Monday, September 15, 2014

Fukushima - September 15 , 2014 .... “Very Frightening”: Journalist on popular Japan news program found dead — Only person reporting about Fukushima on national TV — Chilling recent quote: “I want you to know I will never commit suicide” — No news coverage of death, no obituary, ‘strange’ nuclear message shown on air ........ Ocean hits record high for radioactive Strontium at all 6 locations near Fukushima reactors — Levels up to 20 times higher than reported last week — Officials: Contamination from highly radioactive ‘debris’ is seeping into ground and flowing out to sea......Expert: Plutonium contamination of Pacific Ocean food chain from Fukushima now suspected; “Real source of potential long term problems for humans” — Newspaper: “Leakage of highly contaminated water into sea must be dealt with immediately” — Gov’t: Effect on health of US public not ‘significant’ ........

Energy News......

Interview with Beverly Findlay Kaneko, evacuee from Yokohama, Japan, Social Uplift, published Sept. 14, 2014: A TV journalist named Mr. Masaki Iwaji, he was the only TV director to work on the Fukushima issue — the humanitarian problems and the corruption involved — and get it on national TV… He was found dead and there are rumors that it was suicide, but there is a lot of speculation that it was not. It is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot this week… His program, which is called ‘Hodo Station’, is a nightly news program that’s very popular. I would equate it to ‘60 Minutes’. That program has come under a lot of fire. The main anchor of that program, Mr. [Ichiro] Furutachi — who is extremely popular… it was rumored that he was in danger of losing his job for actually allowing these issues to be covered. Many of us are extremely upset to hear about Mr. Iwaji’s death. It’s very frightening. >> Watch segment here
Interview w/ Mrs. Kaneko, Nuclear Hotseat w/ Libbe HaLevy, Sept. 14, 2014 (emphasis added):
  • 5:00 in — Iwaji-san is the only journalist tackling the Fukushima issue in primetime. Whether he did it by his own hand or was murdered, it’s a tragic loss… He was responsible for this year’s 3/11 ‘Hodo Station’ coverage… It featured a mother of a cancer victim who agreed to appear with her face and voice disguised… His August 13th segment covered a sloppy decontamination job.
  • 9:00 in — [Iwaji's friend, journalist Noriyuki Imanishi] refers to an incident where [a] police investigator who appears to be in charge… butted Iwaji’s microphone with his elbow and knocked the reporter into the mud and caused injuries that required a visit to thehospital. [My husband] Yuji and I actually met Mr. Iwaji personally in January… and at that meeting he told us about the police incident.
  • 12:00 in – He was found dead having taken sleeping pills. He lit a cold briquette, he taped off the doors of a 3rd floor bedroom in his home, and this all happened in the middle of the summer heat… it was carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • 12:45 in — Yasushi Nishimuta, a freelance reporter, wrote about the circumstances of Iwaji’s death… An acquaintance of Nishimuta’s met Iwaji on August 27th, and that acquaintance said that Iwaji was his old self and he was planning to start tackling the Fukushima issue again in September. On the 28th, Iwaji called the TV station saying he didn’t feel well and he wouldn’t be in. Reportedly his speech was slurred… According to police reports he died on the 29th… Iwaji was going through a difficult time with [divorce related] court mandated arbitration which is often very difficult for the men involved.
  • 15:30 in — There has been no official news coverage of his death and no official mention on the ‘Hodo Station’ program and there was no obituary… after Iwaji’s death ‘Hodo Station’ anchor Ichiro Furutachi and his co-anchor appeared in all black on one evening broadcast… Also a strange caption appeared stating that, “Time for nuclear news has run out. Please accept our apologies.” The caption was strangely phrased and strangely punctuated… a play on words that took the sounds from his name and sort of combined them to — a lot of people think — to contrive this secret message.
  • 17:45 in – Some people mention promises to get together for drinks or snacks, and they’ve posted recent photos of the director enjoying himself at a pub. He had plans for future projects, including a segment on the Ronald Reagan sailors… Yuji and I met with him in December and we’ve been in touch with him by telephone and email. Chillingly, a photojournalist friend of ours… said that he and Iwaji reassured each other when drinking, “Whatever happens, I want you to know I will never commit suicide.” And this is the refrain by other people too, not just someone we happen to know firsthand.
  • Full interview available here

