Category: Nuclear Plant Incidents


Sick Hanford workers speak out for first time



    Bio | Email | Follow: @SFrameK5

    Posted on April 8, 2014 at 10:49 PM


    Exposure to potentially harmful chemical vapors sent 26 workers at the Hanford Site to a Richland hospital or an on-site medical clinic in the two-week period starting March 19.

    For the first time, two of those workers talk on camera with KING 5 about their experience — and the symptoms and problems they continue to exhibit nearly two weeks after breathing in vapors that vented from underground tanks and pipes that hold vast amounts of toxic chemicals and radioactive isotopes.

    On March 19 health physics technician Steve Ellingson and a partner were near the AY and AZ tank farms at Hanford when they noticed a chemical smell.

    “It got really bad. We could smell it, we could taste it. It has a coppery taste,” Ellingson said. “We both started to have problems with our chest and our throats.”

    They exited the area after the smell seemed to get worse. Afterward, he said he couldn’t get the taste of out his mouth, and he began to experience nausea.

    Over the next few days, Ellingson said he was evaluated at the on-site medical clinic, at a local emergency room and by his own doctor. None could find the cause for his symptoms, which he said worsened after the first day, with lung irritation, violent coughing and fatigue continuing to this day.

    “It’s like I can’t get a good deep breath. It’s like a shallow breath all of the time,” he told KING 5 two weeks after the exposure.

    Becky Holland, also a health physics technician at Hanford, breathed chemical vapors a week later while working with a team at the T tank farm. The group was preparing to shoot video of the inside of one of the waste storage tanks.

    After a riser cover was removed, Holland said the group began to smell fumes. The group moved upwind to escape the smell, but the fumes only seemed to get worse — even workers wearing respirators reported they could smell it. An emergency evacuation order was issued.

    Holland said he began to feel bad immediately. “I started feeling kind of numb, my face, and instant headache,” Holland said. “And then I started shaking really bad and sweating. It scared me.”

    A 28-year veteran of the Hanford Site, Holland said, “I’ve smelled things before. I’ve been exposed to things before, but never been exposed to something or been affected the way that I was [on March 26].”

    Holland was rushed to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. “I was scared. I was shaking. I was profusely sweating and [had] a horrible headache,” she said.

    She was evaluated and released the same day. The headache continued, she said, and the next day she began to experience nosebleeds so severe and persistent that she later had the inside of her nose cauterized.

    “I’ve never experienced anything this bad,” Holland said.

    “I’ve walked through this stuff a hundred times,” said Ellingson, a 22-year Hanford veteran. “I’ve tasted it. I’ve smelled it and it’s never bothered me. But now for two weeks I’ve had trouble and I don’t like it.”

    Cleared for work

    The 586-square-mile Hanford Site is home to 177 tanks holding the waste generated by more than four decades of plutonium production — a messy process that involves using caustic chemicals to dissolve nuclear reactor fuel rods to extract small amounts of plutonium. Twenty-five years after plutonium production ceased at the site, 56 million gallons of highly radioactive chemical waste remains to be treated for long-term storage. The tanks hold chemicals such as ammonia, butanol, formaldehyde and mercury. Much of the waste actively emits gas, which is vented through filters designed to remove radioactive particles. Chemicals, however, often pass through.

    All 26 workers who reported being exposed to chemical vapors starting on March 19 were quickly cleared to return to work by the on-site clinic.


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    Hanford worker exposed again to airborne irritant

    Hanford worker exposed again to airborne irritant

    Credit: KING 5 News

    The HPMC Hanford Occupational Health Service clinic in Hanford’s 200-West Area.


    Bio | Email | Follow: @SFrameK5

    Posted on April 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM


    A Hanford worker who was sickened by exposure to chemical vapors on March 19 was exposed to  another unknown substance Wednesday, prompting a trip to Hanford’s on-site medical clinic.

    Sources told KING 5 that the worker, who missed approximately 10 days of work after March 19 and is under a physician’s order to avoid lung irritants on the job, had trouble breathing after working in an area that was not free of aggravating substances.

    The sources said the worker was taken to HPMC, the on-site medical clinic at Hanford, where he was evaluated, released and declared fit to return to work on Thursday, despite his continued breathing problems. The medical professionals told the worker that he is to stay indoors Thursday and work at a desk, the sources said.

