The radiation contamination problem is spreading and the lack of news from TEPCO, etc is noted by most everyone. Why then is the situation NOT out-of-control? Is there any evidence to prove it IS under control? If radiation contamination was stable or reduced, I might agree, otherwise no.
Gotta love TEPCO.
It took ten days for them to let us know that there is some form of criticality occuring at their facility.
In due time, TEPCO's heads will be served on a platter.
"The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
DA, what is the next step then, given the evidence of nuclear fission on-site?? Is something happening beyond TEPCO's control?
I will fold this into the main thread shortly, and leave a permanent redirect.
Where else would a neutron detected there come from if not from decay/fission?
In fact, if fission/decay wasn't detectable in a large chunk of U235 I would be VERY concerned!!
It would mean that either the laws of physics had broken down and there was a problem with the universe breaking or that their detectors were useless.
Even if they took apart the rods at a molecular level, isolated every single U235 atom, there will still be fission/decay in single atoms. Thats the whole basis of using U235 for nuclear power. We just put a whole lot of them together so that one will others to decay faster than they would on their own so that there is high rate for energy to be harvested.
The important part of the article here isn't that the universe is still ticking along as usual and U235 is still radioactive and undergoing fission, the important part is that neutrons are being detected outside the reactor. This means there is a lack of shielding around the fuel at some spot, or that neutron producing radioactive elements have escaped.
If there is a neutron beam then fission is occurring. I wonder if the U-235 and plutonium is of sufficient purity to cause critical mass if it is all jumbled together.
They've been admitting the meltdown in veiled fits and starts.
Neutron beams -- needs a music score. This thing is high drama to put it mildly.
I wouldn't loan Tepco 1 cent. Seriously. The lawsuits ...
By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo, March 23 2011 19:29
Crisis-hit Tepco taps lenders for $25bn
The power company at the centre of the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years is tapping Japan’s biggest banks for an emergency loan of up to Y2,000bn ($25bn) as it faces escalating clean-up and rebuilding costs.
Engineers from Tokyo Electric Power have been struggling to contain the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant since it was damaged beyond repair by this month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. On Tuesday the Japanese government estimated total rebuilding costs from the twin natural disasters at Y25,000bn – almost 5 per cent of GDP and dwarfing the Y10,000bn spent after the country’s 1995 Kobe quake.
Damage-control operations at the power station were halted on Wednesday after smoke poured from one of the plant’s six reactors, forcing emergency workers and technicians to evacuate. It was the second time in three days that grey smoke from the plant’s No 3 reactor had halted emergency work. Tepco has been unable to identify its source, but said that radiation readings at the plant have not risen noticeably.
The damaged reactors have released radioactivity into the air, water and food chain, causing a scare about possible poisoning as far away as Tokyo, 240km to the south. On Wednesday, Japanese authorities said the level of radioactive iodine found in Tokyo’s tap water was double the recommended limit for infants, sparking a run on bottled water supplies.
The US and Hong Kong have also banned the import of fruit, vegetables and dairy products from the area surrounding the Fukushima plant.
While Tepco does not face any immediate funding problems, bankers say the utility is looking to build up an emergency war chest, much like BP did when faced with unknown liabilities following last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tepco said that “although we have sufficient liquidity, no matter how we look at it we will face a need for funds from next year [to repair and rebuild damaged facilities]”. Of its $64bn in outstanding bonds, the company is due to repay $4.8bn this year and another $5.6bn in 2012.
Tepco recently raised Y447bn by issuing new shares and could tap funds totalling Y4,290bn, including assets and various reserves, according to Mana Nakazora, chief credit analyst at BNP Paribas in Tokyo.
Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Tepco’s main bank, is expected to lend about Y600bn, Mizuho Corporate Bank an estimated Y500bn and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ about Y300bn, with trust banks and others providing the remainder.
Neutron beam observed 13 times at crippled Fukushima nuke plant
TOKYO, March 23, Kyodo
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.
TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear plant, said the neutron beam measured about 1.5 kilometers southwest of the plant's No. 1 and 2 reactors over three days from March 13 and is equivalent to 0.01 to 0.02 microsieverts per hour and that this is not a dangerous level.
The utility firm said it will measure uranium and plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam, as well.
In the 1999 criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant run by JCO Co. in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, uranium broke apart continually in nuclear fission, causing a massive amount of neutron beams.
In the latest case at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, such a criticality accident has yet to happen.
But the measured neutron beam may be evidence that uranium and plutonium leaked from the plant's nuclear reactors and spent nuclear fuels have discharged a small amount of neutron beams through nuclear fission.
".Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in, broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, WOW, What a ride!"
Personal Responsibility..The one thing no one can take away from you
."The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still, small voice within me."
By Peter Grier, Staff writer / March 23, 2011
Japan nuclear crisis: What's in the smoke emerging from Fukushima I?
Mysterious plumes of white, black, and grey smoke have billowed out of the Fukushima I nuclear power plant, prompting speculation about the status of the devastated reactors.
Smoke plumes continue to rise from parts of Japan's devastated Fukushima I nuclear plant. On Wednesday, black smoke suddenly billowed up from reactor No. 3, causing workers to evacuate the area and stopping work at the plant for a few hours. Crews later returned, and officials said radiation levels did not spike during the incident. But smoke has been a continuing problem at Fukushima I (also called Fukushima Daiichi) – white and grey plumes have erupted at the plant a number of times this week.
In general, workers are making progress stabilizing Fukushima I, said the International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday. Electricity has returned – in some measure – to most of the plant’s six reactors. Control room instruments are now powered at all except No. 3, for instance.
But seeing light at the end of the tunnel is not the same thing as reaching open air. The bursts of smoke are among pieces of evidence indicating that Fukushima I is not yet under complete control.
“The overall situation remains of serious concern,” said Graham Andrew, special advisor to the IAEA Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs.
At this point, officials do not know how serious the smoke bursts are because they are not certain what their cause is.
As Japanese workers have powered up reactors in recent days, shorts or other electrical problems could have ignited debris from last week’s containment building explosions, said David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in a Wednesday phone briefing for reporters.
Smoke from such a cause is not necessarily something to worry about. On the other hand, it is also possible that the spent-fuel pool at No. 3 has overheated to the point where water has boiled away and exposed fuel assemblies, causing them to overheat and release particulate matter into the atmosphere. That could cause plumes of radioactive smoke like the black smoke seen Wednesday.
“That might be an additional cause for concern,” said Lochbaum.
Lochbaum added that Japanese authorities continue to inject seawater laced with boron into reactor Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Boron absorbs neutrons and thus is used to moderate nuclear fission. Its presence in the water indicates that Japanese officials remain worried that fuel in the reactors may have melted and slumped inside the containment vessels, changing shape in a way that might restart a nuclear chain reaction.
“That’s pretty clear evidence of significant damage,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the US Department of Energy for the first time released detailed radiation readings taken by US ground and airborne detectors deployed in Japan.
Unlike the periodic measurements taken at the Fukushima I plant gates, the new US readings give a sense of how radiation has settled over the area surrounding the Fukushima I complex.
The good news is that the readings are relatively low – all are less than 300 mSv per hour – according to the Energy Department. The worrisome news is that the data shows a plume of somewhat elevated radiation levels, higher than 125 mSv per hour, extending up to 25 miles northwest into Japan’s interior, instead of east or southeast towards the ocean.
..."might restart a nuclear chain reaction". What does this mean possibly, to Japan and the rest of us downwind if a nuclear chain reaction *does* restart?
Does it seem to anyone else, like they are putting out measured bits and pieces of the real story, over time, to the people in Japan, in order to keep the people from panicking? Typical .gov behavior. Fair use.
Infant radiation dose over 30 km from plant may be over 100 millisieverts
TOKYO, March 24, Kyodo
The radiation dose received by one-year-old infants outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since Saturday's explosion at the plant may have exceeded 100 millisieverts, a computer simulation conducted by the government showed Wednesday.
''There are some cases in which they could have received more than 100 millisieverts of radiation, even if they're outside the 30-kilometer radius and in the event that they spent every day outdoors since the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.
Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, told reporters, ''The figure represents the level that one-year-old infants would have received and accumulated in their thyroids by midnight Wednesday since the explosion.''
Madarame said the radiation dose accumulated by adults outside the 30-km zone in their thyroids would be lower.
People exposed to a radiation dose of 100 millisieverts are required to take potassium iodide, Madarame said. An annual radiation dose of 100 millisieverts is believed to be associated with an increased risk of cancer.
But Edano said, ''Our analysis shows that people outside the 30-km radius would not be in a situation where they would have to evacuate immediately or remain indoors.''
''As a precautionary measure, I would like to recommend that if people (outside the 30-km radius) are on the leeward of the nuclear power plant, they close their windows and stay indoors inside sealed buildings as far as possible,'' he said.
The simulation was conducted using the Nuclear Safety Technology Center's networked computer system, called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, known as SPEEDI.
The system enables the center to predict the spread of radioactive substances and their amounts over 48 hours by analyzing the direction of winds and landscape.
