Canadian CBC reports:
Other news reports:
March 18, 2013
February 16, 2012
This blog gives a good, credible overview of past, present and future hazards, assuming the Japanese government will continue to fail to protect its people from ongoing or increasing radiation exposure:
[...] “In the last couple of days a new danger has reared its head with the release of a new study from the European Geosciences Union which issues the warning that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reservation is at increased risk of suffering a big earthquake epicentered essentially right underneath it, and that rising groundwater is an ominous sign that it could come very soon.”
[...] “Therefore, much attention should be paid to the FNPP (Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant) seismic safety in the near future.”
“Given that the most destroyed units (3 and 4) at Daiichi are precariously leaning and appear to be sinking into the ground, the obvious question becomes “what, exactly, could be done to strengthen “seismic safety” before the predicted next ‘Big One’ hits?” Remember that unit 4′s spent fuel pool is crammed full of its entire core and ~30 years’ worth of extremely nasty spent fuel assemblies. And has suffered at least two fires (that we know of). The pool itself was shored up last summer by workers who are most likely no longer with us, but it still leaks like a sieve and there appears to be no way to remove any of the fuel stored in it.”
The article also refers to the high temperatures at reactor 2 measured in recent days, contradicting earlier “cold shut down” announcements.
Read all at:
February 13, 2012
10:30: enormous number of Japanese people requesting more information from regulators about radiation levels in contaminated rice, fish, beef, green tea, water, fall-out etc–without getting answers
12:30: within 4 days of Fukushima, 40,000 times normal levels of noble gases, Xenon, Krypton etc from Fukushima reached Seattle. That was followed by heavier radioisotopes, such as Iodine, Cesium and Strontium.
13:00: One third of Fukushima kids tested have lumps in their thyroids.
14:30: Why is this information marginalized by the media?
15:15: US government down-played extent of the accident early on. Hillary Clinton reached agreement with Prime Minister of Japan that US would not interfere with Japanese exports….
15:30: NRC knew extent of accident 9 days before Japanese people were warned and evacuated.
16:30 Governments played with people’s lives for sake of economy. In US and Canada all monitoring was shut down on westcoast…Independent labs showed tremendous amounts of radiation.
FDA is not testing. The attitude is: If you don’t know, it’s not there….What you don’t know can’t hurt you.
17:00 There is a concerted effort among the nuclear industry to deliberately downplay risks of low-level radiation. World-wide push controlled by nuclear industry.
19:00 chances of kids in Fukushima getting cancer are 1:20 to 1:100.
19:30 Germany has put in place plan to end nuclear power. Also unrest and demonstrations in France, premier nuclear power country. Italy is also phasing out nuclear power.
21:00 German study showing cancer risk from nuclear power plants, esp. early childhood cancers. French study just substantiated that study.
25:00 many other illnesses can be attributed to radiation.
25:30 Govt of Japan will do its best to mask/ downplay deaths and illnesses related to Fukushima. Statistics not available.
27:00 Safecast.com–crowdsourcing of radiation monitoring
28:30: Bill Gates is handing over new Uranium reactors with questionable safety standards to China.
31:30 Biological effects of ionizing radiation (BEIR). US National Academy of Sciences study. Concern over release of radiation from cedar buds and highly radioactive locusts (eaten by Japanese).
34:15 Radiation exposure and cancer rate are linear (LNTA). Cancer risk in evacuated areas: 1/500 (2 REM/ year). Japanese govt willing to let people go back. Young girls have 5x higher cancer risk than general population!, i.e., 1/100 young girls will get cancer due to radiation exposure for each year in Fukushima Prefecture. Hot particles effect not included in calculation of risk.
36:00 Ian Goddard video: Japan govt. raised allowable exposure per year from 1 to 20 MilliSieverts. US National Academy of Sciences (www.nsa.edu) predicts that this level will cause cancers everywhere, primarily women and children.
41:15 Children are most vulnerable to radiation.
42:00 There is no harmless dose of radiation. Children, and especially girls, are much more vulnerable to radiation effects (girls 2x or greater more vulnerable than same-aged boys).
44:00 International comprehensive study (largest study ever of nuclear workers, involving 15 countries): statistical correlation between radiation exposure and cancer at average annual dose: 2 milli Sieverts/ yr –this is 1/10th of exposure of people in Fukushima.
49:00 slow dose rate may be associated with higher cancer risk than fast dose rate. Higher risk of nuclear workers than atom bomb survivors.
51:00 comparison of risk models–slow and fast dose. Leading models may underestimate low dose radiation risk.
Genetic damage due to radiation.
57:00 Japan’s allowance of 20 Milli Sievert radiation/ year is NOT SAFE.
February 13, 2012
By Associated Press, Published: February 11 The Washington Post
TOKYO — Thousands of Japanese people marched against nuclear power Saturday, amid growing worries about the restarting of reactors idled after the March 11 meltdown disaster in northeastern Japan.
Holding “No Nukes” signs, people gathered at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo for a rally Saturday, including Nobel Prize-winning writer Kenzaburo Oe.
Thousands joined the march against nuclear power as worries grow about the restarting of reactors idled after the March 11, 2011 disaster in northeastern Japan. A sign in the center written in Japanese reads: “Good bye, nuclear power stations.”
The protesters then marched peacefully through the streets demanding Japan abandon atomic power.
“I’m worried there could be more nuclear accidents,” said Misako Terada, a 54-year-old housewife.
February 13, 2012
Article in the Globe & Mail and Commentary (below) by Gordon Edwards
PM relaxes accountability rules for China’s use of uranium
Campbell Clark & Shawn McCarthy, Globe & Mail, Feb. 10 2012
“Stephen Harper has chosen to override the qualms of the
government’s non-proliferation experts to permit a multibillion-
dollar business in exports of Saskatchewan uranium to China’s
nuclear industry. A deal the Prime Minister announced in China,
a protocol amending Canada’s nuclear co-operation agreement
with China to allow the export of uranium concentrate, seals far
closer ties with Beijing than ever seemed possible in
Mr. Harper’s early days in power.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall lobbied Mr. Harper personally
over the past year to reach the arrangement with Beijing. It means Saskatchewan’s Cameco Corp. can now use Canadian uranium in two contracts worth up to $3-billion.
“This means new investment in the province. I think it means
jobs,” Mr. Wall told CTV News .
But the deal with Beijing has raised concerns in Ottawa, because it includes less stringent accounting for how the uranium is used than Canada typically demands, sources said. When Australia made a similar deal with China in 2008 that included less accountability, it faced criticism from other uranium suppliers, including Canada.” (emphasis added)
Commentary by Gordon Edwards
“Canada may be seen as playing an important role in undermining
the precarious nuclear non-proliferation regime — one that has
been in danger of coming unravelled for decades because of the
hypocritical double standard that is at the heart of the regime.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) makes a sharp distinction between “Nuclear Weapons States” and “Non-Nuclear Weapons States”. The Treaty is frankly discriminatory and imposes different obligations on the two “types” of nations.
The “nuclear have-nots” are required to submit to international
inspections of all their nuclear facilities and must promise never to use nuclear technology or nuclear materials for weapons
purposes. These requirements do not apply to the official
“nuclear have” nations, designated as only five in number:
the USA, Russia, Britain, France, and China.
However, Article 6 of the NPT requires that Nuclear Weapons
States act in good faith to eliminate their nuclear arsenals as
soon as possible. This obligation has been upheld by the
World Court as a legal requirement that is binding on the
Nuclear Weapons States. Yet they continue to ignore it.
Any country that acquires nuclear weapons in the absence of or
in defiance of the NPT — Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, for example — are not supposed to exist. And they are not supposed to receive nuclear assistance, nuclear facilities, or nuclear materials from nations who have signed the NPT.
But Canada has resumed nuclear cooperation and trade with
India despite the fact that India developed nuclear weapons
using Canadian technology initially and has not signed the NPT.
And Canada is now willing to sell uranium to Nuclear Weapons
States like China without the strict accounting mechanisms
that would give some assurance that Canadian uranium is not
ending up in somebody’s nuclear weapons.
The message seems to be that business concerns are, for
the self-styled “Harper government”, far more important than
nuclear non-proliferation objectives. And so the only nations
held up to opprobrium for developing nuclear weapons
are those that Canada is not profiting from.
Such blatant hypocrisy can only serve to further detract from the entire house of cards that nuclear non-proliferation efforts rest upon. If Canada were determined to achieve a world without
nuclear weapons, she would refuse to sell uranium to any
nation that maintains a nuclear arsenal unless that nation
formally renounces nuclear weapons and works overtly for
the total elimination of such weapons of mass destruction.
For even if Canadian uranium is only used for civilian purposes,
it surely frees up other uranium so it that can be used in nuclear weapons — uranium that would otherwise have to be used
as fuel for nuclear reactors.
How can Canadians sit back and watch this without protesting?”
