Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fukushima nuclear disaster Weekly Updates - March 9 , 2014 .... Concurrent nuclear disaster ironically ongoing at WIPP in New Mexico , US and ongoing problems with Hanford nuclear facility ( Washington state ) reviewed ..... Anyone still convinced nuclear power is safe and ultra hazardous contamination can be contained for the decades / hundreds of years it must be contained to prevent wide ranging problems ?

Energy News - Japan.....

Official: Japan will be ruined if public doesn’t realize they’re being exposed to Fukushima radiation — “99.99% of the people are being sacrificed” — Rest of world will be taken down too (AUDIO)

Japan ex-Prime Minister: Fukushima very close to ‘China syndrome’ — First time in history where melted fuel “burned through, leaking to outside of container” — Reactor melted down 4 hours after M9.0 quake (VIDEO)

NBC: US officials “hid concerns… as Fukushima melted’ — CIA told nuclear regulator blast was hydrogen, not steam or nuclear criticality; Experts noted “no evidence to support” this theory

Anonymous Senior Tepco Employee: No one knows what to do at Fukushima, it’s impossible to fix — Reactors not under control — “We just can’t deal with the melted fuel”

Fukushima plant hanging by its fingernails, about to fall off — Disaster is “warning to all of civilization” — “Gov’t & Tepco announce dates for completion, but no one really believes them… this is new territory” (VIDEO)

U.S. Navy Officer: Radiation levels routinely exceeded 300 times normal for over a month far away from Fukushima, “yet I was given only gloves!” — My son was throwing up 30 to 40 times some days — “This basically ruined my life” (VIDEO)

New Studies on Mystery ‘Black Substances’ Released: Fuel core materials from Fukushima plant detected — Plutonium, Uranium-236, Curium discharged into environment likely in form of fine particles (PHOTO)

Nuclear-friendly Magazine: Fukushima melted fuel is glowing, could still be ‘lava-like’ — Only vaguest idea of where corium is — Pouring concrete in structure being discussed — They may not be able to decommission plant, but have to give it a try

Japan Newspapers: It appears ‘high-level radioactive contaminated water’ is flowing into ocean at Fukushima — “Fear nuclear complex might not be scrapped” — Official admits disaster at plant “is barely being managed”

Report: “It’s a big lie, everybody in Japan knows” — Fukushima “far worse” than authorities admit, they must come clean about what really happened — Forbes Even Getting Suspicious? “Nuclear disaster at Fukushima perhaps the worst of all time”

Energy News - US / Canada ....

TV: Over 30 times more radiation got by WIPP filters than gov’t claims? Plus releases from ‘unfiltered’ vents… foam used to plug openings, but now it’s degrading — Filters too radioactive for lab techs to check — No ‘immediate’ danger to public — Rumors dump getting shut down (VIDEO)

*Just In* Scientists Raise Alarm: “Radioactive metal from Fukushima” detected in Pacific Northwest — Concern for impact on humans, west coast ecosystems — Continuing contamination crossing ocean, not going away soon — “A surprise… This is an international issue… Gov’t should be doing something”

TV: Officials now confirm Plutonium and/or Americium reached Carlsbad, New Mexico’s 10th most populated city — Container of radioactive waste may have “blew up” (VIDEO)

AP: ‘Very strong’ 6.9 quake rattles California coast, widely felt throughout region — Directly across from nuclear fuel storage site — ‘Aftershock Warning’: Probability of a strong quake within 7 days greater than 90% (VIDEO)

“Truly an operational nightmare” at WIPP — Radiation level doubles at location far from leak; Carlsbad monitor jumps around 40% — Residents plead for more info, concerns over safety (MAP)

NBC Nightly News: ‘Has Radiation Entered Our Food Supply Chain?’ — USA Today: News getting worse at Fukushima, widespread suspicion leaks into ocean ‘underreported’ — Expert: “I’m not trying to be alarmist… but how will we know it’s safe” for West Coast? (VIDEO)

NBC: Head of radiation testing program on West Coast says Fukushima plume could threaten ecosystems — The effect on marine life? “We don’t know, whatever is in the kelp will get in bodies of those animals also” (VIDEO)

US Gov’t: Never faced challenge like this, but “not giving up hope” at WIPP; Salt from contaminated mine to be sold as feed to dairy farms — TV: “Residents flat out concerned for their safety”; “I want to believe them… but I don’t” — Reuters: ‘Falling slabs’ may have breached waste drums (VIDEO)

NPR: Rapidly unfolding situation at cracked dam has engineers scrambling — Experts troubled over ‘slip’ in structure — Official “didn’t answer question” about dam near Hanford nuclear site — Major employer in area obviously worried — “Spring snow melt will swell river” — NBC: “Crack in Dam Repairs Itself”

Gundersen: WIPP whistleblowers say mine collapsed directly on highly radioactive waste — ‘Many’ canisters may have failed — Unfiltered plutonium and americium escaped for equivalent of 30 minutes — Residential areas exposed (VIDEO)

Subsidence concerns at WIPP nuclear dump — Over 100 operating oil and gas wells within mile of site, a ‘very active’ area — Reserves ‘directly underneath’ buried waste — Fracking to take place nearby? (VIDEO)

“WIPP release story doesn’t add up… accident is unbelievable” — New tests show “high level” release underground — “Contains things far more radioactive than High Level Waste” — “I want to hear what really happened down there” (VIDEO)

WIPP Expert: Nuclear waste is getting out above ground — Plutonium / Americium found in “every single worker” on site when leak began — New Mexico officials ‘totally unsatisfied’ with lack of info from Feds — “We don’t know how far away it’s gone” — Continuing threat for long time to come (AUDIO)

TV: Is cracked dam a ticking time bomb? “Next 24-48 Hours Critical” — “Preparing for worst-case scenario” — No ‘immediate’ threat — Feds monitor structure, ‘sudden release’ possible — “Very few have faced this” — NPR: New photo shows ‘pronounced curve’ — Docks near Hanford nuke site closed (VIDEO & PHOTO)

Recent offerings from Fukushima Diary.......

Fukushima Diary......

Just check the ineptitude of Tepco......

Tepco to shield reactor1 pool coolant system 

against the damaged stack / Stopping cooling 

the pool for 11 days

Following up this article.. 1.9 mSv/h detected at 54 m above ground along the damaged stack[URL]

Tepco is going to install covers over the facilities to protect against the damaged stack. The stack is 120m tall and have the damages at 66m height from the ground. Even a bolt would cause a significant damage by falling to the neighboring facilities.
The coolant system of reactor1 spent fuel pool will be suspended for 11 days from 3/14/2014 due to the installation.
The stack has 8 damages and 5 parts are cut off, however Tepco cannot dismantle it. It is not known how to dismantle the stack either.

Related article.. [Damaged stack] Tepco “looking for” the way to dismantle / cover the stack for high level of radiation [URL 2]

Cesium density jumped up 12 times from 

groundwater of reactor3 seaside

According to Tepco, Cesium-134/137 density became 12 times much as last measurement in groundwater. The sampling location was the seaside of reactor3.

On 3/6/2014, Cesium-134/137 density was 5,700 Bq/m3. It went up to 67,000 Bq/m3 on 3/11/2014.
Tepco states it is possibly because “some radioactive substance” was mixed with the groundwater sample, didn’t mention the possibility of further leakage or unknown reaction underground.

Pure water → drip on the desalination system 

floor → 800,000,000 Bq/m3 of All β / Equipment 

highly contaminated

Following up this article.. Contaminated water leaked from desalination system again / 23,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of All β nuclide detected [URL]

On 3/12/2014, Tepco announced pure water turned to be highly contaminated water poured on the floor in Fukushima plant.
On 3/9/2014, Tepco employee found contaminated water retaining in the water purifying system, which is to desalt the circulated coolant water.

