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Guest Post: Fukushima Radiation Highest Ever, Exceeding Capacity of Measuring Device … Fuel Likely Leaking Out Of Containment Vessel

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By Washington’s Blog


Things are – literally – heating up again at Fukushima:

In related news from Japan:

But Reuters notes that the world’s most hazardous nuclear plant in terms of worker radiation exposure is in the U.S., not Japan. This Reuters graphic ranks the world’s 5 most hazardous plants (Fukushima is only the 5th most hazardous):

(click for better image).

Other U.S. nuclear updates include:

One piece of good news. The river level outside the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant has dropped to 1006 feet, well below the critical 1014 foot danger level:

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41 comments

  1. Jackrabbit

    Fukushima – synonomus with Corporate-Political raping of the citizenry.

    What the Fukushima is going on here?

    We are totally Fukushima-ed.

    Why can’t our Fukushima politicians do anything useful?

    Fukushima! America’s TEPCO Fed is considering another round of QE.

    1. Jackrabbit

      Tobacco.
      Cars. (remember Nader’s “unsafe at any speed?)
      Subprime.
      Fukushima.
      Global warming.

      and many more.

  2. Birch

    Love it: molten fuel *may* be leaking out of the containment vessel. They don’t even know! That’s engineering for you. You think they’d be able to duct tape an iphone to a remote control toy monster truck and get some pictures.

    And after all these months they haven’t put together a geiger counter that reads over 10 sieverts/hour. I guess this situation wan’t even a long-shot possibility in their disaster projections.

    Boy, these next 250,000 years are going to be interesting! Check out Miyazaki’s “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” (now on Bluray!) for a more accurate representation of our future than the engineers can dream up.

    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8704790173215648057#
    (better subbed than dubbed, of course)

    1. K Ackermann

      It’s not engineering, it’s politics.

      It’s the same way as the government thwarting price discovery of toxic assets during the financial crisis, and the same as getting a flow rate from the gulf leak, etc.

      Somebody’s got the info, just not the public.

    2. wunsacon

      It’s not engineering. It’s business. It’s the MBA’s. MBA’s (or MBA wannabes) overrule engineers.

      Business people, with their profit motive and short-term thinking (protected by the very concept of limited liability organizations), take the dreams of yesterday’s scientists and turn it into today’s nightmares.

  3. propertius

    I loved this part:

    The utility will create a no-go zone around the stack and cover the area with protective material, he said.

    I wonder where they’re going to find the 250,000 year safety tarp.

    1. Birch

      You’d need more than just UV coating on that tarp.

      I like this part too:

      “NHK: TEPCO doesn’t know where melted fuel is at in reactors or actual level of radioactive particles still being released — About to start checking”

      So…. what have they been doing the past four and a half months?

    2. Just me

      Harry Shearer! On his “Clean, safe, too cheap to meter” segment of Le Show back in January, he was reading a news story about a botched cleanup of old buildings at a nuclear research site causing radiation leaks into the air and the Mohawk River.

      “The buildings have been closed since 1953, ladies and gentlemen. Just standing there, safely. The partly demolished H2 building, where researchers developed a process known as Purex – not related to the bleach – or the detergent – to extract weapons-grade plutonium and uranium is now covered with tarps to prevent further contamination from escaping. You know how strong tarps are, and impenetrable. They’re– nothing can get through a tarp! No molecules or atoms can get through a tarp! What are you kidding me? That’s tarp strength tarp!”

  4. aet

    And there was never any 50 foot high tsunami sweeping though, either.

    I think it’s going pretty well there, all things considered:

    “The high dose rate was measured in the last part of the SGTS, very near the foot of the stack, and highlighted on a radiation map of the Daiichi site released by Tepco.

    Comparison to earlier versions of the map showed that Tepco has cleared many of the radiation hotspots caused by rubble spread around by explosions at the height of the accident sequence. Patches of concrete and steel previously recorded at 950, 550 and 170 millisieverts per hour have been cleared, although more work remains regarding areas with readings of 250, 160 and 120 millisieverts per hour.

    In line with this work, as well as the spraying of dust control agents, air sampling at the site border yesterday showed no detection of iodine-131, caesium-134 or caesium-137. This actually shows that airborne radiation at the plant boundary is low enough for normal working practices but Tepco is not expected to lower its precautions for some time to come.”

    From:

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Fukushima_radiation_hotspot_0208111.html

    Repeated for emphasis:

    “….airborne radiation at the plant boundary is low enough for normal working practices but Tepco is not expected to lower its precautions for some time to come.”

