You Won’t BELIEVE What’s Going On at Fukushima Right Now

Tepco Has No Idea How to Stabilize the Reactors

You’ve heard bad news about Fukushima recently.

But it’s worse than you know.

The Wall Street Journal notes that radiation levels outside the plant are likely higher than inside the reactor:

NRA [Nuclear Regulation Authority] officials said highly contaminated water may be leaking into the soil from a number of trenches, allowing the water to seep into the site’s groundwater and eventually into the ocean.

***

Both radioactive substances are considered harmful to health. An NRA official said Monday that the very high levels were likely to be even higher than those within the reactor units themselves.

***

It was by far the highest concentration of radioactivity detected since soon after Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami ….

How could it be more radioactive outside the nuclear reactors? The reactors have lost containment, and experts have no idea where the nuclear cores are.

And the problems which have been detected at ground-level are only the tip of the iceberg.  Japan Times points out:

Cesium levels in water under Fukushima No. 1 plant soar the deeper it gets, Tepco reveals

***

Tepco found 950 million becquerels of cesium and 520 million becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, including strontium, in the water from 13 meters [~43 feet] underground.

Water from 1 meter down contained 340 million becquerels, and a sample from 7 meters down contained 350 million becquerels.

***

Cesium, a metallic element, is subject to gravity.

Yomiuri reports that highly-radioactive groundwater could start coming to the surface at the Fukushima plant:

TEPCO spokesman Noriyuki Imaizumi revealed the water level of the tainted groundwater in a test well located on the sea side of the No. 2 reactor has risen rapidly.

If the water level continues to rise, it could reach the ground surface,” Imaizumi, an acting general manager of the company’s nuclear power-related division, said at a press conference Monday.

According to the company, the water level has risen about 70 centimeters over the past 20 days.

***

To prevent contaminated groundwater from leaking into the sea, TEPCO is working to reinforce the ground foundation of seawalls. The rising water level in the test well means the measures to prevent leakage have been working.

However, the company apparently failed to give much thought to the fact that the groundwater would have nowhere else to go ….

Even Tepco admits that the groundwater problems are due to a lack of planning.  NHK points out:

[Tepco] learnt on Wednesday that its efforts to prevent radiation-tainted groundwater from seeping into the sea are failing.

***

TEPCO has been trying to solidify the embankment of the crippled power plant.

***

TEPCO says water levels in one of the contaminated wells have risen by about 1 meter since the work began in early July.

It says this is likely the result of its work to solidify the ground  [to a depth of 16 meters], using chemicals.

The company says soil up to 2 meters below the ground cannot be hardened, and water may be seeping out.

In addition, a top expert says that radioactive water could be flowing beneath the seafloor … and could well up outside of the port “containment” zone:

Atsunao Marui, head of the Groundwater Research Group at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said, “Groundwater also flows beneath the seafloor, so it’s possible that contaminated groundwater could spring up outside the port.”

Marui added that water outside the port also needs to be carefully checked.

Reuters notes that the bolts in Fukushima’s tanks will corrode in just a few years, and a plant workers reveal — “Tepco says it doesn’t know how long tanks will hold”:

Experts say Tepco is attempting the most ambitious nuclear clean-up in history, even greater than the Chernobyl disaster ….

***

Radioactive water that cools the reactors …]mixes with some 400 tonnes of fresh groundwater pouring into the plant daily.

Workers have built more than 1,000 tanks ….

With more than 85 percent of the 380,000 tonnes of storage capacity filled, Tepco has said it could run out of space.

The tanks are built from parts of disassembled old containers brought from defunct factories and put together with new parts, workers from the plant told Reuters. They say steel bolts in the tanks will corrode in a few years.

Tepco says it does not know how long the tanks will hold.

Asahi writes:

[Tepco's] appallingly shoddy handling of radioactive water that is leaking from the crippled plant into the sea.

***

At the No. 3 reactor, highly radioactive “mystery steam” has been spotted.

The fact that radioactive substances are still being released into the ground, the sea and the air is irrefutable proof that the nuclear disaster of March 2011 is not over. The responsible parties must take this situation gravely ….

The utility’s glaring ineptitude with crisis management was noted right from the start of the Fukushima disaster.

***

We have zero faith in the utility’s reliability as an operator of any nuclear power plant. In fact, allowing the company to handle nuclear energy is simply out of the question.

The entire company now needs to be focused on preventing radioactive substances from escaping into the environment.