The radiation dose for one-year-old infants outside the radius was calculated by using readings of radiation levels and amounts of radioactive substances detected in areas surrounding the nuclear plant.
Meanwhile, the science ministry said Wednesday that radiation levels detected in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture since Tuesday had increased to more than three times the levels detected three days earlier.
The dose of radiation detected in Tokyo in the 24 hours between 5 p.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Wednesday increased to 0.155 microsieverts per hour from 0.142 microsieverts in the previous 24 hours, while the dose in Chiba rose to 0.125 microsieverts from 0.106 microsieverts.
But the radiation dose detected in Fukushima Prefecture stood at 6.85 microsieverts per hour in the city of Fukushima at 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Fukushima prefectural government said. The dose is gradually receding in the area, it added.
The radiation dose received from a chest X-ray is 50 microsieverts.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it detected 470 microsieverts per hour near the chief gateway to the nuclear plant at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
It's already happened to some degree. It seems between frenetic dousings with seawater the stuff heats up enough to melt and slump or propel with explosions / fires / high temps and then they douse it again. < -- not science but the way the news articles present the timelines. And whether it's the (almost) spent fuel rods or the reactors or both, Tepco is still scratching their collective heads.
The info coming out is not good enough to determine what is actually happening. How much is lying / cover-up and how much is ineptitude or just plain too exploded to tell is hard to say. Working conditions not conducive to figuring much out at once.
While I think that TEPCO has absolutely failed in the way it has handled this crisis, I also think that one reason that the info we're seeing isn't always reliable is the circumstances that the workers are dealing with. Even assuming the instrumentation is working, which is doubtful, trying to take readings and determine the status of equipment under these conditions must be almost impossible.
These pics were put out by Kyodo News today.
Work on crippled reactors
A Tokyo Electric Power Co. employee records reactor data in a control room, lit only by flashlights due to a power outage, for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima Prefecture on March 23, 2011. Efforts have continued to bring the crippled reactors under control since the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami. (Photo taken and supplied by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency)(Kyodo)
Work on crippled reactors
A Tokyo Electric Power Co. employee reads an instrument in a control room, lit only by flashlights due to a power outage, for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima Prefecture on March 23, 2011.
"I think the most un-American thing you can say is, 'You can't say that.'” Garrison Keillor
"It's time to make your stand." - Mother Abigail
Utterly crippled controls on a growing monster. Not very secure.
The radio activity isn't the only problem here Tepco said it would sell some of its assets. Could some of those assets be US Treasuries? If they are it could mean Japan is going to dump their Treasuries if they do what would this do to the Bond Market and the Dollar?
Neutrons are produced during some types of atomic decay. There are MANY unstable isotopes which are produced during the fissioning of U-235/PU239 in a reactor. Some have long lives, some have very short lives. Generally the more radioactive they are, the more neutrons they emit during their decay.
Fission happens all the time, just not in quantity unless specific conditions happen (like a nuclear reactor or a nuclear bomb).
Detecting neutrons is not that big of a deal, and while it might be an indicator of contamination, it is not an indicator of anything more than fission products decaying. One would expect that from recently shut down reactor fuels. That is part of the decay which makes the heat that they are battling now in the reactor.
You folks really should read the articles you link to in their entirety. It would allay a lot of fears.
See my other stuff at: middleoftheright.net
Kyodo: Work to restore power, cooling system at No. 3 #Fukushima reactor resumes.
VOA's Victor Beattie interviewed Dr. James Symons on the neturon beam -- I'll have more on this later in the day.
VOA just spoke w- Dir. of nuclear science div. at Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l Lab. He's skeptical about TEPCO 'neutron beam' detection.
Helo video from NHK taken about 2 hrs ago shows white smoke (steam) rising from Reactors 1,2,3,4
The cooling system at Reactor No. 5, which was shut down at the time of the earthquake and has shown few problems since, also abruptly stopped working on Wednesday afternoon, said Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric. “When we switched from the temporary pump, it automatically switched off,” he said. “We’ll try again with a new pump in the morning.” www.nytimes.com
Interesting opinion piece on information control in cases of nuclear plant problems from Kyodo: english.kyodonews.jp
There is a big factor to consider that I haven't heard until now from experts: if I'm not mistaken, those thousand of tons of seawater that were sprayed in the past 6 days on those reactors and spent fuel rods have certainly, by boiling off, left tons of salt clinging to the rods and reactor vessels. This salt then cannot be dissolved with further spraying (because of saturation), leaving the rods coated in salt, preventing the cooling action of water. What do you guys think?
