Day 230 Henry, you got yourself one helluva problem

Former UN Advisor: Many scientists are emphasizing precarious situation of Fukushima Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — If rods spill onto ground, it will force Tokyo and Yokohama to close

The Need for Independent Assessment of the Fourth Reactor, Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., October 25, 2011:

“In his recent blog, entitled “The Fourth Reactor and the Destiny of Japan”, Akio Matsumura correctly identifies the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 as the most serious potential threat for further massive radioactive releases from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

The Fourth Reactor and the Destiny of Japan, Akio Matsumura, September 29, 2011:

“I, along with many eminent scientists, are emphasizing the precarious situation of the fourth reactor that contains 1,535 nuclear fuel rods in the pool and is balanced on the second floor, outside of the reactor containment vessel. If the fuel rods spill onto the ground, disaster will ensue and force Tokyo and Yokohama to close, creating a gigantic evacuation zone. All scientists I have talked with say that if the structure collapses we will be in a situation well beyond where science has ever gone. The destiny of Japan will be changed and the disaster will certainly compromise the security of neighboring countries and the rest of the world in terms of health, migration and geopolitics. The Japanese government should immediately create an independent assessment team to determine the structural integrity of the spent fuel pool and its supporting structure. This is of the highest importance: the structure’s security is critical to the country’s future.”

Gov’t expects more than 30 years to decommission Fukushima nuclear reactors

In this image released Saturday, April 16, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., top of the container of the nuclear reactor, painted in yellow, of Unit 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant is observed from its side with a T-Hawk drone Friday, April 15, 2011 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
In this image released Saturday, April 16, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., top of the container of the nuclear reactor, painted in yellow, of Unit 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant is observed from its side with a T-Hawk drone Friday, April 15, 2011 in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Japan is expected to take more than 30 years to fully decommission crippled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to a draft report compiled by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan obtained by the Mainichi on Oct. 26.

It is the first time for the government’s body to officially state that it is expected to take “more than 30 years” to decommission the troubled No. 1 to 4 nuclear reactors. According to the draft report, the work to remove spent nuclear fuel from nuclear fuel pools would begin sometime after 2015, while the work to remove melted nuclear fuel from the reactors would start sometime after 2022. The draft report is expected to be endorsed at a study meeting on Oct. 28 of experts on medium- and long-term measures.

At the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, there are a total of 1,496 spent nuclear fuel rods in the No. 1 to 3 reactors, while there are 3,108 fuel rods in the spent nuclear fuel pools of the No. 1 to 4 reactors. In order to actually decommission the reactors, those fuel rods must be recovered, cooled down and stored under stable conditions for a long time.

According to the draft report, the work to decommission the reactors is expected to start as early as next year after a “cold shutdown” is achieved by the end of this year. In order to recover melted nuclear fuel from the reactors, robots and other means would be used to decontaminate the interior of the reactor buildings before repairing damaged parts of the containment vessels. Furthermore, in order to block radiation, the entire containment vessels would be filled with water so that the work to recover melted nuclear fuel could be started sometime after 2022.

Meanwhile, damage to the fuel in the spent nuclear fuel pools is relatively minor, but the existing cranes cannot be used because the reactor buildings, except for the one for the No. 2 reactor, were badly destroyed by hydrogen explosions. Therefore, new cranes have to be brought in to start to recover the fuels sometime after 2015 after fitting out the temporary storage facility installed near the No. 4 reactor.

In this March 24, 2011 file aerial photo, taken by a small unmanned drone and released by Air Photo Service, the damaged Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/ Air Photo Service)

In this March 24, 2011 file aerial photo, taken by a small unmanned drone and released by Air Photo Service, the damaged Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/ Air Photo Service)

In light of the fact that it took about 20 years to recover all fuels at the Three Mile Island nuclear complex, the draft report said it was estimated to take “at least more than 30 years to complete the measures to decommission” the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. In order to decommission the reactors as early as possible, it is necessary to 1) positively accept opinions from experts abroad, 2) respond flexibly if the plans do not work properly, 3) put priority on research and development essential for the actual work to be done on the spot, and 4) cultivate engineers at home, the draft report says.

