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Syntax Error in template "content:content_en"  on line 1 "<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 23</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">Last week, a reader (Linda) wrote and asked about the Fukushima melt-through volcano stories carried by many</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">western news outlets. The source was difficult to pin down. This past weekend a former architect for unit #3 at Fukushima Daiichi admitted he was the source of the story. The perpetrator of this fiction is Uehara Haruo, former president of Saga University. His architect credentials are iffy, at best. It seems he was involved in the design of buildings for non-nuclear systems on unit #3, but had little or nothing to do with design of the plant’s technology. From what he says, it's safe to say his level of nuclear illiteracy is severe. However, in a country where nuclear myth seems to have greater credibility than nuclear reality, Haruo's impressive-sounding (albeit misleading) credentials coupled with his sensational statements makes him just the sort of quotable person the Press drools over.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">Haruo says both TEPCO and the Tokyo government are covering up the truth and China Syndrome is now happening in the geology underneath the power complex. He alleges that all the fuel cells have melted through their building base mats and into the underlying rock, are still molten and burrowing deeper and deeper as time passes. In conclusion, he says there will be a nuclear volcano at Fukushima due to the molten masses hitting</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">an underground aquifer causing a hydro-volcanic explosion of cataclysmic proportions.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">Now for today's updates...</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology reports that the first traces of Fukushima water-borne isotopes (essentially Cesium) have reached the international dateline, 4,000 kilometers east of</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">Japan. The Cesium concentrations are barely detectable and more than 2,000 times below international standards. Although the concentrations are many times less than those once existent due to Atomic weapon's tests more than 5 decades ago which showed no effects to Pacific fish or shellfish, the Ministry</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">recommends monitoring continue in the long term for possible adverse effects on the fauna. (Asahi Shimbun)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">Some old news is being recycled because of yet another TEPCO gaffe. Back on March 11, the single cooling component attached to the unit #1 RPV (reactor pressure vessel) that was operable through-out the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">blackout was the isolation condenser (IC). It has been reported several times previously that the IC was cycled in and out of operation for the first two hours of the emergency in order to maintain RPV pressure within its prescribed band. This new report adds that TEPCO believes the component did not work at</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">full capacity soon after the blackout started because hydrogen from the damaged fuel cell may have caused it to lose some of its cooling ability. Junichi Matsumoto, head of TEPCO's nuclear power division, said, "Even if the IC had been working, it could have only delayed the damage to the reactor core a little bit. It wouldn't have been a fundamental solution." ( Mainichi Shimbun) As we have said in previous updates, the cooling system was not itself being cooled because of the blackout, so it naturally over-heated and lost its ability to keep up with RPV decay heat. There is no record of malfunction. Control Room records strongly suggest that the loss of cooling effectiveness started some hours before the onset of fuel damage.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">During the first few days of the Fukushima emergency, several hundred Tokyo residents fled the city and moved far south to the island of Okinawa. They are called “evacuees” by the Press. One of them, Jin Tanimura, is used as an allegedly typical example when he explains why he and his entire family fled Tokyo on March 11, "The risk of radiation is fundamentally different from other risks. It is invisible, and information is of mixed quality, and there are so many things that you don't understand. That's what makes it scary." Another “evacuee” Mari Takenouchi, 44, who has been criticizing nuclear plants for more than 10 years, alleges there is a health epidemic in Tokyo, "Internet sources say that a growing number of people are having health problems in the Tokyo metropolitan area. This will result in an awful outcome if the situation continues."  Another, Mamiko Yanaka, says the exposure she got in Tokyo before she moved in July has caused her severe health issues including nosebleeds, diarrhea and “other symptoms”. A search for information on the Internet led her to believe she was suffering from low-level radiation exposure. All of the people cited say they don’t trust information put out by the government, news media, or university experts because it is not what they want to hear. (Asahi Shimbun) Paranoiac fear of the unknown caused this minority of Tokyo residents to act irrationally. Some, like Yanaka, have suffered psychologically-induced physical ailments, but conveniently blame their afflictions on radiation exposures hundreds of times less than have ever hurt anyone. </span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">The Columbia Journalism Review’s blog, <em>The Observatory</em>, has posted an entry that parallels our Monday update about the “hidden cancers” story reported by the Associated Press. There are many excellent points made. For example, “Journalists often play up the dramatic and alarming aspects of the information they’ve found, and play down or leave out the ameliorative, neutral, or balancing aspects that might help do justice to the truth, but which could “weaken” the story. The AP’s article illustrates what this looks</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">like.” Another section of the critique says, “Risk reporting that overplays worrisome information and underplays the encouraging can actually hurt people. Fear fueled by coverage that goes beyond the evidence of the actual danger can lead to unhealthy choices by individuals and by society (fear of nukes has contributed to an energy policy that relies more on coal burning for electricity, the particulate emissions from which kills tens of thousands of people per year). Fear certainly adds to stress, which is bad for our health in all sorts of ways.” If you wish to read the entire story, go to <a href="http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/ap_rings_the_alarm.php">http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/ap_rings_the_alarm.php</a>.