Port of Fukushima Daiichi, around Discharge Channel and Bank Protection — Seawater
This newly published data shows record levels of Strontium-90 have been detected at all 6 seawater monitoring locations in front of the destroyed reactors. At 3 of 6 locations levels are around triple the previous record set last year.
Yet a report released by TEPCO days later on Sept. 12, 2014 claims: “Results indicate efforts to protect water are succeeding… inside the port area, concentrations of radioactivity have been steadily decreasing… Strontium… nearest the reactors… show levels of 70-100 Bq/L … Strontium 90 has been reduced to approximately a third of earlier levels [and] are projected to further reduce… Strontium 90 outflows to one-fortieth of the current estimated amount of outflow.”
According to a TEPCO document from last month: “Groundwater around reactor buildings (Unit 1 to 4) is confirmed to contain radioactive materials which have mixed with rainwater having been contacted with contaminated debris left on the ground surface due to the accident… contaminated water in the buildings theoretically does not mix with the groundwater flowing around the buildings.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 11, 2014: TEPCO measures fail to hold water — Three and a half years after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, efforts to contain water contaminated with radioactive substances at the plant are at a crossroads… [TEPCO] has been unable to curb the growing volume of contaminated water… Yomiuri Shimbun reporters entered the Fukushima No. 1 plant on Monday morning… Ocean still remains vulnerable — Leakage of highly contaminated water into the sea is another problem that must be dealt with immediately…
Nuclear Safety In The Age Of Chernobyl And Fukushima (pdf), website of Ulrich H. Kurzweg, University of Florida Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dec. 10, 2013: Strontium, cesium and plutonium are the real source of potential long term problems for humans as they can cause cell damage over many years especially if they get into the food chain as may be happening at the moment to people in Japan and to fish in the Pacific… The worry at Fukushima at the moment is… the leakage of radioactive water into the Pacific…
  • Bill Borchardt, Executive Director of Operations at Nuclear Regulatory Commission (at 13:00 in): Units 2 and 3 appear to have some primary containment damage. There have been releases of radioactivity that are of significant concern, including a significant contamination in the lower levels of Unit 2 and Unit 3 turbines… On Friday, March 11 [2011 the NRC's] first concern was for a possible tsunami impact on U.S. plants and radioactive materials on the West Coast.
  • U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska (31:15 in)There’s a lot of concern about what may end up in our oceans, impact to the fisheries. Do we have radiation monitors off of Honshu that are measuring anything in the ocean? Or is it just monitors that are evaluating the air?
  • Peter B. Lyons Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy at US Dept. of Energy (in 31:45): The Dept. of Energy systems [are] not over the ocean… I am not aware of monitoring capability within the ocean that we have… That certainly could be added if it was deemed necessary. I should add that the Department of Energy, through the calculational capabilities — using the source terms developed by the NRC as being the worst cases —we do not anticipate a significant health effect in any of the United States areas.
  • U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming (53:30 in): In the New York Times today, it reported that highly contaminated water… could leak into the oceanWhat are the implications of that?
  • Lyons (53:45 in): Well, certainly that has to be monitored from the standpoint of fisheries, food products. There are other agencies within our government that would betracking whether there were any concerns from a U.S. perspective.

Nuclear Safety In The Age Of Chernobyl And Fukushima, website of Ulrich H. Kurzweg, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida, December 10, 2013 (emphasis added): The recent nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan has focused the world’s attention on the safety of nuclear power… The worry at Fukushima at the moment is… some of the cores melting through their concrete supports to come in contact with the aquifer… The accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima are indicating that we can expect such accidents to occur once every few decades or so and this will continue unless one comes up with safer reactor designs.
Professor Michio Kaku (Ph.D. in nuclear physics from UC Berkeley and protégé of Edward Teller the ‘father of the H-bomb’), Library of Congress Science Pavilion of the 2014 National Book Festival, CSPAN, August 30, 2014 (at 27:00 in): At Fukushima in Japan we have a raging nuclear meltdown, three of them — simultaneously — going on even as we speak. Even as we speak, they still have not yet gotten control of three melted cores.