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Archive for March 15th, 2011

Japan Abandons Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Due To Radiation

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March 15, 2011: Eric Talmadge and Shino Yuasa / Associated Press (AP) – March 15, 2011

FUKUSHIMA, Japan – Japan suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said work on dousing reactors with water was disrupted by the need to withdraw.

The level of radiation at the plant surged to 1,000 millisieverts early Wednesday before coming down to 800-600 millisieverts. Still, that was far more than the average.

“So the workers cannot carry out even minimal work at the plant now,” Edano said. “Because of the radiation risk, we are on standby.” Experts say exposure of around 1,000 millisieverts is enough to cause radiation sickness.

Earlier officials said 70 percent of fuel rods at one of the six reactors at the plant were significantly damaged in the aftermath of Friday’s calamitous earthquake and tsunami.

News reports said 33 percent of fuel rods were also damaged at another reactor. Officials had said they would use helicopters and fire trucks to spray water in a desperate effort to prevent further radiation leaks and to cool down the reactors.

The nuclear crisis has triggered international alarm and partly overshadowed the human tragedy caused by Friday’s double disaster, which pulverized Japan’s northeastern coastline, killing an estimated 10,000 people.

Authorities have tried frantically since the earthquake and tsunami to avert an environmental catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex in northeastern Japan, 170 miles (270 kilometers) north Tokyo.

The government has ordered some 140,000 people in the vicinity to stay indoors. A little radiation was also detected in Tokyo, 150 miles (240 kilometers) to the south and triggered panic buying of food and water.

There are six reactors at the plant, and three that were operating at the time have been rocked by explosions. The one still on fire was offline at the time of the magnitude 9.0 quake, Japan’s most powerful on record. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency estimated that 70 percent of the rods have been damaged at the No. 1 reactor.

Japan’s national news agency, Kyodo, said that 33 percent of the fuel rods at the No. 2 reactor were damaged and that the cores of both reactors were believed to have partially melted. “We don’t know the nature of the damage,” said Minoru Ohgoda, spokesman for the country’s nuclear safety agency. “It could be either melting, or there might be some holes in them.”

Meanwhile, the outer housing of the containment vessel at the No. 4 unit erupted in flames early Wednesday, said Hajimi Motujuku, a spokesman for the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Japan’s nuclear safety agency said fire and smoke could no longer be seen at Unit 4, but that it was unable to confirm that the blaze had been put out.

Workers Abandon Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Due To Radiation Levels

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This gets even worse. Read the article posted at the link below– SJH

Fukushima Cover-Up: 40 Years Of Spent Nuclear Rods Blown Sky High

Link to original article below…

MOX Fuel: Expert Warns Of Plutonium Threat From Blown Reactors

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March 15, 2011: Tim Hornyak / – March 14, 2011 – “Plutonium-239 is a very hazardous carcinogen which can also be used to make nuclear weapons. This combination of properties makes it one of the most dangerous substances…” – Dr. Arjun Makhijani   

The fuel used in the Japanese nuclear reactor where an explosion occurred today is more volatile and toxic than the fuel used in the other reactors there, a Japanese nuclear expert warned.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Masashi Goto, who worked for Toshiba as a reactor researcher and designer, said the mixed oxide (MOX) fuel used in unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant contains plutonium, which is much more toxic than the fuel used in the other reactors.

MOX fuel is a mixture of uranium and plutonium reprocessed from spent uranium, and is sometimes involved in the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.

Goto added that the MOX also has a lower melting point than the other fuels. The Fukushima facility began using MOX fuel last September, becoming the third plant in Japan to do so.

The nuclear crisis began when the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunamis struck northern Japan on Friday. (Japan’s Meteorological Agency upgraded the earthquake to 9.0 on the Richter scale, but so far the U.S. Geological Survey has not changed its measurement of 8.9.)

Unit 3’s reactor housing was destroyed earlier Monday in a hydrogen-fueled blast similar but larger to the one that destroyed unit 1’s housing Saturday. Eleven people were injured. The blast also hindered efforts to pump sea water into unit 2 to cool it down, Goto said.

“According to announcements, there appears to be no major damage to the containment vessel” of reactor No. 3, Goto said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. “In other words, it is able to fulfill its function.” But it’s still unknown whether the outside of the containment vessel had been damaged in the blast, he added.

The fuel rods of unit 2’s reactor were fully exposed despite attempts to pump water into the chamber, according to Japanese media reports today. Goto, however, stressed that nobody can see inside the chamber to confirm the water level.

When asked why the explosion at the No. 3 reactor seemed much more violent than Saturday’s explosion at the No. 1 reactor building, Goto said he suspected that more hydrogen had accumulated in the building before exploding.

He emphasized the three most critical factors for the time being: a steady supply of electrical power to the plant, supply of water to cool the reactors, and the supply of fuel to the water pumps. He added that fuel for the current makeshift pump system had been running low even before the latest blast.

