AP June 21, 2016, 8:28 AM
Fukushima meltdown apology: “It was a cover-up”
In this June 1, 2011 file photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), workers inspect equipment inside the cesium absorption tower, part of the radioactive water processing facilities at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
TOKYO — The utility that ran the Fukushima nuclear plant acknowledged Tuesday its delayed disclosure of the meltdowns at three reactorswas tantamount to a cover-up and apologized for it.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose’s apology followed the revelation last week that an investigation had found Hirose’s predecessor instructed officials during the 2011 disaster to avoid using the word “meltdown.”
“I would say it was a cover-up,” Hirose told a news conference. “It’s extremely regrettable.”
Japanese woman breaks silence on Fukushima-related cancer
TEPCO instead described the reactors’ condition as less serious “core damage” for two months after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, wrecked the plant, even though utility officials knew and computer simulations suggested meltdowns had occurred.
Yasushi Ooishi of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ooishi works in the team to handle the contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclea Power Plant.
An investigative report released last Thursday by three company-appointed lawyers said TEPCO’s then-President Masataka Shimizu instructed officials not to use the specific description under alleged pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office, though the investigators found no proof of such pressure.
Japan struggles in cleanup of Fukushima meltdown
The report said TEPCO officials, who had suggested possible meltdowns, stopped using the description after March 14, 2011, when Shimizu’s instruction was delivered to vice president at the time, Sakae Muto in a memo at a televised news conference. In a video from that day, a company official rushes over to Muto, showing the memo and telling him that the Prime Minister’s Office has banned the word.
Government officials also softened their language on the reactor conditions around the same time, the report said.
Former officials at the Prime Minister’s Office have denied the allegation. Then-top government spokesman Yukio Edano, now secretary general of the main opposition Democratic Party, criticized the report as “inadequate and unilateral,” raising suspicion over the report by the lawyers seen close to the ruling party ahead of an upcoming Upper House election.
TEPCO has been accused of a series of cover-ups in the disaster, though the report found TEPCO’s delayed meltdown acknowledgement wasn’t illegal.
Hirose said he will take a 10 percent pay cut, and another executive will take a 30 percent cut, for one month each to take responsibility.
Fukushima: Three Years Later
The report said Shimizu’s instruction delayed full disclosure of the plant’s status to the public, even as people who lived near the plant were forced to leave their homes, some of them possibly unable to return permanently, due to the radiation leaks from the plant.
TEPCO reported to authorities three days after the tsunami that the damage, based on a computer simulation, involved 25 to 55 percent of the fuel but didn’t say it constituted a “meltdown,” even though the figures exceeded the 5 percent benchmark for one under the company manual.
TEPCO in May 2011 publicly acknowledged “meltdown” after another computer simulation showed significant meltdown in three reactors, including one with melted fuel almost entirely fallen to the bottom of the primary containment chamber.
The issue surfaced earlier this year in a separate investigation in which TEPCO reversed its earlier position that it had no internal criteria regarding a meltdown announcement, admitting the company manual was overlooked.
Go and watch the very short video. Find out about the air you are breathing!
Really cool video, around 14 minutes long, showing bomb testing since 1945, which country, and where the test was performed. You will be shocked at the numbers and places: http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/p/links-including-rad-maps.html
Cemetery full of dead babies missing brains next to US nuclear site — Funeral Director: Almost all infants we have died the same way… “that’s pretty much all I see on death certificates” — Few miles from “most contaminated place in hemisphere” — “One of largest documented anencephaly clusters in US history” (VIDEO)
Published: March 23rd, 2016 at 10:04 am ET
Seattle Times, updated Jan 28, 2016 (emphasis added): How the state is missing chances to find deadly birth defect’s cause… at least 40 other mothers have lost babies to [anencephaly, which result in missing large parts of the brain] in Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties since 2010… one of the largest documented clusters of anencephaly in U.S. history… “Something’s going on and someone needs to tell us,” said [mother Sally] Garcia… Dr. Lisa Galbraith was one of the doctors… In Prosser, the obstetrician oversaw care of Garcia’s pregnancy and others affected by the disorder… “I had a total of four or five babies with anencephaly over the course of two years,” recalled Galbraith… the rate of anencephaly was much higher [than US averages]… Washington health officials… have collected no blood samples, performed no genetic tests and conducted no examination of water, soil… and have no plans to do so… In Texas, just three babies with anencephaly sparked enough outrage to overhaul the state’s birth-defects reporting system.
