 470 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of sewage sludge and 13,200 becquerels per kilogram of incineration ash. All the treatment centers incinerate the material and so concentrate the radioactive material immensely. They probably also send up a good deal of radioactive material out the smoke stacks of the incinerators.

    So far no one has any idea what to do with the ash so it's piling up at the treatment centers. Burial would be the obvious solution but so far it seems the government is doing nothing to address the problem.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:46:19 AM PDT

  •  Asahi Shimbun does a history (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, Just Bob, stunster, rja

    BEHIND THE MYTH: 'Nuclear village' rules itself in TEPCO hierarchy is the first in a four part story on the history of the nuclear village in Japan. Good read.

    A fiefdom of nuclear experts at Tokyo Electric Power Co. has survived past crises and appears likely to withstand fallout from the controversy at the embattled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

    The "nuclear village," as it is known, has maintained its independence for decades, virtually shielded from other parts of the company by the specialized nature of its operations.

    .......

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:07:20 AM PDT

  •  Japanese Daiichi Unit 1 construction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, ricklewsive, Magster, oldhippie
  •  More evacuations being discussed (5+ / 0-)

    NHK World - Nuclear evacuation being considered for more areas

    The Japanese government says it will quickly decide on whether to evacuate more people from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant which have radiation levels exceeding the state limit.

    This comes after it was found that accumulative radiation exposure levels in parts of Date and Minamisoma cities exceed the 20 millisieverts per year limit set by the government. The areas are outside the current evacuation zone.
    ...
    Fukuyama told reporters that the government wants to quickly reach a decision after discussions with the 2 cities. He added the government wants to be on the cautious side in protecting the health of the residents.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 12:52 +0900 (JST)

  •  TEPCO wants to open double doors to Unit 2 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, Just Bob, peraspera

    June.8.2011 Regarding Collection of Reports related to Improvements to Work Environment Inside the Reactor Building of Unit 2 at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (PDF 90KB)

    The title of the PDF does a nice job of hiding the information that is contained inside it.

    TEPCO wants to Improve the Environment (inside the reactor)!

  •  Strontium on the loose (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, Just Bob, peraspera, stunster, Magster

    FromThe Japan Times:

    WIDEN, Evac Zone: Greenpeace — Minute amounts of radioactive strontium have been detected in soil at 11 locations in Fukushima Prefecture,  including the city of Fukushima 62 km from the crippled nuclear power plant, according to the science ministry.
    ...

    According to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, 54 becquerels of strontium-89 per kg were detected in soil collected in the city of Fukushima on April 27.

    The highest amount, 1,500 becquerels of strontium per kg, was detected in soil collected May 6 in the town of Namie, 24 km northwest of the nuclear plant.

    The ministry also detected 1,000 becquerels of strontium per kg in the village of Iitate, 220 becquerels in the town of Kawamata and 30 becquerels in the town of Hirono.
    ...

    The article also goes on to say they will start a week long trial of the new water treatment facility starting Friday.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 11:30:09 AM PDT

  •  The post water treatment projections (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magster, rja, peraspera, Just Bob

    From The Mainichi Daily News:

    Sludge that will be generated in the process of treating radioactive water at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is estimated to contain 100 million becquerels of radioactive substances per cubic centimeter, the plant operator said.
    ...

    TEPCO estimates that about 2,000 cubic meters of sludge will be generated through the treatment of radioactive water at the plant by the end of this year, and intends to keep the toxic substance in the plant's intensive radioactive waste disposal facility.

    However, the facility can only hold 1,200 cubic meters of the sludge because radioactive waste generated in the plant's ordinary operations is already kept there, forcing the utility to build a new facility to keep the sludge on the plant premises.

    However, because it is so highly radioactive, the sludge is extremely difficult to manage. Areva acknowledges that it has never handled sludge generated through the treatment of water emitting more than 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour.
    ...

    The math: 100,000,000 becquerels/cc X 1,000,000 cc/m3 X 2,000 m3 = an ungodly large number. Gazillions or something.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:04:55 AM PDT

  •  For your own good, we won't tell you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magster, rja, peraspera, Just Bob

    From The Mainichi Daily News:

    Shizuoka Prefecture told a Tokyo-based mail order retailer to refrain from carrying information on its website that radioactive materials in excess of the standard limit were detected in tea grown in the prefecture, the retailer said Friday.

    A prefectural official told Radishbo-ya Co., after the retailer made a query to the local government Monday, not to disclose the finding for a while on fears that the message could cause unwarranted harm to Shizuoka tea growers, adding that the prefecture would confirm it on its own, the firm said.

    The firm, for its part, sent purchasers of the tea letters informing them about the finding, while offering to recall the products.

    Shizuoka is famous for its tea production.

    A prefectural official said, "The official (who talked with Radishbo-ya) apparently feared that any warning issued through its website could fan public anxiety."
    ...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:08:29 AM PDT

  •  Can't happen, no need to consider (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, rja, peraspera, mamamedusa

    9.0 earthquake? Not a possibility. No need to worry.
    45 foot tsunami? So unlikely no need to prepare for it.
    To this we now get to add:

    The 2002 report, compiled by TEPCO and five other power companies, on response measures to be taken in the event of core meltdowns and other severe nuclear accidents, stated, "There is no need to take a hydrogen explosion into consideration."

    Yup. One more impossible event that required no mention in disaster preparations.

    "An explosion was heard at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant."

    ...

    But officials of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and Tokyo Electric Power Co. who were at the Prime Minister's Office at the time refused to accept the information [ when the message was relayed to Tokyo ] , some of them repeatedly saying, "That's not possible."
    ...

    Daily Yomiuri Online

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 02:50:18 PM PDT

  •  No Fukushima diaries in the last 2 days.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ricklewsive, rja, peraspera

    ... guess the situation is resolved.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 04:09:09 PM PDT

  •  lucaswhitefieldhixson.com freakin' a little (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja

    about whether it's fog or #4 going crazy.  Similar to a comment thread above from about 3-4 days ago.

    Probably just fog, but considering Gunderson's stated "greatest fear" about #4 pool, a little unnerving.

    http://news.lucaswhitefieldhixson.com/...

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:02:16 PM PDT

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