The Fukushima Threat Summarized:
Fukushima: A World-Class Nuclear Threat
On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan, fatally crippling TEPCO's Fukushima nuclear power plant. The current situation on the ground is that there is a 12 mile exclusion zone around Fukushima Daiichi. No one is allowed to live inside it.
Within one plant, fuel rods are stored in a concrete pool located 100 feet above the ground inside the structurally compromised reactor building. The building holding these fuel rods is "irrevocably and irreparably structurally damaged." Tepco now says there was a 100% core melt-down in all reactors.
About 165 feet from reactor No. 4, a pool of spent fuel rods contains 6,375 fuel rods, all of which remain highly radioactive. There is a total of 11,421 fuel rods across all 6 reactors. Another of the reactor buildings is now tilting and the walls are bulging outward. The ground beneath Unit 4 has already sunk by about 31.5 inches since the disaster. If the ground continues to sink, or if another earthquake as low as a 6-7 magnitude occurs, the structure could collapse, causing a catastrophic reaction.
Regarding the danger of “going atomic, ” Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Dept. of Energy stated, "If an earthquake or other event cause this pool to drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl accident."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory poured tracer dye into coastal waters off of Fukushima, and monitored its progress. Their published results [Environmental Research Letters, 7, July, 2012] show the west coast of North America could end up with 10 times more radioactive cesium 137 than the coastal waters off of Japan itself.
Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, the former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, stated, “If Unit 4 collapses, that will be the most unprecedented crisis that man has ever experienced. Many scientists say if Unit 4 collapses, not only will Japan lie in ruin, but the entire world will also face serious damages.” So what is the likelihood of going atomic? Mr. Murata explained that “... the ground beneath the plant’s Unit 4 is gradually sinking and that the entire structure is very likely on the verge of complete collapse.”
Nuclear Expert Arnold Gunderson stated, “Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind. There’s more cesium in Unit 4 than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground. It would certainly destroy Japan as a functioning country.” He also added, an earthquake of 7.0 or larger could cause the entire fuel pool structure to collapse causing a catastrophic meltdown.”
Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima in a given year and a 98% chance within the next 3 years. There has already been a 6.3 magnitude earthquake near Vancouver Island on November 8, 2012, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in British Columbia on November, 4, 2012, and a 6.1 earthquake in the Philippines on November 3, 2012. Moreover earthquakes are hitting Japan daily.
The Radiation Impact In North America
The fallout of radio-cesium released from Fukushima traveled around the world in only 21 days in 2011. Due to the rapid global air circulation system, the original Fukushima radioactive plume contaminated the entire Northern Hemisphere in a relatively short period of time. Based on computer modeling, debris from the tsunami likely will reach the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia, Alaska, and Baja California in approximately two to three years. A report from the Congressional Research Service states that radiation-contaminated debris from Japan may take three years to reach the U.S. West Coast. Already 15 bluefin tuna caught near San Diego had radiation at levels 10 times higher than those detected in previous years. South Korea and other Asian countries have banned 35 Japanese seafood products due to Fukushima radiation fears.
In the US, EPA data showed radioactive fallout in the drinking water of more than a dozen U.S. cities. Deaths [in the US] rose 4.46% from 2010 to 2011 in the 14 weeks after the arrival of Japanese fallout, compared with a 2.34 % increase in the prior 14 weeks. Infant deaths after Fukushima rose 1.8% compared with a previous 8.37 % decrease. As reported in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology, southern California’s seaweed tested over 500% higher for radioactive iodine-131 than anywhere else in the U.S. and Canada.
Using detailed computer simulations, researchers at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel investigated the long-term radiation cloud expansion arising from Fukushima. They reported, “It looks like the Hawaiian Islands are already surrounded by the radiation flow and it will continue to creep forward ... and crash into the west coast of Canada and the US by December, 2013. By March, 2014, the entire north Pacific is going to be polluted with radiation.”