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">In the “it was only a matter of time” category, Great Britain has exposed and discredited one of their citizens as a Fukushima snake-oil-salesman. Dr Christopher Busby, a visiting professor at the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">University of Ulster, has been marketing and selling fake “anti-radiation” pills at $35-$50 a bottle, urine tests for $1,000, and food tests for $1,100. The anti-radiation pills are no more than calcium and magnesium dietary supplements available in Japan for a third of Busby's price. The urine and food</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">test costs are double those already available in Japan, and not being analyzed by a reputable laboratory. "I'm conducting the tests, “ he said, "I'm Busby Laboratories." Busby calls his non-profit scam the Christopher Busby Foundation for the Children of Fukushima, clearly exploiting the parents in Japan with phobic radiation fears and complete distrust of their government. His efforts have been condemned by all British official and academic sources, and, most surprisingly, the British Green party! Perry Kemp, Green party communication's director said they cannot condone Busby's promotion. Since he isn't marketing his junk in Great Britain, he's not breaking any laws in his own country. (UK Guardian)</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 21</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">It was only a matter of time... The Mainichi Shimbun and Japan Times have run lead articles which both carry the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">headline <em>Future cancers from Fukushima may be hidden.</em> The articles are literally a mirror image of each other. Their opening paragraphs read “Even if the worst nuclear accident in 25 years leads to many people developing cancer, we may never find out.” The rationale conforms to international anti-nuclear superstitions created since the 10th anniversary of Chernobyl when WHO reported there had been no increase in cancer rates within the exposed population. This made the 1986 prophecies of a terrible Chernobyl cancer epidemic seem ridiculous, so anti-nuclear think tanks came up with the “hidden cancer” tactic. Here’s how it runs with Fukushima… the Japanese have a lifetime cancer probability of 40%, and the number of cancers discovered in Japan each year run in the hundreds of thousands. A few tens or hundreds of cancers each year due to Fukushima will not show up in statistics and radiation-induced cancers are virtually indistinguishable from other causes. The articles thus conclude Fukushima cancers will be statistically hidden. The source of this new fear of radiation story is the Associated Press. Some of the cited experts are believers in the arbitrary Linear/No Threshold (LNT) concept, and others are straight out of the “prophets of nuclear energy doom” camp.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">On the LNT side, Dr. Fred Mettler, a radiologist in the study of health effects from Chernobyl, and Richard Wakeford, of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester, agree on the belief that cancers possibly caused by Fukushima will be too infrequent to measure, but cannot be ruled out. On the other hand, Edwin Lyman,</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">of the decidedly anti-nuclear Union of Concerned Scientists, said, “"I think that a prediction of thousands of cancer deaths as a result of the radiation from Fukushima is not out of line." On a more rational note, Seiji Yasumura of the state-run Fukushima Medical University, and head of the prefecture's 30-year cancer study of its residents, said people probably received too little radiation from Fukushima to cause cancer, but was immediately downplayed because distrust in the government. Thus, fear-generating statements went unchallenged while a realistic comment was attacked.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">Both articles go on to say many officials believe mental health problems caused by excessive fear of radiation are prevalent and posing a bigger concern than actual risk of cancer caused by radiation, but add no-one really knows the cancer risk for low level exposures. However, some rational voices were quoted. Michiaki Kai, professor of</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">environmental health at Oita University of Nursing and Health Sciences, says that based on tests he's seen with people and their exposure levels, nobody in Fukushima except for some plant workers has been exposed to harmful levels of radiation. The articles also mention UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Council on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) which says direct evidence for low-dose cancers is lacking, and it's not clear that small doses raise cancer risk at all. Wolfgang Weiss, who chairs the UNSCEAR radiation committee, said, “low-dose risk isn't proven.” But with this side of the issue buried deep inside the articles, it is unlikely to have little effect on the radiation</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">phobia now gripping the land of the rising sun. Fear of radiation is good for the news media business, and mitigation of those fears will always be downplayed as much as possible.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: small;">Now, for this past weekend's updates...</span></p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO’s most recent report on airborne Cesium levels at their property perimeter (main gate) reveals the concentration is no longer detectable. Why isn’t this being reported in the Press?</span></li></ul></ul><br /><ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">Japan’s Science Ministry says computer simulation indicates that detectable levels of Fukushima Cesium can be found on 8% of the island nation’s land area. This covers some or all land in 13 prefectures. Because winds were blowing out to sea from March 11 to March 14, actual land contamination was minimal until mid-day on the 14<sup>th</sup>. Almost all of the deposition occurred between then and March 22 as the </span><span style="font-size: small;"> winds shifted between the south, west and north. The first large inland release was March 14 to March 15 with winds blowing northwest. There were three subsequent release surges, on March 15 (later in the day), March 20, and March 22, respectively. As the winds shifted between north, west and south on those days, a wide swath of deposition occurred. While most of the deposited Cesium concentrations are well below government or international standards, the Japanese Press makes it sound like 8% of Japan is now a dangerous place to live. (Asahi Shimbun) Although “official” sources say the first large release was due to a unit #2 meltdown, they fail to consider that the hydrogen explosion of unit #3 happened March 14, and the unit #4 explosion occurred on March 15, which should be posited as the probable cause of the release. Control room records for unit #2 indicate its fuel damage was much less than unit #1 or unit #3, plus it experienced no hydrogen explosion to cause large release. </span></li></ul></ul><br /><ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">The sewage constipation problem in Japan continues to increase. The problems are three-fold; fear of detectable levels of radiation, distrust of the government, and local governments caving in to the paranoid outcries of a vocal minority. Case in point is an article in Asahi Shimbun with the headline <em>Sewage  sludge keeps piling up amid radiation concerns</em>. The article partly focuses on the sewage ash pile-up in Yokohama, about 300 kilometers south of Fukushima Daiichi, which serves as a glaring example. Yokohama’s sewage incinerator ash contains measurable concentrations of Fukushima Cesium, but well below government standards for routine disposal at sea. The Mayor has ordered disposal to be halted because of resident protests. Here’s the numbers…in a city of over 3.5 million people, about 100 persons protested the ash disposal over concerns for harming sea life and recieved heavy national news coverage. The protests of