Yomiuri argues that the government agency overseeing Fukushima has no idea what’s going on:

The Nuclear Regulation Authority, which oversees safety management at the nuclear plant, decided to set up a working team to analyze conditions concerning contamination.

But the NRA’s actions have also been badly delayed. At a meeting Monday, an expert said the NRA “still can’t grasp the risks posed by the current situation.”

As Enformable points out, top Japanese officials are finally calling for Tepco to be fired:

In case one hasn’t paid attention the constant stream of international experts who have called for TEPCO to be removed  as the organization in charge of decommissioning the crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactors, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has also called for Tokyo Electric to be removed. “It is simply too big for one company to handle,” said Tanaka, at a press conference Wednesday. “Placing all the burden (of controlling the site) on them won’t solve the problem.” 

(Background.)

Remember, an official Japanese government investigation concluded that the Fukushima accident was a “man-made” disaster,  caused by “collusion” between government and Tepco and bad reactor design.  And yet the Japanese government has allowed the culprit – Tepco – to oversee the “cleanup”, in the same way that the U.S. government allowed BP to oversee the “cleanup” of the Gulf oil spill even though BP’s criminal negligence caused the spill in the first place.

ABC Australia reports:

It’s taken about two-and-a-half years, but it seems the Japanese government is finally losing patience with the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant. The reason: its haphazard approach to stabilising the complex. Last week it was unexplained steam rising from the shattered remains of the building housing the melted reactor number three. This week it’s TEPCO’s admission that radioactive water from the plant has probably been leaking into the Pacific for the last three months.

Indeed, Asahi notes:

The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant sat on its hands for more than two years despite having pledged to seal a leaking hole in a turbine building ….

NHK writes:

[Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide] Suga told reporters after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the government views this as a grave matter.

Tepco’s own advisors are also blasting the operator of the stricken nuclear plant.  AFP points out:

Foreign nuclear experts on Friday blasted the operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, with one saying its lack of transparency over toxic water leaks showed “you don’t know what you’re doing”… “appears that you are not keeping the people of Japan informed. These actions indicate that you don’t know what you are doing … you do not have a plan and that you are not doing all you can to protect the environment and the people.” [said Dale Klein, Former NRC Chairman and Tepco advisory committee member]

Nuclear expert – and former high-level nuclear industry executive – Arnie Gundersen says that Fukushima has “contaminated the biggest body of water on the planet”, and that the whole Pacific Ocean likely to have cesium levels 5-10 times higher than at peak of nuclear bomb tests.

How could this happen?   Doesn’t the ocean dilute radiation to the point it is rendered harmless?  No, actually:

Japan Times notes:

Fukushima … seems to lurch from one problem to the next ….

***

When the situation is so bad that Shunichi Tanaka, the NRA chairman, is stating in a press conference, with regard to water leaks, that “if you have any better ideas, we’d like to know,” it should be clear that Fukushima No. 1 still requires the upmost attention.

The chairman of the NRA also says (via the New York Times):

Considering the state of the plant, it’s difficult to find a solution today or tomorrow… That’s probably not satisfactory to many of you. But that’s the reality we face after an accident like this… We don’t truly know whether that will work….

Indeed, technology doesn’t currently even exist to stabilize and clean up Fukushima, and Tepco – with no financial incentive to actually fix things – has only been pretending to clean it up. And see this.

This entry was posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, Politics / World News, Science / Technology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Tonto

    Until Jeff Immelt is put in jail and his execution scheduled, there’s no point in believing anyone is even seriously looking for a solution. It’s just been an ongoing pragmatic back-peddling so common to the end result of these ubiquitous catastrophic scientific failures.

    Why?

    Because these people behind this disaster are telling us, no one, not a plant worker or owner, not a plant designer or contractor, not a plant scientist, not a regulatory agency head, not a funding bank president, and not one politician is responsible for this event that could lead to the destruction of all human life on earth.

    If all of these people didn’t do this, then who the hell did?

    It’s time to start building the gallows. These people cannot be let to get away with this atrocity. If ever in the history of the world there has been a slowly plotted and conceived crime against humanity this is it.

    Hang ‘em high.

    • gozounlimited

      Doesn’t matter who did it…..does it, it’s you and me that is ultimately held responsible for the nuclear industry. We are the insurers as well as the overseers of an industry run by psychos.