@1stThings1st I believe one reason why they haven't been able to cover the fuelrods completely in the cores is the high pressure inside; the fire engine pumps they've been using simply don't have enough ooomph to overcome the pressue and get the water inside. Dean?
By KEITH BRADSHER, Published: March 23, 2011
New Problems at Japanese Plant Subdue Optimism
The Japanese electricians who bravely strung wires this week to all six reactor buildings at a stricken nuclear power plant succeeded despite waves of heat and blasts of radioactive steam.
The restoration of electricity at the plant, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, stirred hopes that the crisis was ebbing, but nuclear engineers say some of the most difficult and dangerous tasks are still ahead — and time is not necessarily on the side of the repair teams.
The tasks include manually draining hundreds of gallons of radioactive water and venting radioactive gas from the pumps and piping of the emergency cooling systems, which are located diagonally underneath the overheated reactor vessels. The health warning that infants should not drink tap water — even in Tokyo, far from the stricken plant — raised alarms about extensive contamination.
“We’ve got at least 10 days to two weeks of potential drama before you can declare the accident over,” said Michael Friedlander, who worked as a nuclear plant operator for 13 years.
Western nuclear engineers have become increasingly concerned about a separate problem that may be putting pressure on the Japanese technicians to work faster: salt buildup inside the reactors, which could cause them to heat up more and, in the worst case, cause the uranium to melt, releasing a range of radioactive material.
Richard T. Lahey Jr., who was General Electric’s chief of safety research for boiling-water reactors when the company installed them at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, said that as seawater was pumped into the reactors and boiled away, it left more and more salt behind.
He estimates that 57,000 pounds of salt have accumulated in Reactor No. 1 and 99,000 pounds apiece in Reactors No. 2 and 3, which are larger.
The big question is how much of that salt is still mixed with water and how much now forms a crust on the reactors’ uranium fuel rods. Chemical crusts on uranium fuel rods have been a problem for years at nuclear plants.
Crusts insulate the rods from the water and allow them to heat up. If the crusts are thick enough, they can block water from circulating between the fuel rods. As the rods heat up, their zirconium cladding can ignite, which may cause the uranium inside to melt and release radioactive material.
Some of the salt might be settling to the bottom of the reactor vessel rather than sticking to the fuel rods. But just as a heating element repeatedly used to warm tea in a mug tends to become encrusted in cities where the tap water is rich with minerals, boiling seawater is likely to leave salt mainly on the fuel rods.
The Japanese have reported that some of the seawater used for cooling has returned to the ocean, suggesting that some of the salt may have flowed out again rather than remaining in the reactors. But clearly a significant amount remains.
A Japanese nuclear safety regulator said on Wednesday that plans were under way to fix a piece of equipment that would allow freshwater instead of seawater to be pumped in.
He said that an informal international group of experts on boiling-water reactors was increasingly worriaccumulationed about salt and was inclined to recommend that the Japanese try to flood each reactor vessel’s containment building with cold water in an effort to prevent the uranium from melting down. That approach might make it a harder to release steam from the reactors as part of the “feed-and-bleed” process that was being used to cool them down, but that was a risk worth taking, he said.
Public alarm about the crisis increased on Wednesday after officials announced that levels of radioactive iodine had been detected in Tokyo’s tap water.
Recent rains might have washed radioactive particles into the water, as the Japanese government suggested. But prevailing breezes for the past two weeks should have been pushing the radiation mostly out to sea. And until Wednesday, some experts had predicted that radioactive iodine would not be much of a problem, because the fission necessary to produce iodine — which breaks down quickly, with a half-life of just eight days — stopped within minutes of the earthquake on March 11. The fear is that more radiation is being released than has been understood.
Preventing the reactors and storage pools from overheating through radioactive decay would go a long way toward limiting radioactive contamination. But that would require pumping a lot of cold freshwater through them, which is not easily done.
The emergency cooling system pump and motor for a boiling-water reactor are roughly the size and height of a compact hatchback car standing on its back bumper. The powerful system has the capacity to propel thousands of gallons of water a minute throughout a reactor pressure vessel and storage pool. But that very power can also be the system’s Achilles’ heel.
The pump and piping are designed to be kept full of water. But they tend to leak and develop alternating pockets of air and water, Mr. Friedlander said.
If the pump is turned on without venting the air and draining the water, the water from the pump would hit the alternating pockets with enough force to blow holes in the piping. Venting the air and draining the water requires a technician to reach a dozen valves, sometimes using a ladder. The water is removed through a hose to the nearest drain, usually in the floor, that leads to machinery designed to remove radiation from the water.