At the Fukushima plant, the decommissioning work has to be carried out on the four reactors simultaneously, and therefore it is likely to be an extremely difficult mission. For this reason, the draft report says, “it is necessary for both public and private sectors to join forces as ‘all Japan’ to proceed” with the project. Along with the “Nuclear Safety Agency” to be set up next spring, the draft report for the first time stressed the need to form a third-party organization tasked with checking the progress in the decommissioning work.

(Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2011

Via Fukushima-Diary.com:

Abnormal smoke from reactor 2

Starts around 1:05 minutes into the video.

TEPCO won’t build retaining wall to stop radioactive water seeping into ground water

In this June 30, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., sliding concrete slabs, seen above orange floats, have been set in the upper part of a sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, as part of TEPCO's efforts to reduce the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this June 30, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., sliding concrete slabs, seen above orange floats, have been set in the upper part of a sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, as part of TEPCO’s efforts to reduce the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, has given up a plan to install a land-side retaining wall aimed at preventing radioactive water from permeating into the ground water, the utility has announced.

The utility, however, will construct an ocean-side retaining wall to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the sea, starting on Oct. 28.

TEPCO had initially planned to build a land-side retaining wall (an underground dam) as well, thereby surrounding all four sides of the reactor buildings and turbine buildings of the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors at the plant, in order to prevent highly radioactive water from coming into contact with the ground water.

In this June 12, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., masked workers in protective outfits prepare to drop a sliding concrete slab into a slit of the upper part of the sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in their effort to decrease the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

In this June 12, 2011 photo released on July 5, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., masked workers in protective outfits prepare to drop a sliding concrete slab into a slit of the upper part of the sluice screen for the Unit 2 reactor at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in their effort to decrease the leaking of radiation contaminated water into the ocean. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

However, the utility concluded that such a plan would be “ineffective” on the grounds that the ground water in the area flows only downward into the ocean as the area’s terrain is seaward-dipping and building a U-shaped retaining wall on the land side would make no point in preventing contaminated water from leaking into the ocean. The utility also said a land-side retaining wall would lower the ground water level around the reactor and turbine buildings, raising the risk of contaminated water leaking from those buildings. In addition, the utility said, the construction of such a wall would require the removal or relocation of existing facilities surrounding the buildings.

TEPCO will start a drilling survey to assess the depths of the ground water ahead of the construction of the ocean-side retaining wall, which will take two years to complete. Some 700 piles of sheets, each measuring 22 to 24 meters long, will be driven in over an approximately 800-meter-long stretch, the utility said.

(Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2011

Column from one of our correspondents

http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/column-of-correspondent/

東京近郊の横浜にあるマンション屋上から ストロンチウムが検出されました。
でもこのニュースは日本国民にとっては悪夢の序章にしかすぎません。

In Yokohama, located on the outskirts of Tokyo, radioactive strontium was detected on a roof. But this news is nothing but the beginning of the nightmare for the Japanese citizens
.
東北の食材を食べて応援しよう、というスローガンを掲げる農林水産省の担当者は、「ストロンチウムは原発から30km以遠は飛ばない」
との仮定のもとに、セシウム300Bq/kgの飼料および400Bq/kgの肥料、そして100Bq/kgの養殖魚飼料を「全国に」解禁してしまいました。

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) put up the slogan “Help the Tohoku region (Northeast of Japan) by eating their products”, based on the assumption that “Strontium is not moving further than 30 km from a nuclear power plant”. As a consequence MAFF lifted the ban on food products for animals containing less 300 bq/kg and 400 bq/kg for fertilizers; they also lifted the ban on cultured fish feed stuff containing less than 100 bq/kg“across the whole country”.

