Fukushima?

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Fukushima?

There seems to be new chatter regarding fukashima,  but I am not impressed with the sources.  Does anyone knw if there has been any new information?  People seem to have forgotten this is an ongoing situation.

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People didn't

People didn't forget....there are .99c cheeseburgers over at BK right now... priorities...priorities. 

Seriously though... unless you say "Fukushima" and "Free iPad" in the same sentence, you won't get much attention.

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FriscoMike wrote: Seriously

FriscoMike wrote:

Seriously though... unless you say "Fukushima" and "Free iPad" in the same sentence, you won't get much attention.

There's a free ipad? where? I gotta git me sum 'o that action.

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FriscoMike wrote: Seriously
FriscoMike wrote:

Seriously though... unless you say "Fukushima" and "Free iPad" in the same sentence, you won't get much attention.

If that weren't so true, it would be funny.

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Free iPad?

Do I have to go to Fukishima to get one?

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Free iPad, Cheeseburgers and a Puppy

land2341 wrote:

There seems to be new chatter regarding fukashima,  but I am not impressed with the sources.  Does anyone knw if there has been any new information?  People seem to have forgotten this is an ongoing situation.

land -

In all seriousness, there isn't anything new coming out of Fukushima that is beyond a local impact concern.  Clean-up is still in progress - that is a dynamic situation because areas that were previously "habitable" aren't anymore because of radiation levels.  It will be slow and tedious. 

What has been in the "news" lately that should be immediately dismissed are the nonsensical stories about the next 7.0 earthquake that will scatter spent fuel cells all over the accident site resulting in explosions and burning fuel and spontaneous fission, dogs and cats living together, human sacrifice, godzilla's return.........you get my point.

Fukushima is a localized event now.  The Japanese accident response and clean-up teams are doing heroic work.  West coast artichoke growers need not be concerned........

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radiation chatter

Thanks for the answer dogs.  I appreciate it.  I am still hearing spreading stories from inside Japan about the mutations in the spring crops.  Still its all man on the street stories and my US miltary contacts are tight lipped.  Any word on that and it potential imact on japan's food import needs?

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land2341 wrote: Thanks for

land2341 wrote:

Thanks for the answer dogs.  I appreciate it.  I am still hearing spreading stories from inside Japan about the mutations in the spring crops.  Still its all man on the street stories and my US miltary contacts are tight lipped.  Any word on that and it potential imact on japan's food import needs?

land -

I don't have anything specific on food import issues, but intuitively, whatever was grown or produced in the Fukushima prefecture will need to be replaced.  At least the food grown in the vicinity of the accident site - my gut says anything inside of 20 miles should be thoroughly examined and surveyed prior to consumption.

I'm not a botanist, but I'd be less worried about mutations in crops and more concerned with radiation exposure from consuming plants that uptook radioactive particulates into their root complex and distributed it in the leaves or fruit/veggie.  Same thing with eating the meat of ruminants that grazed on contaminated feed and possibly concentrated the radioactive particulates in their bodies.

I'd also be very cautious about some of the "cleansing" solutions that are being shopped around cyberspace.  Most of these are quack remedies and in some cases can do much more harm than good.  I read about one "detoxifier" that promised to "concentrate and eliminate" radioactive particles from the body by using "powerful natural chelation agents"  Wow - please explain to me why I would ever want to "concentrate" multiple low level emitters into one place that now become high level emitters?

I'll stay on this - if you or anyone else have questions you don't want to address here in the forums, feel free to PM. 

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Fukushima and Fear Itself

The large part (like 99.99%) of the radioactive isotopes released by the reactors were Iodium with a very short halk life (one isotope 8 hours, the other 8 days). So now, there is only 1/2^54 of the starting radioactive isotopes of Iodium 8. Something like 10^-15.

The other isotopes never went out of the vessel of the reactors, because they were not soluble in water like Iodium.

Must, also, be said the release lasted many days/a few weeks, so the real concentration of radioisotopes uotside the reactors was not able to build up. This is different from Chernbyl, because there the reactor essentially blowed up and the core was exposed and the all types of fissile materilas throw in the higher atmosphere and outside the vessel. Essentially Fukushima was an oil lamp and Chernobyl a molotov cocktail.

Apart the agricultural production present at the time of the tzunami (discarded immediately), the products of the zone near Fukushima can not be radioactive (no more than the natural background) today. If there is some residua radioactivity detectable higher than natural background it is a trascurable  health hazard anyway).

I would, any day, live near a nuclearpower plant than near a chemical processing plant of any type (like a refinery, a NLG power plant, a coal plant, etc.)

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Nope, not even close....

painlord2k wrote:

The large part (like 99.99%) of the radioactive isotopes released by the reactors were Iodium with a very short halk life (one isotope 8 hours, the other 8 days). So now, there is only 1/2^54 of the starting radioactive isotopes of Iodium 8. Something like 10^-15.

The other isotopes never went out of the vessel of the reactors, because they were not soluble in water like Iodium.

Must, also, be said the release lasted many days/a few weeks, so the real concentration of radioisotopes uotside the reactors was not able to build up. This is different from Chernbyl, because there the reactor essentially blowed up and the core was exposed and the all types of fissile materilas throw in the higher atmosphere and outside the vessel. Essentially Fukushima was an oil lamp and Chernobyl a molotov cocktail.

Apart the agricultural production present at the time of the tzunami (discarded immediately), the products of the zone near Fukushima can not be radioactive (no more than the natural background) today. If there is some residua radioactivity detectable higher than natural background it is a trascurable  health hazard anyway).

I would, any day, live near a nuclearpower plant than near a chemical processing plant of any type (like a refinery, a NLG power plant, a coal plant, etc.)

Ummm, okay.

WTF is iodium?  It doesn't show up on my Periodic Table.  Anywhere.  I tried holding it upside down and still couldn't find it.....

There is nothing about this post that is accurate.

painlord, dude, do us a favor and step away from the keyboard.

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Unbiased Fukushima Info

land2341 wrote:

There seems to be new chatter regarding fukashima,  but I am not impressed with the sources.  Does anyone knw if there has been any new information?  People seem to have forgotten this is an ongoing situation.

Here's a good source to follow to try and sparse out what is happening in the land of the 'setting' sun:

http://www.simplyinfo.org/

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New and Alarming Info on the Situation...