According to Dr. Suzuki, a Japanese physician, the rate of thyroid cysts and nodules in children affected by Fukushima is 43.7%. This is 20 times higher than associated with Chernobyl. In the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey, they said, “Nearly 36% of children in Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths. After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 millimeters on their thyroids. In a report by Japan’s Institute of Radiological Sciences, they summarized: It is believed that some children were exposed to “lifetime” doses of radiation to their thyroid glands.”
A video report from Dr. Michael Fernex, medical professor at University of Basel, Switzerland stated, “I met with four physicians from Fukushima Medical University in cardiology, urology, internal medicine and ophthalmology. They all seemed unaware of conditions related to radiation contamination. “They were very surprised to see young patients with myocardial infarction, diabetes and eye diseases. A directive was given at Fukushima Medical University not to mention radiation. One young professor of ecology tried to study effects of nuclear disaster on children, but he has received threats. The majority of the faculty follows orders.”
As summarized by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, Professor of Radiation Physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in his book, Secret Fallout—Low-Level Radiation from Hiroshima to Three-Mile Island, “...all the research led to the most tragic conclusion that the unborn fetus was hundreds or thousands of times more sensitive to radiation than anyone had ever suspected..”
Why Haven’t You Heard More About This?
The mainstream media is currently operating in a total blackout of this news, refusing to even acknowledge the existence of this immediate threat to human civilization. The U.S. EPA only conducted accelerated sampling from March to June 2011. When their tests reportedly showed that the radiation levels remained "well below any level of public health concern ...” they switched back to their routine radiation monitoring.
In spite of a lack of coverage, the only other nuclear accident to be rated a 7 [the highest level possible] was Chernobyl in 1986 in Ukraine. In that case the decision was made to evacuate the area – about 20 miles permanently [versus 12 miles at Fukushima].
The Cost of Repair and How Long Will It Take
In an article in The New Yorker, it was estimated that total losses potentially will run as high as $200 billion dollars. Others estimate the cost closer to $300 billion. It is estimated that complete demolition of the plant will take four decades. Even then, some of the cleanup requires technology not yet invented.
What Can We Do: Macro and Micro Level Strategies
At the macro level, pressure can be brought to bear to bring in other agencies such as the UN or the US. The reason these are needed is that a far more concentrated effort is needed if progress is to be made in the limited window of opportunity we might possibly have.
Regarding the micro level, Dr. John W. Gofman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology in the University of California at Berkeley, has written extensively about the effort to belittle the menace of low-level radiation. People associated with the nuclear and medical industries assert falsely, “there is no evidence that exposure to low-dose radiation causes any cancer—the risk is only theoretical,” or “the risk is utterly negligible,” or “the accidental exposures were below the safe level,” and even “there is reasonably good evidence that exposure to low-dose radiation is beneficial and lowers the cancer rate.” He indicates that by any reasonable standard of scientific proof, the weight of the human evidence shows decisively that cancer is inducible by ionizing radiation even at the lowest possible dose and dose-rate—which means that the risk is never theoretical.
To address this risk, first, there are health supplements known to be of significant value in protecting against radiation damage. To protect the thyroid gland, which is highly susceptible to damage, both iodide and iodine is crucial. To achieve heavy metal detoxification, there are several key supplements that are warranted. Second, some life style changes are very beneficial include avoiding rain and washing fruit and vegetables using baking soda as a cleaning agent.