However because they couldn’t identify the leaking point, they assumed it was the dew condensation water. They poured pure water onto the floor for a test.
As a result, they detected high level of contamination from the poured “pure” water. The densities are
Cesium-134 : 390,000 Bq/m3
Cesium-137 : 960,000 Bq/m3
All β nuclides (to include Strontium-90) : 800,000,000 Bq/m3

Tepco states there is a possibility that highly radioactive plume is already attached to the floor.
It is extremely difficult to decontaminate the desalination system, workers are forced to be exposed only to work in the place.
It’s been 3 years since 311, but it is estimated to take more 40 years to decommission the plant.

Contaminated water leaked from desalination 

system again / 23,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of All β 

nuclide detected

Highly contaminated water found leaked from a desalination system again. Tepco employee found in the morning of 3/9/2014.

According to Tepco, the leaked volume was 1.25 L, it is retained inside of the local dam.
They measured 23,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of All β nuclides (Including Strontium-90) from the leaked water. This is nearly the same level as the water to be processed in this system. It is assumed that the contaminated water leaked before entering this purifying system.
The reason is not identified.

Tepco sprinkles over 50 m3 of contaminated 

water in Fukushima plant area everyday / 

Tepco “It’s not discharge”

Tepco sprinkles contaminated water in the plant area on a daily basis. NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) pointed this out on the working group meeting of 3/5/2014.

According to Tepco and NRA, the sprinkled water is the groundwater that flowed into the basement of reactor5 and 6. These two reactors are shut down but the groundwater pumping up system is still malfunctioning. Groundwater therefore automatically flows into the buildings.

Based on Tepco’s analysis, it contains 3,000,000 Bq/m3 of Tritium. For example, the sprinkled water volume on 2/25/2014 was 72m3. They also sprinkled 76m3 on 2/26/2014.
The sprinkled water is assumed to flow into the groundwater stream, and go to the sea in the end. However because it is not through the drains, Tepco states it’s not considered to be “discharge”.

Tepco burnt and cut one of the last two 

thermometers in reactor2 RPV due to another 


Following up this article.. One of the last 2 thermometers in reactor2 RPV was broken / Tepco possibly destroyed it during the test [URL]

On 3/7/2014, Tepco admitted they burnt and cut one of the last two thermometers in reactor2 RPV by themselves.
Now there is only one thermometer left in the vessel. It is estimated to take 3 months to replace it with a new one.

It was due to another mis-operation. According to Tepco, they put 2.5 times high voltage as the limit to the thermometer on the insulation resistance.
They had the manual, but the operator didn’t notice the voltage limit.

Because of the high level of atmospheric dose in Fukushima plant, experienced workers are forced to leave. Having the increasing demand in workers for Olympic game construction and also the restart of other nuclear plants, it is concerned that Tepco is actually in the serious shortage of the skilled workers. However Tepco is denying the risk to state they still have the sufficient stock of the workers in other nuclear plants.
On the other hand, local media point out the lack of skilled workers is already starting to cause the recent troubles due to the continuous basic mis-operations.

[100 m3 overflow] “Who turned on the wrong 

valve and why ?” / Still not identified

Following up this article.. Tepco to re-interrogate 43 workers about 100 m3 overflow[URL]

On 3/7/2014, Tepco announced they hadn’t obtained any useful information from the interrogation.
The overflow of 100m3 contaminated water was caused by the wrong valve settings. However, nobody was supposed to work beside the issued valves that day, and also the valve settings were fixed when Tepco went to see the situation. It is possibly someone’s malicious act.

However Tepco still hasn’t found out who was involved and why regardless of their 2 weeks interrogation with over 100 workers. According to Tepco, “expert” is joining the investigation, but none of the details are announced. Some of the local media stated in Tepco’s press conference that this accident revealed Tepco’s vulnerability against “internal threat”. In this case, Tepco can be a victim.