Hi All

Here's some new info on the situation. Not sure how accurate it is. If the info regarding reactor 4 in anyway true, this situation is highly alarming.

http://www.maxkeiseronfacebook.com/fukushima-is-falling-apart.html

Anyone from the northern hemishpere ready to leave and head off to the southern hemisphere?

I've be very interested to know what the real level of risk is. As you all know, getting the truth on this kind of thing is pretty tough.

Syn

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And here we go again.......

synonym wrote:

Hi All

Here's some new info on the situation. Not sure how accurate it is. If the info regarding reactor 4 in anyway true, this situation is highly alarming.

http://www.maxkeiseronfacebook.com/fukushima-is-falling-apart.html

Anyone from the northern hemishpere ready to leave and head off to the southern hemisphere?

I've be very interested to know what the real level of risk is. As you all know, getting the truth on this kind of thing is pretty tough.

Syn

Syn -

At the risk of drawing the ire of the site moderators - this article (not your post) is complete, alarmist, bullshit.....

The numbers are presented out of context, the scenarios discussed are not credible.  You are better off worrying about how to keep cabbage loopers off your broccoli and cauliflower.

Please start here:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/133487#comment-133487

More here, some repitition of info:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/133683#comment-133683

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/134599#comment-134599

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Hi Dogs thanks for setting

Hi Dogs

thanks for setting me straight and directing me to some useful info and insight. It's nice to have someone tell it to you plain, simple and true. I had a feeling the link i posted earlier was alarmist and probably unfounded.

I really appreciate your reply.

And SORRY folks to anyone that i have unnecessarily worried or mislead by posting the other link.

Thanks and have a good weekend.

Syn.

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Humans as an Earth-Altering Force

The effects of Fukushima certainly are not confined to Japan. We live in a closed system; humans don't realize that our numbers are now large enough that our collective actions have attained the magnitude of a geologic force

A shocking discovery of radiation linked to Japan’s failed Fukashima’s nuclear reactor off the California coast. Kelp normally contains a radioactive isotope of iodine 131 and has a half life of 8 days and it is not harmful. The concern arose on a scientists hunch to test samples before and after and discovered the potentially damaging radioactive isotope Cesium 137 in kelp found near UC Santa Barbra and UC Santa Cruz. The cause for concern is that the half life Cesium 137 is 30 years, which has gotten into the bio mass of plants and animals off the California coast. It is predicted that the radioactive particles released from the broken nuclear reactors in Japan drifted in the clouds of the storm front that hit California’s coast shortly after the disaster. Concentrations of the radioactive kelp were found near drain off areas that led into the ocean after the rains before the sea water could dilute the particles. It is uncertain of what effects the radiation may have on the people that feed off of the fish and crustaceans that feed off the kelp. An unfortunate certainty  is that the radioactive particles released following the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of the Fukashima Daichi nuclear reactor will be around for another 29 years with unknown potential for  measurable detrimental effects.

Link

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xraymike79 wrote: The

xraymike79 wrote:

The effects of Fukushima certainly are not confined to Japan. We live in a closed system; humans don't realize that our numbers are now large enough that our collective actions have attained the magnitude of a geologic force

A shocking discovery of radiation linked to Japan’s failed Fukashima’s nuclear reactor off the California coast. Kelp normally contains a radioactive isotope of iodine 131 and has a half life of 8 days and it is not harmful. The concern arose on a scientists hunch to test samples before and after and discovered the potentially damaging radioactive isotope Cesium 137 in kelp found near UC Santa Barbra and UC Santa Cruz. The cause for concern is that the half life Cesium 137 is 30 years, which has gotten into the bio mass of plants and animals off the California coast. It is predicted that the radioactive particles released from the broken nuclear reactors in Japan drifted in the clouds of the storm front that hit California’s coast shortly after the disaster. Concentrations of the radioactive kelp were found near drain off areas that led into the ocean after the rains before the sea water could dilute the particles. It is uncertain of what effects the radiation may have on the people that feed off of the fish and crustaceans that feed off the kelp. An unfortunate certainty  is that the radioactive particles released following the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of the Fukashima Daichi nuclear reactor will be around for another 29 years with unknown potential for  measurable detrimental effects.

Link

The devil is in the details. There was no specific information about the levels of either isotope that were detected in the kelp.

From the linked study:

"Writing in the scientific journal "Environmental Science & Technology," Manley and co-author Christopher G. Lowe said researchers measured a radioactive isotope of iodine in kelp within a month after massive radiation leaks were caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami."

How about a comparison to what the naturally occurring levels of I-131 are? Do we have measurements before the accident? Within a month? Doubtful - biologic uptake and propagation through the plant mass would take longer than a month. The postulated theory that "radioactive storms lashed the coast, and ran off into the ocean in high concentrations that were uptaken by the kelp before it could be diluted" (loosely paraphrased) is a bit of a reach.

"One particular strain of seaweed, Macrocystis pyrifera, is present in large canopies along shallow areas of the California coast. Radioactive rainfall was absorbed by the seaweed before the seawater had a chance to dilute it, the scientists said in their article."

Possible? Yes. Plausible? No. It was in all likelihood, naturally occurring levels that were the victim of astute observation and fuel for alarmist agendas.

Cs-137? Cs-137 was released in massive quantities during nuclear weapons testing in the '50s and '60s. It has a half life of 30 years. It takes 5 half lives - in this case 150 years - for an isotope to decay away. At most, two half lives have elapsed since the onset of nuclear weapons testing by the US, UK, China and Russia. We know some Cs-137 was released, Tellurium isotopes were also found so that pretty much confirms that. There is a strong possibility that the bulk of the Cs-137 detected in the kelp is from weapons testing. A comprehensive vertical analysis of the kelp mass would need to be done. How does kelp grow? How fast does it grow? Where on each kelp plant was the Cs-137 detected? Fronds, stalks?

This article begs more questions than it answers. Unfortunately, it also begs questions about the validity of the academic rigor put into the study supporting it. These guys are making some leaps of faith to come to a conclusion that probably isn't right.

The paragraph quoted above was obviously written by someone with at best a rudimentary knowledge of nuclear physics.   That was being kind – I’d like to invoke the “Ghost of Davos” but I’ll stay my hand….

"An unfortunate certainty is that the radioactive particles released following the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of the Fukashima Daichi nuclear reactor will be around for another 29 years with unknown potential for measurable detrimental effects."