To give very specific advice, the Therapeutics Research Institute (TRI) provides a detailed radiation protection protocol with the specifically needed supplement items and dose levels, depending on your level of risk. This is posted on this web site under the tab “The Solution” under the Fukushima Radiation Project Tab. [Note: TRI is not selling any of these supplements]. Simply for the convenience of those who may wish to obtain a complete kit already assembled for them, along with a number of additional support resources of benefit, the reader may go to the web site www.Protocols4Health.com to order a pre-assembled kit being provided courtesy of Genetic Services Management, Inc. (GSM). Click the yellow “GO” button below to go to that web site now:
UPDATE OF AUGUST 20, 2014:
Update – August 20, 2014 - (NaturalNews) After a 29-month cover-up, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is now calling for international help and has all but admitted Fukushima's radiation leaks are spiraling out of control. In addition to the leaking water storage units that are unleashing hundreds of tons of radioactive water each day, Tepco now says 50% of its contaminated water filtration capability has been taken offline due to corrosion. The result is that radiation leaks are escalating out of control and attempted remediation efforts are faltering. This is in addition to the fact the Japanese government's attempted brainwashing propaganda campaign has also been exposed. It attempted to convince people that if they drank beer or smiled, they would be immune to radiation poisoning. (Yes, this is how desperate they've become...)
As Businessweek.com now reports, Japan seems to have no practical interest in solving this problem: Russia's nuclear company, Rosatom, of which Rosenergoatom is a unit, sent Japan a 5 kilogram (11 pound) sample of an absorbent that could be used at Fukushima almost three years ago, Asmolov said. It also formed working groups ready to help Japan on health effect assessment, decontamination, and fuel management, among others, Asmolov said. The assistance was never used, he said. That's because for Tepco to welcome any assistance, it would first have to admit it has a problem. And that's unacceptable in a business culture where egos run rampant and the idea of taking responsibility for your actions is considered abhorrent. To save their own careers, Tepco experts would gladly sacrifice the health of millions of Japanese citizens. The problem with denial in the face of a world-class radiation disaster is that sooner or later the body bags start to pile up. Now, 74 people from 27 families are filing suit in the Osaka District Court, seeking 15 million Yen each for psychological and physical damage. (And they are the lucky ones who are still living.)
As Japan Times reports:
The group will argue that Tepco should have taken stronger measures to protect the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant from earthquakes and tsunami after the government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion warned in 2002 that there was a 20 percent chance of a magnitude 8 or so quake occurring in the Japan Trench in the Pacific Ocean within 30 years.
Fishing ban reinstated
Part of the Fukushima denial was the claim that fish were somehow not being irradiated by the numerous leaks of highly radioactive water. This cover-up was further enforced by lifting a fishing ban that had been announced in the days following the original Fukushima meltdown event in 2011. Now that fishing ban has been reinstated. Australian reporter Mark Willacy visited the fishermen to get their reaction to the news, and what he reported sounds right in line with what we're seeing, too: [The fishermen] are very angry. They've obviously believed that Tepco has been lying to them for weeks, if not months. You know, they seem to suggest that that the cover-ups get worse... They believe Tepco's probably sitting on more secrets that they don't want anyone to know about. So there's a feeling that Tepco just cannot be trusted and that these fisherman probably don't really feel like they have a future anymore.
In desperation, Tepco is now trying to figure out how to stop thousands of tons of radioactive water from leaking into groundwater supplies (and ultimately into the ocean). Those ideas, according to CTV News in Canada, include things like "freezing" the soil around the leak, creating an underground ice barrier that would require ongoing freezing, presumably for hundreds of thousands of years. You'd probably need to build another nuclear power plant to power the freeze cores, come to think of it. Another idea, put forth by Arnie Gundersen, arguably the most sane observer in all this, involves digging a 2-meter-wide trench all the way down to bedrock, then filling the trench with zeolites which scientists now reluctantly admit trap radioactive isotopes.
Tepco answers to no one.
Tepco "...does not directly answer to any regulatory bodies, including the country's nuclear watchdog," reports CTV. Industry is running the regulators. Gunderson goes on to explain in that same CTV article: "The Japanese government under Abe doesn't want to admit (to the cost) because they are trying to restart a nuclear energy program and the last thing they need to do is tell the Japanese people that 'oh by the way, you're on the hook for another half trillion dollars.'" The article goes on to reveal something rather startling: Some experts believe some of the radioactive material from the damaged core has moved into the earth. The recent spike in radiation levels in the water may therefore be coming from groundwater coming into contact with the melted cores.