February 4, 2012
From Yomiuri Shimbum online, Feb. 5, 2012
“A total of 573 deaths have been certified as “disaster-related” by 13 municipalities affected by the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.
This number could rise because certification for 29 people remains pending while further checks are conducted. [...]
A disaster-related death certificate is issued when a death is not directly caused by a tragedy, but by fatigue or the aggravation of a chronic disease due to the disaster. If a municipality certifies the cause of death is directly associated to a disaster, a condolence grant is paid to the victim’s family. If the person was a breadwinner, 5 million yen is paid. [...]
“During our examination of the applications, we gave emphasis to the conditions at evacuation sites and how they spent their days before they died,” a city government official said. “However, the screening process was difficult in cases when people had stayed in evacuation facilities for an extended time and when there was little evidence of where they had been taking shelter.”
January 15, 2012
Radioactive Ocean Floor: 1.74 Microsievert/ hr off Fukushima
Nov. 27, 2011
Leben in der Todeszone–Life in the Deathzone. Documentary by the German WDR (in German) about how people in the Fukushima prefecture are coping with the reality of living in an irradiated environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3z0rC5Ua_w&
A New Urgency to the Problem of Storing Nuclear Waste
By KATE GALBRAITH, The New York Times, November 27, 2011
AUSTIN, Tex. — “The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, earlier this year caused many countries to rethink their appetite for nuclear power. It is also, in subtler ways, altering the fraught discussion of what to do with nuclear plants’ wastes.
A prime example is Germany, which decided to shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022 after the partial reactor meltdowns at Fukushima. That decision is making it easier for Germans to have a calm and focused discussion about a permanent disposal site for the plants’ wastes, analysts say. [...]
Meanwhile, every aspect of nuclear power in Japan — including waste storage — has been turned upside down by the Fukushima disaster in March, which followed a giant earthquake and tsunami. As a result of the accident, Japan has “doubled or tripled” the amount of non-spent fuel and high-level waste, according to Murray Jennex, a nuclear expert at San Diego State University. Even things like the building that houses the turbine are contaminated, he noted.
“So that’s really increased their demand for storage, and I’m not sure what they’re going to do with it,” Dr. Jennex said.
Japan is also considering what to do with the contaminated soil in the area affected by the plant.” [...]
New International Report Shreds Japan’s Carefully Constructed Fukushima Scenario
Written by John Daly, Oilprice.com, 02 November 2011
“Japan’s six reactor Fukushima Daichi nuclear complex has inadvertently become the world’s bell-weather poster child for the inherent risks of nuclear power ever since the 11 March Tohoku offshore earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a devastating tsunami that effectively destroyed the complex.
Ever since, specialists have wrangled about how damaging the consequences of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami actually were, not only for the facility but the rest of the world.
The Fukushima Daichi complex was one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the world and the Fukushima I reactor was the first GE designed nuclear plant to be constructed and run entirely by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO.
Needless to say, in the aftermath of the disaster, both TEPCO and the Japanese government were at pains to minimize the disaster’s consequences, hardly surprising given the country’s densely populated regions.
But now, an independent study has effectively demolished TEPCO and the Japanese government’s carefully constructed minimalist scenario. Mainichi news agency reported that France’s l’Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, or IRSN) has issued a recent report stating that the amount of radioactive cesium-137 that entered the Pacific after 11 March was probably nearly 30 times the amount stated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in May.
According to IRSN, the amount of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 that flowed into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant between March 21 and mid-July reached an estimated 27.1 quadrillion becquerels.
Why should this matter? Aren’t the Japanese authorities on top of the issue?”[...]
January 15, 2012
Radionuclides from the Fukushima accident in the air over Lithuania: measurement and modelling approaches.
Lujanienė G, et al. J Environ Radioact. 2011 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Environmental Research Department, SRI Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Savanoriu 231, 02300 Vilnius, Lithuania.