    Twenty-six workers have been transported to the hospital or HPMC after detecting chemical vapors in different Hanford waste tank farms. The Department of Energy and its contractors at the site have insisted that worker safety is a top priority and that the affected workers were evaluated by independent health experts before being returned to duty.


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    Japan Allows Residents To Return To Fukushima Disaster ‘Hot Zone’

    fukushima radiation children

    Toru Hanai/Reuters

    A child is tested for radiation exposure.


    For the first time since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster more than three years ago, residents of a small district 20 km (12 miles) from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home. 

    The Miyakoji area of Tamura, a northeastern city inland from the Fukushima nuclear station, has been off-limits for most residents since March 2011, when the government ordered evacuations after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the power plant.

    Tuesday’s reopening of Miyakoji will mark a tiny step for Japan as it seeks to recover from the Fukushima disaster and a major milestone for the 357 registered residents of the district – most of whom the city hopes will go back.

    But homesick evacuees have mixed feelings about returning to Miyakoji, set amid rolling hills and rice paddies, a sign of how difficult the path back to normality will be for those forced from their homes by the accident.

    Many families with young children are torn over what to do, one city official acknowledged.

    “Young people won’t return,” said Kitaro Saito, a man in his early 60s, who opposed lifting the ban and had no intention of going home yet.

    “Relatives are arguing over what to do” and friends disagree, he said, warming his hands outside his temporary home among rows of other one-room trailers in a Tamura parking lot. “The town will be broken up.”

    Saito said he wanted to go back to his large hillside house in Miyakoji, but thinks the government is using residents as “guinea pigs” to test whether larger returns are possible.


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    Japan Gives Residents All Clear To Return To Fukushima Disaster “Hot Zone”

    As we reported last night, Japan’s economy may once again be relapsing into a slowing phase, perversely well in advance of the dreaded sales-tax hike which many expect will catalyze Japan’s collapse into another recession as happened the last time Japan had a tax hike, but that doesn’t mean its population should be prevented from enjoying the heavily energized local atmosphere buzzing with the hope and promise of imminent paper-based “wealth effects” for those long the daily penNikkeistock rollercoaster…. and just as buzzing with copious gamma rays of course. Which is why for the first time in over three years, since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, residents of a small district 20 km from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home. Because if the honest Japanese government says it is safe, then so it must be.

    But how is this possible?

    Just recall, as we reported in December citing SCMP, that the incidence of Thyroid cancers had surged among Fukushima youths. It took the government a few days of contemplation before spinning this deplorable revelation as one which blamed not the coverup surrounding the Fukushima fallout, but – get this – the fact that children were getting sick because they were not going out enough!

    Mindboggling as it may be, this is precisely the kind of ridiculous propaganda one would expect from a flailing authoritarian regime, with a crashing economy, and a demographic collapse with no credible options left except to goose the manipulated market higher… The kind of propaganda that is now being used to give the “all clear” to move back to Fukushima!

    From Reuters:

    The Miyakoji area of Tamura, a northeastern city inland from the Fukushima nuclear station, has been off-limits for most residents since March 2011, when the government ordered evacuations after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the power plant. Tuesday’s reopening of Miyakoji will mark a tiny step for Japan as it seeks to recover from the Fukushima disaster and a major milestone for the 357 registered residents of the district – most of whom the city hopes will go back.

    Because children need to be outdoors, mingling with the high energy radiation, to avoid the dreaded consequences of being locked indoors of course. Still, not everyone is a complete idiot:


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    Published on Mar 27, 2014

    Error suspected in spent fuel removal trouble
    TEPCO officials say a worker mistakenly tried to operate the crane with an auxiliary brake on. Noticing the error, he released the brake and retried, but the crane failed to operate once the warning lamp had gone on.

    Govt.’s new plan for Fukushima waste storage sites
    Japan’s government has shown Fukushima officials a new plan to build interim storage facilities for contaminated soil and other radioactive waste.
    The plan calls for reducing the number of towns to host the facilities in Fukushima Prefecture from 3 to 2, following demands by local governments.

    Water treatment system halted again
    The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has halted one of the 3 lines of the key water treatment system at the complex.
    Tokyo Electric Power Company says the line of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, was suspended on Thursday morning after workers found possible signs of abnormality in the water to be fed into the facility.

    TV: More workers rushed to hospital at U.S. nuclear site — 17 sickened in past week — Former Employee: “It’s pretty scary… to have this many in 8 days is really abnormal” — Company: We’re trying to understand what’s happening (VIDEO)…

    Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”…

    Reports: “Experts agree many species of wildlife and fisheries are endangered globally due to large release of radioactivity into ocean” at Fukushima — “Has Fukushima radiation entered New Zealand ecosystem?”…

    [100m3 overflow] No information obtained about a potential suspect / Tepco practically give up investigation…

    Tanks are decontaminated by human workers getting inside…

    Tepco “There may be multiple sources of groundwater contamination”…

    Japan Defends Retaining Large Stockpile of Plutonium…

    The Fukushima Fallout
    Hunting for Hope Amid the Ocean’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster Ever…

    [ALPS] Entire system shut down → Reboot → New leakage → Shut down again…

    [100m3 overflow] Tritium density in groundwater spiking up 60m east from the overflowed tank…

    M5.4 hit South part of Japan on 3/26/2014 / Possible aftershock not recorded by Meteorological Agency for some reason…

    Texas nuclear disposal site steps in to store WIPP-bound waste…

    TV: US Senators want federal agents near WIPP to check if safe; “A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse” — Public “skeptical whole truth about environmental risks shared” — Report: “It will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good” (VIDEO)…

    Fissile Materials…



    Oregon Public Broadcasting

    Hanford Fumes Lead Some Workers To Seek Medical Attention

    Northwest News Network | March 25, 2014 6:31 p.m.


    Anna King, Northwest News Network


    Some workers from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s tank farms were transported to a Richland hospital Tuesday morning.


    Many employees have been complaining of feeling ill after smelling chemical vapors this week.

    Hanford is home to large underground tanks grouped into herds called “farms.” They contain a toxic brew of 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge and industrial chemicals — the leftovers from plutonium production during WWII and the Cold War.

    This past week, several batches of workers have complained of smelling vapors during their normal operations. Some of them were examined at Hanford’s own medical center. But two sickened workers were sent to Richland’s hospital and released later.

    Washington River Protection Solutions, the company that employs these tank farm workers, acknowledges that Hanford tanks do generate vapors that are vented into the air. The company says it has safety procedures in place and is monitoring the vapors in the farms.


    Full Washington River Protection Solutions statement:


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    Published on Mar 26, 2014

    Trouble stops fuel removal at nuclear plant
    Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool at a reactor building in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
    Tokyo Electric Power Company said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building.
    The utility explained a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel units from the storage pool suddenly halted before lifting the cask. Workers were attaching a hook to the crane’s wire at that time.
    The company says no rise in radiation levels have been observed around the pool.
    Workers are now trying to find out what caused the problem.
    TEPCO began removing fuel units from the storage pool of the No.4 reactor in November of last year. The pool held 1,533 units of fuel, of which 1,331 are highly radioactive spent fuel.
    As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool.

    Japan faces challenges on nuclear material
    Japan faces a number of challenges in reducing its stockpiles of nuclear material to prevent its exploitation by terrorists.
    Japan agreed in a joint statement with the United States on Monday at the Nuclear Security Summit to return stocks of plutonium provided by other countries for research purposes in the 1960s.
    The supply includes 331 kilograms of plutonium from the US used for fast critical assembly experiments.
    The United States is collecting nuclear material to prevent terrorists from acquiring it.
    Japan also maintains a stockpile of about 44 tons of plutonium recycled from spent nuclear fuel.
    The amount would be enough to make about 5,500 bombs according to calculations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    The plutonium is meant to be used as fuel for nuclear power generation, but the accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has put all reactors in Japan offline.
    Japan also lacks a law requiring background checks for workers at nuclear facilities.

    Leaders aim to minimize nuclear material stocks
    World leaders have agreed to try to minimize stocks of weapons-grade uranium and other sensitive materials as a way to counter nuclear terrorism.
    Leaders from more than 50 countries adopted a communique at the end of the 2-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Tuesday.
    The Hague communique also calls on nations to keep their stockpile of plutonium to the minimum level. It urges political and financial support for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    Japan announced at the summit that it will remove all highly enriched uranium and plutonium from a research facility and hand them over to the United States for disposal.
    Japan has used the materials for research on a fast reactor with cooperation from the US.

    Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return…

    Nearly a dozen Hanford employees sick from unknown fumes…

    N.Korea fires ballistic missiles
    South Korea’s defense ministry says North Korea fired 2 ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan early on Wednesday morning.
    Ministry officials say the North launched the missiles from an area north of Pyongyang.

    Blockage cleared for Fukushima water bypass…

    NRC Events…

    How safe is the DOE’s WIPP nuclear dump when sinkholes open in New Mexico?…

    Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”…

    Federal oversight chair questions safety at Carlsbad’s WIPP nuke dump…

    Nuclear reactor threatened by cuts…

    The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry



    Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US

    Published time: March 24, 2014 17:37
    Edited time: March 26, 2014 12:07

    Reuters/Gleb Garanich

    Reuters/Gleb Garanich

    Japan agreed to transfer a share of its highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium stockpiles to the US as part of the global effort to secure nuclear materials. Other nations are also urged to deposit excess nuclear materials in the US.

    On the eve of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US and Japanese leaders arranged a deal on “final disposition” in the US of well over 300 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that will be “sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms.”

    This quantity of plutonium is enough to produce 40-50 warheads. The total quantity of HEU currently stocked in Japan is estimated at approximately 1.2 tons. According to The New York Times, some 200 kilograms of HEU is currently designated for the US.

    After Barack Obama announced in Prague in 2009 an ambitious agenda to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the American president has been pressing his foreign counterparts, both in Asia and Europe, demanding they either get rid of their excess nuclear materials via the US, or tighten security of stockpiles at home.

    Two more countries, Belgium and Italy, have also agreed to hand over excess nuclear materials to the US and issued separate joint statements with the White House, Reuters reported.

    “This effort involves the elimination of hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material, furthering our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials,” US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement released by the White House on Monday.

    There is no information whether the deal between Japan and the US has a financial side; nuclear materials, of course, have a solid market value.


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    Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”

    Published: March 26th, 2014 at 1:27 pm ET

    U.S. Radiation Leak Concerns Mexicans, by Kent Paterson,  Editor of Frontera NorteSur and Curriculum Developer with the project of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Mar. 24, 2014: Serious problems at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have caught the eyes of the press and government officials in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico [Population: 2.5 million]. [...] Since February 14, additional radiation releases [from WIPP] connected to the original one have been reported, even as more workers are still awaiting test results for possible radiation exposure during the first event. Although Ciudad Juarez is located nearly 200 miles from WIPP, city officials expect to meet with U.S. government representatives on March 26 or 27 to discuss ongoing issues from the February 14 incident. A story in El Diario newspaper said that Ciudad Juarez (and neighboring El Paso and Las Cruces) were well within a transnational evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster. While WIPP spokespersons say that the radiation releases have been minimal and pose no danger to public health, Mexican officials are anxious to hear the message in person. [...] Despite U.S. and Mexican government reports of little or no radioactive contamination from the WIPP leak, public doubts about the gravity of the February 14 incident persist due to incomplete contaminant data reporting, the slowness in getting all the potentially exposed workers tested and informed, spotty or contradictory statements by regulatory officials, and uncertainties over the origin of the radiation leak and how far an area it has impacted. [...] Back in the 1990s, Ciudad Juarez and U.S. environmentalists from the Rio Bravo Ecological Alliance took a stand against WIPP based partly on concerns that the underground storage facility would eventually contaminate the Pecos River Basin and the Rio Grande.


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      Daily Herald Tribune

    Local science project finds high levels of radiation in seaweed

    By Elizabeth McSheffrey, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune

    Grade 10 Composite High School student Bronwyn Delacruz shows off her Geiger Counter, a handheld detector that measures ionizing radiation in certain food products.  Elizabeth McSheffrey/Daily Herald-Tribune<br /><br />
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    Grade 10 Composite High School student Bronwyn Delacruz shows off her Geiger Counter, a handheld detector that measures ionizing radiation in certain food products. Elizabeth McSheffrey/Daily Herald-Tribune

    When Bronwyn Delacruz started testing seaweed in her living room last August, she made an incredible discovery: Something unexpected may be lurking in Canadian waters.

    The Composite High School Grade 10 student has found disconcerting radiation levels in seaweed products from local grocery stores and is concerned for the health of families who may be consuming them.

    Her research on the subject recently earned gold at the regional Canada-Wide Science Fair in Peace River, garnering her a spot at the national competition in Ontario this May.