this numerically-miniscule vocal minority have constipated their sewage disposal system. </span></li></ul></ul><br /><ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">More than half of the municipalities asked by the Ministry of the Environment to accept quake and tsunami debris have officially refused to cooperate. Of the 54 municipalities asked to help, 23 said “no” because of the possibility of Fukushima contamination. The volume of unattended debris still moldering along the stricken coasts of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures is far too great for the local municipalities to handle in a reasonable amount of time by themselves. (Japan Times)</span></li></ul></ul><br /><ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">The Fukushima government began detailed radiological surveys of the 20km no-go zone on Saturday. The first location is Okuma Town, located between 2 and 3 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. This is planned to be the “home base” for decontamination efforts over the entire zone. (Mainichi Shimbun)</span></li></ul></ul><br /><ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">Sunday, radiological surveys began in Okumamachi, one of the designated centers of decontamination inside the no-go zone. A “model” decontamination program will be set up and implemented later this month. The processes and procedures used in Okumamachi will be used for decontamination of the other 12 municipalities inside the no-go zone and northwest evacuation corridor outside the zone. (Yomiuri Shimbun)</span></li></ul></ul><br /><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced that Japan's carbon dioxide emissions have risen 4.4% since March 11. This is after two consecutive years of Japan reducing its release of the greenhouse gas by more than 6% per year. The reason, of course, is former Prime Minister Kan's moratorium on operating undamaged nukes due to his personal Fukushima paranoias and fear of radiation. All replacement power has come from restarting old, environmentally unsound coal plants and extending the capacities of newer coal plants beyond their design limits. When the last 10 nukes now operating are shut down over the next four months, the Japanese carbon release rate will undoubtedly rise</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"> even more. (Japan Times)</span></li></ul><p class="Standard" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 18</strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">Between 70 and 80% of the radioactive Cesium released in March from Fukushima Daiichi was swept out to sea by the winds blowing across the power complex. Somewhere between 20 and 30% was blown across land areas. “Only small amounts ended up falling on land because [such materials] get carried by the westerlies between March and April," said Yasumichi Tanaka, a senior researcher at the Japan Meteorological Agency. The simulation model used in the study was developed by the agency in order to analyze the situation. Since it takes roughly 10 days for prevailing winds to circle the globe at Japan's latitude, some of the airborne Cesium was deposited on land around the world in barely detectable concentrations, and a tiny bit returned to Japan after its 10 days of meteorological travel. Regardless, the study concludes that 65% of Fukushima's expunged Cesium fell into the seas of the world. (Mainichi Shimbun)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">The nuclear accident manuals for Fukushima units #2 and #3 have been given to the Tokyo government by TEPCO, with none of the information blacked out. As with the unit #1 accident manual released in</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">October, these manuals were virtually worthless to the plant's operating staff during first critical week of the accident because a prolonged station blackout was considered impossible. Thus, there is nothing new to report resulting from the release of the two documents. (NHK World)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">The Japanese Disaster Minister Goshi Hosono is the latest Tokyo official to go off the deep end. Last month, a Fukushima City resident gripped by fear of radiation sent a cardboard box of topsoil to the Ministry with a note that the Ministry should store and clean it. One of the Ministry’s officials measured the activity level of the soil and found it to be less than the minimum limit for disposal. He also found the level to be less than readings taken in and around Tokyo, so he had it spread on his garden. Hosono and the Press found out and it has become the newest “scandal” story currently plaguing all news media outlets. Never mind that putting the soil in the garden posed no risk to any living soul, or in any way violated existing Japanese law. Hosono says the soil contained detectable amounts of Fukushima’s Cesium, therefore it had to be handled as radioactive waste! Further, he said the official’s action showed a lack of concern for the sender’s fear of radiation. As a result of the loud news media outcry, Hosono has promised to punish the guilty official, as</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">well as the entire Ministry staff, for what he calls a systemic error. In addition, he has fined himself one year’s salary for what he says is a lack of adequate organizational control on his part. Hosono has graduated from the ridiculous and matriculated into the realm of absurdity. </span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO has released their loose surface contamination results for the no-go zone. What is “loose surface”</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">contamination? It's what gets deposited out of the atmosphere and collects on the surface structures, sidewalks, roads and etc., which does not seep into the soil or concentrate in drainage sludge. It literally stays “loose” on the surface. Wetting the loose surface material may hold it in place for a while, but once it dries out it again becomes “loose” and potentially re-airborne from blowing wind. Loose surface and airborne particulates are the reason for the full face masks seen in nearly all news media pictures of workers and no-go-zone visitors. The loose stuff is what is has been washed off the roofs of</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">buildings, sidewalks, and roads from power spraying. Since no decontamination has taken place inside the no-go zone, TEPCO's survey gives us a good idea of the degree of decontamination needed, and the numbers are surprisingly positive. The highest concentrations of loose surface Cesium (combined Cs-134 and Cs-137) on the power complex' property is the roof of the Environmental Management Building, at 12,800 bq/m<sup>2</sup>. The side of the building reads 3,400 bq/m<sup>2</sup>. At 5km from the accident site, the levels drop considerably, with the lowest concentrations to the north (580 bq/m<sup>2</sup>) and northwest (790 bq/m<sup>2</sup>), where conversely area radiation exposures are highest. The readings south and southwest at 5 km are 1100 bq/m<sup>2 </sup>and 1300 bq/m<sup>2</sup>, respectively. 5km due west of Fukushima the levels jump to 4700 bq/m<sup>2</sup>. At 10km distance, the numbers are roughly 10% lower in each direction. While all these relatively big numbers may sound scary, they actually vary between 20 and 750 times below the de-facto Japanese standards for loose surface Cesium contamination, which are the same as the values used in Belarus after Chernobyl to determine the necessity of continued monitoring (37,000 bq/m<sup>2</sup>). What's more, the highest level at 5km</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">distance (due west, above) is nearly 40 times below the Belarusian threshold for “right to migration” (185,000 bq/m<sup>2</sup>), which is essentially the equivalent to the Japanese evacuation zones. In other words, existing surface contamination levels in all areas of the Fukushima evacuation zones are in no way prohibitive to re-population of the zone.