汚染された地域で生産された畜産飼料、肥料が全国に流通し、国土の汚染は政府の号令のもとに、さらに人為的に拡大されます。

The feed stuff produced in contaminated areas and fertilizers are being distributed in the whole country and, in addition to that, contaminated soil has been largely distributed artificially under governmental orders.

つい先日も、日本の最南端の沖縄、今現在私が疎開している沖縄県にすら、セシウム17500Bq/kg以上に汚染された腐葉土が流通し、すでに消費され、いまだに全部回収できていません。

Only a few days ago, in Okinawa district, located in the southern-most region of Japan, where I evacuated, leaf mold (humus) contaminated with over 17,500 bq/kg has been distributed and they couldn’t recover all of it, because it had already been used.

全国で生産される食品は汚染の危機に瀕しています。
驚くべきことに、農林水産省は、牛において3000Bqの飼料を食べさせることを公式に許可しました。その牛は、例えば、九州に移動し12ヶ月以上、300Bqの飼料を食べさせれば出荷が可能になります。そのときの「産地表示」はどうなるのか、
あなたはご存知ですか?

The food items produced in the whole country are in danger of being contaminated.

Incredibly, MAFF has officially permitted that cattle should be fed with feedstuff containing 3,000 bq/kg. Those cows, for example, will be moved to Kyushu and if they’ll be fed with foodstuff containing 300 bq/kg for over 2 months, they will probably be shipped. Will you know then what will be the “indication of origin”?

さらに恐ろしいことには、すでに3000頭以上の汚染牛、および汚染疑い牛が市場に流通しており、その多くがすでに国民に消費され、極一部は回収されましたが、それはあくまで「精肉部分」の回収であり、汚染牛の「骨ガラ」が回収されていないのです。
私は直接厚生労働省に確認しましたが、回収どころか業界への通達もしていないとの回答が帰ってきました。

Besides, frighteningly, over 3,000 contaminated, and other almost countless possibly contaminated cows have already been distributed on the market and most of the meat already been consumed by the population, which means that only a small percentage was recovered. But this is only “partially dressed beef”, while their “bones” (skeletons) haven’t been recovered.

I checked directly with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, but the reply was that they are far from being recovered; they didn’t even send an official notice to the market.

この問題は日本ではタブー視されているのか、どこのメディアも触れていません。
汚染牛の骨ガラは、その後、「肉エキス」「ブイヨン」「骨エキス」「ゼラチン」「牛脂」、多くの加工食品に使用されます。骨炭は砂糖等の精製にも使用されます。
カレーやシチュー、ラーメンや、ソース、フライドポテトの揚げ油やアイスクリーム等、多数の食品に利用されています。
もちろん、医療用にも工業用にも肥料、飼料にもそれらは活用されています。

I wonder if this problem is made into a taboo in Japan, because there is nothing about it in the media.

The “body carcasses” of the contaminated cows, then the “meat extract”, “bullion”, “bone extract”, “gelatin”, “beef fat” etc are used in many processed foods. The bone char (ashes of animal bones, used as a coloring agent) is even used when refining the white sugar and so on. They are used in a large number of foods, like curry and stew , ramen and sauces, frying oil for French fries, ice cream etc.

Of course, they are also used in medical products, industrial products, food products for animals,fertilizers.

そこで考えてみてください。
ストロンチウムが一番蓄積される場所はどこと言われていますか?
私たちは骨ガラからできる加工品を、知らないで食べさせられているのです。
そして汚染地域から移動した家畜は「牛」だけではありません。。

That’s why I ask you to think about this:

In which part of the body were we told that strontium accumulates in the first place?

We are being fed, without knowing, processed product which are made by bones.

Additionally, cows are not the only animals moved from the contaminated areas.

