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A second reactor containment vessel at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was believed to be emitting radioactive fumes after possibly bursting open, the Japanese government announced today (see GSN, March 15).
The apparent breakage in the No. 3 reactor's containment vessel was announced one day after the nation announced a possible similar breach to the site's No. 2 reactor container, www.globalsecuritynewswire.org...
One set of answers could come from a satellite designed to monitor pollution from east Asia to North America, TERRA, as described by geology.com in this article. This NASA satellite tracks airborne particles, and has the potential to be able to track radiation. In an email response to my inquiry, Dr. Marc Imhoff Project Scientist for the TERRA satellite project at NASA, indicated that TERRA can be utilized to track potentially radioactive plumes, and will if needed.
But the last and best way to monitor the danger is by direct monitoring of radiation. If fallout drifts across the ocean, it must be measured here in the United States to determine the dangers posed, if any. Certainly if fallout does affect the US, we would be alerted.www.associatedcontent.com...
the Fukushima power plant is now a "dirty bomb" waiting to happen. And it's on fire right now. Radiation levels are rising so rapidly that it's not even safe to work near the plant. This is very rapidly headed into a situation where suicidal volunteers are going to have to "rush in" and do some work on the plant, spend only a few minutes there, then evacuate as quickly as possible. And they'll still get cancer.
This is exactly what happened in Chernobyl following the accident there in 1987. Hundreds of brave volunteers basically committed suicide in order to erect the containment vessel over the melted-down reactor and thereby prevent further radiation from escaping directly into the environment. www.naturalnews.com...
nuclear reactors use bundles of enriched uranium packed into stainless steel fuel rods in order to generate the heat that drives the turbines. You need to keep these bundles of pins cool otherwise they melt or burst.
Now, it seems the Fukushima power plant pulled spent fuel bundles (a collection of fuel rods) and stored them on site rather than shipping them to another location. Speculation is that in addition to the fires that are damaging the working reactor, these storage areas of their spent fuel bundles could [now] be on fire. This vastly compounds the problem of any meltdown, as this spent fuel will add to the contamination [because] it is extremely toxic. www.naturalnews.com...
Federal environmental regulators say they are adding more radiation monitors in the western United States and Pacific territories as concerns rise over exposure from damaged nuclear plants in Japan.
The Environmental Protection Agency already monitors radiation throughout the area as part of its RadNet system, which measures levels in air, drinking water, milk and rain.
The cloud is going in the direction of Tokyo for the next 15 to 20 hours or so,” said Gerhard Wotawa, of the Austrian weather service ZAMG and an International Atomic Energy Agency adviser. “Then it will go out toward the Pacific. At some point this will also spread around the world.”
With prevailing winds, Canada and the United States might be first to detect a much diluted cloud. After the so far more serious 1986 Chernobyl disaster, radiation blew around the Northern Hemisphere in about three weeks. One UN study said Chernobyl may eventually be the cause of up to 9,000 deaths, mainly from extra cancers near the plant.
The Pentagon said Wednesday that U.S. forces in Japan are now not allowed within an 80-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima plant, on fears of radiation exposure.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the larger no-go zone for the U.S. military was a precaution and added it was not set in stone. Exceptions could be made, if necessary, with proper authorization.
Asked whether the U.S. military might order troops to enter the no-go zone, or instead seek volunteers because of potential hazards, Lapan said: "No. But again, we're talking about the United States military."
WASHINGTON The White House is recommending that U.S. citizens stay 50 miles away from a stricken nuclear plant, not the 20-mile radius recommended by the Japanese.
The order comes after President Barack Obama met Wednesday with top advisers and the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As late as Tuesday, the U.S. had not issued its own recommendations, advising citizens instead to follow the recommendations of the Japanese.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the move does not signal a lack of confidence in Japan. He says the NRC is using its own data and making its recommendation on how it would handle the incident if it happened in the U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that all the water is gone from one of the spent fuel pools at Japan's most troubled nuclear plant, but Japanese officials denied it.
If NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko is correct, this would mean there's nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down. The outer shell of the rods could also ignite with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area.
Jaczko did not say Wednesday how the information was obtained, but the NRC and U.S. Department of Energy both have experts on site at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex of six reactors. He said the spent fuel pool of the complex's Unit 4 reactor has lost water.hosted.ap.org...
The number 3 nuclear reactor at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi complex is feared damaged and leaking radioactive steam, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano.
While all six of the nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi complex contain dangerous amounts of radioactive materials, the threat of a catastrophic failure at number 3 is particularly worrisome. That’s because No. 3 alone uses a fuel containing plutonium — a toxic metal that, if inhaled, remains in the body and can cause many forms of cancer.
The fuel in No. 3 is a blend of plutonium and reprocessed uranium, referred to as MOX (for mixed oxide) and manufactured by the French nuclear company AREVA. MOX fuel rods are also less stable than plutonium-free rods.blogs.forbes.com...
Independent experts agree. It's an unprecedented disaster spreading globally. All six Fukushima reactors are crippled, four of them spewing unknown amounts of radiation.
On March 15, city officials said levels were 20 times above normal, later stating they'd dropped, downplaying the risk. Government authorities also claimed Fukushima levels were falling. For residents throughout the country, believing them is hazardous to their health, given the gravity of the situation, likely deteriorating, not improving.
In Maebashi, 60 miles north of Tokyo and Chiba prefecture further south, Kyodo News reported radiation levels 10 times normal, perhaps downplaying much higher ones. Even Prime Minister Naoto Kan was alarmed, saying "(t)he possibility of further radioactive leakage is heightening," meaning very likely it reached extremely hazardous levels. Earlier official reports downplayed the danger
U.S. nuclear chief: 'There is nothing preventing meltdown'
French minister: 'Let's not beat about the bush, they've essentially lost control'
Radioactive steam spews into atmosphere from reactor number three
Experts warn that crisis is 'approaching point of no return' as officials run out of options
Emergency crews were forced to retreat from Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant Wednesday after a spike in radiation. The pullback cost precious time in the fight to prevent a nuclear meltdown. (March 16)
U.S Nuclear Regulatory Chairman Gregory Jaczko told a congressional panel that his commission is recommending a larger evacuation radius from Japan's Fukishima nuclear plant than Japan has ordered.
Jaczko described the dire situation at Japan's Fukishima nuclear plant, saying radiation levels at the fourh reactor at that plant are "extremely high." He said the State Department is issuing a new recommendation for U.S. citizens in Japan.www.voanews.com...
The NRC and the NNSA have teams who track how hazardous materials spread through the atmosphere, based on computer modeling and other methods. It was the NRC's revised analysis that led to today's advisory telling Americans to evacuate the area within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Fukushima reactors, or stay indoors if they can't get out of the area.
White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that the NRC's advice goes far beyond what the Japanese government is telling its own citizens — that is, to keep indoors within a 19-mile (30-kilometer) radius of the plant.
For what it's worth, the NRC calls for protective action when projected doses exceed 10 millisieverts (1 rem) or 50 millisieverts (5 rem) to the thyroid. Measurements at the damaged plants rose as high as 400 millisieverts.
The radioactive plume from Fukushima's reactors can't be detected by satellites in orbit, but it can be tracked by the U.S. Air Force's Constant Phoenix WC-135 jets, which are designed to monitor airborne fallout from nuclear weapons tests. Constant Phoenix came into play after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine to sample the air over the Atlantic.....an Air Force spokesman, Maj. Chad Steffey ... confirmed that a Constant Phoenix WC-135 would be sent to sample the air wafting from Japan, in response to a Japanese government request. The planes would be brought from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Steffey said he didn't yet have details about the timing of the operation.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior U.S. defense official told NBC News that Constant Phoenix's involvement was "absolutely" a significant event. "We are using it to help out a nation," the official said. "It's significant.
The United States on Wednesday authorized the first evacuations of Americans out of Japan, taking a tougher stand on the deepening nuclear crisis and warning U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to any part of the country as unpredictable weather and wind conditions risked spreading radioactive contamination. ...
...Senior State Department official Patrick Kennedy said chartered planes will be brought in to help private American citizens wishing to leave. People face less risk in southern Japan, but changing weather and wind conditions could raise radiation levels elsewhere in the coming days, he said. www.msnbc.msn.com...
SPEEDI has disclosed some tell-tale data about cities in Ibaraki prefecture, which is just a hundred or so miles north of Tokyo, and is just south of the ill-fated Fukushima prefecture. And the data is stunning: based on a N, NE and NNE wind direction (where it originates), meaning all coming from Fukushima, with a normal reading in the 80 nGy/h range, the city of Kounosu Naka is at 3,024, Kadobe Naka is at 2,416, Isobe Hitachioota is at 1,213 and many others are in the mid to upper triple digit range! Again, this is based on wind coming out of Fukushima and ultimately headed toward the capital. Indicatively, normal terrestrial plus cosmic gamma radiation is about 80 nGy/h..
Below we present screencaptures as of moments ago, as apparently the Japanese government seems to believe that abnormal gamma radiation levels are perfectly notmal: