Eyewitness report – inside the wreckage of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor
Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has opened its doors to reporters for the first time since the March 11 earthquake. Martin Fackler of the New York Times sent this pooled dispatch.
by Martin Fackler in Fukushima
7:00PM GMT 12 Nov 2011
I was one of around three dozen journalists put onto two buses. We were given protective suits, double gloves, a double layer of clear plastic booties over shoes, hair cover, respirator mask and a radiation detector.
And then we began our drive to the plant.
First, we passed through the police check point. Through the bus window, I saw the empty towns of Naraha, Tomioka and Okuma pass by. There were abandoned homes. A plant store with its greenery still on display outside, but withered and dead.
I could see that many homes had been visited and fixed already by residents, with the surrounding areas swept clean and debris from the earthquake placed into neat piles.
Our buses drove between the reactors and the sea. I noticed a 13 feet sea wall built with rocks in black nets, which TEPCO said was a makeshift defence against future tsunami.
A glance at my radiation reader revealed the levels were 300 microsieverts per hour – the highest reading of my visit.
Read the entire article at:
Ex-Tepco worker: Plutonium has all been blown out of Fukushima Unit 3
Reactor 5 and 6 had criticality as well.
On Tepco’s press release data of 4/25/2011,
Iodine133 was measured at intake of reactor 5 and 6.
0.15Bq/cm3 8:50 4/24/2011
0.23Bq/cm3 14:30 4/24/2011
Details, charts at:
Fukushima No. 1 stable: plant chief
Tepco allows media to visit No. 1 plant site for first time
OKUMA, Fukushima Pref. — Making his first public appearance since the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in March, the facility’s general manager, Masao Yoshida, apologized for failing to prevent the triple meltdowns but emphasized that conditions at the plant have “definitely been stabilized.”
|Atomic aftermath: Part of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is seen Saturday in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, as reporters were given access to the facility for the first time since it was wrecked by the March 11 disasters. POOL|
Yoshida met reporters at the wrecked power station as Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, allowed reporters to visit the facility for the first time since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear crisis.
“The first thing I would like to do is to apologize to the people of Fukushima and in the whole of Japan for causing them great trouble,” Yoshida said.
Yoshida has led the workers trying to contain the Fukushima No. 1 plant’s stricken reactors since the first day of the nuclear crisis. He confessed that he almost gave up on several occasions, and in the first days of the disaster he even feared he could die from excessive radiation exposure.
Read the entire article at:
I believe I omitted this yesterday. From Mochizuki at Fukushima-Diary.com:
Discharge to ocean of contaminated water may re-start next January
Japanese comedy duo, Oshidori mako has been attending Tepco’s press conferences where they grill Tepco’s spokesman.
As you will likely remember, the detection of neptunium contamination in the Japanese countryside was revealed because of their efforts too.
On 11/10/2011, they updated their blog.
There are 3 important points in that post.
Fukushima Diary will feature each point.
According to Tepco’s explanation, there are 3 types of highly contaminated water stocked at the Fukushima nuclear disaster site.
(Nika here – note: 1 Cubic Meter = 264.172052 Gallons [US, Fluid] – I multiplied each cubic meter below by 264.2))
1: Condensed salt water
- Amount: 76,589 cubic meters (20,234,813.8 gallons)
- Tank capacity: 85,600 cubic meters (22,615,520 gallons)
- 89.5% full
2: plain water
- Amount: 8,008 cubic meters (2,115,713.6 gallons)
- Tank capacity: 17,700 cubic meters (4,676,340 gallons)
- 45.2% full
3: Condensed highly radioactive water
- Amount: 3,037 cubic meters (802,375.4 gallons)
- Tank capacity: 9,500 cubic meters (2,509,900 gallons)
- 32.0% full
They are supposed to condense them to reduce the volume, but it’s estimated that all the tanks will be full in a couple of months.
Currently they are trying to sort it out in 2 ways.
1: Add more tanks
- they are planning to make only 1,000 tons and 100 tons of the tanks and still there is no solid plan
2: Purify the water
- no solid plan yet
Tepco did not deny the possibility of releasing the stored contaminated water into the sea again in a couple of months.
In the blog post, Oshidori mako stated there is the possibility that they might release it into the sea AGAIN in January.
It is from an anonymous source, but from the explanation of Tepco, it sounds quite likely.
An important read…
Tohoku teens share views of survival
Young network, share ideas at camp focused on leadership
Asaka Yanada, a 15-year-old high school student from Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, ran as fast as she could toward a hill for 2 km, shepherding elementary school students, when the giant tsunami engulfed her hometown on March 11.
That’s how she survived the biggest disaster of her young life. Now as a participant in the Tohoku Future Leaders Summit, she believes building cities well-prepared for evacuation with clear routes and signs is a key for minimizing the impact of future calamities.
“As a junior high school student, I could bear it, but I thought it was too much for 7- to 9-year-olds to run for 2 km” in a limited time, she told the other participants at the three-day leadership camp in Tokyo that ended Oct. 30.
Yanada was one of 70 high school students from Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures to take part in the program organized by the Tokyo-based Global Fund for Education Assistance, to discuss how to rebuild and revitalize their shattered hometowns.
Read the entire article at:
A Rescue Squad Member Died from Renal Failure 3 Months After He Was Found with Internal Radiation Exposure
A woman in a public forum asked a question to the two panelists: Why did my friend die?
The event was held in Sapporo City on November 6, 2011.
Her friend was a member of the special rescue unit of the Fire Department (probably in Osaka) who was sent numerous times to the disaster-affected areas in Fukushima and Iwate for the rescue effort. In July, he was found with internal radiation exposure, but he had to continue working. His employer kept sending him and his colleagues to the disaster area even after the internal radiation exposure was found in them.
She says that they got sick and they had to quit. But that was after they were berated by their superior as “unpatriotic”. Her friend died in 3 months after having been found with internal radiation exposure.
There were many, many untrained, ordinary citizens who went to Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate as volunteers for disaster relief. Now, Fukushima Prefecture is calling for citizen volunteers to come and decontaminate their heavily contaminated towns.
This is heart-rending. Read the entire article and view the video (with English captions) at: