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NewsFeed ... Elevation to Level 7 Event ... Workers have started the process of removing highly radioactive water in the plant ...  Experts urge external cooling system.. No abnormalities in pumping or power for Fukushima post 6.3 quake  ...  More than 150,000 people have been displaced  ... Images of evacuation zone ... 1:08 AM 04 13 11 JNI Combined Sources

This is another clearinghouse diary for discussion and commentary about the ongoing nuclear disaster(s) in Japan.   For updated information on news and a timeline of the events following the March 11 Japanese Earthquake, visit the Mothership.  The Mothership is updated regularly and also provides a more extensive list of news and data sources, social media, crisis mapping and other relevant information.

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Overview of events - April 12-13 JST

Japan yesterday elevated  the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor site from a Level 5 to Level 7, the highest level incident. This established Fukushima as the most serious nuclear event since Chernobyl. Although the amount of radiation released by the Fukishima meltdowns is not as high, the ongoing release of radioactivity from the four reactors elevates the crisis. In yesterday's news conference, officials announced that 10,000 Terabequerels per hour of radiation were emitting from the plant for a period of hours.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a level seven incident is characterized by a major release of radiation with widespread health and environmental effects. A five-rated event is a limited release of radioactive material, with several deaths from radiation. The scale is designed so the severity of an event is about 10 times greater for each increase in level.

"The difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima is this - Chernobyl had a massive explosion and spread a large radioactive cloud over much of Europe very quickly and it looks as though the Fukushima incident is not going to do that, although there is some in the atmosphere that has been released." NISA spokesman, Hidehiko Nishiyama

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Radioactive strontium detected more than 30 km from Fukushima plant

TOKYO, April 12, Kyodo

Minute amounts of radioactive strontium have been detected in soil and plants in Fukushima Prefecture beyond the 30-kilometer zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the science ministry said Tuesday.
It is the first time that radioactive strontium has been detected since the Fukushima plant began leaking radioactive substances after it was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
There is no safety limit set by the government for exposure to strontium, but the amount found so far is extremely low and does not pose a threat to human health, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said.
Experts, however, expressed concern that the accumulation of strontium could have adverse health effects. When strontium enters the human body, it tends to accumulate in bones and is believed to cause bone cancer and leukemia

Mayors in Fukushima disillusioned with nuclear safety myth: poll h/t peraspera
 (Kyodo News)

Most heads of the 12 municipalities within a 30-kilometer radius from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture say they have become disillusioned with the myth of the safety of nuclear power generation and called for a drastic overhaul of Japan's atomic energy policy, according to a recent poll by Kyodo News.
Asked about how to go about the reconstruction of areas affected by the nuclear crisis, about half the mayors surveyed indicated they cannot begin to think about rebuilding unless the situation at the plant is settled.

Live away from home is ‘unbearable’ h/t ricklewsive
The Japan Times
It gives some idea of the stresses.

According to the National Police Agency, more than 150,000 people have been displaced by the disaster. A tally by Kyodo News found that about 35,000 people mostly from Fukushima Prefecture have fled to other prefectures. [I believe some 70,000 were thought to formerly live in the 20 km zone]
...
Asked to pick three issues that worry them most, 53 percent cited money (for living expenses), 50 percent chose work and 40 percent said housing.
Some 30 percent said they were worried about their houses and assets, 28 percent they were concerned about their health and their family members, while 25 percent said they were fretting over education for their children and grandchildren.
The Japan Times
"The leakage (from the reactors) has to be stopped. Leaking means the water inside the reactors is decreasing. So the water has to be replenished, and then it leaks again. This cycle has to be stopped," said Hisashi Ninokata, professor of nuclear reactor engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
...
Some experts, including Ninokata, have started floating the idea of temporarily building a brand new external cooling system for the reactors, given the daunting task of removing the deadly water in the building housing the RHRS. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/...
Experts urge external cooling system

Some Japanese Evacuees Brave Radiation Fears to Briefly Return Home

In Namie - about 15 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant - a dog crossing the main intersection is initially the only sign of life.  The traffic lights still cycle
between red and green.  But, within the space of an hour, only a few cars pass through the intersection, paying no heed to the signal.

The virtual silence is only broken when a powerful aftershock rattles the already damaged downtown buildings and the pavement rumbles. Elsewhere in Fukushima prefecture, the tremor knocks out power to thousands of homes and temporarily forces a halt to repair work at the damaged reactors.