</span></li></ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">In addition, TEPCO's most recent survey of Plutonium concentrations on the Fukushima Daiichi plant property is “indistinguishable” from residual Plutonium levels due to fallout from atomic weapon's tests in the South Pacific more than 50 years ago. The problem is TEPCO again shooting themselves in the foot by saying, “...there are possibilities that they originate from the {Fukushima} accident.” Why didn't they just leave the statement at “indistinguishable” and add nothing more? </span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;"> Ryugo Hayano, chairman of the physics department at the University of Tokyo has reported that before the Fukushima accident happened, the typical Cesium content of Japanese soils was 100 bq/kg. He also added that most of the verified Cesium contamination levels recently reported in the Press (see our Nov. 16 update), “Are not something that should raise concerns over agricultural production or human health." (Japan Times)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">The Tokyo government will finally do something reasonable and necessary inside the no-go zone. In December, the Self Defense Force will begin no-go zone decontamination. After they finish each location,</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">the cleansed area will be re-surveyed before private companies continue the effort, probably in January. The SDF will focus on those strategic locations from which wide-spread decontamination efforts will be coordinated. Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa will make the formal announcement at the next cabinet</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">meeting. (Asahi Shimbun)</span></li><li><br /><span style="font-size: small;">The American Institute of Nuclear Power Operations has made a comprehensive statistical comparison between Fukushima radiological releases and Chernobyl. Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission says the total</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">radioactive inventory released from Fukushima Daiichi was 6.3x10<sup>17 </sup>becquerels. That’s Iodine, Cesium, Tellurium, and all other released fission-produced elements combined. The IAEA says Chernobyl’s total radiological release inventory was 1.4x10<sup>19</sup> becquerels. In other words, Fukushima releases were not 30% or 40% of Chernobyl, they were actually less than 5 %! (Atomic Insights)</span></li></ul><p class="Standard" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 16</strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO's most recent airborne Cesium measurements in and around Fukushima Daiichi are either undetectable or nearly so. Cs-134 is no longer detectable at the main gate and Cs-137 is down to 1.9x10<sup>-7</sup></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">bq/cc. (two 10-millionths of a radioactive emission per second) The only other location with detectable Cesium is 2km off-shore, with a reading of 5x10<sup>-8 </sup>bq/cc. Concentrations at these two locations are 1,000 to 10,000 times below national standards. The minimum level of detection is 3x10<sup>-8</sup> bq/cc. To gain perspective on these numbers, the international limit for Radon-222 inhalation is 10 bq/cc, and its typical concentration in the USA is about 1.5x10<sup>-4</sup> bq/cc. While Radon is an inert gas and not retained in the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">body, and Cesium can be retained when inhaled, the numbers show the ultra-sensitive nature of modern radiological equipment and highly conservative exposure limits used in Japan.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has presented a detailed, 80-page decontamination report to the Tokyo government. Among its suggestions, the report urges Japan to swiftly designate radioactive</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">residue disposal sites and use them before the materials become an actual health hazard. Merely collecting contaminated material and scarping topsoil, then piling up the bagged material at a convenient location, is not a solution. While concern for local resident’s fear is commendable, using it as an excuse for delaying long term decisions is not the answer. The report also says decontamination should begin in areas proven to have the highest contamination levels, rather than the current haphazard efforts in areas below international limits where public fears have dictated action. The IAEA also urges Japan to use existing disposal facilities for residues contaminated below international limits, which is the greater volume of material to be handled. Setting standards below international limits in an effort to soothe public fears only makes the situation worse. </span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">A research team led by Hirohiko Ishikawa of Kyoto University's Disaster Prevention Research Institute, measured cesium-134 and cesium-137 levels in samples of food, water and air, gathered between July</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">2nd and 8<sup>th</sup>, located 20 to 70 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. Their findings are not based on computer simulations (like those below), but on actual samples taken from the region. What they found is startling. It should be noted that they calculated internal dose from ingestion and inhalation of radioactive Cesium only, and did not include external exposures to the population, with the new, politically-correct national standard for exposure of 1 millisievert per year in mind. The research team found the average exposure</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">for people having normal ingestion and inhalation rates is 0.003 millisieverts since March 11, 2011. If anyone only ate the most cesium-rich foods available and breathed only the most Cesium-tainted air, the dose rises to 0.16 millisieverts. Ishikawa said internal exposure from Cesium should not be something to worry about. (Asahi Shimbun)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">Nagoya University Professor Tetsuzo Yasunari and his international research team have used a computer simulation which indicates there is detectable Cesium contamination to be found as far from Fukushima Daiichi as 500 kilometers. Their simulation predicts Cesium concentrations of 250 becquerels per square meter for Hokkaido island, which is at least 500km north of Fukushima. They also predict concentrations of</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">25 becquerels per square meter in the northernmost mountains of Japan. While Yasunari explained these levels are nothing to be concerned about, he did say the research shows the pollution from Fukushima covers all of northern Japan. (JAIF)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">A second computer simulation, this time out of the Space Research Association of the University of Maryland, indicates the farmland near Fukushima Daiichi is unsafe to use due to Cesium impregnation of</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">the soil. In their opinion, all of Fukushima Prefecture is “highly contaminated.” Although the team admits most of Fukushima's farm soils are well below the national limits, they believe production and consumption of food will be <em>severely</em> impaired with levels down to one half (2,500 becquerels) of the government limit (5000 bq/kilogram). <em>Some</em> impairment will occur with levels as low as 25 bq/kg. They also predict problems for some of the Prefectures surrounding Fukushima, including Miyagi, Tochigi and Ibaraki, because the simulation indicates all three have farmlands with Cesium levels above 25 bq/kg. (Japan Times) Thus, detectable means dangerous…right?