    “I think any dose of radiation can be harmful,” she explained. “Any dose can cause negative health effects, no matter how small it may be.”

    Delacruz tested more than 300 individual seaweed samples, with 15 brands exported from New Brunswick, British Columbia, California, Washington, China and Japan.

    Each was purchased in an Alberta grocery store, and evaluated for radiation levels using a Geiger counter.

    “I just wanted to see if it was contaminated and I did find radioactive contamination in it,” she said. “I’m kind of concerned that this is landing in our grocery stores and that if you aren’t measuring it, you could just be eating this and bringing home to your family.”

    Radioactivity is measured in becquerels (Bq), and 0.5 Bq per square centimetre is widely considered an actionable level of contamination.

    Delacruz said one Bq is equivalent to 1,450 counts over a 10-minute period, and many of her samples tested well over this amount.

    “Kelp was higher than what was considered dangerous,” she explained. “Some of them came up to 1,700, 1,800 (counts).”

    The student’s research delves further than surface measurements however, and speculates a cause for the unusual counts.

    In March 2011, Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami that led to the meltdown of two Fukushima nuclear power plants.

    Delacruz believes the current has carried dangerous radiation from Japan’s east coast to Canada’s portion of the Pacific Ocean.

    From April 2011 to October 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tested more than 250 samples of imported foods from Japan, including fish and seafood, processed product, grain, fruit and vegetables.

    None of the samples posed a health risk to consumers, it said, based on a Health Canada action level of 1,000 Bq/kg.


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    Japan Nuclear Crisis: Information for Canadians Regarding Imported and Domestic Food

    Following the March 11 earthquake in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) took several measures to assess and protect the Canadian food supply from potential effects of Japan’s nuclear crisis. In coordination with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other government and international partners, the CFIA implemented enhanced import controls, which did not allow food and animal feed products from affected areas in Japan to enter Canada without acceptable documentation or test results verifying their safety.

    The CFIA also launched a sampling and testing strategy to monitor radiation levels of imported food from Japan, domestic milk and domestic fish off the coast of British Columbia. More than 200 food samples were tested and all were found to be below Health Canada’s actionable levels for radioactivity. As such, enhanced import controls have been lifted and no additional testing is planned.


    British Columbia

    Nevertheless, the CFIA continues to monitor events in Japan and assess any potential impacts on Canada’s food supply. Canadian officials continue to collect and assess intelligence from Japanese officials, Canada’s mission abroad and international authorities. Domestically, atmospheric monitoring continues and Health Canada continues to regularly monitor for radionuclides in food sold in Canada through its Total Diet Study. This would include imports from Japan. As well, Japanese controls on the sale of contaminated product remain intact.

    Additional Information

    Date modified:



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    Published on Mar 25, 2014

    Fishermen approve groundwater diversion plan
    A federation of fishermen in Fukushima prefecture has approved a plan to divert groundwater away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and into the sea.
    The government and the plant’s operator –Tokyo Electric Power Company — developed the scheme as a measure to manage the increasing volume of radioactive water at the plant.
    Every day, about 400 tons of groundwater flows into the reactor buildings and becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to cool the melted nuclear fuel.
    Under the plan, groundwater will be brought above ground with pumps and released into the sea, bypassing the reactor buildings.
    The government and TEPCO estimated the method would reduce the volume of contaminated water by about 100 tons per day. They asked local fishermen to consider the plan.
    The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations gave its approval and conveyed the decision to the government and TEPCO officials at a meeting in Iwaki city on Tuesday.
    Fisheries co-operatives in Iwaki and Soma cities had already approved of the plan.

    Abe vows to take lead for better nuclear security
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to play a key role in promoting nuclear security. He says Japan learned a lot from the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
    He made the remarks at a plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday. 53 leaders are taking part.
    Abe said Japan will continue its efforts domestically and internationally to strengthen measures for nuclear security. He said the country will advance nonproliferation and disarmament worldwide and work towards the abolishment of nuclear weapons.

    Reactor maker execs to serve decommissioning body
    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will appoint senior industry officials to a new division tasked with decommissioning.
    Tokyo Electric Power Company will launch the internal division, separate to its power generating business, on April 1st.
    The new body will specialize in decommissioning the nuclear plant and dealing with a massive buildup of contaminated water.
    TEPCO says senior officials from Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will work as executives to advise the body’s top official.
    The 3 makers are helping to deal with problems at the troubled plant, such as developing robots to operate in high radioactivity and removing spent nuclear fuel.
    TEPCO hopes that by inviting the personnel, the new body can make better use of their expertise.
    TEPCO and the Japanese government plan to start removing fuel from the most damaged reactors in 6 years at the earliest.