Passing through Namie on Tuesday is a man who only identifies himself as a 48-year-old air conditioning specialist at Reactor 1 of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.  He says he felt compelled to return home to retrieve his personal seal, required to stamp legal documents.

The Namie resident says police at a roadblock tried to convince him not to return home, even for a short time.  But he says he knew today might be his last chance before the off-limits notice becomes legally enforceable.  He predicts that is inevitable, now that the nuclear disaster has been deemed a Level Seven on the international nuclear
incident scale.

"I live about 30 min northwest of Tokyo... scary day today. My wife and I felt no less than 6 earthquakes. The big one mentioned in the article really was huge, I was in a Mr. Donut (like a Dunkin Donuts) and the whole place really was shaking. The first one woke me up in the middle of the night. And with every earthquake, the question hovers in the air... did the nuclear plants get through it, or do we need to shelter from radiation in our apartment for the next few weeks? So we turn on the TV and wait for a statement from the nuclear plants... which you have to trust, there's nothing else you can do besides move. This situation is pretty unbelievable... 6 earthquakes in one day is really more than enough.  NYT Community Comments
4:14 pm PST 12 April

Japan Nuclear
Higher resolution version of image

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STATUS UPDATES: 4/12 JST

10,000 Terabequerels per hour of radiation were emitting from the plant for hours
In an article indicating that Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5, Kyodo News revealed that

the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.
--snip--
Haruki Madarame, chairman of the commission, which is a government panel, said it has estimated that the release of 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour continued for several hours.
Japan's government called for evacuations Monday from several towns beyond the danger zone already declared around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, warning that residents could receive high doses of radiation over the coming months...
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the municipalities are likely to see long-term radiation levels that exceed international safety standards, and he warned that the month-old crisis at Fukushima Daiichi is not yet over.
"Things are relatively more stable, and things are stabilizing," he said. "However, we need to be ready for the possibility that things may turn for the worse."
The decision announced Monday does not create a wider radius around the plant...Instead, "if there are areas in the northwestern parts where there is a risk of exceeding 20 millisieverts as a cumulative dose over a one-year period, the area will be designated an evacuation area even if it is beyond the 30-kilometer area...
--snip--
Five towns  and cities to the north and west of the plant -- Katsurao, Kawamata, Namie, Iitate and parts of Minami Soma...[are to evacuate]
Residents of five other areas -- in Hirono, Kawauchi, Naraha and parts of Tamura to the south, and the rest of Minami Soma -- were told they should be prepared to clear out soon...
(h/t Kurious)

Procrastinator john who is in Japan offers the following perspective and observation:

Expansion of the evacuation zone a month after the earthquake means two things. First, the situation is much, much worse than they have been saying for a month. Second, the ability to maintain a stance of denial has just about been wrung out of the agencies involved.
NISA has completely and utterly lost credibility in this mess, but it is likely that its parent ministry METI was a huge driving force in NISA's denial. In that context, I think Just Bob's comment above is dead on: METI is going to sacrifice NISA.
The Mainichi Shinbun has this map in an article from yesterday about the areas of Fukushima outside the 30 km zone that will have to be evacuated.
There are areas on the map that range from red to yellow in color, and the scale at the bottom of the map explains the colors. Red is a cumulative exposure of over 200 millisieverts by March 11 of next year (the one year anniversary of the earthquake). Yellow is 30 millisieverts cumulative exposure.
I suspect that the reality of this data is behind upgrading the crisis to a level 7 today. h/t Procrastinator john

Interactive Greenpeace Map:  Fukushima evacuation zone expanded

Our field radiation monitoring teams have wrapped up a second round of data collection outside of the exclusion zone that surrounds the stricken Fukushima nuclear complex: one investigating health threats and testing food and milk and the other is looking at surface contamination. Based on the radiation levels found, we are calling for the greater Fukushima area to be given official protective status and for the evacuation of pregnant women and children from high risk areas in Fukushima City and Koriyama.

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Sinister seven: what Japan's new nuclear crisis rating means h/t mahakali overdrive

Minoru Oogoda of Japan's Nuclear Industry and Safety Agency (NISA) told the Associated Press that his country had updated the severity level to seven "as the impact of radiation leaks has been widespread from the air, vegetables, tap water and the ocean".