The two most dangerous situations to monitor are the state of the reactor cores and the containment vessels. When asked about the worst-case scenario, Goto said he would “rather not think about that.” He also said there are too many factors to figure to make a solid conclusion on what will happen.

Above quote from Health Effects Of Plutonium –

NNSA: All About MOX Fuel – (Government Propaganda Video)

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Below is an article by the World Nuclear Association on MOX fuel– SJH

Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel –

Link to original article below…

Radioactive Winds Heading Toward Tokyo As People Leave Capital

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March 15, 2011: Paul Joseph Watson / Prison – March 15, 2011

If there are full-blown meltdowns at multiple reactors, America is in the path of radiation exposure… – SJH

Upper atmosphere prevailing winds will send potential “radiation cloud” towards U.S. west coast…

With Japanese authorities confirming that the third blast at Fukushima’s stricken nuclear plant caused radioactive particles to be released directly into the atmosphere, localized winds are blowing the radiation towards Tokyo, causing many to flee the capital, but the longer term trajectory of upper atmosphere prevailing winds will still send any potential radiation cloud towards the U.S. west coast.

Following a third explosion at the plant as well as a fire in another reactor, radioactive material is now leaking directly into the atmosphere at a rate of 400 millisieverts per hour, according to The International Atomic Energy Agency. Anyone who is exposed to more than 100 millisieverts a year risks contracting cancer.

Higher than normal levels of radiation have already been detected in Tokyo, with readings up to ten times higher than normal measured in Chiba, which is 15 miles from the capital. Gamma radiation levels in the Ibaraki prefecture, which is just a hundred or so miles north of Tokyo, are 30 times higher than normal.

The French embassy, which already advised its citizens to leave Tokyo on Sunday, warns that low level radioactive winds could reach the capital within hours. The Japan Meteorological Agency says that the winds are currently blowing in a “southwesterly direction that includes Tokyo.”

“The Japan Meteorological Agency official said wind speeds will increase on Wednesday, blowing south at three to five meters (10 to 16 ft) per second before changing later in the day to blow easterly out to the Pacific Ocean at a faster rate of five to 12 meters (16 to 39 ft) per second,” reports Reuters.

South Korea’s Meteorological Administration also concurs that the winds will later head east out into the Pacific, a forecast also backed up by the United Nations’ weather agency.

The fact that the winds are set to change to an easterly direction and blow any radiation out to sea is good news for Japan, but it won’t be of any comfort to Americans living on the west coast. As we have documented, prevailing jet stream winds in the upper atmosphere will carry any radiation towards Alaska, California and Hawaii.

If the radiation leak is significant enough not to be dispersed over the Pacific Ocean, it will take roughly seven days to reach the United States.

As notes, the threat of radiation reaching the west coast of the U.S. depends, “Upon how high the cloud rose into the atmosphere. This is because the winds normally vary widely between the near-surface and the upper atmosphere, home to the eastward-flowing jet stream.”

“Generally speaking, any radioactive cloud rising significantly into the atmosphere would travel essentially eastward and northeastward across the Pacific Ocean, eventually reaching North America anywhere between Alaska and California. The precise details as to timing and path taken would depend upon the state of the atmosphere at the time of the hypothetical radiation release.”

The potential for significant radioactive fallout over Tokyo, which has a population of around 13 million, has prompted some residents to flee the capital. Any widespread exodus would cause absolute chaos and would be worsened by the fact that the country is already trying to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

“Almost all of my friends here in the capital have left Tokyo with their families,” Jack Edney told the BBC. “They are scared about radiation reaching Tokyo and also many of their parents’ companies are taking them either down south, or out of Japan altogether.”

Another resident in Tokyo told the BBC, “There is a growing sense that the Japanese government is not telling us the true story. On one end, there is the Japanese media that plays down the nuclear drama and focuses on human drama, and at the other, the foreign media is up-playing the nuclear disaster…

“In my company I heard at least half the essential staff is being sent to Hong Kong, Singapore or even Sydney. I am preparing to leave Tokyo and/or Japan. So are many of my friends. There is a sense of deserting Tokyo as soon as possible.”

It is now clear that the Tokyo Electric Power Company has completely botched the crisis surrounding the Fukushima nuclear facility and is now engaged in a desperate cover-up. Even the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is being kept in the dark as to what is unfolding at the stricken plant.

According to the BBC and Japan’s Kyodo news, “The TV reported an explosion. But nothing was said to the premier’s office for about an hour,” a Kyodo News reporter overheard Mr. Kan saying during a meeting with company executives. “What the hell is going on?”

Global Jet Stream Forecast (March 13-21)

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This unfolding nuclear disaster is far worse than the media is reporting. Below is a live updated map every 3 minutes of radiation levels in the US. Thanks, Atomic News Review! – SJH

Radiation Network – 

TTR UPDATE: Radiation Network is currently offline after an alleged radiation spike in Denver was detected. Albeit suspicious, the likely cause is server overload from increased traffic due to the nuclear crisis in Japan…

Link to original article below…