沖縄県に避難中の私たち母子は、先日ブラジル産のチキンを購入しようとスーパーに行きました。
味付け の された チキンが そこにありました。
そしてその原料の中には「肉エキス」が含まれていました。
この肉エキスについて、消費者には、汚染牛が混入してるか否かを調べる術はありません。

We, a mother and child, who evacuated from contaminated areas to Okinawa, went to a supermarket the other day to buy some Brazilian chicken.

There was seasoned chicken there.

And it was written that “meat extract essence” is included in the ingredients. The customers can’t check if whether that “meat extract essence” comes from contaminated beef or not.

アルミ缶の汚染も深刻な問題となっており、汚染されたアルミの放射性濃度を下げるために、汚染されていないアルミで薄めるなど、とんでもないことが行われていることを知り、その問題についてメーカーの表示が何もなされていないために、私は輸入ビールしか飲んでいません。

Contaminated aluminum cans are are also a serious matter; to reduce the concentration of radioactivity in contaminated aluminum they mix it with not contaminated aluminum etc. Because I know that a lot of terrible things happen, and because I can’t get any indications from the makers, I only drink imported beer.

私たちは政府の愚策(もしくは未必の故意)によって、知らない間に内部被ばくさせられています。
環境省は、汚染瓦礫を日本全土に送り、そこで焼却処理させることを決定しています。
私たちは日本のどこにももう逃げるところを見つけることができません。

Due to the government’s inane plan (or willful negligence), we are being exposed to radiation before we know it.

The Ministry of Environment sends contaminated debris all over Japan and it’s been decided that it will be incinerated.

We can’t find any more place to run within Japan.

(Article continues with German translation at: http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/column-of-correspondent/)

Researcher says 4 quakes could trigger huge tsunami

October 24, 2011

In a terrifying scenario where four massive earthquakes strike in conjunction along the ocean trench from off the Tokai region to Shikoku, a 20-meter tsunami in Kochi Prefecture and a 15-meter tsunami in Shizuoka Prefecture could be unleashed, a computer simulation has found.

Takashi Furumura, a professor at the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, also said that such combined earthquakes would trigger a tsunami as high as 4 meters in a part of Tokyo Bay.

The professor presented his study at the Seismological Society of Japan meeting on Oct. 14 in Shizuoka.

Furumura simulated an earthquake combined with two powerful temblors–the Hoei earthquake of 1707 and the 1605 Keicho earthquake.

The Hoei quake saw simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai temblors, while the Keicho quake occurred along the shallow part of the Nankai Trough.

Strong ocean-trench temblors have repeatedly occurred along the trough.

Furukawa’s simulation estimated that the earthquake would be at the magnitude-8.8 level and could trigger tsunami 1.5 to 2 times higher than that of the Hoei earthquake.

In Tosa Bay in Kochi Prefecture, where the government estimates that a 10-meter tsunami at maximum is possible, a 20-meter tsunami would strike, the simulation found.

In Suruga Bay, a 10-meter tsunami would occur, compared with the government estimate of 6 meters at the maximum.

Furukawa predicts that a 17-meter tsunami would strike part of the Tokai region, while a 15-meter tsunami would engulf part of the Kii Peninsula.

Those compare to the tsunami estimated of at least 9.3 meters in height that struck Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, from the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Furumura also simulated huge earthquakes in which ruptures of four temblors occur in conjunction in short intervals.

The largest tsunami to be spawned by the quakes could top 15 meters in Suruga Bay, 3-4 meters at the mouth of Tokyo Bay and more than 2 meters at the closed-off section of Tokyo Bay, the researcher predicted.

Researcher says 4 quakes could trigger huge tsunami

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/analysis/AJ2011101815125

October 24, 2011

In a terrifying scenario where four massive earthquakes strike in conjunction along the ocean trench from off the Tokai region to Shikoku, a 20-meter tsunami in Kochi Prefecture and a 15-meter tsunami in Shizuoka Prefecture could be unleashed, a computer simulation has found.