Seattle Times video transcript – Carlen Majnarich, funeral director: “It’s tragic… It just seems like that’s pretty much all I see on the death certificate is the same diagnosis. And nobody seems to know why. We average close to 100 families a year here in Prosser [a few miles from Hanford]. Almost all the infants that we have have died of anencephaly. It’s just what do you say?”… Sally Garcia (mother who lost her baby to anencephaly): “All these on this side [of the cemetery] are all babies… all babies, starting from right there.”
The Legal Examiner, Dec 31, 2015: [T]he strange eruption of anencephaly cases, which occurs in Washington at a rate almost 5 times as high as the national average, has highlighted a number of government policies that may actually conceal these sort of birth defect “clusters,” rather than help investigate them.
KVEW-TV, Mar 4, 2016: As of November 2015 cases of anencephaly have continued to increase with the current rate at 9.5 per 10,000 live births.
Sara Barron, MS, BSN – American Journal of Nursing, Mar 2016: In the spring of 2012 two babies without brains were born within weeks of each other at the rural hospital in Washington State where I was working… I was stunned when the delivering physician said another patient was expecting the same outcome. After speaking with colleagues at neighboring hospitals, I learned that two other babies with anencephaly had recently been born in the area. In over 30 years of nursing, I had seen only two cases of anencephaly prior to these. I called the Washington State Department of Health and reported a birth defect cluster… RISK FACTORS… Radiation exposure. Popular media and blogs have often linked the Washington State NTD cluster to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Benton County, Washington. Although leaks from nuclear power plants have been associated with a higher rate of anencephaly and other NTDs, Washington State Department of Health investigators point out that the three counties with the highest prevalence of NTDs were both upwind and upriver of the Hanford site, making the nuclear plant an unlikely cause of the 2012 cluster.
- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “The Hanford Site… is widely considered to be the most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere”
- KOIN: “The biggest, most toxic nuclear waste site in the Western hemisphere”
- Time: “The largest nuclear clean-up site in the western hemisphere”
- AFP: “The Western hemisphere’s most contaminated nuclear site“”
More infant deaths near Hanford: Cemetery blocks filled w/ babies downwind of US nuclear site — Mother: My newborns died in hours… tumors all over, brain disintegrated after massive stroke — “Body parts, cadavers, fetuses… nuke industry took in the dead of night”
Triple meltdowns remain out of control causing up to 66,000 excess cancers say two new reports while Americans feast on fishy Pacific seafoodSnow squalls brought the temperature down to a frigid 15.8 degrees Fahrenheit on the trawler January 20. The sea pitched in a rough chop.
Cold Japanese fisherman plied the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Japan with three klieg lights at 2:30 in the morning. They were the only vessel around.
These weren’t just any waters the men fished in the freezing winds. The water was ‘hot’ with radiation. But the fish were plentiful and if they didn’t pass rad testing, they could be sold overseas.
The vessel bobbed in the choppy waters several hundred yards away from the still stricken, still leaking, still out of control triple nuclear reactors in full meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Gone fishing in the hot zone.
“Here’s a screenshot I took on 1/20/2016 at 2:36 [Japanese Standard Time] via the TBS Webcam,” says Sierra Nevada musician Chas Haws in a Radiation Conversation comment on EnviroReporter.com not long after taking it earlier this year. “It looks like a very large fishing boat with its trolling lights on. The thought that somebody somewhere could unknowingly consume those fish is a very scary thought. So scary I can’t believe any human being in their right mind would do such a thing.”
Exactly five years after the beginning of one of the two worst nuclear disasters in history, people are doing just that, eating fish from the seas off of Fukushima. If the catch is too radioactive under loose Japanese regulations, it’s sent to seafood consumers in the United States where the allowable radiation limits in fish are even more lax.Americans have been eating meltdowns-contaminated food for half a decade, as EnviroReporter.com’s Fukushima investigation shows. Radioactive cesium (caesium) is rising in fish caught off of British Columbia, the region (including Alaska and the Pacific Northwest) that supplies America’s ravenous seafood consumption.