(snip)

... the total amount of radiation released in Japan may exceed Chernobyl, spokesman for plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Junichi Matsumoto said at a news conference today.

Japanese nuclear safety agency officials said the radiation released so far was estimated to be around 10 per cent of that from Chernobyl 25 years ago.
But they fear the total amount of radiation released in Japan may exceed Chernobyl, spokesman for plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Junichi Matsumoto said at a news conference today.

NHK Radiation levels exceed permissible limit  h/t there but for fortune

Hiroshima University Professor Kiyoshi Shizuma says most of the radiation observed in Fukushima is believed to be radioactive cesium that has fallen to the ground.

A few days ago a group of researchers went to the area near Iitate and took extensive measurements of the air and five soil samples. Their report (in Japanese) is here. Kiyoshi Shizuma is the third researcher on the list. His statement about cesium is based on measurements the team took in Iitate on March 29.
The two prominent isotopes he is talking about are Cs-134 and Cs-137. See the table on p. 5 of the PDF. The y-axis on the table is dose rate in μGy/h (logarithmic scale), and the x-axis is the level of radiation after so many days (with 100 as the maximum). The Iodine isotopes and Cs-136 (plus a few others) will be gone by 100 days. The only remaining radiation will be Cs-134 and Cs-137.
The PDF of the report has some maps that may be worth a look, even if you can't read Japanese.
For a little bit about the methodology they used, see my comment here h/t procrastinator john

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TEPCO tardy on N-plant emergency h/t rja

The Yomiuri Shimbun
This article has a timeline which lays the blame entirely on TEPCO.  It claims that Prime Minister Naoto Kan kept trying to get TEPCO to vent the Unit 1 reactor, but TEPCO kept delaying the venting.

USGS h/t siri

6.0
Date-Time
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 05:07:42 UTC
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 02:07:42 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
37.112°N, 140.578°E
Depth
10.6 km (6.6 miles)
Region
EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances
27 km (16 miles) WNW of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
36 km (22 miles) SSE of Koriyama, Honshu, Japan
72 km (44 miles) S of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
175 km (108 miles) NNE of TOKYO, Japan
Location Uncertainty
horizontal +- 12.8 km (8.0 miles); depth +- 5.1 km (3.2 miles)
Parameters
NST=490, Nph=497, Dmin=221.5 km, Rmss=0.95 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source
USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID
usc0002p47

April 11 JST (Combined Sources)

There was a small fire that was quickly extinguished in an outbuilding near reactor #4.  It apparently started in batteries stored in the sampling room.  TEPCO is investigating the cause.
Kyodo News

An eathquake of 7.1 magnitude caused the water injection to have to be shut off for 50 minutes earlier today.  This has been restarted, and TEPCO states that no additional damage has been observed. Transfer of contaminated water that was set to begin today has been delayed until Tuesday.Kyodo News (h/t Siri)

NISA METI have not published a new status update for data covering the time since Apr. 8th.  The Fukushima data page has not been updated since the 9th.  No explanation has been given for this slowdown in release of data.  MEXT data on environmental levels of radiation are up to date and indicate that although the radiation levels in Fukushima Prefecture remain high, there have been no obvious new spikes since nitrogen injection into reactor unit 2 began on Apr. 6th.

Today's Choice: Best MSM Overview

BBC NEWS: Fukushima: What happened - and what needs to be done

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SPRING ACTIONS FOR A NUCLEAR FREE WORLD

Coverage @ Kos 4/9-4/11

Citisven: German Town Shows How to Achieve Nuclear Free Future
HoundDog: Japan Will Raise the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Rating to Level 7 on 4/11 (PLS READ: REC LIST as of 11:05 PST)
GlowNZ: One Month
Finehelen10: Uranium Conference Adds Discussion of Japan Accident
Radical def:Fukushima: Greenpeace Urges Wider Evacuation Zone
Nathguy: Fukushima: The Failure was Deliberate indifference and the NRC knew and Lied.
Rock Strongo: Heartbreaking Video from Japan Nuclear Evacuation Zone

Please visit ROV 45 for news, discussion and analysis as well as Coverage@Kos from Friday through Sunday.