The process takes a full 12 hours in a reactor that is operating normally, Mr. Friedlander said. But even then, the water in the pipes tends to become radioactively contaminated because the valves that separate it from the reactor are not entirely tight.
It is likely to be an even bigger problem when the water inside the reactor is much more radioactive than usual and is under extremely high pressure, as it has been in all three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Japanese government and power company officials expressed optimism on Wednesday morning that the crisis was close to being brought under control, only to encounter two reminders in the afternoon of the unpredictable difficulties that lie ahead.
Fukushima Daiichi’s Reactor No. 3 began belching black smoke for an hour late in the afternoon, leading its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, to evacuate workers. No. 3 is considered one of the most dangerous of the reactors because of its fuel — mixed oxides, or mox, which contain a mixture of uranium and plutonium and can produce a more dangerous radioactive plume if scattered by fire or explosions. The cooling system at Reactor No. 5, which was shut down at the time of the earthquake and has shown few problems since, also abruptly stopped working on Wednesday afternoon, said Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric.
“When we switched from the temporary pump, it automatically switched off,” he said. “We’ll try again with a new pump in the morning.”
Breaking news on NHK at 7pm ET: Smoke/steam rising from all 4 reactor units — Workers evacuated (VIDEO)
[ Workers evacuated so frequently there's not a lot of work getting done. All stacks blowing. Actually watched a video of a scientists explaining that it's bad the stacks are no longer working. ]
TOKYO, March 24, Kyodo
Smoke disrupts nuke plant restoration work, radiation fears reach Tokyo
Work to restore power and key cooling functions was disrupted again Wednesday at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as black smoke caused workers to evacuate, while the fear of radioactive pollution spread to Tokyo with an alert not to give tap water to infants.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano unveiled estimates that people outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the plant, in which residents have been ordered to evacuate or remain indoors, could be exposed to radiation of 100 millisieverts or more, an annual dose believed to be associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Based on the estimates, the top government spokesman urged residents in areas downwind from the power station to stay inside buildings and avoid exposure to air as much as possible as a precaution.
At the disaster-stricken plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., black smoke was seen rising at the east of the No. 3 reactor building, leading 11 workers to evacuate from four of the six reactors and water-spraying operations by fire trucks to be aborted.
The radiation level was unchanged shortly afterward, meaning the smoke did not result in a massive release of radioactive materials, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Smoke was also seen billowing from the No. 3 reactor building on Monday but its cause remains unknown.
On Wednesday, it was also found that the surface temperatures of the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor vessels have topped the maximum levels set by their designers. The rise in temperatures came to light after data measuring instruments became available after power was restored Tuesday, the agency said.
In Tokyo, the metropolitan government said radioactive iodine exceeding the limit for infants was detected in water at a purification plant, apparently due to the ongoing crisis at the power station crippled by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
All six reactors at the plant were reconnected to external power as of Tuesday night and workers scrambled to check each piece of equipment, including data measuring tools and feed-water pumps, before transmitting power to them.
Lighting in a control room for the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors was partially restored Tuesday night. Operators had been unable to remain in any of the control rooms at the plant for extended periods due to high radiation levels and power outages.
The utility known as TEPCO is aiming to revive a pump, possibly by Thursday, to inject fresh water into the core of the No. 3 reactor, instead of seawater which has been poured in using fire pumps, the agency said.
While the maximum vessel temperature set by the reactors' designers is 302 C degrees, the surface temperature of the No. 1 reactor vessel briefly topped 400 C before dropping to around 305 C by 4 p.m., and that of the No. 3 reactor vessel stood at about 305 C in the morning, the agency said.
Although the facilities are not expected to start melting at those temperatures, according to agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama, TEPCO increased the amount of seawater injected into the No. 1 reactor by nine times to help cool it down.
Nishiyama said TEPCO injected massive amounts of water into the No. 1 reactor carefully so as not to raise the pressure in the reactor. A rise in the pressure increases the risk of damage to the facility and would require a release of radioactive steam from the reactor to lower the pressure.
At the No. 2 reactor, workers have been unable to replace a pump to help revive its internal cooling system since Friday as high-level radiation of at least 500 millisieverts per hour was detected at its turbine building, the spokesman said.
Although the troubled reactors remained unstable Wednesday, Nishiyama defended measures currently being taken by TEPCO to manage the crisis. ''We have come close to reestablishing sustainable cooling systems. I believe we are implementing the best possible ways and hope to stabilize the reactors as soon as possible,'' he said.