Two new studies detail the extent of the contamination in Japan, its cancerous impact upon the population and continued Pacific contamination. Government testing has shown sea creatures high in Fukushima radionuclides caught of West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Yet judging from the robust U.S. consumption of crashing seafood stocks in the Pacific, which have repeatedly tested positive for Fukushima radionuclides, America has ‘gone fishing’ too in the gastronomical sense.
Gone fishing. Most Americans would fit in this category when it comes to the Fukushima meltdowns and their effects. Meltdown fatigue, complicated science and an assortment of pro-nuclear naysayers comparing Fukushima’s radiation with eating bananas has understandably numbed great numbers of people to their peril.
The Long and Ionizing Road
EnviroReporter.com’s 2014 anniversary piece Fukushima – The Perfect Crime? reported that 441 tons of highly radioactive water was sluicing into the Pacific from the stricken cores every day. According to a new report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) called 5 Years Living With Fukushima, that number is now 300 tons per day.
The reduction in toxic water released is the good news (even though more than 500,000 thousand tons of radioactive waste water has now gone into the Pacific since 2011). The bad news is up to 66,000 “excess cancers” will hit the Fukushima area because of the meltdowns, according to the report. Workers who fought to save the reactors and their comrades paid the highest price for their valor.
“More than 25,000 cleanup and rescue workers received the highest radiation dose and risked their health, while preventing a deterioration of the situation at the power plant site,” the report says. “If data supplied by the operator TEPCO [plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company] is to be believed, around 100 workers are expected to contract cancer due to excess radiation, and 50 percent of these will be fatal. The real dose levels, however, are most likely several times higher, as the operator has had no qualms in manipulating the data to avoid claims for damages – from hiring unregistered temporary employees to tampering with radiation dosimeters and even crude forgery.”Even five years out, no one is allowed to live within 12.5 miles of stricken reactors. The hardships experienced by the Japanese people who had to flee Fukushima is well documented in the new short film Five Years On – Voices of Fukushima. About 180,000 remain displaced.
Coinciding with the PSR/IPPNW report launch March 9, Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar specializing in nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies, Institute for Public Studies, and former senior policy advisor, US Department of Energy, issued a statement highlighting their tragedy.
“Radioactive fallout from the reactors has created de faco ‘sacrifice zones’ where human habitation will no longer be possible well into the future,” Alvarez said. “In November 2011, the Japanese Science Ministry reported that long-lived radioactive cesium had contaminated 11,580 square miles (30,000 sq km) of the land surface of Japan. Some 4,500 square miles – an area almost the size of Connecticut – was found to have radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s allowable exposure rate.”
Some cries for justice are finally being heard in Japan. Three top TEPCO executives including the chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 75, and two former executive vice presidents were indicted February 29 for professional negligence resulting in injury and death. It would seem unlikely that the judgement of these men will happen very quickly since it took five years to call them to task.
Cleaning up the mess in Fukushima won’t happen very quickly either, says TEPCO. The company says it needs 50 years to contain and remediate the reactors with the missing, oozing corium. It claims to have completed 10 percent of that work.
What appears to be a Sisyphean task to restore Fukushima is confirmed in the new March 4 Greenpeace report “Radiation Reloaded: Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident 5 years later.” The comprehensive study found that “The current approach of Japanese authorities to forest decontamination is the removal of leaf litter, soil, and understory plants in 20 meter strips along the roads and around homes that are surrounded by forests. In terms of decontaminating the large areas of Fukushima this approach is futile. Over seventy percent of Fukushima prefecture is forested, which is not possible to decontaminate.”
Greenpeace found that even if there is decontamination, it may subsequently be undone. “Mountain streams and rivers transport radioactive particulates and contaminated forest litter downstream, potentially contaminating areas that did not receive fallout, recontaminating ‘decontaminated’ areas, or discharging radioactivity to estuaries and marine ecosystems,” the report said.
Complicating matters even more is hot mist getting into everything, literally. “Both caesium-bearing particulates as well as vaporized, water-soluble radiocaesium were released,” the report says. “Water-soluble caesium, which came down as wet deposition with precipitation and fog, is readily absorbed via bark and leaves into the internal tissues of trees. Hot particles appear to weather and leach caesium under natural conditions. In addition, radiocaesium and 90Sr can be absorbed via root systems. Once absorbed into the internal tissues of trees, 134Cs and 137Cs are translocated with nutrient flows, concentrating in rapidly growing tissues such as new foliar structures, flowers and pollen. Japanese cedar pollen in Fukushima forests appears to have high concentrations of radiocaesium.”Radioactive fog, flowers and pollen? Yes, and hot honey too if the Fukushima sweet stuff soaks up the cesium like Croatian honey did from Chernobyl fallout adding fission to the flowers. It certainly has the potential to make even cherry tree festivals dangerous in the land of the rising radiation.
