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More than two years after a 9.0 earthquake and estimated 45-foot tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan and caused a triple meltdown, Oregon State scientists have continued finding a slight fingerprint of radioactive particles in local albacore, which migrate throughout the Pacific. (Tests on sardines and herring haven’t shown any traces.)
The levels are so infinitesimally low, the researchers say, that a person would need to eat 4,000 pounds of albacore a year just to increase their average annual dose of radiation by 1 percent. “It’s not going to be anywhere close to being a food safety impact,” said Delvan Neville, a radiation health physicist at Oregon State, who’s testing the fish. (He still eats seafood.)
The radioactivity measured in fish is far too slight to register on a Geiger counter, Neville said. Its detection says more about the sensitivity of scientists’ testing equipment, Neville and other researchers said, than it does about the threat to public health.
Concerns along the coast have come as the recovery at Fukushima has haltingly advanced, plagued by accidents, contaminated water spills and leaks. While Tokyo Electric Power Company workers on Monday began removing fuel rods from one reactor that didn’t suffer a meltdown, the cleanup is expected to take years. Miscalculations and other mistakes at Fukushima have left Norris doubtful that the problem is fully understood. Scientists haven’t tested all fish, he said.
Fish in the 1980s and 1990s were actually more radioactive because of those weapons tests than those found today with traces of particles from Fukushima, Neville said.
The trace radioactive particles found in albacore are cesium isotopes, most likely released during the meltdowns immediately following the earthquake and tsunami, said Kathryn Higley, head of Oregon State’s nuclear engineering and radiation health physics department. (She hasn’t stopped eating fish, either. “Oh God no,” she said.)
Computer simulations show the melted fuel in Unit 1, whose core damage was the most extensive, has breached the bottom of the primary containment vessel and even partially eaten into its concrete foundation, coming within about 30 centimetres (one foot) of leaking into the ground.” We just can’t be sure until we actually see the inside of the reactors,” Yamana said. “We still need to develop a number of robots and other technology.”
Three Mile Island needed only a few robots, mainly for remote-controlled monitoring, sampling and handling debris, as the melted fuel remained in the core. Manned entry was possible a little more than a year after the accident. Some experts say Japans current decommissioning plan is too ambitious.
They counsel waiting until contamination levels come down, and even contemplate building a shell around the reactors for the time being, as at Chernobyl.” I doubt if Fukushima Dai-ichis full decommissioning is possible. Its contamination is so widespread,” said Masashi Goto, a nuclear engineer who designed the Unit 3 reactor and now teaches at Meiji University in Tokyo.
It Looks Like a Big Kitty Litter Box....
- Purple Chive
Research scientists with the USGS made the observations at the start of their 2012 field-work season. USGS observes polar bears annually in the southern Beaufort Sea region as part of a long-term research program. This bear population ranges from Barrow in Alaska east to the Tuktoyuktuk region of Canada.
Observations last summer of unusual numbers of ringed seals hauled out on beaches along the Arctic coast of Alaska, and later on, of dead and dying seals with hair loss and skin sores, led to declaration of an Unusual Mortality Event by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on December 20, 2011. Based on observations of Pacific walruses with similar skin lesions at a coastal haulout in the same region during fall, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined the UME investigation. Most walruses exhibiting skin lesions appeared to be otherwise healthy, and whether the symptoms observed in the seals and walruses are related is unknown. Since the initial reports from northern Alaska, ice seals with similar symptoms have also been reported in adjacent regions of Canada and Russia and from the Bering Strait region. Despite extensive testing for a wide variety of well known infectious agents, the cause(s) of the observed condition in walruses and ice seals remains unknown. Advanced testing techniques for unidentified infectious agents is continuing as well as further testing for potential causes including man-made and natural biotoxins, radiation, contaminants, auto-immune diseases, nutritional, hormonal and environmental factors.
My bolded above. Does this mean that they have altered the pictures due to "National Security" ?
Photo taken on November 21, 2013
Photo taken by Tokyo Electric Power Company
*These photos include information concerning physical protection, etc. and therefore include altered parts.
For all this, it is worth reading what Naomi Hirose, Tepco's latest president, had to say in an interview with the Guardian. What happened at Fukushima, he said, was a lesson to the world: "Try to examine all the possibilities no matter how small they are, and don't think any single counter-measure is foolproof." In hindsight, one tiny detail, such as waterproof seals on doors, would have saved everything. Is the unthinkable being thought as Britain plans for a new generation of reactors?
Fukushima prompted the UK's Office for Nuclear Regulation to conduct a safety review in which Mike Weightman, its chief inspector, concluded there were no fundamental safety weaknesses, although his report identified 38 areas for improvement. Is the review, as the independent nuclear analyst John Large maintains, a whitewash? Would UK reactors, as he contends, not survive an hour without power?
Documents released under freedom of information rules showed that all eight coastal nuclear locations in the UK, including Hinkley Point, were at risk of flooding and coastal erosion, which would worsen with climate change. The point here is not whether we need nuclear power. It is whether the nuclear industry in Britain is learning from disasters. Is it coming clean about all the risks associated with the venture?
reply to post by wishes
Lead engineer on reactor vessel #4.
Says a manufacturing flaw resulted in the vessel being out of round.
Hitachi used jacks to bend it to the correct size.
Engineer felt this damaged the integrity of the vessel. Hitachi used it and did not investigate even after the flaw was exposed and the government became involved.
Let's all thank God it was off line and we may never know if it would have failed!
At 10:00 AM today (on November 21), we resumed a hot test for the System B of the multi-nuclide removal equipment after we completed the corrosion preventions and preparation concerning the System B of the multi-nuclide removal equipment (ALPS).
After resuming the hot test, we went on a patrol, and confirmed no abnormality such as leakage etc. Around in the end December, the treatment operation will be temporality stopped for the purpose of validating the effectiveness of the corrosion prevention. We will operate two out of three systems in order to enhance the operational rate of the two-system operation, and will start the three-system operation as soon as ready.