Analyses of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne aerosols were carried out in daily samples in Vilnius, Lithuania after the Fukushima accident during the period of March-April, 2011. The activity concentrations of (131)I and (137)Cs ranged from 12 μBq/m(3) and 1.4 μBq/m(3) to 3700 μBq/m(3) and 1040 μBq/m(3), respectively. The activity concentration of (239,240)Pu in one aerosol sample collected from 23 March to 15 April, 2011 was found to be 44.5 nBq/m(3). The two maxima found in radionuclide concentrations were related to complicated long-range air mass transport from Japan across the Pacific, the North America and the Atlantic Ocean to Central Europe as indicated by modelling. HYSPLIT backward trajectories and meteorological data were applied for interpretation of activity variations of measured radionuclides observed at the site of investigation. (7)Be and (212)Pb activity concentrations and their ratios were used as tracers of vertical transport of air masses. Fukushima data were compared with the data obtained during the Chernobyl accident and in the post Chernobyl period. The activity concentrations of (131)I and (137)Cs were found to be by 4 orders of magnitude lower as compared to the Chernobyl accident. The activity ratio of (134)Cs/(137)Cs was around 1 with small variations only. The activity ratio of (238)Pu/(239,240)Pu in the aerosol sample was 1.2, indicating a presence of the spent fuel of different origin than that of the Chernobyl accident.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fukushima Isotopes in Greece
Kritidis P, Florou H, Eleftheriadis K, Evangeliou N, Gini M, Sotiropoulou M, Diapouli E, Vratolis S.
NCSR “Demokritos”, Institute of Nuclear Technology-Radiation Protection, Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory, 15310 Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece.
As a result of the nuclear accident in Fukushima Daichi power plant, which started on March 11, 2011, radioactive pollutants were transferred by air masses to various regions of the Northern hemisphere, including Europe. Very low concentrations of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne particulate matter were measured in Athens, Greece during the period of March 24 to April 28, 2011. The maximum air concentration of (131)I was measured on April 6, 2011 and equaled 490 ± 35 μBq m(-3). The maximum values of the two cesium isotopes were measured on the same day and equaled 180 ± 40 μBq m(-3) for (137)Cs and 160 ± 30 μBq m(-3) for (134)Cs. The average activity ratio of (131)I/(137)Cs in air was 3.0 ± 0.5, while the corresponding ratio of (137)Cs/(134)Cs equaled 1.1 ± 0.3. No artificial radionuclides could be detected in air after April 28, 2011. Traces of (131)I as a result of radioactive deposition were measured in grass, soil, sheep milk and meat. The total deposition of (131)I (dry + wet) was 34 ± 4 Bq m(-2), and of (137)Cs was less than 10 Bq m(-2). The maximum concentration of (131)I in grass was 2.1 ± 0.4 Bg kg(-1), while (134)Cs was not detected. The maximum concentrations of (131)I and (137)Cs in sheep milk were 1.7 ± 0.16 Bq kg(-1) and 0.6 ± 0.12 Bq kg(-1) respectively. Concentrations of (131)I up to 1.3 ± 0.2 Bq kg(-1) were measured in sheep meat. Traces of (131)I were found in a number of soil samples. The radiological impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Athens region was practically negligible, especially as compared to that of the Chernobyl accident and also to that of natural radioactivity.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
January 15, 2012
Canadian Fish Eaters Threatened by Fukushima Radiation: Anti-Nuclear Group
By Alex Roslin, For Postmedia News January 14, 2012
“After the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years, authorities in Canada said people living here were safe and faced no health risks from the fallout from Fukushima.
They said most of the radiation from the crippled Japanese nuclear power plant would fall into the ocean, where it would be diluted and not pose any danger.
Dr. Dale Dewar wasn’t convinced. Dewar, a family physician in Wynyard, Sask., doesn’t eat a lot of seafood herself, but when her grandchildren come to visit, she carefully checks seafood labels.
She wants to make sure she isn’t serving them anything that might come from the western Pacific Ocean.
Dewar, the executive director of Physicians for Global Survival, a Canadian anti-nuclear group, says the Canadian government has downplayed the radiation risks from Fukushima and is doing little to monitor them.
“We suspect we’re going to see more cancers, decreased fetal viability, decreased fertility, increased metabolic defects — and we expect them to be generational,” she said.
Evidence has emerged that the impacts of the disaster on the Pacific Ocean are worse than expected.” [...]
Radioactive Iodine in Rainwater: Public Was in the Dark
But last March, a Health Canada monitoring station in Calgary detected an average of 8.18 becquerels per litre of radioactive iodine (an isotope released by the nuclear accident) in rainwater, the data shows.
The level easily exceeded the Canadian guideline of six becquerels of iodine per litre for drinking water, acknowledged Eric Pellerin, chief of Health Canada’s radiation-surveillance division.
“It’s above the recommended level (for drinking water),” he said in an interview. “At any time you sample it, it should not exceed the guideline.”
Canadian authorities didn’t disclose the high radiation reading at the time.” [...]
The Debate in Canada: What Is a ‘Safe’ Level of Radiation?