Still 3,600 tonnes of contaminated rainwater 

retained in the faulty designed reserver / “No 

place to go”

Tepco still retains 3,600 tonnes of contaminated rainwater in underground reservoirs, which experienced the major leakage last Spring.
Tepco dug the ground, covered the hole with water shielding sheets,  and called it the underground reservoir.  In April of 2013, at least 3 of 7 reservoirs leaked the contaminated water.
They decided to abandon the reservoirs. However having the continuous typhoons causing overflow of the dams to surround tanks last Autumn, Tepco started reusing the faulty designed reservoirs in order to evacuate the rainwater that was mixed with contaminated water in the dams.

Tepco was supposed to send the newly added water back to the tanks, but they still cannot empty the reservoirs due to the shortage of other storage.
Currently 2 of 7 reservoirs retain the rainwater. One has 1,500 tonnes, the other one has 2,100 tonnes. At this moment, they still have no safer place to stock it.

Another system of ALPS suspended again / 

Only one week since last suspension

Following up this article.. The multiple nuclide removing system (ALPS) suspended again [URL]

On 3/6/2014, another system of the multiple nuclide removing system, ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) stopped for malfunctioning.
ALPS has 3 independent systems. One of them was suspended last week, and another system was suspended again.

According to Tepco, a booster pump got overloaded due to their mis-operation. Tepco wasn’t aware that the operation of theirs would cause the pump overloaded.

Since they started the test operation of ALPS last Spring, it hasn’t worked without intermission of the troubles.

[100m3 overflow] More than half of water 

absorbed by the ground soil / Possibly flowing 

into groundwater again

Following up this article.. [100m3 overflow] Contaminated water is removed by “hand-digging” of human workers [URL]

More than half of the overflowed contaminated water was absorbed by the ground before they removed, according to Tepco.
Among overflowed 100m3 contaminated water, it was only 42 m3 that Tepco managed to remove. The rest of 58 m3 is assumed to have flown into the groundwater stream.

Tepco states they will pump it when it comes up to the ground surface, but it is possibly flowing to the sea already.

Tepco inspected reactor1 / Elevator shaft and 

isolated column severely blasted / Cooling 

condenser full of debris

Even under the blasted 5th floor, the elevator shaft and the isolated column are severely damaged in reactor1 building.
On 2/26/2014, Tepco and NRA (Nuclear Regulatory Agency) conducted the inspection of the 3 & 4th floor of reactor1 building.

As a result, they found 4th floor, which is under the blasted 5th floor is also collapsed. Especially the elevator shaft and the isolated column were severely damaged.
IC (Reactor Core Isolation Cooling Condenser) is also covered by full of debris. The damage scale is not known.

↓ The blasted elevator shaft and isolated column

↓ Reactor Core Isolation Cooling Condenser

↓ Open hatch

[100m3 overflow] Tepco “Abnormality was too 

slight to notice”

Following up this article.. [100m3 overflow] Contaminated water is removed by “hand-digging” of human workers [URL]

The abnormality of tank water level trend was too slight to recognize, Tepco stated in the press conference of 3/5/2014.

When 100m3 of highly contaminated water overflowed from the tank, the operators were watching the monitor of tank water levels. However they didn’t notice the water overflowing.
In the report that Tepco submitted to NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) on 3/5/2014, it was simply because the water trend was represented in the scale of 0% ~ 100% on the monitor (See the picture below). Before the tank had the additional contaminated water, it was already 98% full. They therefore didn’t recognize 2% of the increase, which was shown as a “negligible gap” on the monitor.

The operators are employed by the different company from the monitor maker. It revealed the fact that Tepco is not supervising even the most basic things in Fukushima decommissioning process.

2,900 MBq/km2 of Cesium-134/137 still fall 

down in Fukushima plant area monthly

Still 2,900 MBq/Km2 of Cesium-134/137 fall down monthly in Fukushima plant area.
It’s been nearly 3 years since 311, but still high level of radioactive plume is falling around the plant.