      • Tonto

        It matters if anyone is going to stop this sort of thing from happening again. Rope is a strong inhibitor. I am NOT for letting these scientific witch-doctors again feather-rattle-dance around this sort of thing again proclaiming their scientific genius, or letting this sort of scientific idiocy happen again for any reason.

        GE’s Immelt needs to be publicly hung, very publicly. GE may have been a big contributor to a lot of political campaigns. But I do not care. I want this man strung up for his crimes, and lot of people who helped him do what he did should also be strung up at the same time on the same gallows.

        You may have read here recently when some self-proclaimed scientific genius named, “David G. Mills” was advocating more clean, safe nuclear energy for the future with thorium. He posted a link to a YouTube presentation with his mutt face ensconced with a halo of electrons floating about his head as if he were a scientific GOD of some sort. The new Christ child? I think that’s what the fruitcake was saying. Judge by the picture! This nutcase wants to put thorium in the water supply, like fluoride used to be! He said THAT here on this site. It’s safe, he said.

        http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/nuclear-power-is-being-abandoned-worldwide.html#comments

        I am for hanging anyone that advocates more nuclear power designed by the likes of the scientific fruitcakes that gave us Fukushima and a host of other similar nuclear atrocities.

        I know it sounds uncivilized to talk about hanging these people. But honestly, where do these scientific shaman get off conducting experiments that threaten killing everyone on the planet? No. Rope, and lots of it, is the only civilized solution for what happened at Fukushima, and what is still threatening to happen throughout the whole rest of the world infested with these idiotic scientific dooms-day contraptions.

        Let them all pat themselves on the back in Hell for solving the world’s energy crisis with clean, safe nuclear energy.

      • TruthNotOUT

        Correct there is a possibility we already had it through our food chain.

      • TruthNotOUT

        Correct there is a possibility we already had it through our food chain.

      • TruthNotOUT

        Correct there is a possibility we already had it through our food chain.

  • gozounlimited

    Why I limit my West Coastal experience to Pacific Ocean cesium/radiation found in the moisture that is removable from the air, rather than residing as I used to… on the beach. I have given up Pacific O Seafood along with sea vegetables and other nutrients affected by Fukushima as well as Diablo Canyon on the Central Coast. Having already ingested high amounts of cesium and radiation caused by the original Japanese power plant explosion, from the air, water and food…. I’m going to work on repair my body from that experience before I further pollute my body.

    • wunsacon

      I gave up all “wild caught”, unless it’s Arctic char. Won’t touch any shrimp. Won’t touch lobster unless it’s sold whole with the large claws suggesting it’s from Maine. Stopped eating at sushi restaurants.

      Deepwater Horizon GOM. Fukushima Pacific. Yeah, most times the fish won’t come from those locations. But, how will I know? All it takes is one liar in the supply chain to switch in some cheaper supply. And you know no one wants to pay full price for tainted supply, which is why the US military decided to buy some for the troops. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/06/AR2011020603941.html )

  • Eric Hollingsworth

    Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) could theoretically consume the spent nuclear fuel and weapons-grade nuclear products that are dangling over our heads while our ineffective governments dawdle. China and India are doing an end-run around the West with this technology although I suppose the NSA can root out any proprietary advancements they might make ;) If you haven’t heard of LFTRs they are worth a look-see.

    • Tonto

      Idle minds are the devil’s workshop, Eric. Just because you read it on the Internet, doesn’t make something a good idea. The LFTR’s are just another incredibly-dangerous version of safe, clean nuclear energy. These LFTR’s are highly radioactive and poisonous. Putting plutonium and DU in them would not make them any less radioactive or poisonous.

      • Eric Hollingsworth

        I’ll pass over your incredibly patronizing emanations, and not even suggest that we transition to modular, passive cooling reactors to mitigate the danger from the current reactor base, to point out that LFTRs are at least an order of magnitude safer than uranium and plutonium reactors, and are far less dangerous than you suggest, with the half-lives of by-products measured in days instead of thousands of years. Although nobody suggested using depleted uranium as a fuel, plutonium could be converted into U233 and used as fuel. Although U233 could conceivably be used in weapons, a reactor would have to be shut down in order for it to be extracted, so it’s not like anybody could do it on the sly. Try doing a spot of research before pontificating.

  • jadan

    This is a global problem that should have been acknowledged from day one. This is the UN’s bailiwick, the opportunity to call for cooperation among nations and bring about a fast fix. It defies common sense that the nations of the world should not get together and intervene in this crisis. Freud believed in a human death wish and Fukushima is an example of the collective suicidal impulse.