By Alex Roslin, Special to The Gazette January 13, 2012
“The fallout from Fukushima has sparked debate about how Canada monitors radiation and how it decides what is a “safe” level of radiation.
Canadian authorities have insisted that Canadians are safe and that dangerous levels of radiation haven’t entered our food, air or water.
“The amount (of radiation) detected would not pose a health risk to Canadians,” Health Canada spokesman Stéphane Shank said.
“Canadians are safe. We are within the natural background radiation fluctuations that were typically seen prior to the nuclear event in Japan.”
But nuclear critics Dr. Dale Dewar and Gordon Edwards say Ottawa’s notion of what is a “safe” level of radiation can still cause serious health risks for some people.
In fact, Canada’s ceiling for radiation in food is set at a level that would lead to 5,000 to 8,000 cancers per million people over a 70-year lifetime of exposure, according to Health Canada’s models and those of a 2006 U.S. National Academy of Sciences report on cancer risk from radiation. (About half of the cancers would be fatal.)
That works out to 170,000 to 270,000 lifetime cancers if all 34 million Canadians were exposed at the “safe” level.” [...]
November 2, 2011
Many reports by Japanese media today on the likelihood of re-criticality occurring at reactor #2 in Fukushima
The New York Times: Fears of Fission Rise at Stricken Nuclear Reactor Plant in Japan:
This blog site shows the TEPCO data of radioactive Krypton and Xenon released at the reactor on Nov. 2. http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/11/reactor-2-cv-gas-analysis-on-november-2.html Reader comments point out that the re-criticality may be due to corium hitting the water table.
November 1, 2011
At the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Public Health Association on Oct.31, Professional Engineer and PhD researcher Marco Kaltofen (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA) presented his data regarding hot particles found in Japan and the US (including Seattle) and results of soil analysis for Fukushima radionuclides. This analysis confirmed that Fukushima radiation reached the US west coast.
“US air filter and dusts samples did not contain hot particles, except for air samples collected from Seattle, WA during the month of April 2011. The samples of Japanese children’s shoes were found to have relatively high radiocesium contamination levels. Isolated US soil samples contained up to 8 nanoCuries per Kg of radiocesium, while control samples showed no detectable radiocesium.” (from conference abstract available at http://apha.confex.com/apha/139am/webprogram/Paper254015.htm) Hopefully, the full paper will become publicly available soon.
The Fairewinds website contains a video and text commenting on the conference paper: http://fairewinds.com/content/scientist-marco-kaltofen-presents-data-confirming-hot-particles
October 28, 2011
Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: determination of the source term, atmospheric dispersion, and deposition
A. Stohl1, P. Seibert2, G. Wotawa3, D. Arnold2,4, J. F. Burkhart1, S. Eckhardt1, C. Tapia5, A. Vargas4, and T. J. Yasunari6
1NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
2Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
3Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Vienna, Austria
4Institute of Energy Technologies (INTE), Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
5Department of Physics and Nucelar Engineering (FEN),Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
6Universities Space Research Association, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology and Research, Columbia, MD 21044, USA
The paper is currently under peer review. An abstract can be found here:
This is the press release by two of the research institutions involved:
Reactor accident Fukushima – New international study on emissions of radioactive substances into the atmosphere
A new study by an international team of researchers estimates the emissions of the radioactive noble gas Xenon‐133 and the aerosol‐bound nuclide Caesium‐137 from the Japanese NPP Fukushima Daiichi by combining a large set of measurements from Japan and worldwide, atmospheric transport model calculations, and available information and reasonable approximations on radionuclide inventories and accident events at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP. The main result of the investigation is that the emissions from the power plant started earlier, lasted longer and are therefore higher than assumed in most studies conducted before. [emphasis added]
Regarding the radioactive noble gas Xenon‐133, the results indicate an emission of 16700 Peta‐Becquerel (1 Becquerel is one radioactive decay per second, 1 Peta‐Becquerel equals 1015 Bq). This is the largest civilian noble gas release in history, exceeding the Chernobyl noble gas release by a factor of 2.5. [emphasis added] There is strong evidence that emissions started already on 11 March 2011 at 6:00 UTC, which is immediately after the big earthquake. Xenon‐133 is neither ingested nor retained in the inhalation process and therefore of less health concern, but it is important for understanding the accident events.
Regarding Cesium‐137, which is of high relevance for human health due to its physical properties and the long half‐life time of 30 years, the new estimate shows that emissions started earlier and ended later than assumed in most studies so far. The total release amounts to 36 PBq, which equals 40% of the Chernobyl emissions. About 20% of the caesium was deposited on Japanese territory, while about 80% was deposited in the water.