</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">While widespread radiation fears have saturated the news for many months, it turns out someone has been quietly putting people’s fears to rest. Yasuyuki Fujimora, professor of engineering at Nihon University, has been circulating information on radiation and its biological effects to his neighbors in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, about 90 kilometers southwest of Fukushima Daiichi. After Fukushima began, he saw neighbors quarreling over leaving the area and pregnant women fearing for the lives of their unborn. No one trusted the government reports on the relative safety of low level exposures. Fujimora had been studying radiation issues ever since Chernobyl in 1986, and when his neighbors panicked over Fukushima airborne releases, he decided to do something about it. "Why not investigate the reality of radiation exposure, make scientific analyses and proceed with decontamination on our own?" he told them. He organized a group of volunteers to distribute radiological information and buy their own monitoring devices so they could follow the local situation themselves. The project expanded rapidly. "Our idea of acting together to regain a peace of mind caught on with others," Fujimora said, "It didn't matter whether you were a common resident or a town government official, whether you were for or against nuclear power." The group now numbers more than 1,000. As a result, the town has had no record of residents over-reacting to so-called hot spots they have discovered, and parents of schoolchildren are acting in a responsible manner. Naoko Okutsu, a 37-year-old mother of two schoolchildren in Nasu, was one of many who sought Fujimura's advice. She decided to not leave the city after Fujimora told her, "You should not feel afraid just because you don't know. There is still time for action." As a result of Fujimora’s efforts, the schools in Nasu have full classrooms and the town is literally in a state of business-as-usual. The 8-month-old project has not gone completely un-noticed, however. Similar projects are now running in the nearby cities of Nasushiobara and Otawara. (Asahi Shimbun) We have said all along the key to resolving radiation fears in Japan is education concerning</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">the realities of radiation. Mr. Fujimora’s efforts serve notice to the value in our opinion.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">A second bottle of what appears to be radioactive Radium has been discovered on the same supermarket property in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, where another was found last month. The new bottle produced a contact reading of 170 millisieverts, which is more than 50% higher than the first one which read 110 millisieverts. The bottle has been removed by the government. An investigation into the history of the property shows the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in Tokyo has leased the land since 1999 after buying it from a school in 1973. There seems to be no record of ownership prior to 1973. Neither the Union nor store operator knows how the bottles got there. (Japan Times)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">A second set of “stress test” data has been submitted to NISA, this time by the Shikoku Electric Company for its Ikata unit #3. Shikoku says the report shows the plant can safely withstand an earthquake 1.9 times greater than the worst theorized for the region, and a tsunami up to 14.2 meters in height.             The submission, however, brought strong criticism from a few of the members on the government panel recently created to review the stress tests. One said passing stress testing should not automatically allow a</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">plant to restart because the exact cause of the Fukushima accident has yet to be “clarified”. Other say plants should not restart if local residents say “no”. (NHK World)</span></li></ul><p class="Standard" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 14</strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">The news media was allowed to tour the Fukushima Daiichi power station on Saturday, November 12. Three dozen reporters were driven around the accident site in busses, then given a presentation inside the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">nearby Emergency Response Center (TSC) on the current conditions at the power complex with respect to the three damaged buildings and three crippled RPVs. The tour was guided by Plant Manager Masao Yoshida and Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosano. News reports focus mostly on the mangled construction material and debris associated with units 3&4 reactor buildings, implying little has been done to clean up the mess. But, both Yoshida and Hosano pointed out that reporters have no conception of how cluttered and chaotic the scene was eight months ago, so they cannot appreciate how much has changed. In his TSC</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">presentation, Hosano said “I think it’s remarkable that we’ve come this far. The situation at the beginning was extremely severe. At least we can say we have overcome the worst.” He added, "What we actually feel here is that the Fukushima No. 1 plant has been stabilized. If this were not the case, I would refuse to allow thousands of workers to come to the plant and work here."Mr. Yoshida echoed Hosano by saying, “We had a considerably hard time until the end of June. It was in July and August when the situations stabilized. But the reactors have attained stabilization levels that can make people living in surrounding areas feel relieved.” He continued, “Even if fuel has leaked out of the pressure vessels, the entire reactors, including not only the inside of the pressure vessels but also that of the containment vessels, have been cooled and stabilized.” (Japan Today; Japan Times; NHK World)</span></li></ul><ul><li><div class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">While most Japanese news sources report the access roads inside the power complex are strewn with</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">over-turned vehicles (from the tsunami) and other debris which made the tour difficult, one (JAIF) said the roads were quite clear with the remains moved off to the roadsides. It’s noteworthy that the sturdy, impressive enclosure around reactor building #1 received little mention, and then only to be called</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">a tent. There was no mention in any report of the condition of reactor building #2, which experienced no hydrogen explosion.