Also on Wednesday, a series of strong aftershocks jolted the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture, where the crippled plant is located, but they did not affect the restoration work, the nuclear agency said.
TEPCO said, meanwhile, it had observed neutron beams, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima plant over the three days from March 13, but they were not at a dangerous level.
The detection of the beams suggests the possibility that uranium and plutonium have leaked from rods in the plant's reactors or spent nuclear fuel pools and have undergone nuclear fission.
Self-Defense Forces helicopters also monitored the surface temperatures of the plant above the reactors and found that they were all below 60 C.
After the devastating quake and tsunami knocked out power at the plant, the cooling functions failed at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, while the pools storing spent nuclear fuel at the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 units have also lost all their cooling functions.
In addition to efforts to douse the pools with water sprayed from outside, workers also attempted to inject water by reviving internal cooling systems, according to the nuclear agency.
For what it's worth, the western media often uses the word "evacuated" when the Japanese are saying something more akin to "sent indoors"Breaking news on NHK at 7pm ET: Smoke/steam rising from all 4 reactor units — Workers evacuated (VIDEO)
In other words, evacuated doesn't mean off site and it doesn't mean they're not working.
Throughout the world
Everywhere we are all brothers
Why then do the winds and waves rage so turbulently?
March 23, 2011, 9:08 PM EDT
Nuclear Warriors Find Respite on Ship in Fight to Avert Meltdown
March 24 (Bloomberg) -- Half a dozen crew of the Kaiwo Maru bowed as Tokyo Electric Power Co. engineer Kenji Kawada emerged from the belly of the four-masted sailing ship and returned to fighting Japan’s worst civil nuclear disaster.
They applauded as he strode down the gang-plank and were still waving as Kawada, 52, disappeared in a minibus that would return him to duty. Kawada is one of dozens of engineers and other workers who since March 11 have been sleeping on the floor in freezing temperatures and living on biscuits as they race to contain nuclear leaks at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant north of Tokyo.
The magnitude-9.0 quake unleashed a 7.3-meter (23-foot) tsunami that wiped out entire towns on the northeast coast, as well as power lines and the back-up generators needed to keep Dai-Ichi’s reactors from overheating. The Kaiwo, a merchant marine training vessel, brought food, water and a place to recuperate to the nuclear workers, who looked pale and gaunt when they arrived yesterday in Onahama Port, about 50 kilometers south of the power station.
“Our job is to provide a place for the engineers to sleep, take a bath and relax,” Chief Officer Susumu Toya, 44, said in an interview in front of the 110-meter white sailing ship docked at the port, amid twisted cranes and cars wrapped around poles by the tsunami. “I don’t ask about their work because they are working under great stress. We are trying to lift their spirits.”
The workers refused an offer of beer two nights ago because of the seriousness of their task, Toya said. “The engineers are very quiet. No one speaks during meals.”
Workers at the plant have endured explosions, fires and radiation leaks that prevented them from approaching the reactors or working for more than 2 hours at a time, one of them said yesterday.
“The situation is getting better,” said Kawada, who has worked at Tokyo Electric for 30 years. “I will do my best to make sure we can provide relief to the people of Japan as soon as possible.”
During the afternoon, two 7-seater Nissan Elgrand minibuses pulled up at the gangplank, bringing workers from another day of trying to contain radiation leaks.
The driver, a Tepco official usually based in Tokyo who declined to be identified, opened the passenger door to let one man out at a time. The workers walked to the bottom of the plank, where they were checked for radiation with a Geiger counter before being allowed onto the boat.
The workers displayed a grim optimism, going about their business quietly, with no open displays of emotion. Some declined to answer questions from a group of about a dozen journalists from local and international print and television media. Others would say only that the work at the plant was progressing and that they were cautiously optimistic.
Akira Tamura, 35, a Tokyo Electric employee, arrived at the plant a week ago and spent nights sleeping on the floor without blankets and no hot food, as he tried to restore cooling systems at the No. 1 reactor. The team made progress after his 24-hour shift, he said, without giving details.
“I want to stabilize the situation as soon as possible,” he said, adding he will return to the plant today.
Tamura said it remained impossible to get close to the No. 1 reactor and he could only work for one or two hours at a time because of the radiation exposure, with about 20 engineers in rotation.
Ordered to Area
Another engineer, who declined to give his name, said that half the lights in the control room of the No. 3 reactor have been restored, which makes it easier than working in the dark.
The Kaiwo, which means Sea King, and its crew of more than 40 arrived at the harbor March 21 and will stay till food runs out, Toya said. The ship was close by, fueled and supplied when the disaster struck, which is why it was ordered to the area by the government.