Dr. Andreas Stohl, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), lead author of the study: “Our calculations are based on about 1000 measurements of activity concentrations and deposition conducted in Japan, USA and Europe. This is the most comprehensive investigation so far. There is no doubt that the Fukushima accident is, at least in terms of the isotopes Xenon‐133 and Caesium‐137, the most significant event after the catastrophe in Chernobyl 25 years ago.”
Dr. Petra Seibert, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna: „The results of the study again demonstrate the potential for our method of inverse modelling, which is also successfully being applied in assessing ash dispersion after volcanic eruptions.“
Dr. Gerhard Wotawa, Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), adds: “ZAMG was the first institute world‐wide that published, as early as ten days after the accident, an estimate of high emissions of radioactive substances from Fukushima‐Daiichi. This analysis was
based on a few data available to us at this time, and is now fully confirmed by a comprehensive analysis.”
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) in Kjeller, Norway, the Institute for Meteorology of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU‐Met) in Vienna, the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) in Vienna, the Institute of Energy Technologies from the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona (INTE), Spain, and by the Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, USA.
The publication containing the complete study, which is still under scientific peer review and thus subject to either acceptance or rejection, is available from the following web page:
Dr. Andreas Stohl, NILU, E‐Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +47 6389 8035 (only before 23.10.2011:+498937418029)
Dr. Gerhard Wotawa, ZAMG, E‐Mail: email@example.com, Tel. +43 664 88 414962
Dr. Petra Seibert, BOKU, E‐Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +43 664 3259704
Disclaimer: This is a joint press release of ZAMG and BOKU and not a press release of the research team conducting the study
October 15, 2011
The New York Times, Oct. 14, 2011
Citizens’ Testing Finds 20 Hot Spots Around Tokyo
“TOKYO — Takeo Hayashida signed on with a citizens’ group to test for radiation near his son’s baseball field in Tokyo after government officials told him they had no plans to check for fallout from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Like Japan’s central government, local officials said there was nothing to fear in the capital, 160 miles from the disaster zone. Then came the test result: the level of radioactive cesium in a patch of dirt just yards from where his 11-year-old son, Koshiro, played baseball was equal to those in some contaminated areas around Chernobyl.” [...]
Read full article at:
Strontium Found in More Locations
NHK News (Japanese), Oct. 15, 2011
Highly Radioactive Vapour Splashing from Underground at Fukushima
Summarized translation at Fukushima Dairy:
“It turned out to be true that water vapor (steam) was splashing (erupting) from underground in June. 10/13/2011, Tepco conducted measurements by robot around where water vapor was splashing. They measured 4.7 Sv/h, where it was 4.0 Sv/h in June. It is located at South east side of the reactor 1. According to Tepco, it was splashing from underground in June, but now it’s stopped.
NHK World, Oct. 15, 2011
“High concentrations of radioactive cesium have been found in plankton from the sea near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.Researchers from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology collected plankton in waters up to 60 kilometers from the coast of Iwaki City in July. They found 669 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in animal plankton from waters 3 kilometers offshore. They say a wide range of fish feed on animal plankton and that the contamination could accumulate in the food chain and have a more serious impact when it gets into relatively large fish. The research group’s leader, Professor Takashi Ishimaru, says the plankton were so heavily contaminated because sea currents continuously carried contaminated water southward from the nuclear plant. He says detailed studies are needed to determine how long the effect on fish will continue.”
October 15, 2011
One of Germany’s two largest, most respected tv stations, the ZDF, produced a short documentary on working conditions at the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant–filming undercover. They show that Japanese workers at the crippled plant are exposed to high–often unknown–radiation doses exceeding the measuring capability of dosimeters; low pay; lack of compensation for future illness as a result of radiation exposure; and prohibited from revealing any information about working conditions or contracts. The final line sums it up appropriately: “Menschenverachtung auf Japanisch.” [contempt of mankind in Japanese]
Report (approx. 7 min) with Japanese subtitles and English summary available at
October 15, 2011
Yokohama, Oct. 15, 2011
The Fukushima Diary website http://fukushima-diary.com/ is reporting on a June 2011 document that has been “leaked on the internet” which reveals that Plutonium-238, -239, -240, and -241 were released “to the air” from Fukushima Daiichi during the first 100 hours after the earthquake. The amount of Plutonium released is said to be 120 billion Becquerels. It also states there was a release of 7.6 trillion Becquerels of Neptunium-239. Mochizuki says this report was made by Tepco for a press conference on June 6 and the media knew and “kept concealing the risk for 7 months and kept people exposed”. Read more and access the data (in Japanese)–as long as it’s available–at:
See also this blog, which discussed the above mentioned release data in August: http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/08/nisa-neptunium-239-in-august-29-press.html
The reported numbers are staggering. Plutonium is one of the most toxic known substances to living beings. Inhaling an amount smaller than a speck of dust implies a high risk of getting fatal lung cancer (see also Hot Particles on this site). Earlier this summer, Japanese government officials tried to quench (pun intended) citizens’ concerns over the toxicity of Plutonium–by showing a video in which a government official is seen DRINKING what is alleged to be this substance. But the Japanese people are no longer buying this false propaganda and have lost trust in their government and the mainstream media to provide reliable data on time that could help protect public health rather than economic and political interests. To connect the dots here, in case they remain invisible to some. This is a perfect example of what the Occupy Wall Street protests are trying to get at: the protection of economic interests trumping the protection of public and environmental interests. And, in fact, human rights.