    • XFuncCarter

      The problem is you need to stay cool.

      Having every nation on the planet scream at once will cause paralysis.

  • thaitoff

    For the first time in recorded human history there has been a China syndrome, not just one but at least three reactor cores have melted/are melting their way into the earth. No paradigms to guide us on this one, so what is to be lost by looking closer at what Wilhelm Reich – the only person to have experimented with a uranium isotope to see if there is an antidote for humans – and start playing with his orgone accumulator. It works at reducing radiation levels in both humans, water and food. FWIW, I have left instructions on how to build one on http://www.telluricsonline.com//irradiation-and-the-effects-on-nature.
    We have little choice but to take care of ourselves, so let’s walk the talk.

    • XFuncCarter

      If they reach magma, they will be incinerated and recycled into the billions-year-old rock cycle. Most rock on this planet is in a liquid state. Effectively that would recycle ANYTHING that were in those rods.

      However, if there is some reaction, like a volcanic explosion, due to sea water getting in…

  • theblues77

    Alarming images, including contaminated water gushing into the ocean.

    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2058823_2262750,00.html

  • nobodyouwantoknow

    Blah blah blah…

    When Chernbobyl blew, I told Lawrence Livermore Lab engineers how to stop it : liquid nitrogen ( shock cooling & formation of solid nitrides). They told USSR, & it was done 12 hours later ( day 5). it was NOT done with boron/sand as commonly thought. Every nuke plant should/must have liquid nitrogen on site, but nooooo….

    Here is a review of known methods for neutralizing nuke waste, written 13 years ago. Not one stupid fart-brain idiot in the nuke industry has done squat about it because they’re over-educated beyond their capacity to think, and they squabble endlessly ( as has been well-documented if you bother to check into it). Humans are a goddamned pathetic failed species.

    http://www.rexresearch.com/articles/nukewa.htm

    • nobodyouwantoknow

      I forgot to mention Brown’s Gas ( stoichometric HHO ) — has been proven to reduce radioactivity to very low levels very quickly. It is the simplest, easiest way, especially if you insist on burning rad waste as is being done in stupid-san Nippo.

      http://www.rexresearch.com/brown-haley/brown-haley.htm

  • robertsgt40

    GE will never be called to account for this planet changing fkup. Fukushima has been spewing non stop from day one. The fallout was in the US within 2wks. This isn’t going away in our lifetime.

  • jackmoovemacguillicutty

    Yeah, and they are ignoring the spike in birth defects on the west coast. This is ridiculous, just like Exxon-Valdez, Deepwater, etc., they just bury the truth. Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain. Move along. Didn’t you see the new Real Housewives?

  • hvaiallverden

    Fukushima is a loooong line of continous clusterf….ups of epic proportions.

    No Japan have diminished their chanses for keaping their land intact. Because it took only 48 Min, before the corium breatched the inner “pereiteries/walls, and with in 4.6 huors it was beneeth the concret floor, and now we kan only speculate. Have it solifyed it self, is it still in granual size, a,s,o, where is the f…. core. The last time I saw any IR/UW images was over a year ago, and they showed mustitute of places where there is a sort of “collection, by nature or by temp.
    And this images was from the wurst of them all, rec. 3, witch exploded.

    The shitt list goes on, the ground is at 1 S. range, and this is when electronics starts to fry.
    Electronic exuipemnts are becoming useless, and the whole area will be simply dark.
    And from then on, only organic materiale is capable for a wery short time stay in this area, so Fukushima is slowly turning into a NO GO ZONE.
    And I recond its already places where nothing works, because of background rad.
    And with in a year or two, the whole site is gone.

    Then what.
    huh
    Smile.

    Solutions: only silence, where solutions is virtually non existing, and some of the plans(nitro a.s.o)
    Its to late, the Core have left the buliding.

    There is one soution left, and its in any terms a global issue, to simply blast the enitre part of fukushima prefecture into the ground, to blast is several KM down into the ground.And scrape the half of Japan down into this hole. Even this boring/drilling with basic tunnel equipments will be a suicide mission. Or maby simpler or lesser risky, is to start to shoot all Nucklear materiale into space, and never ever use anything conected with atomic power, by this insane way of boiling water.
    The costs are simply to bigg.