</span></div></li></ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">Plant Manager Yoshida’s presentation eventually shifted into a Q&A session with reporters, where he shared some of his personal experiences during the first week of the accident. He pointed out that</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">he could not relate technical details about what happened during those first crucial days because he is providing testimony to the government’s investigative panel on Fukushima, which he did not wish to compromise. However, he shared personal fears and feelings he encountered. Yoshida explained the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">hydrogen explosion with unit #1 caught him completely by surprise. He believed that such a thing was impossible. Yoshida was in the Emergency Response Center (TSC) on-site, at the time of the explosion. He did not know what caused the impact sound or where it took place until a few injured emergency workers</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">arrived at the TSC for medical attention and told the staff what had happened. The same occurred when unit #3’s refueling deck exploded, which was again relayed to him by injured emergency team members coming to the TSC for medical attention after the blast. During the series of explosions, “I thought several</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">times I would die.” After enough emergency power was restored to the TSC to run TVs, he saw the two explosions on video for the first time. Perhaps his greatest moment of surprise was the unit #4 hydrogen explosion, because the unit had been shut down for several months and there was no fuel in the core.</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">Again, he thought he might die. He also said that after unit #4’s explosion, “It was also difficult to inject water into the reactor of the No. 2 building. So we were not able to predict future developments. I felt that, in the worst case, if the meltdown advances and it became impossible to control the reactors, that would be the end.” (Asahi Shimbun)</span></li></ul><p class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">In other news…</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">This morning, buried at the end of TEPCO’s daily press release on Fukushima Daiichi, we find a most revealing report. The main gate airborne radiation monitor (“Continuous Dust Monitor” - TEPCO) alarmed for the first time in months. Upon inspection, the air filter which collects particulates for radiological measurement was clogged. The filter was replaced and the monitor re-calibrated before being returned to service. To everyone’s surprise, the airborne activity reading is now 6 one-millionths (6 x 10<sup>-6</sup>)</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">of a bq/cc of air. This is 15 times less than the threshold for people wearing full face masks! (1 x 10<sup>-4</sup> bq/cc) Because of this, TEPCO has relaxed the requirement for workers having to wear full face masks when passing through the gate. This is extremely good news, but there seems to be no mention of it in</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">any Japanese news source. Regardless, the ramifications could be considerable relative to the on-going estimates of airborne activity still emanating from reactor buildings 1 and 3. These estimates, in the 100 million bq/hr range, are largely based on the readings of airborne monitors around the power complex. It</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">is possible that these numbers are grossly in error and the actual release rate has been much, much less. TEPCO ought to re-calibrate all continuous atmospheric airborne monitors and revise release estimates accordingly.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO has allegedly said the probability of another massive earthquake and tsunami hitting Fukushima Daiichi which would cause another blackout and stop all emergency system operation is one in 5,000</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">years. TEPCO also estimates it would take more than 24 hours for melted fuel to re-melt at the current decay heat levels, but they have set up emergency electrical generators at 35 meters above sea level, and they would re-energize the six units at Fukushima within 3 hours. (Mainichi Shimbun; Asahi Shimbun)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">Asahi Shimbun has posted an article about the stark differences between life inside and outside the “artificially drawn” perimeter of the 20km no-go zone. In some cases, the line runs through communities with one side being a stark no-man’s land, and the other a populated, active community. Rather than go into details, here’s the link… <a href="http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011111415960">http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011111415960 </a> Please keep in mind the reporter suffers the Hiroshima Syndrome and has an unbridled fear of radiation, which will become obvious as you read.</span></li></ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">Hiroaki Koide, a physicist at Kyoto University, says the plan to remove all spent fuel bundles from units 1 through 4, and remove the melted fuel from units 1 through 3, are literally pipe-dreams. “Nobody knows where exactly the fuel is, or in what condition,” he speculated. “The reactors will have to be entombed in a sarcophagus, with metal plates inserted underneath to keep it watertight. But within 25 to 30 years, when the cement starts decaying, that will have to be entombed in another layer of cement.” (Japan Times) Koide's statement is certainly something the nuclear-accident-loving Press is always looking for, but his speculation seems based on incorrect information and fraught with naive Chernobyl visions. (Japan Times)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">Another Radium bottle has been found in a private residence of Tokyo. The homeowner had bought her own monitoring device last month, and reported an unusually high reading to the government on October</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">31. A long-time resident, she found the Radium inside a wooden box in a storeroom. She has no idea how it got there or how long it had been in the storeroom. Contact readings on the container were ~250 microsieverts/hr (equivalent to 2.2 sieverts/yr). Exposure level dropped to 6 microsieverts/hr at a distance of 1 meter, which is the more reasonable level of the radiation the woman may have been exposed to when inside the storeroom. The Science Ministry says there have been no health effects to the woman or nearby neighbors as a result of their long-term exposure. (Japan Today)</span></li></ul><br /><p class="Standard" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 11</strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;"> The latest posting of Fukushima Daiichi parameters are quite encouraging. RPV bottom head temperature for unit #1 has dropped considerably since TEPCO effectively doubled injection flow last week, and now reads at 41<sup>o</sup>C with a sharply decreasing trend. This should keep the enclosed structure around unit #1 at a satisfactory level of humidity. Temperatures for units 2&3 RPVs are at 68<sup>o</sup>C and 62<sup>o</sup>C, respectively, and both are experiencing a constant, gradual decrease. The amount of decontaminated waste water stands at 154,000 tons, while the mass of water that remains in the four plant basements remains at 78,000 tons. No word as yet on how TEPCO plans to stanch the ingress of groundwater which is keeping the contaminated waste water volume relatively constant in the four basements. Also, area radiation levels at the plant property boundary and main gate continue to drop. The plant boundary reading is ~5 microsieverts/hr, and the main gate is ~28 microsieverts/hr. (JAIF)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO analyses of Cesium concentrations in the various basement sub-drains at Fukushima Daiichi are also encouraging. All drains for units 3 through 6 are below detectability (<0.03 Bq/cc). The drains attached to units 1&2 are below national standards, but detectable at roughly 1.3 Bq/cc.