Wrong. 

The radioactive particles released following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi will be around for 5 half lives……150 years. And that’s just the Cs-137.

C’mon guys – if you are going to pen such an article, at least get the magnitude of the doom and gloom scenario you are trying to convince people of correct.

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Sparsing the details without seeing the actual scientific report

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

xraymike79 wrote:

The effects of Fukushima certainly are not confined to Japan. We live in a closed system; humans don't realize that our numbers are now large enough that our collective actions have attained the magnitude of a geologic force

A shocking discovery of radiation linked to Japan’s failed Fukashima’s nuclear reactor off the California coast. Kelp normally contains a radioactive isotope of iodine 131 and has a half life of 8 days and it is not harmful. The concern arose on a scientists hunch to test samples before and after and discovered the potentially damaging radioactive isotope Cesium 137 in kelp found near UC Santa Barbra and UC Santa Cruz. The cause for concern is that the half life Cesium 137 is 30 years, which has gotten into the bio mass of plants and animals off the California coast. It is predicted that the radioactive particles released from the broken nuclear reactors in Japan drifted in the clouds of the storm front that hit California’s coast shortly after the disaster. Concentrations of the radioactive kelp were found near drain off areas that led into the ocean after the rains before the sea water could dilute the particles. It is uncertain of what effects the radiation may have on the people that feed off of the fish and crustaceans that feed off the kelp. An unfortunate certainty  is that the radioactive particles released following the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of the Fukashima Daichi nuclear reactor will be around for another 29 years with unknown potential for  measurable detrimental effects.

Link

The devil is in the details. There was no specific information about the levels of either isotope that were detected in the kelp.

From the linked study:

"Writing in the scientific journal "Environmental Science & Technology," Manley and co-author Christopher G. Lowe said researchers measured a radioactive isotope of iodine in kelp within a month after massive radiation leaks were caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami."

How about a comparison to what the naturally occurring levels of I-131 are? Do we have measurements before the accident? Within a month? Doubtful - biologic uptake and propagation through the plant mass would take longer than a month. The postulated theory that "radioactive storms lashed the coast, and ran off into the ocean in high concentrations that were uptaken by the kelp before it could be diluted" (loosely paraphrased) is a bit of a reach.

The full name of their study is “Canopy-Forming Kelps as California’s Coastal Dosimeter: 131I from Damaged Japanese Reactor Measured in Macrocystis pyrifera.” This is a per-per-view scientific article; if you want to read it in its entirety, you will have to pay $. So have at it.

Here are all the full text sources for this study:

Full Text Sources

My sources for information are pulled from journalist articles about this scientific study.

The scientists took measurements a month after the Fukushima disaster:

The radioactivity had no known effects on the giant kelp, or on fish and other marine life, and it was undetectable a month later.

Iodine 131 “has an eight-day half life so it’s pretty much all gone,” Manley said. “But this shows what happens half a world away does effect what happens here. I don’t think these levels are harmful but it’s better if we don’t have it at all.”

- Link

  • And apparently they did have records of Iodine 131 in kelp a month before as well:

The levels, while most likely not harmful to humans, were significantly higher than measurements prior to the explosion and comparable to those found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington state following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, according to the study published in March in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Link

and

The level of radioactive iodine found there – 2.5 becquerel per gram of dry weight -- was “well above” levels sampled in kelps prior to the Fukushima release, according to the paper, published online earlier this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Link

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

"One particular strain of seaweed, Macrocystis pyrifera, is present in large canopies along shallow areas of the California coast. Radioactive rainfall was absorbed by the seaweed before the seawater had a chance to dilute it, the scientists said in their article."

Possible? Yes. Plausible? No. It was in all likelihood, naturally occurring levels that were the victim of astute observation and fuel for alarmist agendas.

Cs-137? Cs-137 was released in massive quantities during nuclear weapons testing in the '50s and '60s. It has a half life of 30 years. It takes 5 half lives - in this case 150 years - for an isotope to decay away. At most, two half lives have elapsed since the onset of nuclear weapons testing by the US, UK, China and Russia. We know some Cs-137 was released, Tellurium isotopes were also found so that pretty much confirms that. There is a strong possibility that the bulk of the Cs-137 detected in the kelp is from weapons testing. A comprehensive vertical analysis of the kelp mass would need to be done. How does kelp grow? How fast does it grow? Where on each kelp plant was the Cs-137 detected? Fronds, stalks?

This article begs more questions than it answers. Unfortunately, it also begs questions about the validity of the academic rigor put into the study supporting it. These guys are making some leaps of faith to come to a conclusion that probably isn't right.

Kelp is an excellent organism to study for the uptake of manmade contaminants. The scientists who did this study are experts on kelp:

“Kelp forests are some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth,” he said. “I thought this would be an opportunity because one thing about macrocystis is it has a large surface canopy,” which means it is continually exposed to the air – and whatever contaminants are in it.

In addition, giant kelp concentrates radioactive iodine 10,000-fold – for every one molecule in the water there would be 10,000 in its tissues.
 

Link

"Basically, we saw it [Iodine 131] in all the California kelp blades we sampled," said Steven Manley, a CSU Long Beach biology professor who specializes in kelp.

Link

Dog, you appear to be pretty hasty in discounting the work of these two scientists. Why is that?

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

"An unfortunate certainty is that the radioactive particles released following the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of the Fukashima Daichi nuclear reactor will be around for another 29 years with unknown potential for measurable detrimental effects."

Wrong. 

The radioactive particles released following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi will be around for 5 half lives……150 years. And that’s just the Cs-137.

C’mon guys – if you are going to pen such an article, at least get the magnitude of the doom and gloom scenario you are trying to convince people of correct.

Actually the scientists never said that. You just quoted the blurb from here which was written by a layman on this subject. To be sure, the effects of the radioactive material spewed forth from Japan will be felt for generations.

While traveling in Japan several weeks ago, Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen took soil samples in Tokyo public parks, playgrounds, and rooftop gardens. All the samples would be considered nuclear waste if found here in the US.

This level of contamination is currently being discovered throughout Japan. At the US NRC Regulatory Information Conference in Washington, DC March 13 to March 15, the NRC's Chairman, Dr. Gregory Jaczko emphasized his concern that the NRC and the nuclear industry presently do not consider the costs of mass evacuations and radioactive contamination in their cost benefit analysis used to license nuclear power plants.