    TEPCO restarts water treatment system
    Engineers at Tokyo Electric Power Company have restarted a key water treatment system at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Two of the 3 lines of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, were suspended on Monday after workers found water leaking from one of the storage tanks.
    The workers changed the packing on a side hatch of the tank. They resumed operation of the 2 lines on Tuesday afternoon after confirming that no water was leaking.

    Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return…

    Radioactive water from Fukushima nears Pacific…

    Radiation Alert! Northern Plains Radiation Higher Than Fukushima…

    Radiation Expert: 5 types of plutonium were released from WIPP; Officials not informing public — Caldicott: “I predict that facility will never be able to be used again”; Inhaling a millionth of a gram of plutonium will induce lung cancer…

    Navy to test Treasure Island homes for radiation…

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    MissingSky101 MissingSky101·

    (CC)Fukushima Fallout: Ailing U.S. Sailors Sue TEPCO After Exposure to Radiation P2-2

    MissingSky101 MissingSky101

    Published on Mar 20, 2014

    Part 1 of 2 Fukushima Fallout: Ailing U.S. Sailors Sue TEPCO After Exposure to Radiation 30x Higher Than Normal

    Three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, scores of U.S. sailors and marines are suing the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, for allegedly misleading the Navy about the level of radioactive contamination. Many of the servicemembers who provided humanitarian relief during the disaster have experienced devastating health ailments since returning from Japan, ranging from leukemia to blindness to infertility to birth defects. We are joined by three guests: Lieutenant Steve Simmons, a U.S. Navy sailor who served on board the USS Ronald Reagan and joined in the class action lawsuit against TEPCO after suffering health problems; Charles Bonner, an attorney for the sailors; and Kyle Cleveland, sociology professor and associate director of the Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University’s Japan campus in Tokyo. Cleveland recently published transcripts of the Navy’s phone conversations about Fukushima that took place at the time of the disaster, which suggest commanders were also aware of the risk faced by sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan.…

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    missingsky102 missingsky102

    Published on Mar 12, 2014

    *Just In* Scientists Raise Alarm: “Radioactive metal from Fukushima” detected in Pacific Northwest — Concern for impact on humans, west coast ecosystems — Continuing contamination crossing ocean, not going away soon — “A surprise… This is an international issue… Gov’t should be doing something”…

    Radiation surge detailed in 2011 accident
    Data recorded by radiation monitoring posts near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant show the environmental radiation level rose sharply 1 hour before a hydrogen explosion took place at the plant.
    14 monitoring posts around the plant recorded the radiation level every 20 seconds after the plant was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th of 2011.
    Data recorded by one of the monitoring posts, located 5.6 kilometers northwest of the plant, show that the radiation level began surging after 2:10 PM on March 12th.
    At 2:40 and 40 seconds, the post measured 4.6 millisieverts per hour, the highest level of the day. That was about 1 hour before a hydrogen explosion occurred at the No.1 reactor of the plant.
    The data suggest the accumulated doses of radiation would have reached 1 millisievert in about 20 minutes. 1 millisievert is the annual exposure limit for ordinary people.
    Masamichi Chino, senior researcher at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, says the rise in the environmental radiation level may have been caused by an emergency operation to protect the No.1 reactor by reducing pressure within the containment vessel. Tokyo Electric Power officials began the so-called vent work at around 2:00 PM.
    The vented air was released after going through water to reduce the amount of radioactive cesium. The step is intended to reduce the substance to 1 thousandth of its original level. But the measure may not have been effective.
    Chino says the data can help researchers investigate how radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere and study the effectiveness of the venting process.

    US nuclear expert calls for strict safety measures
    A US nuclear expert has stressed the need to prepare for accidents at nuclear power plants, saying there is no way to completely prevent them.
    A former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, spoke to NHK in Tokyo on Tuesday, the 3rd anniversary of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
    Jaczko noted that the plant is still releasing radioactive materials through contaminated water.
    He said someone who is considerate of people’s health and the environment should lead the workers at the plant. He also called for thorough explanations to be given to the people who had to leave their homes.
    Jaczko said nuclear plants in Japan are less likely to have accidents thanks to the new safety measures that were introduced after the Fukushima disaster.