Regularly Updated Data Sources


@Kos: A database of temperature, pressure, radiation levels, etc readings over time can be found in: The Daiichi Database  This is an evolving diary that will be updated regularly.
Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF)
RSOS Emergency & Disaster information Services - Japan
Daily Telephone Media Briefings from Union of Concerned Scientists
Energy.gov: The Situation in Japan
EPA RadNet Map View & EPA's Radiation Air Monitoring
Scribble Live
Fukushima Data Page:  Data for all 3 reactors, as well as a good chunk of data over time: pressure, water flow, core nozzle temp, core bottom temp
Japan Municipal Water Charts  (in Japanese)
• Google Crisis Response Page

*New background source:Fleep: Graphing Earthquake, Radiation and Water Data in Japan 3/11 through 4/9  

The Radiation Graphs are made from data from monitoring posts setup by the Prefectural Offices, TEPCO and NISA. I am focusing on these as they are only in Japanese and provide a different view on the MEXT Radiation Data that everyone else is graphing. Please note that the graphs do have different scales depending on the data. All Radiation readings are converted to μSv/h for consistency. 3/11 through 4/9

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Best News Sources

Kyodo Nuclear News Feed
GreenAction Fukushima Update
NHK Japan Live
OilDrum: Fukushima Open Thread - Tue 3/29
Asahi on Facebook
Reuters
Fukushima Wikispaces
Fukushima Wikispaces Tweet Feeds AND Fukushima Wikispaces Newsround up
Google Earth Engine (download required): Radiation Over Japan. Visit Pachube for mapping.

Rules of the Road

Due to extensive coverage, Coverage@KOS is including diaries covering two-day periods. All coverage is then archived to the group page.

You can assist us in including relevant diaries by providing links to any postings we may have missed to insure they are included in this coverage. Also, note below if diaries are being reposted to other groups so we can direct readers there as well.

Please be kind to kossacks with bandwidth issues. Please do not post images or videos. Again, many thanks for this.

Remember when posting to the thread:  STICK TO THE FACTS. Source and link all new information.  (This includes insuring authenticity of twitter sources.) Both the Mothership and the ROVs are for reporting and discussing the developing news. Neither space is for opinions or for editorializing on the subject of nuclear energy.

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Follow the Japan Nuclear Incident group for 24/7 coverage. Click on heart next to the group name to follow. After following the group, you can access coverage through your personal stream. To join the group, send an email (sidebar to the right).

Originally posted to Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  going in to add some updates.... nt (10+ / 0-)
  •  Can I not have a nuclear power plant, please? (17+ / 0-)

    This whole ongoing discussion about energy sources is so frustrating, when it's clear that what we really need to do is not just work on throwing all of our best talent (and money for their work) into energy sources that are not about burning things (including radioactive things), but also working on our own species, and that means all of us, everywhere, giving everybody the chance to feel secure so we stop growing as a species, in numbers, and backtrack gradually, grow smaller in numbers, so that we are sustainable.

    Will that happen? I doubt it. I love you guys, but I'm a pessimist.

    Bad shit will happen. That's guaranteed at that point.

    But the more people who realize what is really going on, how we are really failing...the higher the chances that people will organize to turn it around.

    This wasn't what they told me about in kindergarten. That it would become reduced to a bunch of caring, smart bloggers spending a lot of time doing good work, and an equally large amount of time feeling like they were pissing in the wind.

    Yeah, I know. There are all of you out there on the ground, too. You rock.

    But this David & Goliath stuff is pretty thin fare. Can we really fix it by gradually undermining the entire culture and thus the economic structure?

    Do we have another choice, anymore?

    The revolution will not be televised. -V-

    by Miep on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:55:10 PM PDT

    •  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, (14+ / 0-)

      committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

      Often attributed to Margaret Meade - let's hope it's true in this case.

      •  I know the quote (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, rja, peraspera

        I didn't think it was Mead...oh, here from Wikiquote:

        Disputed

           

        Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

                Widely attributed, e.g. And I Quote : The Definitive Collection of Quotes, Sayings, and Jokes for the Contemporary Speechmaker (1992), edited by Ashton Applewhite, Tripp Evans, and Andrew Frothingham
                No contemporaneous source is known. Ralph Keyes, in the introduction to The Quote Verifier (2006), p. xvi, gives this as an example of situations where derivative sources merely cite each other and no one knows the original source.