Furthermore, Fairewinds believes that evacuation costs near a US nuclear plant could easily exceed one trillion dollars and contaminated land would be uninhabitable for generations.

http://www.fairewinds.com/content/tokyo-...r-waste-us

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xraymike79 wrote:   The

xraymike79 wrote:

The full name of their study is “Canopy-Forming Kelps as California’s Coastal Dosimeter: 131I from Damaged Japanese Reactor Measured in Macrocystis pyrifera.” This is a per-per-view scientific article; if you want to read it in its entirety, you will have to pay $. So have at it.

Here are all the full text sources for this study:

Full Text Sources

My sources for information are pulled from journalist articles about this scientific study.

The scientists took measurements a month after the Fukushima disaster:

The radioactivity had no known effects on the giant kelp, or on fish and other marine life, and it was undetectable a month later.

Iodine 131 “has an eight-day half life so it’s pretty much all gone,” Manley said. “But this shows what happens half a world away does effect what happens here. I don’t think these levels are harmful but it’s better if we don’t have it at all.”

- Link

  • And apparently they did have records of Iodine 131 in kelp a month before as well:

The levels, while most likely not harmful to humans, were significantly higher than measurements prior to the explosion and comparable to those found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington state following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, according to the study published in March in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Link

and

The level of radioactive iodine found there – 2.5 becquerel per gram of dry weight -- was “well above” levels sampled in kelps prior to the Fukushima release, according to the paper, published online earlier this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Link

Kelp is an excellent organism to study for the uptake of manmade contaminants. The scientists who did this study are experts on kelp:

“Kelp forests are some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth,” he said. “I thought this would be an opportunity because one thing about macrocystis is it has a large surface canopy,” which means it is continually exposed to the air – and whatever contaminants are in it.

In addition, giant kelp concentrates radioactive iodine 10,000-fold – for every one molecule in the water there would be 10,000 in its tissues.
 

Link

"Basically, we saw it [Iodine 131] in all the California kelp blades we sampled," said Steven Manley, a CSU Long Beach biology professor who specializes in kelp.

Link

Dog, you appear to be pretty hasty in discounting the work of these two scientists. Why is that?

Because you provided a poorly written POS executive summary instead of the articles you linked to in your follow-up post.  I'm all for the researchers getting due compensation for thier work, but I'm not going to pay for access to the study.  Did you?

Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find much discussion about Cs-137 other than the researcher's curiosity about whether it was present in your follow-on links?  Which BTW, were far more more helpful, informative and accurate than the first.

The danger in posting articles like you did in your kick-off post, is that the laymen you refer to don't understand what they are writing about - the resultant article is of little utility because it is either deliberately or culpably misleading.  And it undeservedly casts the cited study in a bad light.

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It's all bad..er..I mean Good.

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Because you provided a poorly written POS executive summary instead of the articles you linked to in your follow-up post.  I'm all for the researchers getting due compensation for thier work, but I'm not going to pay for access to the study.  Did you?

Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find much discussion about Cs-137 other than the researcher's curiosity about whether it was present in your follow-on links?  Which BTW, were far more more helpful, informative and accurate than the first.

The danger in posting articles like you did in your kick-off post, is that the laymen you refer to don't understand what they are writing about - the resultant article is of little utility because it is either deliberately or culpably misleading.  And it undeservedly casts the cited study in a bad light.

Actually the original synopsis did not say anything dismaying or misleading that the original scientific study did not show, which is an increase in iodine 131 after the Fukushima disaster. The follow up links pretty much answered a number of the questions you had posed such as whether or not they had iodine 131 levels before and after Fukushima, which they did, and also whether the scientists know anything about kelp which they are indeed experts on.

It is dismaying that they found this fallout from Fukushima right off the shores of California. This shows the global effects that a nuclear disaster has on everything else inhabiting the planet. I don't see how the original synopsis posted "cast the cited study in a bad light." I don't see anywhere that they made any wild extrapolations or predictions from their synopsis. They simply did not provide enough information which, upon further investigation, I was able to find.

I'll have to research more to find out about the Cs-137.

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They did not test for cesium 137

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find much discussion about Cs-137 other than the researcher's curiosity about whether it was present in your follow-on links?  Which BTW, were far more more helpful, informative and accurate than the first.

OK Dog, here it is:

“Radioactivity is taken up by the kelp and anything that feeds on the kelp will be exposed to this also,” he continued. “Even though we detected low levels, it still got into the environment and we don’t know anything about the other radioisotopes like cesium 137, which stays around much longer than iodine. In fact, the values that we reported for iodine probably underestimate what was probably in there. It could be two to three times more because we were just sampling the surface tissue; the biomass estimates were based on canopy tissue and a lot of kelp biomass is underneath. So, probably two or three times more was in the tissue at its height. Then it enters the coastal food web and gets dispersed over a variety of organisms. I would assume it’s there. It’s not a good thing, but whether it actually has a measureable detrimental effect is beyond my expertise.”

...

“I was thinking of writing a grant to study cesium accumulation in kelps, in Macrocystis in particular. But that study can only work if we have a vibrant graduate program, because if we don’t have graduate students, we really can’t go out and collect the samples and do the experiments,” he said, adding that potential state funding cutbacks may have a detrimental effect on CSULB’s graduate programs, which are a source of many professionals and educators in the sciences and a variety of other fields.

http://urd.csulb.edu/news-events/story.cfm?hackid=1777

They did not even test for cesium which the original synopsis implied that they did. So you are correct in saying it was misleading in that regard. Is there any reason why cesium would not be there if iodine 131 was present, and why is nobody testing for it? It seems to me we would want to know if cesium, a much more longlived radioisotope, is also present.

But the researchers of the posted study assume that cesium 137 is indeed there off the cost of California:

The study poses the possibility that small amounts of Fukushima radioactivity entered the California coast’s food web. The radioactive forms of cesium and iodine detected in the kelp “get dispersed over a variety of organisms” Manley said. “I would assume it’s there” in the biomass of plants and animals off California’s coast. [...]

Cesium 137 has a half life of 30 years, as opposed to iodine 131′s half life of below 10 days, so it may be present in California kelp to this day, said Manley.

Link

And as stated before, budget cutbacks are preventing further research on this:

“We were limited in what our instrumentation allows us to do,” he said. “The big question was, ‘is another major isotope that came over in the cloud, cesium 137, present in the kelp, too?’” [...]