    And hang the entire gang of criminals first, or they can be sentenced to work at the facility, a propper sentense.

    peace

  • TruthNotOUT

    It is not yet reported, but it was reported on NHK (Japanese TV) that Tepco workers and even managers who stayed at the contaminated Fukushima site are dying or already dead.

    Fukushima is a worse disaster on the long run then Chernobyl was, because the problems in Fukushima are not addressed at all.

    Shame on you Japan! We are watching NHK and we look at solution like collecting Cesium with glue?

  • TruthNotOUT

    It is not yet reported, but it was reported on NHK (Japanese TV) that Tepco workers and even managers who stayed at the contaminated Fukushima site are dying or already dead.

    Fukushima is a worse disaster on the long run then Chernobyl was, because the problems in Fukushima are not addressed at all.

    Shame on you Japan! We are watching NHK and we look at solution like collecting Cesium with glue?

  • TruthNotOUT

    It is not yet reported, but it was reported on NHK (Japanese TV) that Tepco workers and even managers who stayed at the contaminated Fukushima site are dying or already dead.

    Fukushima is a worse disaster on the long run then Chernobyl was, because the problems in Fukushima are not addressed at all.

    Shame on you Japan! We are watching NHK and we look at solution like collecting Cesium with glue?

  • FX ofTruth

    I’ve been watching this circus for over two years.
    Anyone with a pulse and is semi-conscious, knew TEPCO was a disaster by design.
    TEPCO is not suppose to solve this nuclear war they have created. With over 1,000 nuclear bombs being blown off in the atmosphere over the last 50+ years, this nuclear mess seems so unimportant.
    Nuclear Plants are the least safe power source. All the idiots that think nuclear ANYTHING is safe, need to go live across the street from any nuke plant then, see how long it takes to be attacked by cancer.

    Now with the advent of US Drones flying all around us, Nuclear Plants are very vulnerable to drone attack. Why? Because silly, drones can be hacked into and then taken over by the hackers. A hacker could intentionally crash a commandeered drone into the outside power source that was used to cool the spent radioactive fuel rods. No water being pumped on them, turns them into a big nuke bomb.
    Iran hacked a military drone last year and brought it down safely.

  • Baban Gangadhar KolsePatil

    Only remedy is to make the world nuclear energy free. There is no short cut to this.

  • The Two Witnesses Are Here

    DEATH HAS COME TO THE WORLD, AND NO ONE CAN ESCAPE IT! “The governments are gathering together, and betting upon the power of the press, to bombard people into believing in falsehood – and that is the number one government agenda next to genocide.”… “enough radiation will leak from the Fukushima Plants, to poison two thirds (2/3) of the population of
    the Americas… For some it will be
    slow. But others – especially the elderly and infants, will die very
    fast.” You can find us on Youtube.

    • jennijaycee

  • Mike

    hello

  • Geoff

    Don’t go in the water (Pacific Ocean).

  • Harold Land

    Great though chilling blog, pity so many of the links are already dead, may need to print entire text of them ? Maybe Japanese newspapers are getting instructions to delete

  • walker21

    Why don’t they use Sodium Polyacrylate to absorb all the reactor water? Sodium Polyacrylate can absorb 200-300x it’s mass in water. Then it’s absorbed into a solid that can literally just be vacuumed away and removed from the area without risking contamination. And it’s a lot cleaner than using concrete as they’re thinking of doing now

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_polyacrylate

  • charlesjannuzi

    Don’t say GE, just GEE what an f- up.

  • timberzmom

    Coal doesn’t look so bad anymore does it….

  • Christopher

    My suggestion is that they need to place an Armor Rock Seawall around the contaminated area, until they can clean up their damage. Honestly the clean will take up to 28 years, like marralinga Australia.
    The Japanese people will need good insurance!!!!!!

  • snappir

    Japanese idiots should let do the job by Russian specialists.
    NOBODY in this world has a better piece of MINDS than Russian physicists.
    They did an outstanding job in Chernobyl. And only they can succeed in Fukushima.

  • MingLing
  • MingLing

    One other thing GOD DID IT.

  • MingLing

    I GOD SENT, THIS DISASTER TO TELL EVERYONE THAT ‘SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG’… BUT WHO IS LISTENING? http://testimonyofthetwowitnesses.com/Fukushima.php

  • MingLing

    SEE GOD DID IT. HE SAYS SO AT THE LINK. I THINK HE WANTS TO KICK EVERYONES ASS.

 

 

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