The sampling date was from 12/25/2013 to 2/3/2014. Cs-134 density was 800 MBq/km2, Cs-137 density was 2,100 MBq/km2.
This is nearly 31 times much as fallout level in Fukushima Daini. The significant difference shows Fukushima plant is still emitting the high level of radioactive plume to the environment.

Tepco damaged power cable for reactor4 pool 

coolant system / Tepco “Didn’t know the cable 

was there”

On 2/25/2014, Tepco damaged the power cable for reactor4 pool, which was installed by themselves.
It stopped one of the coolant systems of reactor4 pool, they ended up suspending fuel removal from the pool. They took about 4 hours to restart.

Tepco was drilling the ground in the south side of reactor4 in the process of improving the ground to stop groundwater flowing into the reactor buildings.
When they drilled approx. 1m in the ground, they damaged the power cable.

Regarding the cause, Tepco stated they were not informed of that the power cables were there by the outsourced company. Also, they had the “subjective impression” that any pipes or cables were not buried there. 
Additionally, they actually found unexpected material when they started drilling, but they continued drilling without checking anything.

Underground wall on the seaside of reactor3 

was possibly broken / Groundwater level in sync 

with ebb and flow

The groundwater levels have been in sync with ebb and flow since the end of February in the seaside of reactor3.
Those groundwater levels are observed in two borings inside of the underground wall. Those borings must be separated from the sea.
However since 2/25/2014, the water levels are synchronized with the seawater level from Tepco’s data released on 2/28/2014.

Tepco hasn’t made any announcement about this trend, but if the ground wall is broken, it means contaminated groundwater is leaking to the sea again.
According to Tepco, they measured nearly 7 trillion Bq/m3 of All β nuclides from the contaminated water taken in the seaside of reactor3 last summer.
(cf, Tepco detected nearly 7 Trillion (10^12) Bq/m3 of All β nuclides from contaminated water in the summer of 2013 [URL])

The tank had water to 98% of capacity / Tepco 

“Can’t reduce due to the serious shortage of 

water storage”

Following up this article.. Tepco to re-interrogate 43 workers about 100 m3 overflow[URL]

The overflowed tank had contaminated water up to 98% of its capacity before the overflowing accident, according to Tepco.
The primary cause of the overflow was because additional water was lead in due to the mis-operation, however there was the background that the tank was already nearly full since before. There is a risk that even other tanks can overflow in the potential earthquakes.

In the working group of 2/24/2014, NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) required Tepco to reduce the water level in the tanks to 95%.
However Tepco rejected their request “because of the shortage of contaminated water storage”.
Having contaminated water endlessly increasing, Tepco is having to use even the buffer capacity of the 3% (98% – 95%).


  1. HI Fred, The solar flare that caused the Japan quake was 3 years ago today,March 9. Found on solar ham's top ten flare list :
    Probably safe to say this article's headline can be changed to a 3,eh?
    Weather pattern flowing over Japan into the Pacific O again today :
    West coast has direct Pacific flow from Japan right now :

    No mention of any concerns of contamination on fishing reports from Washington State Dept of Fish n Game,everything just goes on like nothin ever happened:
    Thanks for all your great reporting sir,

    1. Morning NW ! Hard to believe we are just about three years into Fukushima ! Only thing that I see is progressive decay at the Fukushima site with no real prospects for containment. But at least the site hasn't blown up and we haven't seen another major quake hit Fukushima - yet !

      On the other side of the Pacific , we have Hanford and WIPP to consider - similar to the japanese press , propaganda is the order of the day - I would not eat any fish caught in the Pacific , certainly not large fish like tuna !

      Looks like we bide our time for a week until the Crimea vote - expect a flurry of phone calls , negotiations as the West and US will be desperate to delay / prevent said Referendum from going forward. As of now , neither Crimea nor Russia has shown the slightest hint of backing down or backing off from the expedited Referendum for Crimea joining the Russian Federation. Let's see if Kiev actually sends tanks and soldiers into Crimea and if so , what happens next ?

      Never dull in the world today , keep your eyes focused on what lies ahead and your ears on keen alert !

      Have a great day !