Radioactive rainfall was absorbed by the seaweed before the seawater had a chance to dilute it, the scientists said in their article. [...]

Manley noted that future research into cesium accumulation in kelp is needed, but the graduate programs that support such efforts are in jeopardy due to state budget cutbacks.

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xraymike79

xraymike79 wrote:

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find much discussion about Cs-137 other than the researcher's curiosity about whether it was present in your follow-on links?  Which BTW, were far more more helpful, informative and accurate than the first.

OK Dog, here it is:

“Radioactivity is taken up by the kelp and anything that feeds on the kelp will be exposed to this also,” he continued. “Even though we detected low levels, it still got into the environment and we don’t know anything about the other radioisotopes like cesium 137, which stays around much longer than iodine. In fact, the values that we reported for iodine probably underestimate what was probably in there. It could be two to three times more because we were just sampling the surface tissue; the biomass estimates were based on canopy tissue and a lot of kelp biomass is underneath. So, probably two or three times more was in the tissue at its height. Then it enters the coastal food web and gets dispersed over a variety of organisms. I would assume it’s there. It’s not a good thing, but whether it actually has a measureable detrimental effect is beyond my expertise.”

...

“I was thinking of writing a grant to study cesium accumulation in kelps, in Macrocystis in particular. But that study can only work if we have a vibrant graduate program, because if we don’t have graduate students, we really can’t go out and collect the samples and do the experiments,” he said, adding that potential state funding cutbacks may have a detrimental effect on CSULB’s graduate programs, which are a source of many professionals and educators in the sciences and a variety of other fields.

http://urd.csulb.edu/news-events/story.cfm?hackid=1777

They did not even test for cesium which the original synopsis implied that they did. So you are correct in saying it was misleading in that regard. Is there any reason why cesium would not be there if iodine 131 was present, and why is nobody testing for it? It seems to me we would want to know if cesium, a much more longlived radioisotope, is also present.

But the researchers of the posted study assume that cesium 137 is indeed there off the cost of California:

The study poses the possibility that small amounts of Fukushima radioactivity entered the California coast’s food web. The radioactive forms of cesium and iodine detected in the kelp “get dispersed over a variety of organisms” Manley said. “I would assume it’s there” in the biomass of plants and animals off California’s coast. [...]

Cesium 137 has a half life of 30 years, as opposed to iodine 131′s half life of below 10 days, so it may be present in California kelp to this day, said Manley.

Link

And as stated before, budget cutbacks are preventing further research on this:

“We were limited in what our instrumentation allows us to do,” he said. “The big question was, ‘is another major isotope that came over in the cloud, cesium 137, present in the kelp, too?’” [...]

Radioactive rainfall was absorbed by the seaweed before the seawater had a chance to dilute it, the scientists said in their article. [...]

Manley noted that future research into cesium accumulation in kelp is needed, but the graduate programs that support such efforts are in jeopardy due to state budget cutbacks.

Kelps uptake mechanism of Cs isotopes may be different than for Iodine - or the kelp may uptake a fission product parent isotope more readily than others that subsequently decay into Iodine.  I'd have to poke around some more, but that's probably the case.    Much like Sr is a "bone seeker" - it is chemically similar to calcium so it is preferentially deposited, more so than Cobalt 60 or Sodium 23.  As far as testing for it, you'd think they would at least confirm the presence of Cs-137 and then seek grants for further, more comprehensive study and analysis.  But like they said in several articles - the levels were so low as to not be a significant worry.  Detectable  a couple of counts above background is kind of ho hum.  Finding 4 Curies of Cs-137 concentrated somewhere in the environment would be a significant emotional event.

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With all due respect

Dogs,

With all due respect, I have to comment... on your comments.

Those who are trained in a particular discipline understand it from a frame of reference founded in their education and training in the field. You have such training and education in the field of nuclear science application yes? This gives you a better understanding of the ins-and-outs of how these radioactive elements react. And, a particular positive bias toward them.

I do not know Arnie Gunderson any more than I know you. He does appear funded well enough (either through his own money or other Birkenstock wearers) to have a website dedicated to "outing" the industry that he apparently worked in for years. You have painted him as alarmist and "over the top." I dunno if that is true or, perhaps he is just on the other side of the debate.

Your comments lately have all been that of, "move along folks, nothing to see here" concerning the unfolding of the Fukushima event. <pulling on my tin foil hat> I can't help but wonder, if perhaps, you were asked to "calm the hungry hordes" concerning the flap about the Fukushima disaster. (by whom I don't know, that's why I have  my tin foil hat securely fastened) I know lay people "get it wrong" when they talk about a subject that they have no more education in other than doing a Google search. It happens all the time in my field as well. I guess there are a couple things that just don't seem to add up surrounding this ongoing event.

Maybe, you are just keeping a lid on the Cali Birkenstock crowd - I dunno

I say ongoing event because from what video that I have seen of the reactor #4 building spent fuel pool being "open to air" (the pool of water not the rods) as evidenced by seeing daylight behind the severely damaged wall behind the pool makes me ask, "what happens when it rains?" Where does the overflow of that water go? Where has the millions and millions of gallons of sea water used to cool the reactors early on gone? (forget the crap that it is sitting in tankers off shore) What about the comments of the condition of the water in spent fuel pools needing to be rigidly controlled? That water looked awful green. (not unlike my pool after an early summer rain has botched the chlorine level) Where does all that water go?

I guess I have harbored a long distrust of the nuclear energy power industry for over thirty years. I won't digress as to my reasons but I will elaborate if asked.

I think nuclear power when in the right hands is/or can be very safe. But we are talking business men here and not scientists. When profit enters the equation, safety walks out the door. After a disaster happens, in an attempt to protect the industry, anything goes.

I think sometimes humans like the "Mad Max" Doomsday scenario because it is exciting. If a situation even came close to that, (Fukushima was close) there would be a collective soiling of one's knickers like has never been seen before. (Fortunately for our olfactory senses, Fukushima didn't keep going)

I am not concerned with spectacular conflagrations. I am concerned about the long drawn out events that have a long enough time line that other mishaps can happen that can intervene and cause the mundane event to esculate.