Finally acknowledging over two years of utter bureaucratic failure and delusional propaganda, the Japanese government is now taking over the Fukushima cleanup effort. Today, Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told the international press, "We've allowed Tokyo Electric to deal with the contaminated water situation on its own and they've essentially turned it into a game of 'Whack-a-Mole,'" reports Business Week. "From now on, the government will move to the forefront," uttered Motegi, not realizing he was paraphrasing the anti-government derogatory phrase used in the USA: "We're from the government, and we're here to help." Because when industry reaches a point of total bureaucratic failure resulting in a global disaster that threatens all life on the planet, everybody knows the obvious solution is to put the government in charge.
LATEST UPDATE OF OCTOBER 24, 2013:
Update – October 24, 2013 - Fukushima operator TEPCO is getting ready for its toughest and the most dangerous clean-up operation. In November it will try to remove 400 tons of spent fuel from plant’s Reactor No. 4. But even a little mistake may result in a new nuclear disaster. The operation is scheduled to start in the beginning of November and be completed by around the end of 2014.
Under normal circumstances, the operation to remove all the fuel would take about 100 days. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) initially planned to take two years, but reduced the schedule to one year in recognition of the urgency, as even a minor earthquake could trigger an uncontrolled fuel leak. During this period TEPCO plans to carefully remove more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies, packing radiation 14,000 times the equivalent of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, from their cooling pool.
The base of the pool where the fuel assemblies are situated is 18 meters above ground and the rods are 7 meters under the surface of the water. TEPCO’s first task is to remove the debris from the Reactor No. 4 fuel pool. Then, one by one, the fuel rods will be removed from the top store of the damaged building using a crane suspended above the crippled reactor. Previously a computer-controlled process, this time it has to be done completely manually. And this is what makes this removal operation extremely dangerous. The fuel rods must be kept submerged and must not touch each other or break.
“The operation to begin removing fuel from such a severely damaged pool has never been attempted before. The rods are unwieldy and very heavy, each one weighing two-thirds of a ton,” fallout researcher Christina Consolo earlier told a reporting news service. Should the attempt fail, a mishandled rod could be exposed to air and catch fire, resulting in horrific quantities of radiation released into the atmosphere. The resulting radiation will be too great for the cooling pool to absorb as it simply has not been designed to do so. In the worst-case scenario, the pool could come crashing to the ground, dumping the rods together into a pile that could fission and cause an explosion many times worse than in March 2011.
“The worst-case scenario could play out in death to billions of people. A true apocalypse,” Consolo said.
Reactor No. 4 contains 10 times more Cesium-137 than Chernobyl did. This lets scientists warn that in case of another nuclear disaster, it will be the beginning of the ultimate catastrophe of the world and the planet. “It will be one of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do. And even if executed flawlessly, there are still many things that could go wrong,” Consolo said. The World Nuclear Report, released in July 2013, said “the worst-case scenario” will require evacuation of up to 10 million people within a 250-kilometer radius of Fukushima, including a significant part of Tokyo.
Although some experts are skeptical, TEPCO is confident the operation will be a success. Last year two fuel rods were successfully removed from the pool in a test operation, but back then rod assemblies were empty and posed a far smaller threat. The operation will be just one installment in the decommissioning process for the plant, and is forecast to take about 40 years and cost $11 billion although other experts have forecast costs many many times higher.
UPDATE OF OCTOBER 5, 2013:
Ominous Fukushima Update – October 5, 2013 [from remarks by Dr. Mark Sircus]- The most dangerous situation humanity has ever faced is upon us and no one is watching. Only a few have reported on what is about to happen starting in November. The operation, to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel beneath the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4, could set off a catastrophe greater than any we have ever seen, independent experts warn. An operation of this scale, says plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has never been attempted before, and is wrought with danger.
The New York Times reports, “Thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place.”