        The revolution will not be televised. -V-

        by Miep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:12:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fertility rates are collapsing globally (9+ / 0-)

      One of the most stupefyingly persistent myths that get repeated over and over, especially in the west, is that the world faces  unstoppable population growth.

      In fact, if you read actual demographic studies from international bodies, the biggest demographic challenge the world faces is that fertility rates are collapsing pretty much all over the world.  

      This is a result of several factors: increased rights of women, lowered infant mortality (which ironically causes birth rates to fall, as parents realize they don't have to have many children to assure that some reach maturity), widespread availability of cheap birth control, and the intrusion of markets and money into family decision making.

      Every few years the UN projects global population growth and each time the estimates actually confound the demographic community by being lower than expected.  It was long assumed that population would plateau and then begin to decrease, but what's shocking is the ever decreasing estimate of what the plateau will be.  I think the worrying original estimates of plateau were around 20 billion, but fell to 16 billion and fell again to the current 12 billion.

      Malthusians have been proven wrong in every generation since Malthus first wrote, but that doesn't stop modern Malthusians from worrying about "overshoot" of population.  In fact, economically, the biggest overshoot problem is the overshoot of decreased fertility.  China faces not having enough workers to support the elderly because of the one child policy and as the NY Times reported recently, they are desperately trying to eliminate legal obstacles to more than one child, but one child is now the norm and incentives to have children don't work.  Japan faces an even worse demographic collapse.  So does western Europe.  No place faces a more daunting, catastrophic demographic collapse than Russia.  The US would face demographic collapse as well if it weren't for our high rates of immigration.  Even parts of Africa, where the infant mortality/contraception revolution have just started, are facing drastic declines in fertility.  Even urban Ethiopia is now at below replacement level fertility.

      The real issue isn't population.  It's ecological footprint.  A north American has a carbon and ecological footprint that is about 60 times that of a sub-Saharan African.  Rather than worry about birth rates, we should worry about cars, plastics, coal fired power plants and nuclear waste.

      •  sorry to disagree (7+ / 0-)

        i  hope you are right about falling reproduction rates.

        that would be one the best things that could happen.

        worrying about the elderly not having enough young people to care for them is something that i would  not worry about at all.

        i am one of those aging people.  i would gladly be neglected for the sake of the planet and the future.

        unfortunately, i will be neglected so the top 1% can have all the pie.

        I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

        by BlueDragon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:46:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not just to care for them (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja, mamamedusa

          If you are lucky, then as an elderly person you have social security or maybe a pension.  I'm saying globally, the most fortunate elderly people have some system like that.

          But those systems are only funded if there are working people -- whether it's public or private.  

          Social security needs younger workers paying social security taxes.

          Private pensions and savings need younger people making money for the companies that issue the stocks and bonds that are invested in pension funds and that pay out income that funds the pensions.

          Without sufficient younger people the system will collapse.  We need, eventually, a lower population, and that's what the demographers say is going to happen and is already happening.

          But we need it to happen along a gentle curve, or otherwise elderly people will either have to work until they die despite disabilities, or they will starve.

      •  You are right because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, HamdenRice

        worrying about birth rates doesn't solve anything. But I'll stand fast here and say that I think this planet's ecology would be better off with about one tenth the human population it currently has, even if we were all well off and much more stabilized.

        You are also right about relative ecological footprints.

        These are all big numbers and big vectors. What's important is getting together and agreeing on what the real problems are. I have no quibble with your comment, just a response.

        The revolution will not be televised. -V-

        by Miep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:15:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I share your concern about the size of the plateau (0+ / 0-)

          If I sounded snarky about Malthusianism, it's because I had a long running debate on another forum about it and the posters there thought that the best policy was to let poor people in the third world, especially Africa, starve because food "only makes them breed."  I know that's not what you're saying.

          I think that the reason international development experts no longer focus much on population growth is that it's a problem that has been solved -- to the extent we can solve it given the expected plateau numbers.  The only way the Malthusians can get a "better" result is to actively campaign for people to die.  

          The biggest challenge is ecological footprint.  The second is bringing the women's rights/contraception/infant mortality revolution to the last remaining places where it hasn't happened.

  •  They got hit with another quake (23+ / 0-)

    Only a 6.0 this time but the workers have been evacuated. (I can't believe I just said only a 6.0)

    http://www.reuters.com/...

    (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co said workers and engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants had been ordered to evacuate after a quake hit northeastern Japan on Tuesday.