    That’s the real “news” here. Not the finding of these “hotspots”, which was expected to occur as they got further into the works.

      1. Fifi

        The nuclear industry, a nest of socially inept geeks if there ever was one, is indeed exceptionally bad at PR.

        And they are in a vicious circle when it comes to communication. The more information they provide, the more fodder for gross panic-inducing misinterpretation, such as above. The more suspicion among the public. The more demand for information. Rinse, repeat.

        A good example is the way all deviation reports, so-called INES level 0 reports, that is for events that no safety significance whatsoever, immediately generate a slew of media articles and blog posts to the effect that “something must be happening” at Nuclear Power Plant XYZ. And it must be serious and threatening, otherwise they wouldn’t talked about it, right? Well, no.

        List of events in the US for today 08/03 :
        - A retracted report at a medical facility
        - A notification of planned maintenance at Saint-Lucie, Florida
        - A tipsy worker at Hope Creek, New Jersey
        - A short after a repair and a blown fuse on a back-up diesel control system at Dresden, Illinois
        - An update on a safety study at Russellville, Arkansas

        http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2011/20110803en.html

        Go read them. Complete bureaucratic jargon. Anyone with enough bad faith can take any of the last 3 events and spin them into a catastrophic scenario. Except that there is no there there. All those reports are just the humdrum of operating any industrial facility.

        Same with this post above. The TEPCO crews are making progress in their survey and clean up of the Fukushima Daiichi site, and guess what? They discover new stuff as they enter places they couldn’t get to before. But if you read his one-liner – “Things are – literally – heating up again at Fukushima” – you are under the impression that there is a new accident on-going.

        The nuclear industry is a textbook case of how ever more transparency can result in ever more suspicion.

        1. K Ackermann

          That’s such bullshit, and you know it.

          How many times have you seen Level 0 reports in the news. Normally, events are played down.

          I think you are thinking of terrorism. “Man with cell phone takes picture of building…” that kind of stuff.

          1. Fifi

            Bullshit ?!?!

            Just take the flood situation at Fort Calhoun, last June, where activists and the media went completely batshit about a supposed “Level 4″ emergency after a simple notice of unusual event.

            The FAA had to reissue a fucking NOTAM around the power plant to get rid of helicopter fly-overs by the local TV stations that were threatening the safety of power line workers on the site!!!

    1. Joe Rebholz

      “That’s the real “news” here. Not the finding of these “hotspots”, which was expected to occur as they got further into the works.”

      If they expected this why didn’t they have geiger counters capable of measuring more than 10 sieverts per hour?

  5. Anon

    TEPCO also said that it will build a 30-meter-deep, 800-meter-long steel wall to prevent underground leaks of radioactive water from the No 1 to No 4 reactors of the crippled plant into the sea through underground channels.

    The shielding wall, to be built a few meters away in front of the existing seawall over the next two years, will go deeper than a low permeable layer to ensure any underground leaks are prevented.

    http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=605417

  6. Ray Phenicie

    What’s to report on this after this news report?
    TEPCO describes 3 meltdowns / Report on Fukushima N-plant outlines downward spiral of events
    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110524006012.htm
    I gave out this bit a while back

    Areva reports that the reactor containment (core) in Units 1 , 2 and 3 most likely reached 2,700o C leading to an explosion. These high temperatures would have caused the stainless steel reactor container to give way, an explosion ensued and meltdown; nuclear material is flowing out of the compound. Here is an excerpt from the original news story:

    Japan’s nuclear crisis escalated ominously following a third and more dangerous hydrogen explosion early Tuesday [March 15, 2011] local time that may have damaged part of the reactor’s primary containment shell, and a fire at a fourth reactor building.

    The explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi unit 2 reactor followed a frantic battle by engineers to re-cover the reactor’s fuel core with seawater, a critical action needed to halt a meltdown of the tops of fuel rods that could spin out of control if unchecked, experts said. Some reports said a crucial, doughnut-shaped “suppression chamber” or reservoir beneath the reactor that receives steam and gases from the reactor core had been damaged, increasing the risk of radiation release from that unit.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/52467508/03-2011-AREVA-Fukushima-Report

  7. James

    Oh George! This is SUCH yesterday’s news. Get a grip man! This is America fer Chrissakes! We don’t DO old news!

    And besides, we’ll come up with something to either prevent it or cure it before it ever becomes a problem, right?