Let me give a scenario: Building #4 spent fuel pool falls over because of "some event" - earthquake, building collapse, terror attack, wishful thinking... you name it. Not a spectacular splashy event, just "plop" the nuclear pick-up sticks end up all over the ground, scattered locally, but rods open to air none the less. - Then it rains. The plant is in close proximity to the beach... it takes some time to be able to safely enter the area again.

Basically, it sux to be in Japan. And in the near by ocean.

Perhaps, the best outcome would be a large earthquake and ensuing tsunami that  would drag the whole mess out to sea. But, then, of course, what happens next...

Bottom line, the situation is far from over, and far from safe. Because of all of the disinformation, we need as many eyes on the situation as possible.

C.

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RNcarl wrote: Dogs, With all

RNcarl wrote:

Dogs,

With all due respect, I have to comment... on your comments.

Those who are trained in a particular discipline understand it from a frame of reference founded in their education and training in the field. You have such training and education in the field of nuclear science application yes? This gives you a better understanding of the ins-and-outs of how these radioactive elements react. And, a particular positive bias toward them.

Fair enough.  I wouldn't call it a positive bias.  Just about anything can be dangerous if it isn't used properly. 

RNcarl wrote:

I do not know Arnie Gunderson any more than I know you. He does appear funded well enough (either through his own money or other Birkenstock wearers) to have a website dedicated to "outing" the industry that he apparently worked in for years. You have painted him as alarmist and "over the top." I dunno if that is true or, perhaps he is just on the other side of the debate.

Your comments lately have all been that of, "move along folks, nothing to see here" concerning the unfolding of the Fukushima event. <pulling on my tin foil hat> I can't help but wonder, if perhaps, you were asked to "calm the hungry hordes" concerning the flap about the Fukushima disaster. (by whom I don't know, that's why I have  my tin foil hat securely fastened) I know lay people "get it wrong" when they talk about a subject that they have no more education in other than doing a Google search. It happens all the time in my field as well. I guess there are a couple things that just don't seem to add up surrounding this ongoing event.

Maybe, you are just keeping a lid on the Cali Birkenstock crowd - I dunno

Not sure if you saw the posts that kicked off the recent round of comments, but when people start asking questions because they just read a poorly written, alarmist article talking about "Mass Extinction Events" if a 7.0 earthquake hits Fukushima I'm going to throw the bullshit flag as far and high as I can.  Then there are the articles that come out with such nonsense as a calculated total contained curie count of the spent fuel cells being 85 times larger than that released at Chernobyl - without so much as a discussion of a realistic or credible scenario by which such fuel cell curie content would be released?  One does not have to be a nuclear engineer to understand that contained radioactivity and released radioactivity are vastly different,  One is a significant concern, one is not.

I'm not here to bash Arnie Gunderson.  Early on his commentary was valuable because it was measured, restrained and based on facts as we knew them.  Then, as he got a little press he took on a "rock star" personality IMO, and started leaning forward with a bunch of nonsensical predictions that flat out didn't come true.  Gunderson blew it, and Chris blew it when he had him as a guest on the site.  There was so much focus on "what if" and "yeah but if" and very little focus on "here are the facts".  Gunderson is probably a nice guy, and I'm not going say anything more than, based on all that HAS happened and measured up against what he said might happen, it is my opinion that he is alarmist and over the top.

FWIW, I wear Birks all the time, most comfortable shoe I've ever worn.

RNcarl wrote:

I say ongoing event because from what video that I have seen of the reactor #4 building spent fuel pool being "open to air" (the pool of water not the rods) as evidenced by seeing daylight behind the severely damaged wall behind the pool makes me ask, "what happens when it rains?" Where does the overflow of that water go? Where has the millions and millions of gallons of sea water used to cool the reactors early on gone? (forget the crap that it is sitting in tankers off shore) What about the comments of the condition of the water in spent fuel pools needing to be rigidly controlled? That water looked awful green. (not unlike my pool after an early summer rain has botched the chlorine level) Where does all that water go?

Valid questions all of them.  But on the scale of importance, compared to other pressing issues on-site, they are low on the prioritized action item list.  Fuel storage pools are normally open to atmosphere, thye just usually have a roof over them.  If it rains?  They get wet.  The seawater used to cool the cores?  Now that's the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  And as such, dealing with that is a lot higher on the list than spent fuel pools with spent fuel cells that have an extremely low (and dropping exponentially) decay heat generation level.

RNcarl wrote:

I guess I have harbored a long distrust of the nuclear energy power industry for over thirty years. I won't digress as to my reasons but I will elaborate if asked.

I think nuclear power when in the right hands is/or can be very safe. But we are talking business men here and not scientists. When profit enters the equation, safety walks out the door. After a disaster happens, in an attempt to protect the industry, anything goes.

I don't hold commercial nuclear power in anywhere near as much regard as I do the Naval Nuclear Propulsion program.  I slept comfortably for the over 5 1/2 years I spent at sea (not attached to a ship, 5 1/2 years underway) - knowing a 20 year old kid with a high school diploma was operating my power plant properly.

RNcarl wrote:

I think sometimes humans like the "Mad Max" Doomsday scenario because it is exciting. If a situation even came close to that, (Fukushima was close) there would be a collective soiling of one's knickers like has never been seen before. (Fortunately for our olfactory senses, Fukushima didn't keep going)

Which is why the uninformed masses gobble up articles with "Mass Extinction Event" in them.  It's fine to be aware of worst case scenarios, with some type of contingency in mind, but to headline such an event as imminent is irresponsible and like I said earlier, I'm throwing the bullshit flag and penalizing the author 15 yards for "Unnecessary Stupidity"

RNcarl wrote:

I am not concerned with spectacular conflagrations. I am concerned about the long drawn out events that have a long enough time line that other mishaps can happen that can intervene and cause the mundane event to esculate.

Let me give a scenario: Building #4 spent fuel pool falls over because of "some event" - earthquake, building collapse, terror attack, wishful thinking... you name it. Not a spectacular splashy event, just "plop" the nuclear pick-up sticks end up all over the ground, scattered locally, but rods open to air none the less. - Then it rains. The plant is in close proximity to the beach... it takes some time to be able to safely enter the area again.

Basically, it sux to be in Japan. And in the near by ocean.

Perhaps, the best outcome would be a large earthquake and ensuing tsunami that  would drag the whole mess out to sea. But, then, of course, what happens next...

Bottom line, the situation is far from over, and far from safe. Because of all of the disinformation, we need as many eyes on the situation as possible.