Naturally, it’s the perfect place to have the 2020 summer Olympics, i.e. Tokyo’s Radiation Olympics. If the swimming events are staged in Fukushima’s rivers, caution would be well advised if Greenpeace’s report is accurate.
“According to radiocaesium discharge projections for the century between 2011 and 2111, the major rivers whose catchments are primarily in Fukushima prefecture (the Abukuma, Arakawa, Naka, Agano, and Tadami rivers) could discharge as much caesium into the Pacific Ocean as is hemorrhaging from the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself,” the report says. “The Abukuma River alone is projected to discharge 111 TBq [Terabecquerel] of 137Cs [cesium-137] and 44 TBq of 134Cs [cesium-134], even with current rates of “decontamination”, in the century after the disaster.”
That is a lot of goo. All of it is headed for the Pacific Ocean. What goes into the water in Fukushima eventually makes its way on the Kuroshio Current to North American shores.
Just Say Glow
Many of the thousands of tests EnviroReporter.com has conducted and reported on since 2011 show Fukushima contamination in fish consumed in California and across America and Canada. Those tests keep coming in and include a variety of animals that have shown signs of Fukushima-related radionuclides in them.
In the summer of 2014, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries division found Fuku rads in northern fur seals. “We detected very small amounts of Fukushima-derived radioactive material in the seal tissue,” the NOAA report says. “We didn’t find any detectable radiation in the marine debris. The two [graph] peaks … show radiation energy for two isotopes of Cesium; 134Cs and 137Cs detected in fur seal muscle.”
Cesium-134 is a Fukushima signature radioisotope because it’s half-life of 2.07 years precludes anything else from being the source like nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing decades ago. It usually is found in tandem with cesium-137 as it indeed was in the seal.
Both of these isotopes of cesium are extremely dangerous with the shorter the half-life, the more intense a rate of ionization. That’s what makes cesium-134 such a perilous poison. NOAA also revealed that it tested water itself positive for cesium-134. Albacore tuna from the East Pacific Ocean, a foodie favorite, came in with 9.6 times higher in cesium-134 than the fur seal reading.“Estimated U.S. per capita consumption of fish and shellfish was 14.6 pounds (edible meat) in 2014,” according to recent NOAA data. “This total was essentially unchanged from the 14.5 pounds consumed in 2013.”
The U.S. fish feast of 2014 weighed in at 4,743,025 tons. Over 72 percent of that haul came from the Pacific with most of that harvested off of Alaska. That’s where so many Fukushima-related isotopes have been measured in all manner of flora and fauna over the last five years.
Foodies gone fishing from Fukushima who just have to have their seafood yet who care about radiation bioaccumulation can take heart. There are fresh water fish and seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. But eating anything out of the Pacific is lunched.
“I know humans do some pretty insanely stupid things, so I wonder,” Haws says of his Fukushima fishing screen capture. “Why else would those fish trolling lights be on… hmm? Did they unload their hefty catch at some far away port and say it came from somewhere else? It would be a crime beyond description. There are no fish police. At least not at 2:30 in the morning just east of ongoing TRIPLE MELTDOWNS.”
The image of that trawler fishing in the freezing night in the fission-rich waters off of Fukushima Dai-chi is truly disturbing. On whose plates will that catch land?
When it comes to Fukushima, and now five years of radioactive madness, most of America – and the world, seems to have simply gone fishing.
South Carolina Week of March 8 2016: http://enenews.com/alert-emergency-nuclear-plant-after-massive-fire-multiple-explosions-all-sudden-heard-loud-boom-ground-started-shaking-videos
New York, Week of March 03, 2016:
There was also one in North Carolina, and problems at the Hanford plant in Washington State.