    1. Ray Phenicie

      The 270 ton Nuclear powered dragon is laying somewhere below ground level in the vicinity of the Fukushima power plant. My point is that since many creditable and authoritative sources, including TEPCO, have long ago given out this fact, what else is there to talk about?

      . . . except that we have all been dosed with toxicity of an unusual high intensity. Probably, according to other creditable sources (assignment, find those sources-they are out there) millions of Japanese are doomed.

      We may talk about his if we wish, but then what?

      Any ideas anyone?

      1. psychohistorian

        Ray,

        For me, I keep waiting for the tipping point where enough people understand that the global inherited rich that run our world need to be removed from any and all control of societal policy making. Their short sighted and anti-humanistic values are killing our world.

        I would like to see a society that does away with private ownership of everything and doesn’t make unilateral decisions that effect thousands of generations to possibly come after us….for starters.

          1. psychohistorian

            And your solution is?

            Are you calling native American culture pinko or just attempting to obfuscate any alternative philosophy?

          2. K Ackermann

            psychohistorian,

            The pinko comment was a joke (not a good one)

            My point was, communism has been tried, and failed. You didn’t explictly say communism, but abolishing private ownership gets you along way there.

            You mentioning Native American Indians in this context reminds me of something I heard about Ayn Rand:

            After giving a talk about the virtues of private ownership and respecting property rights, someone asked her about the treatment of the Indians, and she replied that the Indians didn’t deserve their land because they were not putting to a useful purpose.

            If the story is true, then that takes her out of the running as a respectable person in my book.

            Always keep an eye on a libertarian: they always want theirs… plus a little of yours.

  8. Gordon T

    Hi Yves,
    why do you still have this guy as a guest poster on your site? He´s the blogosphere equivalent of the yellow press: Not completely off the mark, what the general story is concerned, but alarmist and rarely reliabely accurate on the details and present in an ubiquitous way.
    If I see his story on Zerohedge(as I already do: http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/fukushima-radiation-highest-ever-exceeding-capacity-measuring-device-fuel-likely-leaking ), I know to take it with pinch of salt and to expect a lot of links back to his own website, but when I read NC, I used to take any of the guest posts as being up to the level of your own posts and worthy of serious consideration.
    I´m not trying to knock Zerohedge here, but the yellow press/press agency announcement style does seem to lower the level of your blog, especially if it´s presented as a unique post.

    1. George Washington Post author

      Gordon,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you had bothered to look, you would notice that this post does not contain a SINGLE link to my site. Most of the links are to enenews, which I have no affiliation with.

      It happens to be a good source of news on nuclear issues.

      If you believe there are any inaccuracies in the post, please point them out.

      Thank you in advance for your feedback.

      1. wunsacon

        George, I LOVE your work. Thank you for your blog.

        (I’ve been too lazy to create an account at your blog just to tell you that.)

    2. optimader

      Gordon,

      Crickets so far on your substantiation of the claim “yellow press”

      So, while we wait, pursuant to the spirit of free form personal attack, I love the corporate cipher resume.
      Are you the sort that used to buy a spot in “Who’s Who” up and comers lists while at Motorola assisting Mr Galvins lesser talented son to auger the firm into the ground??
      talk about the corporate case study for grasping defeat from the hand of victory -crushing the firm that essentially created mobilephone technology in amazingly short order.. Quite a feat..

      http://lcmgroupe.home.comcast.net/~lcmgroupe/2010/About_Us.htm

      “the prestigious Ivy Business School, University of Western Ontario (Canada)….”

      gotta love the paradox..Can it ever be prestigious if you have to first telegraph that it is prestigious?? Run that through your Chaos Theory Technical Analysis and Market Analytics platform snake and see what comes ou the backend..
      so 1990′s…meh

    3. K Ackermann

      The first I heard of Fukishima was on this site, and from Mr. Washington. It was about 12 hours before the MSM picked it up as fact.

  9. mitchw

    Did anyone notice Arnie Gundersen talking about the detonation at No3? With a spherical explosion and pellets ejected a mile away. What in the world was that?

  10. monte_cristo

    The logic is just incontrovertible.
    We will have noticed that there isn’t any reponse.
    It appears that ‘they’ are perfectly aware and they are choosing denial as the most appropriate response.
    The real conclusion is just getting harder and harder to ignore.
    Our ‘betters’ are actually are ‘betters’. Now..?