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO has more evidence that the hydrogen for unit #4’s explosion was due to unit #3 backflow during its venting on March 14. Employees have accessed the unit #4 fifth floor refueling deck and visually inspected the stored fuel bundles in the pool. All bundles appear to be intact, virtually eliminating the spent fuel pool (SPF) as the source of the explosive hydrogen volume. Visual inspection of the fourth floor, just below the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">refueling deck, revealed the ceiling appears to have been pushed upward which suggests the explosion may have started on the fourth floor and propagated upward to the fifth floor. Plus, a fifth floor air conditioning intake duct seems to have been blow outward and counter to its designed direction of flow. With its interconnected ductwork leading down to the fourth floor, the evidence further points to the blast initiating on the fourth floor. None of the fourth floor hydrogen could have come from the #4 SPF. This points to the conclusion that unit #4’s hydrogen could only have come from unit #3 through piping and</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">ductwork interconnections, as well as auxiliary rooms common to both units being open since unit #4 was in the midst of a refueling and maintenance outage. (NHK World, JAIF, Asahi Shimbun) Asahi Shimbun unilaterally reports this runs counter to TEPCO’s original suspicion of the hydrogen coming from #4 SPF.</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">However, we can find no record of TEPCO ever saying such a thing. There’s little doubt the false speculation came from the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chairman on March 16, which TEPCO immediately challenged and denied. TEPCO is clearly innocent of this informational blunder. </span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">TEPCO's Xenon gaffe of last week continues to reverberate. Please be reminded TEPCO had no reason on earth to openly speculate that the trace levels of Xenon might have come from recriticality. Why they</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">made such a ridiculous statement lays beyond all logical, rational thought for a company that's supposed to know what it is doing. Now, due to considerable government and news media pressure, TEPCO is taking costly, albeit unnecessary measures to detect recriticality on all three damaged units. They plan to</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">install devices to constantly monitor Xenon concentrations and add several temperature monitors to more precisely follow RPV temperatures. (JAIF) Here's the bottom line...if all three fuel cells are totally melted, the probability of recriticality was zero! Not merely unlikely, but patently impossible. Therefore, TEPCO is spending money on equipment that will never be needed...and they only have their own nuclear naivety to blame. Deplorable!</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">A new government panel has been formed to assess the health risks of 20 millisievert exposure. Nuclear Accident Minister Goshi Hosono monitored the first meeting. A new panel of independent “experts” is</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">looking at the 20 millisievert level of exposure which is the government's trigger point for mandatory evacuation, because of acknowledged distrust of government standards. The panel will hear testimony from international experts on the issue, including those critical of nuclear energy. (JAIF) Two problems</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">here...first, the panel is charged with establishing the level of risk for 20 millisieverts. Why not keep the door open to possibly establish the level of safety? Millions of people around the world live in background levels of 50 millisieverts/yr and statistics show they have no negative health effects. The panel is clearly being told to create risk numbers using categorically flawed no-safe-level concepts. Second, using</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">so-called “experts” critical of nuclear energy is tantamount to giving street-corner prophets credibility in a court of law.</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">While the decontamination and recovery planning due to Fukushima Daiichi gets heavy Press coverage, little has been posted concerning recovery efforts due to the tsunami itself beyond the impact of Fukushima…or rather the lack of recovery efforts. Millions of tons of rubble and debris continue to lay moldering and unattended along a 100 kilometer coastline covering three Prefectures; Iwate, Fukushima, and Miyagi. Out of the dozens of municipalities affected in each Prefecture, only 8 in Iwate and 7 in Miyagi</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">have drawn up preliminary plans for material removal and disposal. None have plans for permanent relocation of the roughly 200,000 residents forced to flee their homes due to the huge waves, who remain refugees. The Tokyo government says they will not let people return to the devastated area because it is prone to future tsunamis, but there are no plans for construction projects for relocated residents, and no criteria for compensating people for their lost property. (NHK World)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;">In the eight months since March 11, the world is still being shown pictures of off-duty emergency workers at Fukushima being forced to sleep on floor mats and eat sub-standard foods, making it seem like TEPCO</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">doesn’t really care about men working at Fukushima Daiichi. Well, that has seriously changed. The “J-Village” for off-duty workers has been dramatically upgraded with comfortable beds, modern dining hall, and even a fully-staffed medical clinic. (NHK World)</span></li><li><span style="font-size: small;"> Japan's supermarket chain, Aeon, has gone off the deep end. Asahi Shimbun reports Aeon will now check all marine, animal products, farm produce and rice for radioactivity, and literally “yank off the shelves” everything that registers even the slightest trace. Aeon cited growing public concern about contamination as the reason for tightening its radiation standards. The supermarket chain says it has received some 6,000 inquiries concerning radiation contamination since March, and has obviously lost its corporate mind over the issue. To date, Aeon has expunged all products of 30 suppliers from their inventory because they register at 50 Becquerels or more, which is 10 times below national  standards and barely detectable. What will happen when they find out nearly all green, leafy vegetables are naturally radioactive? What about bananas? The ramifications of Aeon's decision should be interesting to follow, to say the least.</span></li></ul><p class="Standard" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>November 9</strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">About one-fourth of the evacuees from the zones </span><span style="font-size: small;">surrounding Fukushima Daiichi say they will never go home. Fuminori Tanba, an </span><span style="font-size: small;">associate professor at Fukushima University, sent questionnaires to 28,184</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">households in September and 13,463 (47.8 %) responded. 