“This is by no means a safe mission, you just don’t know what might happen, so yes, my family is worried,” Masashi Sugomori, chief navigation officer, said on board. “But an order is an order.”
The ship was clean, cramped and mostly Spartan. Its brass fixtures and lacquered wooden handrails and panels were clean and shiny yesterday.
To get on board, visitors were scanned for radioactive contamination. Once inside, there were no signs of other passengers. Training cadets who are usually on the vessel bunk in cabins 8 to a room and take lectures in a mess hall that’s seats about a 100 people.
The Kaiwo was built in 1989, according to the website of the National Institute for Sea Training. The 2,556-ton yacht, which is based in the port of Tokyo, can accommodate 199 people, including 128 students.
Earthquakes rattled the area yesterday and sleet and snow started falling in the port, where boats were washed ashore, including a 50-meter barge loaded with pipes that blocked a road. Broken roads led to the entrance of the port.
Yoichiro Toyoda, 63, and his wife, Nobuko, 62, live facing the harbor and were working on repairs to their house after the tsunami reached the second floor, ripping the first floor to shreds.
“We would surely have died if we delayed evacuating for another 10 minutes,” Yoichiro Toyoda said. “The tsunami siren didn’t work this time."
They ran when they saw the tsunami approaching about 15 minutes after the quake struck and managed to reached ground high enough to avoid being swept away.
‘‘Now we have another worry, which is those nuclear power plants over there,’’ Toyoda said. ‘‘We don’t want them to remain in Fukushima."
By DANIEL GILBERT, March 24, 2011
Plants Face New Worries
Spread of Radiation in Japan Fuels Questions About Evacuation Plans in U.S.
Dangerous levels of radiation found some 25 miles from Japan's damaged nuclear facility raise questions about U.S. emergency-response plans that call for evacuating residents only within a 10-mile radius of such a disaster here.
Just one of the U.S.'s 104 commercial nuclear reactors is within 10 miles of a densely populated city—the Three Mile Island facility near Harrisburg, Pa. But 29 are within 25 miles of such metropolitan areas. And almost half of the nuclear reactors in the U.S. are within 50 miles of a metropolitan area with more than 500,000 people.
Fifty miles was the evacuation zone recommended last week by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Americans near Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant. That was far beyond the 12-mile evacuation zone Japanese officials had advised.
The U.S. advisory set off a measure of panic in Japan and prompted world-wide discussion about whether officials there were taking proper precautions.
The recommendation for Americans in Japan takes into account circumstances that wouldn't necessarily apply in the U.S., such as the U.S. government's limited ability to help its citizens abroad, said Michael Golay, a nuclear science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The NRC didn't respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Golay said he doubted that it would be possible to evacuate a 50-mile radius in and around an urban area in the U.S.. "We're certainly not prepared for it," he said.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is planning a hearing in mid-April on safety issues related to nuclear plants, including emergency preparedness.
Concerns over evacuation plans have come up before. A nuclear plant on New York's Long Island was scrapped in 1989 over concerns that it would be impossible to evacuate the area.
The NRC is responding to concerned local and state officials about whether events in Japan have changed assumptions about plant safety, including the 10-mile evacuation zone, which is based on a 1978 federal report on the dangers of a meltdown.
Robert P. Astorino, the top elected official in New York's Westchester County, sent a letter to an NRC official Friday seeking clarification on what the commission's recommendation for a 50-mile evacuation in Japan meant for his community, home to two nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center.
About 20 million people live within 50 miles of Indian Point, which is 35 miles from Midtown Manhattan.
In a conference call Monday, the NRC assured Mr. Astorino the 10-mile emergency zone surrounding the plant was sufficient, but said federal officials continued to review whether changes were warranted, said Ned McCormack, a Westchester County spokesman.
The NRC and the Environmental Protection Agency said late Tuesday that a plume of radiation stretching 25 miles northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi plant would have exposed people to more radiation in an hour than a chest X-ray. Experts say that a level of radiation greater than a chest X-ray every hour, when sustained for three days, is dangerous.
Jim Steets, a spokesman for Entergy Corp., which operates Indian Point, said he believed it would be possible to evacuate beyond a 10-mile radius if necessary, but that the plant's current plan doesn't address that possibility. The company might revisit the matter, he said.
On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the NRC had pledged to make Indian Point its "first and top priority" in a review of seismic risk at 27 nuclear plants across the U.S.