The Fukushima Diary http://fukushima-diary.com/
is a citizen-organized effort to share information about the extent of radioactive contamination in Japan. It includes reports (corroborated by sparse international media reports) of radiation levels in Tokyo and other areas exceeding Fukushima and Chernobyl exclusion zones; widespread symptoms of radiation sickness; radioactively contaminated tap water and groceries in areas far from Fukushima, including the greater Tokyo region; the challenges encountered by Japanese people trying to evacuate; and concerns over where future radiation refugees could actually go.
The situation in Japan is dire and not improving, despite the deafening international media silence and inexplicable lack of international financial and humanitarian support. Perhaps the most deadly attribute of radioactivity is not the fact that it has been proven to cause cancer, birth defects and deformities, DNA damage that is inherited for generations, and an endless list of various other debilitating conditions. The most deadly attribute of radioactivity may be that is it invisible. Odourless. Tasteless. And therefore easily ignored. Downplayed. Ridiculed. Until it is too late.
October 12, 2011
After Fukushima, Does Nuclear Power Have a Future?
The New York Times, Special Report: Energy, October 10, 2011
by Stephanie Cooke
“A couple of months after the catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant March 11, an American nuclear expert posed an interesting question. ‘The post-Fukushima public sentiment is surprisingly low-key isn’t it? What a difference between this event and TMI or Chernobyl,’ he wrote in an e-mail, using an abbreviation for the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. ‘What do you think is going on? Why so quiet?’
I was not convinced. What he said was certainly true in the United States, but the accident had a profound effect in Germany, China and several other countries, serving as a fearful reminder of what can go wrong with nuclear power plants.” [...]
Full article at:
October 7, 2011
…as if the problem goes away if you don’t look at it or confirm that it is there. Here are some recent examples of the practical application of the “willful blindness” principle:
After more Plutonium was found further away from Fukushima recently, Japan will stop measuring Plutonium now and raised the allowable concentrations:
“Now Japanese people are allowed to take 1~10 Bq/kg of plutonium. However, 1 in a million gram of plutonium causes cancer.” http://fukushima-diary.com/2011/10/breaking-news-the-measurement-of-plutonium-was-abandoned-in-japan/
After the release of a “dense” amount of radiation at Fukushima, reported on May 8, 2011, evident in the highest spikes since the disaster a week later on EPA data of May 15/16 for Seattle, http://www.epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/index.html , Health Canada stepped back its air radiation monitoring, moving from daily to weekly reporting. (It now scaled back its radiation reporting to quarterly).
Similarly, after forecasts of the radioactive Fukushima plume by the Norwegian Institute for Atmospheric Research (NILU) predicted significant depositions of radioactive Cesium and Iodine on the northwest coast of Canada and America and beyond on May 9, 2011, the forecast could no longer be accessed on the internet as of May 11, 2011.
After the inquiry into one of the greatest salmon decline in history, the Canadian government intends to cut back on monitoring salmon stocks, letting go of 275 Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) employees over the next three years. (PAUL McLEOD Ottawa Bureaum, Oct. 5, 2011: DFU Denies Cuts Will Hurt Fish Stocks).
After the largest ozone hole ever observed opened up over Canada this spring, the Canadian government now wants to take down its ozone monitoring stations, which are part of a global network, and lay off hundreds of scientists working at Environment Canada. http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Huge+hole+opens+Arctic+ozone+layer/5491487/story.html
These are illustrations not just of unprecedented environmental crises. These are illustrations that our democracy, and its key values of freedom of information, freedom of speech…are crumbling. It will take the people, the 99%, to stand up for these values before it is too late.