  11. Kafka

    Mike Hamersley the tax shelter liar killed Jane Quid pro quo, KPMG, tax shelters, audits of DOJ and unemployment. U-6 unemployment is 15% yet KPMG remains employed by many of its clients including the DOJ. Word on the street is KPMG’s revenues are down at least $300 million which seems low given the number of failed financial institutions KPMG audits whose financial statements were riddled with tax fraud (at least according to Mike Hamersley) and accounting fraud (which apparently only the markets could figure out, right Citi). When are the massive layoffs at KPMG going to start as apparently accounting fraud is out of vogue? Word on the street is KPMG not only audits a disproportionate amount of Insurance companies engaging in accounting fraud and tax fraud but KPMG’s own purported Bermudian fraudulent Captive insurance company, Park, was engaging in accounting and massive tax fraud. How can this be? KPMG as part of its deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ was given the audit of the DOJ, perhaps, a quid pro quo for KPMG agreeing to throw several of its tax partners under the bus and destroying theirs’ and their families lives, pay a large fine, be monitored by a fellow who used to work for the government as head of the SEC, Breeden (millions in fees earned by a former government official (more quid pro quo)); a deal struck by Flynn, Loonan, Bennett, Taft and Holmes. Which partners will KPMG throw under the bus next to help in avoiding indictment by the DOJ for the massive $100s of Billions in accounting fraud KPMG assisted their financial clients in purveying against the public and the markets. Is it possible the KPMG partners believe that since KPMG audits the DOJ the massive accounting fraud they purveyed will be allowed? Are the DOJ accounting statements riddled with fraud like most of KPMG’s clients? If I were a KPMG partner I would not count on it judging by what the U.S. Government did to Sadam once a good friend of the U.S., is the same type of devastation and destruction coming to KPMG? Word on the street is KPMG through its captive insurance company, Park, not only defrauded its partners (and the KPMG Board of Directors) by kiting current legal claims into insurance liabilities with the help of none other than AIG but committed massive tax fraud itself with the approval of KPMG’s internal legal counsel Loonan and Taft . In fact, the world renowned whistleblower Mike Hamersley testified to the Senate and DOJ, that the type of “tax structuring” KPMG’s captive insurance company entered into (and many of KPMG’s clients) was in fact, tax fraud. And believe me, Hamersley claims he knows tax fraud when he sees it since while at KPMG he purveyed much of this type of tax fraud for his clients, the very same tax fraud he decried to the Senate and DOJ about while destroying the lives of many families, the emails are there for the world to see yet no one looks, why? Does KPMG believe it and its partners are immune from prosecution for continued and massive accounting and tax fraud because of the “deal” it struck to audit the DOJ? If the U.S. government’s behavior in the past towards its presumed friends, KPMG should not count on it and if you are a partner at KPMG that purveyed accounting and tax fraud (at least according to Hamersley), you can only expect to be thrown under the bus for a life of ass raping just like KPMG, Flynn, Loonan, Bennett, Taft and Holmes did to its tax partners (over rather trivial sums compared to the massive financial fraud presently destroying this country). Of course there may be hope since Hamersley a tax fraudster by his own definition has a high level government job destroying lives over the very same type of tax fraud he used to commit not withstanding the fact the government knows he committed tax fraud (based on Hamersley’s own emails), Quid pro quo?

    1. psychohistorian

      Thanks for the link even though the story is sickening in many ways. Its like our social economic system, the longer we wait to deal with it the more pain will be experienced. The same is true for Fukushima. 250000 years is along time for our world to suffer increasingly because of denial now.

  12. Susan the other

    Perhaps the reason TEPCO failed to bring in the military and cover the reactors in question (4? or 6?) with a mountain of cement was because it wouldn’t have prevented the massive leakage of radiation into the ocean and ground water. It would only have capped the airborne leaks. Of course we all suspect strongly that TEPCO thought it could save the corporation from going under by stubborn denial. What a rueful laugh. But on the bright side we have definitely reached the end of an era. There is a great deal to this story that we will never hear. I think the nuke industry takes the grand prize for hubris. And now it is time for our new age of contrition. There are so many things we have to get serious about. First things first: a viable remedy to Fukushima. There must be some reporting on the range of possible solutions even though it is clearly too late for the west coast of America and other places.

  13. Green Hornet

    People that work for the promotion, maintenance and expansion of nuclear power are eco-terrorists or
    “profi-terrorists.”

    The should be treated the same way as someone who
    is found to be slowly and deliberately poisoning your food
    supply…with total repudiation, censure and chastisement.

    They should be shouted down, mocked and spat upon whenever they appear in public.

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