Takashi Furumura, a professor at the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, also said that such combined earthquakes would trigger a tsunami as high as 4 meters in a part of Tokyo Bay.

The professor presented his study at the Seismological Society of Japan meeting on Oct. 14 in Shizuoka.

Furumura simulated an earthquake combined with two powerful temblors–the Hoei earthquake of 1707 and the 1605 Keicho earthquake.

The Hoei quake saw simultaneous Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai temblors, while the Keicho quake occurred along the shallow part of the Nankai Trough.

Strong ocean-trench temblors have repeatedly occurred along the trough.

Furukawa’s simulation estimated that the earthquake would be at the magnitude-8.8 level and could trigger tsunami 1.5 to 2 times higher than that of the Hoei earthquake.

In Tosa Bay in Kochi Prefecture, where the government estimates that a 10-meter tsunami at maximum is possible, a 20-meter tsunami would strike, the simulation found.

In Suruga Bay, a 10-meter tsunami would occur, compared with the government estimate of 6 meters at the maximum.

Furukawa predicts that a 17-meter tsunami would strike part of the Tokai region, while a 15-meter tsunami would engulf part of the Kii Peninsula.

Those compare to the tsunami estimated of at least 9.3 meters in height that struck Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, from the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Furumura also simulated huge earthquakes in which ruptures of four temblors occur in conjunction in short intervals.

The largest tsunami to be spawned by the quakes could top 15 meters in Suruga Bay, 3-4 meters at the mouth of Tokyo Bay and more than 2 meters at the closed-off section of Tokyo Bay, the researcher predicted.

Asahi: Western Tokyo may have been contaminated when radiation plume fell to ground after Reactor No. 2′s core was exposed, says Japan prof.

http://enenews.com/asahi-western-tokyo-contaminated-radiation-when-plume-fell-ground-after-reactor-2s-core-exposed-japan-prof

Excerpts from The Asahi Shimbun’s Oct. 24 AJW article Expert: Radioactive materials reached Kanto via 2 routes

  • “Hiromi Yamazawa, a professor of environmental radiology at Nagoya University, said the first radioactive plume moved through Ibaraki Prefecture and turned northward to Gunma Prefecture between late March 14 and the afternoon of March 15. Large amounts of radioactive materials were released during that period partly because the core of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant was exposed. “The soil was likely contaminated after the plume fell to the ground with rain or snow,” Yamazawa said, adding that western Saitama Prefecture and western Tokyo may have been also contaminated.”
  • “Earlier this month, the prefectural government asked 35 municipalities to decide whether radioactive materials will be removed. High radiation levels were detected in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, known as a hot spring resort. Mayor Yoshimasa Kishi said the town could be mistaken as a risky place if it decides to have radioactive materials removed.”
  • “In Kashiwa and five other cities in northern Chiba Prefecture, radioactive materials need to be removed over an estimated 180 square kilometers of mainly residential areas.”
More at http://enenews.com/asahi-western-tokyo-contaminated-radiation-
when-plume-fell-ground-after-reactor-2s-core-exposed-japan-prof

French map shows dispersion of radioactive cesium-137 in North America after Fukushima

Tokyo ignored calls to issue iodine during crisis

October 26, 2011

By YURI OIWA / Staff Writer

As the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was spewing radiation, the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan urged the central government to issue iodine tablets to residents in affected areas. But Tokyo apparently ignored the advice.

Iodine tablets help to protect the thyroid gland from the effects of radiation exposure.

At least 900 people should have been issued the medication under the NSCJ’s safety standards, but the central government did not issue instructions to municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture to lessen the health risk faced by residents.

Had those people taken the tablets, they would have markedly lowered the absorption of radiation in their thyroid glands following hydrogen explosions at the No. 3 and No. 4 reactor buildings on March 14 and 15, respectively.

Cesium and strontium were among radioactive materials leaked from the plant.

Article continues at:

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/analysis/AJ2011102615825

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