26.9 percent said they </span><span style="font-size: small;">have no intention of going home. The three major reasons are a belief that </span><span style="font-size: small;">decontamination is not possible (83%), lack of trust in the government standards </span><span style="font-size: small;">(66%) and doubts about bringing the crippled power complex under control (62%). </span><span style="font-size: small;">(Mainichi Shimbun)</span></li></ul><p class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">The above demonstrates core problems </span><span style="font-size: small;">endemic to the situation, two of which can be attributed to official Japanese</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">indifference toward radiological education prior to Fukushima, and one issue </span><span style="font-size: small;">regularly reinforced by the news media. </span></p><p class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">For more than three decades, there </span><span style="font-size: small;">was no effort on the part of the Japanese government and academic community to </span><span style="font-size: small;">educate the public on the realities of radiation. Nation-wide radiological </span><span style="font-size: small;">ignorance plays a critical role in delaying decontamination efforts, and </span><span style="font-size: small;">unnecessarily expands the areas of decontamination. Fear of radiation now </span><span style="font-size: small;">determines national standards, not sound scientific data. When reasonable </span><span style="font-size: small;">standards were first set, a loud outcry ensued causing the government to </span><span style="font-size: small;">capitulate and lower the limits to soothe fears. This has back-fired because of </span><span style="font-size: small;">the belief that there is no safe level of radiation exposure and that any tiny </span><span style="font-size: small;">exposure will cause cancers. The old adage says ignorance is bliss, but </span><span style="font-size: small;">radiation ignorance is misery.</span></p><p class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">With the second problem, </span><span style="font-size: small;">decades of over-confident government assurances in nuclear safety set the stage</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">for public distrust, and Fukushima unleashed it. The public immediately </span><span style="font-size: small;">believed the government lied to them. But, the issue soon worsened. Because of </span><span style="font-size: small;">a severe lack of full disclosure on the part of Naoto Kan's government</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">concerning Fukushima (he had control of all information flow beginning March </span><span style="font-size: small;">12), the public's skepticism relative to press statements deteriorated. When </span><span style="font-size: small;">unpopular standards were lowered to pacify public fears, it only amplified</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">skepticism. What <em>seems</em> to be the case </span><span style="font-size: small;">is what determines public opinion, and it seems the Japanese government cannot </span><span style="font-size: small;">be trusted.</span></p><p class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">The last problem concerns the news </span><span style="font-size: small;">media. Technically, the accident at Fukushima has been effectively under</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">control for more than a month. RPV temperatures, pressures, and cooling water </span><span style="font-size: small;">flows have stabilized. Radiological releases have dwindled to the point where </span><span style="font-size: small;">airborne detection beyond the plant's property boundary is sporadic, and always </span><span style="font-size: small;">below national limits. Unit #1 has been effectively enclosed and work </span><span style="font-size: small;">progresses on doing the same with units 3 & 4. Waste water decontamination </span><span style="font-size: small;">is running smoothly. These and numerous other points of evidence should make </span><span style="font-size: small;">one point abundantly clear…Fukushima is under control and has been for quite </span><span style="font-size: small;">some time. But, in every article about Fukushima carried in Japanese </span><span style="font-size: small;">newspapers, the public is told the situation is <em>not</em> under control. Why is </span><span style="font-size: small;">the news media doing this? Part of the problem is reporter radiological </span><span style="font-size: small;">ignorance common to the entire nation, to be sure. Some airborne material still </span><span style="font-size: small;">wafts from units 3 & 4, but because the units used to describe the releases </span><span style="font-size: small;">are miniscule in nature, the numbers reported seem gigantic. Big numbers scare </span><span style="font-size: small;">people. But, an even greater reason is the Japanese Press has realized keeping </span><span style="font-size: small;">the public on edge about nuclear energy is good for business. Japan’s public </span><span style="font-size: small;">fears radiation. Projecting the idea that Fukushima could still spawn huge </span><span style="font-size: small;">amounts of contamination keeps nuclear anxieties at a peak. Plus, the constant </span><span style="font-size: small;">referrals to Hiroshima and comparisons to Chernobyl only exacerbates national </span><span style="font-size: small;">angst, keeping the issue at the top of the charts as a news media money-maker.</span></p><p class="Standard"><span style="font-size: small;">Other updates...</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">A power-assisted exoskeleton suit, carrying </span><span style="font-size: small;">tungsten-based radiation shielding, has been created for the workers at </span><span style="font-size: small;">Fukushima Daiichi. The suit has been developed by Cyberdyne, Inc. (not the <em>Terminator</em></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">bad guys). The exoskeleton will boost a worker's strength and increase stamina, </span><span style="font-size: small;">with enough body shielding to drop exposure levels by 50%. Its batteries can </span><span style="font-size: small;">last up to 90 minutes. The suit is converted from technology first developed </span><span style="font-size: small;">for people with physical difficulties. The suit weighs about 33 lbs., but the</span><br /><span style="font-size: small;">power-assist functions make this weight relatively easy to endure. Whether or </span><span style="font-size: small;">not TEPCO will use this technology remains to be seen. (JAIF)</span></li><li><br /><span style="font-size: small;">85% of the 90 candidates running for office in </span><span style="font-size: small;">Fukushima say they want all Prefecture nukes  ecommissioned. This includes the </span><span style="font-size: small;">undamaged and fully-functional units 5&6 at Daiichi and units 1 through 4 </span><span style="font-size: small;">at Daini. (Yomiuri Shimbun) Are they jumping on a convenient public opinion </span><span style="font-size: small;">bandwagon? Of course.</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"> </p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="fukushima-21.html"><< Later Posts</a> | <a href="fukushima-19.html">Earlier Posts >></a></p>" unknown tag "Fukushima"

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