Sunday, March 27, 2016

FUK-U-SHIMA: Radiation In Ocean Off Fukushima At HIGHEST LEVELS In Years - Out Of Control Leakage Coming From Plant; "BIG SPIKES" In Radioactivity Observed; "IT's SURPRISING,... CONCERNING,... CRISIS,..."; Over 1,000 TONS OF CONTAMINATED LIQUID Being Released; Fuel Melted Through Containment Vessels And Is "SPEWING RADIATION"; Nuclear Expert Says Fuel Has "SCATTERED ALL OVER THE PLACE"; Fuel May Have Burned Out Into Environment; TEPCO Official States That The Fuel Could Have Flowed Out "LIKE LAVA IN A VOLCANO"; Scientists Say Japan Government Is Covering Up Situation; ALARM Over Very Sick Animals Washing Ashore In Alaska; Fish BLEEDING FROM FACE With Bloody Entrails Coming Out Of Body; Local Official Says Fukushima Is Adversely "Affecting Ocean Life"!

March 27, 2016 - PACIFIC OCEAN - Crisis continues 5 years after Fukushima — Radiation in the Pacific Ocean near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant is at levels as high, or higher, than has been measured in the past three years, as the crippled plant continues to bleed contamination into the sea, new results from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research cruise show. “We think it’s related to the ongoing leaks,” said Ken Buesseler, a Woods Hole chemical oceanographer… “It’s a little surprising and contrary to claims they’ve stopped all flow. So we’re not out of the woods yet.”… Unlike Chernobyl, however, this crisis played out slowly, and continues today, on both sides of the Pacific… In October 2015, Buesseler’s team took new samples from as close as a half-mile away from the nuclear power plant. Levels there remain elevated, he said, confirming continued releases from the plant… “The fact that it’s still leaking is always of concern.” - KGW (NBC channel in Portland, OR).

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows… Buesseler [sampled off Fukushima] in October 2015… his analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation… [C]esium levels have remained relatively constant… “we are not seeing the steady decrease we would expect to see off Fukushima if all sources had stopped; rather, we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”… The highest level of cesium Buesseler’s team found in a sample taken off Japan in October 2015 measured 200 Becquerels per cubic meter… Strontium, too, is not falling as expected… [Scientists] have found that strontium is not decreasing as fast as cesium. Whereas there was approximately 40 times more cesium than strontium in the waters off Japan in 2011, by 2013, there was approximately 10 times more cesium than strontium The concern lies in the thousands of tons of strontium still stored in tanks at the nuclear power plant and accumulated in buildings and soils, some of it still leaking into the ocean. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Crippled Fukushima Reactors Are Still a Danger… [M]ajor questions still loom today… [S]ome scientists are complaining that important questions about the disaster’s impact are not being addressed. Authorities, they suspect, are subtly discouraging certain kinds of scientific research, possibly because they fear findings that could further alarm the public… This February, the company reported a spike in strontium levels at the plant site… Remarkably, research on Fukushima’s impact on the marine ecosystem is even more scarce [than on land]—even though the disaster represented the single largest pulse of radioactivity ever injected into an ocean… [T]he cesium concentration… many kilometers off Fukushima remains well above pre-accident levels… Another concern is radioactive strontium. Scientists say levels in seawater near the plant are not declining, possibly because of recurrent leaks from the on-site tanks. “You could actually see in the ocean when one of these tanks would leak—you’d get a big spike in Strontium-90,” Buesseler notes… Indeed, unanswered questions abound… The Japanese government seems to be cutting off funds for monitoring radionuclides in water alongside Fukushima, Buesseler says… [A]nother Japanese scientist, who asked not to be named, claimed that whereas grants are readily available for researchers whose projects are unlikely to discover significant impacts from the disaster, they are exceedingly scarce for others… Buesseler reports [an] experience [when Japanese scientists who aided in research asked not to be credited in its published papers, fearing adverse impacts on their careers]… - Scientific American.

Buesseler says that releases of radioactive cesium from the plant are still not under control…”we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.” - CapeCod.

Fukushima has become a place… where they struggle to control radiation-contaminated water and must release it into the sea… [T]he plant also releases 2,000 tons of the water into the ocean every week after a process that removes most, but not all, of the radioactive particles… it is a public-relations nightmare for the government… - NY Times.