October 7, 2011
Canadian mainstream media, including the Globe&Mail and CBC, have been largely silent on the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan, and its evolving global environmental, public health and economic implications. It is good to see this article about the concerns of Japanese residents about returning to highly contaminated areas.
Globe & Mail, Oct. 06, 2011 Residents of Japanese town contaminated by Fukushima refuse to return
Excerpt: [...] “I don’t plan to come back, ever,” said a middle-aged woman who briefly visited Hirono this week to retrieve belongings from the two-storey home that she and her family fled on March 12, the day after the tsunami that set in motion the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. She paused to take in her abandoned home’s view of the ocean and its now-unkempt garden. “I’ll never feel safe here. I’ll never feel secure.”
The area where the government has lifted its advisory was one of three evacuation zones around the plant. The 20-kilometre radius around Fukushima Daiichi remains a no-go zone for the foreseeable future, as does a heavily contaminated corridor northwest of the plant that was later added to the mandatory evacuation zone. Once home to more than 100,000 people, the areas are expected to be uninhabitable for upward of two decades.[...]
[...] In the past week alone, plutonium was discovered in soil 40 kilometres from the stricken plant and a local environmental group reported finding levels of radioactive cesium in the city of Fukushima, 60 kilometres from the plant, that were triple the level that requires sealing in concrete. Hirono residents whisper about sky-high cesium-137 readings rumoured to have been taken near the window of the local school [...]
October 7, 2011
The Mainichi Daily News, Oct. 8, 2011
True radiation decontamination still a long way away
This article discusses the daunting, perhaps impossible, challenges of removing radioactive contamination in Japan from buildings, roofs, roads, fields…everywhere.
[...] “It might make you feel like you’re decontaminating, but there’s a limit to the amount of radioactive cesium that’s caked onto roofs that can be eliminated with high-pressure water cleaners,” says Kunihiro Yamada, a professor of environmental science at Kyoto Seika University. “The water cleaners wash surface dirt off, but then that tainted water goes into sewers and can contaminate rivers, thereby affecting farm goods and seafood. If people in highly populated areas were to begin using water cleaners, we may end up finding people forcing tainted water onto each other.” [...]
[...] “What residents want is not half the exposure to radiation,” says Yamada. “What they want is for a return to levels that allow them to live with peace of mind. Massive amounts of radioactive materials have been spread across wide areas in the ongoing disaster, so we can’t count on the weathering effect. There’s also the possibility that radiation will not only spread, but will start to accumulate in large concentrations in certain places. The half life of cesium 137 is approximately 30 years, but that of cesium 134 is 2 years. What the government has said is the equivalent of saying that they won’t engage in full-fledged decontamination activities.” [...]
[...] Kodama finishes his book, “Naibu hibaku no shinjitu” (The Truth about Internal Exposure), with the following: “We have contaminated our country’s earth, this irreplaceable inheritance from our ancestors that we had been charged with and must pass on to our children. However, if humans are the ones who contaminated it, then we humans should be able to clean it up again.” [...]
Full article at: Thttp://mdn.mainichi.jp/features/news/20111007p2a00m0na018000c.html
October 7, 2011
The Economist, Oct. 8, 2011
Radiation in Japan: Hot spots and blind spots
The mounting human costs of Japan’s nuclear disaster
The article discusses extremely high radiation levels (including Plutonium fall-out) in Iitate (28 miles from Fukushima) and its effects on the people there. According to government, an area larger than greater Tokyo received an annual radiation dose of at least five millisieverts, or over 0.5 microsieverts an hour and will need to be de-contaminated. The task his daunting. Radiation hotspots in parks (grass, soil, trees) and schools pose health risks for children.
[...] Every time a gust of wind blows, Mr Sato says it shakes invisible particles of radioactive caesium off the trees and showers them over the village. Radiation levels in the hills are so high that villagers dare not go near them. Mr Sato cannot bury his father’s bones, which he keeps in an urn in his abandoned farmhouse, because of the dangers of going up the hill to the graveyard.
Iitate had the misfortune to be caught by a wind that carried radioactive particles (including plutonium) much farther than anybody initially expected after the nuclear disaster. Almost all the 6,000 residents have been evacuated, albeit belatedly, because it took the government months to decide that some villages outside a 30km radius of the plant warranted special attention. Now it offers an extreme example of how difficult it will be to recover from the disaster.[...]
Full article at: http://www.economist.com/node/21531522