    Official: Japan will be ruined if public doesn’t realize they’re being exposed to Fukushima radiation — “99.99% of the people are being sacrificed” — Rest of world will be taken down too (AUDIO)…

    THREE YEARS AFTER: Majority of Japan’s nuclear reactors face bleak future…

    ‘Inadequate equipment, workforce for Fukushima decontamination’…

    Japan’s Lower House speaker voices opposition against nuclear energy at 3/11 memorial…

    Sendai nuclear plant expected to be one of the first to go back online…

    A nuclear reactor designed to burn up surplus Cold War plutonium has been closed by the US Department of Energy. Initially it was meant to cost $1bn. So far it has cost $4bn. To complete and operate would cost $25-34bn.…

    All WIPP employees will help in cleanup of nuclear site
    Dept. of Energy approves recovery plan for site of nuclear waste repository…


    Radiation threat at Fukushima is real, 300 tons of radioactive water daily pours into Pacific - energy activist

    Anti-nuke sentiments are simmering in Japan as the nation prepares to mark the third anniversary of Fukushima disaster. Thousands of people flooded the streets of capital Tokyo on Sunday to voice their anger at the nuclear power industry and the government’s plans to restart some of Fukushima’s dormant reactors. For more on this topic, the Voice of Russia has talked to Harvey Wasserman, author of numerous books and editor of website.

    On March 11, 2011 the deadly 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami struck Fukushima in the northern Japan triggering the triple reactor meltdown and explosions that tainted much of Fukushima Prefecture with radioactive materials. The tragedy claimed the lives of about 16 thousand people and left over 2 thousand still unaccounted for.

    Three years ago a disastrous tsunami and earthquake killed nearly 19000 people and set off the nuclear crisis in Japan. Did the region manage to recover from the catastrophe? What are the current results of its recovery?

    It’s never really recovered and the radiation threat is still very real at Fukushima, there were three meltdowns and four explosions, there are thousands of very highly radioactive elements scattered around the side and every day some 300 tons of radioactive water pours into the Pacific ocean. One public radio station in the US has called it “a post-apocalyptic event” and the treat for the world ecology is very serious. We believe that all nuclear reactors should shut down and we should convert to renewable energy as fast as possible.

    Have you heard of this recent news about Fukushima that the government is soon to allow people to return to Fukushima area, those who lived around it, when a lot of the people that have heard of this in Japan are a bit upset because they do know that the levels of radiation near Fukushima are still way above normal. Have you heard of this?

    Yes, this is a very pro-nuclear administration in Tokyo, very dangerous and very irresponsible. It is pushing to open reactors that shouldn’t open. I was in Japan in the mid 1970s and the population warned very strongly against building Fukushima, against building reactors in an earthquake and tsunami zone. Builders of Fukushima even took down a natural 85-foot high seawall to build these reactors right at sea level which is responsible for much of the destruction. But the radiation is going all through the Pacific ocean, we don’t know the effects it will have but they are not good and it is extremely unpopular and in Japan the idea of reopening some of the old reactors- this must stop. This is a threat to the health of the entire world.

    Absolutely, I agree with you. I do understand that there is of course economy is at stake here and paying out to the unfortunate people that have suffered through this disaster near Fukushima and paying out the necessary money as subsidies to the crisis is not the smartest move so perhaps that is why the Fukushima administration government is allowing people to m0ve back to their homes near Fukushima which could be another reason. The nuclear catastrophe had a great impact on the environment. What are the main consequences? And what have been done so far to struggle against them? Is it possible that the region will be safe to live in the future?

    There is really nothing that can be done. As you know the Chernobyl reactor in what now is Ukraine is still not covered with the sarcophagus to prevent radiation from leaking even though it happened in 1986. The attempt to bring the disaster at Fukushima under control is still not anywhere near finished three years later when huge amounts of spent radioactive fuel rods to deal with at Fukushima and no real way to do it. We are essentially helpless in the face of this disaster and yet more reactors stay on earthquake folds in tsunami zone not only in Japan but around the world including the US. The danger is horrific but the corporate investments are very high and therefore the Abe Administration and other administrations don’t want to shut the reactors but if we are to survive on this planet, these nuclear power plants must be closed.