The Japan Times writes, “In November, TEPCO plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4 [with] radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Removing its spent fuel, which contains deadly plutonium, is an urgent task. The consequences could be far more severe than any nuclear accident the world has ever seen. If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst-case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large nuclear fire. Any of these situations could lead to massive releases of deadly radionuclides into the atmosphere, putting much of Japan — including Tokyo and Yokohama — and even neighboring countries at serious risk.”
The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building. Containing more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together they need to be removed from a the third floor of a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area. TEPCO expects to take about a year removing the assemblies. Each fuel rod assembly weighs about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and is 4.5 meters (15 feet) long. Spent fuel rods also contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances in the universe.
Former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura calls removing the radioactive materials from the Fukushima fuel pools “an issue of human survival”. Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”
The operation, beginning this November at the plant’s Reactor No. 4, is fraught with danger, including the possibility of a large release of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks, gets stuck or gets too close to an adjacent bundle. Removing the rods from the pool is a delicate task normally assisted by computers, according to Toshio Kimura, a former TEPCO technician, who worked at Fukushima Daiichi for 11 years. “Previously it was a computer-controlled process that memorized the exact locations of the rods down to the millimeter and now they don’t have that. It has to be done manually so there is a high risk that they will drop and break one of the fuel rods,” Kimura said.
Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata stated that if the 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground—collapses it will affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4. In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. Such a catastrophe would affect us for centuries.
Hiroshi Tasaka, who has a doctorate in nuclear engineering and is now a professor at Tama University said, “The biggest risk during the meltdown crisis wasn’t the reactors themselves but the spent fuel pools sitting atop them, particularly the one above reactor 4, which still contains about 1,500 nuclear fuel assemblies. I would say the crisis opened Pandora’s box.” The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.
Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, who used to build fuel assemblies, has a lot to say about what we all have to live through during the next year. “They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of the rods. There is a risk of an inadvertent criticality if the bundles are distorted and get too close to each other. The problem with a fuel pool criticality is that you cannot stop it. There are no control rods to control it. The spent fuel pool cooling system is designed only to remove decay heat, not heat from an ongoing nuclear reaction. The rods are also vulnerable to fire should they be exposed to air. I think they’re belittling the complexity of the task. If you think of a nuclear fuel rack as a pack of cigarettes, if you pull a cigarette straight up it will come out — but these racks have been distorted. Now when they go to pull the cigarette straight out, it’s going to likely break and release radioactive cesium and other gases, xenon and krypton, into the air. I suspect come November, December, January we’re going to hear that the building’s been evacuated, they’ve broke a fuel rod, the fuel rod is off-gassing.”
“I suspect we’ll have more airborne releases as they try to pull the fuel out. If they pull too hard, they’ll snap the fuel. I think the racks have been distorted, the fuel has overheated — the pool boiled – and the net effect is that it is likely some of the fuel will be stuck in there for a long, long time. The net effect is they have the bundles of fuel, the cigarettes in these racks, and as they pull them out, they are likely to snap a few. When you snap a nuclear fuel rod, that releases radioactivity again, so my guess is, its things like krypton-85, which is a gas, cesium will also be released, strontium will be released. They’ll probably have to evacuate the building for a couple of days. They’ll take that radioactive gas and they’ll send it up the stack, up into the air, because xenon can’t be scrubbed, it can’t be cleaned, so they’ll send that radioactive xenon up into the air and purge the building of all the radioactive gases and then go back in and try again,” concluded Gundersen.
All the resources of humanity need to be mustered and focused on the fuel pool at Fukushima Unit 4. There is doubt that even such a concerted effort would have the scientific, engineering or financial resources to handle it. It is a national security matter for the United States, being directly downwind as it is. This crisis comes just as the government is trying to provide a $8.3 billion loan to build the first new nuclear plants in the U.S. in almost 30 years. What kind of irony is that?
The absence of media attention and focus reveals how much in the matrix the masses of humanity are, led by arrogant people whose stupidity knows no end. We are in the worst hands imaginable, ones who culturally have the most difficult time imaginable admitting fault or mistake.