Today, the radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it has proven impossible to get into its bowels to find and remove the extremely dangerous blobs of melted fuel rods, weighing hundreds of tonnes… The fuel rods melted through their containment vessels in the reactors, and no one knows exactly where they are now… Tepco has been developing robots [to] negotiate obstacles in damaged tunnels and piping to search for the melted fuel rods. - Reuters.

Five years on, melted fuel rods still spew radiation… - Reuters.

The melted nuclear fuel and the destroyed pressure vessel in the nuclear reactors 1 to 3 continue to be major problems… “So far, nobody knows what exactly happened in there and how to solve it,” [Heinz Smital, a nuclear physicist] told DW. “Until now, there is no solution to recover the melted fuel rods from the reactors.” - DW.

Today, the radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it is impossible to extract and remove deadly melted fuel rods… [Tepco is] grappling with the fact that they don’t have the technology to find missing melted fuel rods in three reactors at the plant. The rods melted through containment vessels in the reactors. - News Corp Australia.

[It's] the most daunting task the nuclear industry has ever faced: removing hundreds of tons of melted fuel from the plant’s stricken reactors… something no nuclear operator has ever attempted… Of greatest concern, though, is reactor 1, where the fuel may have burned through the pressure vessel, fallen to the bottom of the containment vessel and into the concrete pedestal below – perhaps even outside it – according to a report by the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning… Masuda and Tepco engineers who spoke to the Guardian conceded that they still didn’t know where the fuel is located. “To be honest, we don’t know exactly where the fuel is”… Masuda said… “No one has ever done what we’re doing”… - Guardian.

March 11, 2016 (at 35:15 in):
  • Miles O’Brien, PBS correspondent: What about the melted fuel in the reactor cores? They aren’t even sure where it all is.
  • Lake Barrett, Tepco advisor: Is it in one big vertical lump on the floor underneath it? Or did it come down and flow like lava in a volcano and move out to the sides? We don’t know yet… Nothing of this magnitude [i.e. the attempt to remove Fukushima’s melted fuel] has ever been done by mankind…
- PBS Newshour.

We simply do not know where the core is or in what state it is… [The government and TEPCO] are convinced that the melted core fell through the bottom of the pressure vessel and now lie at the bottom of the containment vessel―basically piling up like nuggets of the melted core [See Lake Barrett's statement above]. There’s no way this would be the case. (Laughs)… It should have been scattered all over the place… Though the containment vessel is made of steel, if the melted core has come in contact with that steel, just as it ate through the floor of the pressure vessel, it could possibly have melted through the containment vessel… There are situations in which the containment vessel can suffer a melt-through. I think this likely has already happened. - Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide.

Arctic char with Saprolegnia mold – Kivalina, Alaska – I have an interest in the health of the sea mammals because of the Fukushima disaster… even if the foods we eat from the ocean may not be affected, they do migrate through the bodies of water surrounding Alaska so we do have cause for concern… We have noticed baby seals washing ashore because they are too weak to swim for lengths of time. There are walruses that come to shore also from being so sick. My brother shot a walrus last summer that was so skinny, we were very alarmed at it’s condition. Baby walruses come ashore… alone. We do not know if they survive… Pt. Hope also reports very sick walruses summer time… [T]he most recent discovery was a rainbow trout brought to the city office… I’ve attached photos of the very sick fish… the bloody entrails were exiting out and it was also bleeding through the mouth. There were the beginnings of lesions on the skin… We are very much aware of the possibility of radiation from Fukushima affecting the ocean life but we realize there are other possibilities.

  • Local Environmental Observer (LEO): … LEO Network has received a number of reports this year about illness in fish, birds and sea mammals…
  • Dr. Jayde Ferguson, Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game: There appears to be Saprolegnia (a water mold) growing on the tail… The anal fin has a blistered appearance, possibly a proliferative growth such as a neoplasm or tumor that has formed an ulcer. A systemic infection (such as a bacterial infection in blood) may also be involved as there appears to be reddening in the head region…
- Janet Mitchell, City Administrator for Kivalina City Council, with Replogle Swan, Kivalina Search and Rescue.

PBS Newshour | Reuters  | PRI | KPBS

Compiled by: ENE News.


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