    Harvey, would you develop a little bit on geothermal and wind energies and of course solar energies? Do we have enough technology these days to actually switch to alternative means for energy development?

    The most important of the new technologies is photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight to electricity. I believe photovoltaics will be the biggest industry in the history of the world, they will cover all our buildings, out vehicles, our machinery and convert the power that we need. We do have major breakthroughs in wind, in bio-fuels, in geothermal, ocean thermal, other forms of renewable energy are coming on very strong and yet they are very clearly superior to nuclear and even to fossil fuels. And we must make what I call a ‘solartopiantransition’ or we are simply not going to survive on this planet and the good news is that these technologies are good for the economy, they create jobs and they come in more cheap certainly than nuclear power and other sources as well. So there is good news here, but in order to get there we have to shut the atomic power plants.

    What are the dangers that the western coast of North America is facing due to the fact that the Pacific ocean is right there?

    Well, airborne radiation came to the US within four days, it took ten days to get here from Chernobyl but inevitably we live on a small planet and this radiation goes all over the world and there is really no escaping it. There is now indication that the first waterborne cesium from the ongoing flood of contaminated water at Fukushima will be reaching the west coast in this summer. And that is the terrible thing. It is something that we have to take very seriously.

    As ex-Californian myself I will definitely tell my friends to prepare. What is the name of that technology you just spoke about?

    Photovoltaic cells, you know the solar panels that you see on roof tops. Ford has actually come out with a car now that has photovoltaic cells on the roof to get electricity from the sun as the car drives. This will be everywhere, photovoltaic cells will take over the world if we can’t preserve it long enough by shutting the commercial reactors.

    Harvey, thank you so much for such an insight on all of this.


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    Published on Mar 12, 2014

    Japan ex-Prime Minister: Fukushima very close to ‘China syndrome’ — First time in history where melted fuel “burned through, leaking to outside of container” — Reactor melted down 4 hours after M9.0 quake (VIDEO)

    Interview with Japan’s former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Mar. 11, 2014: the night of that first day of March 11, what I was being told, being reported, was that the water levels were safely above the level of [...] fuel rods [...] however, now we know that actually the measuring equipment to measure the water level was broken at that time. Only 4 hours after the earthquake occurred [...] it experienced meltdown in the reactor one. And even through the container of thickness 20 centimeters, there was actually a hole being burned through, and melted fuel had been actually leaking through to the outside of the container. And now we know this information, that this was happening at 7:00 p.m. approximately on that day. But at the time, none of this information was accurately conveyed to me. And this was actually the first incident of an accident where a hole in the pressure container had been created. [TMI's reactor] wasn’t gone to the extent of actually having a hole in the container and leaking through in this way. So the Fukushima accident was the first accident to actually melt down in this kind of way. And it was a situation very close to what we call perhaps the “China syndrome.”…

    Ex-Japanese PM on How Fukushima Meltdown was Worse Than Chernobyl & Why He Now Opposes Nuclear Power
    Three years ago today a massive earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coast, resulting in an unprecedented nuclear crisis: a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. As Japan marks the anniversary with continued uncertainty around Fukushima’s long-term impact, we are joined by Naoto Kan, Japan’s prime minister at the time. It’s rare that a sitting world leader changes his position completely, but that’s what Kan has done. He explains how he came to oppose nuclear power while still in office, as he weighed Tokyo’s evacuation. “It’s impossible to totally prevent any kind of accident or disaster happening at the nuclear power plants,” Kan says. “And so, the one way to prevent this from happening, to prevent the risk of having to evacuate such huge amounts of people, 50 million people, and for the purpose, for the benefit of the lives of our people, and even the economy of Japan, I came to change the position, that the only way to do this was to totally get rid of the nuclear power plants.”…

    Chomsky: From Hiroshima to Fukushima, Vietnam to Fallujah, State Power Ignores Its Massive Harm
    World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky traveled to Japan last week ahead of the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis. Chomsky, now 85 years old, met with Fukushima survivors, including families who evacuated the area after the meltdown. “[It's] particularly horrifying that this is happening in Japan with its unique, horrendous experiences with the impact of nuclear explosions, which we don’t have to discuss,” Chomsky says. “And it’s particularly horrifying when happening to children — but unfortunately, this is what happens all the time.”

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