C.

I still don't understand why the "And then it rains" piece comes up.  Are you asking/implying that rainwater would act as a moderator and cause fissioning?  In spent fuel?  It wouldn't.  The cells would get wet.  That's it.  Now if you are asking if the rainwater may collect radioactive, contaminated corrosion particles that are on the fuel cells that may runoff into the ocean, then the answer is yes.  But let's keep things in perspective - a couple of hundred gallons of potentially contaminated rainwater compared to millions of gallons of unquestionably contaminated seawater?

You are correct, the situation is far from over.  But is is a localized event, and yes, it really sucks to be in Japan, especially in the Fukushima Prefecture.  The sad truth is, most people in the world don't give a rat's ass about the people of Japan or the ongoing efforts at the accident site.

Writing articles with "Mass Extinction Event" in the title or creating poson pill arguments and scenarios is playing dirty pool - and is the worst kind of disinformation out there.  Ask yourself this question.....do you think there is more disinformation about understating or overstating the events at Fukushima flying around right now?  There is no doubt in my mind how to answer that question.

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I love to throw the BS flag

Dogs,

I am not worried about fission (I guess) - I have to take your word on the spent rods not being able to reproduce a reaction. That said, just thinking about how complex the structure would have to be I tend to lean toward that being true. (again, no disrespect to you) so, it's not the sci-Fi miraculous reactor situation. I am more worried about the "dirty"-ness of the scattered rods.

I do think that when it rains, there is more than a few hundred gallons dropped from the sky. So yes, I am more worried about, one, the pool water running to the sea and two, the rain falling on the (then spilled rods) collecting contaminated particles and washing out to sea. However, more concerning is if the site would be too "hot" to maintain control of the other crippled reactors. I heard that #4 was down during the earthquake. But I just don't know nor trust the information coming from those in charge of the situation about the other units.

As for the Navy units, I have the the utmost regard for those who run, maintain and design them. I believe that if commercial units were run like them, we would have a lot less to worry about. Or not - if I really could look behind the curtain. 

Actually, the plants operation concern me less than what to do with the millions of tons of spent fuel.

Like Einstein said, a nuclear reaction is a hell of a way to boil water!

Unfortunatly, it takes a sensational headline - even if it's a "chicken little" cry, to tear the masses away from the Kardashians.  Even that only distracts them for no more than one news cycle.

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Just stumbled in from the Kardashian front.......

Seriously, Dogs and RNcarl, I appreciate both your perspectives.  In our age of information overload and unending commentary, there's only so much some of us pea-brains can absorb but I feel, reading your respective opinions gave me what I think is a balanced perspective - at least for today.

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Original chatter

Gentleman thank you for your reasoned discourse!  This is indeed what I was looking for.  Actually, when I posted my question I had not heard of the "end is nigh" story.  I was getting my info from people in Japan who were telling me about the deformed flowers and other crops.  Some of them had a 100% failure to hatch raatio on their naturally incubated clutches.  While that happens more in clutches left under the birds more than those hatched in boxes,  it was concerning them.

I also have military members who are going in this month and were asking me about what to expect and giving me some small bits of info in aggregate (you can figure things out if you learn what units, trained in what areas, are going where....)

I really appreciate your knowledge dogs,  it is way outside my field.  But, I am inclined to think there is little that is "local" with some types of natural disasters.....  And a great deal of the nuclear testing done over the decades was a disaster indeed. 

I simply fear that the profit motive overtakes anything that looks like good practice or even common sense sometimes and then the desire to CYA overtakes the clean up......

Human nature is the most unpredictable of all of nature.

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fukashima reactor #4 and cooling tray for spent rods

Would a cave in of reactor 4 and/or the evaporation of water in the spent rod cooling tray(s) spell game over for the northern hemisphere?

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Groundhog Day?

angeleye wrote:

Would a cave in of reactor 4 and/or the evaporation of water in the spent rod cooling tray(s) spell game over for the northern hemisphere?

No

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The sky is falling - please go back to sleep.

RNCarl wrote:

Unfortunatly, it takes a sensational headline - even if it's a "chicken little" cry, to tear the masses away from the Kardashians.  Even that only distracts them for no more than one news cycle.

The chicken little headlines may drag the masses away from the Kardashians but that may not be a good thing!  When you alarm people with bogus info they tend to make irrational decisions based on that faulty data.  In addition, since the sky is falling they demand someone do something immediately and rashly - often making the problem worse.

Example - look look, nuclear energy is evil and inherently dangerous - quick - shut down all the reactors in Germany and Japan.  So they did, now we will get to see if that was rational.  I wonder how many people will die due to lack of energy or as a result of the much higher cost of energy that results...

I wonder how many of those screaming for the immediate shutdown of the nuclear plants are going to be the ones demanding the goverment do something about the energy situation.  Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with countries making a decision to use or not use nuclear energy - but it certainly appears these decisions are being made without much risk analysis - particularly given governments have shown few signs of acknowledging peak oil.

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Fukushima: It's much worse than you think

Dogs......  if YOU think it's all hype, why do articles like this keep coming out...?  Is it all due to Arnold Gundersen?  Do you believe he has no credibility?

Mike

Fukushima: It's much worse than you think
Scientific experts believe Japan's nuclear disaster to be far worse than governments are revealing to the public.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/06/201161664828302638.html

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."

TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water - as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of.

"The problem is how to keep it cool," says Gundersen. "They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?"

Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling.

"The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor," Gundersen added. "TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water."

Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive "hot spots" around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting.

"We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl."

Radiation monitors for children

Japan's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters finally admitted earlier this month that reactors 1, 2, and 3 at the Fukushima plant experienced full meltdowns.

TEPCO announced that the accident probably released more radioactive material into the environment than Chernobyl, making it the worst nuclear accident on record.

Meanwhile, a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 966 square kilometres near the power station - an area roughly 17 times the size of Manhattan - is now likely uninhabitable.

In the US, physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light on a 35 per cent spike in infant mortality in northwest cities that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant.

The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.

"There is and should be concern about younger people being exposed, and the Japanese government will be giving out radiation monitors to children," Dr MV Ramana, a physicist with the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University who specialises in issues of nuclear safety, told Al Jazeera.