After the Three Mile Island partial meltdown in 1979—the worst nuclear incident in U.S. history and the only to prompt an evacuation—the official evacuation was aimed only at 3,400 pregnant women and children, said Don Zeigler, a geography professor at Old Dominion University. But some 144,000 people in a 40-mile radius fled, in what is known as a "shadow evacuation."
A shadow evacuation is one of the factors officials at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, 45 miles southeast of Long Beach, Calif., consider in their emergency plans, said Sara Kaminske, chairwoman of a planning committee there.
"Our job as emergency managers is to get people out of harm's way," said Ms. Kaminske.
In an evacuation, she said, sheriff's deputies would set up barricades at pre-established highway entry points to control traffic, then officials would sound sirens and alert residents by phone, email and text messages.
For those in the path of the radiation (et al) and for all others in respect of forthcoming disasters:
Tribulation Protection: The Blood of the Lamb
God bless you and your families,
"Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done." (Cf. Rev 22:12)
The building was surrounded by debris and cars that had been flipped over and tossed about by the tsunami. Steel scaffolding pipes were scattered all around.
"It brought home the terror of a tsunami," he said. "I'd never seen anything like that before. It was as if I'd come to the wrong place."
The man, who is in his 50s, has worked at nuclear power plants around the country for about 30 years.
At the evacuation shelter, he had seen pictures on TV of Nos. 1 and 3 reactors after they were damaged by hydrogen explosions. Those startling images preyed on his mind as did the thought of the radioactive particles being leaked into the atmosphere.
"You can't see radiation. The thought that the reactors were out of control was frightening," he recalled.
However, the man had to relegate those thoughts to the back of his mind. "I had a mission--to lower the temperature of the storage pool," he said.
When he had finished his operation, he ran his hands along the hose that had pumped up the water. He could still feel the water running inside it.
News then came that the pool's temperature had dropped. "I was relieved that I'd been able to complete my job," the man said.
Throughout the world
Everywhere we are all brothers
Why then do the winds and waves rage so turbulently?
If so, the evacuation area would, I assume be much, much greater than 12 or 15 or 50 miles; right?
[FONT="Palatino Linotype"][COLOR="Sienna"][B][I]The untold want
By life and land ne're granted
Sail forth to seek and find
Then The Board still doesn't understand the implications of a "nuclear chain reaction" at one or several sites within Fukushima #1?
FOR JAPANESE BABY MOTHERS- PASS THE WORD!
If the mother is drinking water with radioactive iodine she will pass that radioactivity to her breastfed baby - the same way that cows give radioactive milk after exposure. (If the mother takes potassium iodide tablets while drinking the radioactive water IT WILL PROTECT HER THYROID BUT PUT MORE RADIOACTIVITY IN HER MILK!
ALL The children in Tokyo and other areas getting exposed to radioactive iodine should not only be drinking bottled water but TAKING POTASSIUM IODIDE tablets RIGHT NOW.
Can I get Radioactive Iodine Treatment / RAI while I'm breastfeeding?
No. While the most popular treatment for Graves' Disease and hyperthyroidism in the U.S. is the treatment known as "radioactive iodine," or RAI, this treatment should be deferred in women who are breastfeeding. The radioactive iodine appears in the breast milk, and can pose a danger to the infant's thyroid. RAI is also frequently used as a treatment for thyroid cancer, following surgery. (Reference.)
The same Cross at which I find forgiveness for MY sins I must ALSO look to for JUSTICE for crimes committed AGAINST ME and also against other innocent people. It is where you look to and find PEACE about all the evil and injustice in this world.
OT ( ) article from 2009...
Scientists create strongest neutron beam
Published: July 16, 2009 at 1:55 PM
TOKYO, July 16 (UPI) -- Japanese-led researchers say they've created the strongest neutron beam in the world, enabling the exploration of laws governing all matter in the universe.
The creation of the beam is the first major experimental achievement at the Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory, part of the Japan-funded Riken Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science near Tokyo. Researchers said the new beam can achieve in eight hours what it would take other scientists more than six months to accomplish.
The scientists said the neutron rich isotope beam of neon-32 fires at 60 percent the speed of light and can explore a region of the nuclear chart where standard laws of nuclear physics break down. Populated by highly unstable neutron-rich isotopes, the region, known as the "island of inversion," is thought to offer clues about underlying laws governing all matter in the universe, the researchers said.
The study that included scientists from China, Germany and France appears in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Murphy's Laws of the Office #2 - To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer...
If the auto industry kept pace with the computer industry, a Rolls Royce would cost $1.99 and get 100,000 miles to the gallon...
Beam me up Scotty, there is no sign of intelligent life here...
See my other stuff at: middleoftheright.net