EMERGENCY: Fire breaks out at another US nuclear plant — Blaze ignites in turbine building — “It took so long to put out” — Alert issued to government officials (VIDEO)
Published: March 10th, 2016 at 9:34 am ET
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mar 9, 2016 (emphasis added): WATTS BAR [Tennessee]… Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT… EMERGENCY DECLARED… UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO A FIRE GREATER THAN 15 MINUTES… Watts Bar Unit 2 declared an Unusual Event at 0342 EST based on a fire greater than 15 minutes in the turbine building – 2B Hotwell pump motor… Notified DHS… DOE, FEMA… and Nuclear SSA…
WBIR, Mar 9, 2016: An electrical fire overnight at TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in southeast Tennessee triggered an alert… It took about 29 minutes from the time the fire was discovered until it was extinguished by the Watts Bar Fire Brigade. The pump was in a part of the plant that is hard to access, and that’s why it took so long to put out. Because the fire burned longer than 15 minutes, a Notice of Unusual Event (NUE) was declared. The NUE triggered an alert to TEMA and other agencies… Unit 2 is fueled but is non-operational. The hot well is where the steam from power generation ends up after being condensed back into water.
WTVC, Mar 9, 2016: TVA spokesman Scott Brooks says the fire broke out at 3:45 a.m. in one of the pump motors, one that received an operating license back in October.
Power Engineering, Mar 9, 2016: Watts Bar 2 Shut Down After Turbine Building Fire — Workers with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) declared an Unusual Event at Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee due to a fire inside the turbine building… The cause is under investigation.
Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mar 10, 2016: Fire at Watts Bar… triggers emergency event
Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mar 9, 2016: Fire in Watts Bar pump motor on Thursday declared an emergency… fire ignited early Wednesday in one of the pump motors for TVA’s newest reactors, forcing the federal utility to declare the lowest of emergency classifications at the plant even before it has produced any power… The Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor will be the first new nuclear reactor added to America’s nuclear grid since the other Watts Bar unit started up in 1996. TVA has spent more than $5 billion to build the unit through a series of starts and stops in construction since the project began in 1973.
WRCB, Mar 9, 2016: Fire in Watts Bar pump motor today brings emergency declaration
WJHL, Mar 9, 2016: TVA: Watts Bar Dam generating unit caught on fire… Tennessee Valley Authority was alerted of an “usual event” [and] was able to extinguish the fire after the alert.
Washington Post: “No one knows what to do with Fukushima” — Scientific American: Plant is in “crisis mode”… fuel has melted through containers — Official: Corium may never be extracted — Gov’t suggests dumping it under Pacific Ocean
Published: February 22nd, 2016 at 9:28 am ET
Washington Post, Feb 10, 2016 (emphasis added): Five years after nuclear meltdown, no one knows what to do with Fukushima… one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?… Tepco has built a 1,500-yard-long “ice wall” around the four reactor buildings… however, Japan’s nuclear watchdog blocked the plan, saying the risk of leakage was still too high… [M]ost problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself… “The biggest challenge is going to be the removal of the nuclear fuel debris,” [Akira Ono, Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi superintendent] said. “We don’t even know what state the debris is in at the moment.”… one of the options the government is considering is building a nuclear waste dump under the seabed, about eight miles off the Fukushima coast… Many groups… staunchly oppose the idea of burying the radioactive material at sea in such a seismically active area. “At some point it would leak and affect the environment,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center.
Japan Times, Feb 20, 2016: NRA commissioner suggests plan to remove all fuel debris at Fukushima plant may not be best option — A Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner has suggested that removing all fuel debris from reactors at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may not be the best option. “I wonder if the situation would be desired that work is still underway to extract fuel debris 70 or 80 years after” the nuclear disaster, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters Friday. “There are a variety of options, including removing as much fuel debris as possible and solidifying the rest,” he added… Fuketa said that unlike the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it is “not realistic” to construct concrete buildings to cover reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant because the situation is different. The commissioner also questioned whether construction of an underground ice wall around the reactor buildings to prevent radioactive water buildup will prove effective.
(bags of radioactive waste)
Scientific American, March 2016 issue: Five years ago this month… half of the facility’s uranium cores to overheat and melt through their steel containers… Today the disaster site remains in crisis mode…
See also: Nuclear Expert: Simply impossible to remove melted fuel from Fukushima — Corium “has spread all over… could actually have gone through floor of containment vessel” — Only way to deal with these reactors releasing dangerous radiation is to cover in concrete — Will take centuries of work (VIDEO):