Dr Ramana explained that he believes the primary radiation threat continues to be mostly for residents living within 50km of the plant, but added: "There are going to be areas outside of the Japanese government's 20km mandatory evacuation zone where radiation is higher. So that could mean evacuation zones in those areas as well."

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Hype, Fear, Exaggeration and Ignorance.....for starters

Damnthematrix wrote:

Dogs......  if YOU think it's all hype, why do articles like this keep coming out...?  Is it all due to Arnold Gundersen?  Do you believe he has no credibility?

Mike

Fukushima: It's much worse than you think
Scientific experts believe Japan's nuclear disaster to be far worse than governments are revealing to the public.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/06/201161664828302638.html

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."

TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water - as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of.

"The problem is how to keep it cool," says Gundersen. "They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?"

Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling.

"The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor," Gundersen added. "TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water."

Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive "hot spots" around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting.

"We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl."

Radiation monitors for children

Japan's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters finally admitted earlier this month that reactors 1, 2, and 3 at the Fukushima plant experienced full meltdowns.

TEPCO announced that the accident probably released more radioactive material into the environment than Chernobyl, making it the worst nuclear accident on record.

Meanwhile, a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 966 square kilometres near the power station - an area roughly 17 times the size of Manhattan - is now likely uninhabitable.

In the US, physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light on a 35 per cent spike in infant mortality in northwest cities that occurred after the Fukushima meltdown, and may well be the result of fallout from the stricken nuclear plant.

The eight cities included in the report are San Jose, Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and Boise, and the time frame of the report included the ten weeks immediately following the disaster.

"There is and should be concern about younger people being exposed, and the Japanese government will be giving out radiation monitors to children," Dr MV Ramana, a physicist with the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University who specialises in issues of nuclear safety, told Al Jazeera.

Dr Ramana explained that he believes the primary radiation threat continues to be mostly for residents living within 50km of the plant, but added: "There are going to be areas outside of the Japanese government's 20km mandatory evacuation zone where radiation is higher. So that could mean evacuation zones in those areas as well."

Mike -

Articles like this one keep coming out BECAUSE they are all hype.  There are nuggets of truth buried in them, but they are buried under tons of bullshit intended to stir fear and generate site traffic, which equals ....money.  The infant mortality study referenced in the article you cited was absolutely destroyed by the academic community as being very poorly controlled and that it made liberal use of selective data pulls.  http://nuclearpoweryesplease.org/blog/2011/06/17/shame-on-you-janette-sherman-and-joseph-mangano/  (Lots of follow on links contained in this one - you'll get the picture pretty quickly that Sherman and Mangano have an agenda and publishing the truth isn't part of it.)

Gundersen has ZERO credibility with me - and many others.  He inflated his resume, he overstated his experience.  For one, the only reactor he was ever "licensed" to operate was a reactor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1971 to 1972.  This reactor was a 100 Watt reactor that operated at room temperature, at atmospheric pressure in an open tank of water.  For the record, 100 watts is about the heat output of a freakin' lightbulb.  One version of his resume read as follows:  

“Critical Facility Reactor Operator, Instructor. Licensed AEC reactor operator instructing students and utility reactor operators in start-up through full power operation of a reactor.”

I'm taking some license, but in short, he instructed students how to turn on...................a light bulb.

His "4 decades of experience in the nuclear industry" is a bit of a stretch.  According to his resume, following his graduation in 1972, he worked at Northeast Utilities from 1972-1976.  Digging around on the internet shows that he was assigned to the licensing group at NU and that he had no real design engineering responsibilities as he has recently frequently claimed.

There are many inconsistencies with other things Gundersen has said - here's a glaring one taken from a 2008 application to serve on the Diablo Canyon Safety Committee: 

" Since 1970 Arnold Gundersen has been an expert witness in nuclear litigations at the Federal and State hearings such as Three Mile Island, US NRC ASLB, Vermont State Public Service Board, Western Atlas Nuclear Litigation, U.S. Senate Nuclear Safety Hearings, Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant Litigation"

Gundersen graduated from RPI in 1971.

More discussion about his inflated resume and exaggerated experience claims here:  http://atomicinsights.com/2011/02/arnie-gundersen-has-inflated-his-resume-yet-frequently-claims-that-entergy-cannot-be-trusted.html  

More info about his fear mongering here:  http://atomicinsights.com/2011/06/arnie-gundersen-going-international.html

(Note:  this article was written a year ago and there is a statement in it that claims that the radiation released from Fukushima hasn't made anyone sick and that it was a non-fatal accident.  While that may have been correct at the time, it is highly likely that there have been cases of radiation sickness since June 2011)

Here are some pretty good links to articles discussing what really happened at Fukushima - that contradicts claims that Gundersen made frequently, loudly, and incorrectly.

http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com/2011/06/fukushima-daiichi-update-saturday-june_18.html

A breakdown of what really happened at Unit 4 with respect to the spent fuel pool: 

http://www.4factorconsulting.com/energy-industry/nuclear-power-and-the-witch-hunt

Full disclosure - these articles and debunks were written by current nuclear industry insiders.  I know Rod Adams, we went through the training pipeline together and the US Navy's submarine community is pretty small.  I trust Rod Adams.  I DO NOT trust Arnie Gundersen.  Some will argue that anything written by the nuclear industry is to be dismissed because they are biased and solely profit motivated.  I am in no way saying that to some degree this does not exist in the industry, but to outright dismiss these articles is a poison pill argument.

Fukushima wasn't and isn't as rosy a situation as some would have you believe - it is bad, but as I have stated numeroues times, it is bad.....locally.  It is not the "Mass Extinction Event" some articles have labelled it.  Nor is it the "biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind" as Arnie Gundersen is claiming.  The Union Carbide disaster at Bhopal still tops my list and is still causing problems in the area almost 30 years later.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

To wrap up, Gundersen has repeatedly exaggerated his very limited experience in the nuclear industry - some would say he outright lied.  To say he lied is a pretty strong statement, and I won't go there.  But there is no doubt in my mind that he has greatly exaggerated things.  He has preyed on the fears of an uninformed audience by waving around a resume that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.  Chris hitched his cart to the wrong horse by bringing Gundersen to the site - he flat out blew it on the discussion of the spent fuel pool in Unit #4.  I think now would be a good time to get Rod Adams as a guest speaker on the current state of the accident response at Fukushima Daiichi, but as of yet that suggestion has fallen on deaf ears.

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