    The company is checking the status of the two plants and details are not yet clear, a Tokyo Electric spokesman said.

    Hundreds of workers and engineers are at the nuclear complex to restore functions damaged by the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami.

    Japan Atomic Power Co. said there were no irregularities at its Tokai Daini nuclear plant after the quake.

    Tohoku Electric Power Co. also said there were no irregularities at its Onagawa nuclear complex in northeast Japan.     (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

    Kyodo News Crawl is reporting no abnormalities in pumping or power for Fukushima

    USGS

    6.0
    Date-Time
    Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 05:07:42 UTC
    Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 02:07:42 PM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location
    37.112°N, 140.578°E
    Depth
    10.6 km (6.6 miles)
    Region
    EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN
    Distances
    27 km (16 miles) WNW of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
    36 km (22 miles) SSE of Koriyama, Honshu, Japan
    72 km (44 miles) S of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
    175 km (108 miles) NNE of TOKYO, Japan
    Location Uncertainty
    horizontal +- 12.8 km (8.0 miles); depth +- 5.1 km (3.2 miles)
    Parameters
    NST=490, Nph=497, Dmin=221.5 km, Rmss=0.95 sec, Gp= 29°,
    M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
    Source
    USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID
    usc0002p47

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/...

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:57:21 PM PDT

  •  I was checking the news (18+ / 0-)

    and ran into articles about how Japan is now upgrading this to a Chernobyl-sized disaster, i.e. grade 7 of 7.

    So I came here to see if anyone was blogging about it. Thanks for blogging about it.

    The revolution will not be televised. -V-

    by Miep on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:13:36 PM PDT

  •  This timeline blames TEPCO, not PM Kan (23+ / 0-)

    DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE
    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    This article has a timeline which lays the blame entirely on TEPCO.  It claims that Prime Minister Naoto Kan kept trying to get TEPCO to vent the Unit 1 reactor, but TEPCO kept delaying the venting.

    TEPCO tardy on N-plant emergency

  •  More info on the latest aftershock (18+ / 0-)
    The quake hit at 8.08am (0908 AEST) off the coast of Chiba prefecture, just east of the capital. Japanese experts said there was no chance of a tsunami.

    There were no immediate reports of fresh damage, including at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which has been releasing dangerous radioactive materials since it was damaged by the March 11 tsunami, Tokyo Electric Power Co said.

    Subway services in Tokyo temporarily stopped but resumed operations shortly afterwards.

    The runways of Narita international airport in the prefecture were temporarily closed for checks but since reopened, Kyodo News said.

    The limited shinkansen bullet train services running to the northern region since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami were briefly interrupted.

    I think it's ok to breathe now.

    Have a good night everyone. see you tomorrow!

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:20:52 PM PDT

  •  Guardian article half an hour ago (21+ / 0-)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    Here in Carlsbad, New Mexico, we have been apprised that traces of radiation from Japan have been detected locally.

    http://www.currentargus.com/...

    I was living in Massachusetts during Chernobyl. My then-boyfriend and I were really worried about whether we should just pack up and drive west, to get away from the radiation.

    No one else seemed worried.

    Now, these decades later, living here alone, and hearing this news...it gives me a sense of connection. Yes, Japan. What happens to you is not on another planet from what happens to me.

    I write this metaphorically, more than as any kind of attempt to analyze radiation drift.

    The revolution will not be televised. -V-

    by Miep on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:21:18 PM PDT

    •  The Fallout of Fear and Anxiety Is Widespread (12+ / 0-)

      especially in Japan where their reality was already pulled from beneath them with the giant earthquake and even more giant tsunami struck a month ago.

      The handling of crisis communications by both the government and TEPCO have amplified that fallout by their many failures to follow generally accepted principles of crisis communication.

      I remember reading descrpitions of  the 1918 global pandemic, and much like we see now fear advances before the disaster like the bow wave of a ship, especially when public statements of leaders conflict with the reality all around you, when the threat is indiscriminate, invisible and largely unstoppable, and when the images of the disaster's awful impact come into your neighborhood or into your own home (as they now do through our television and computer screens.)    

      In 1918, fear moved ahead of the virus like the bow wave of a ship.  Fear drove the people, and the government and the press could not control  it.  They could not control it because every true report had been diluted with lies. And the more the officials and newspapers reassured, the more they said There is no cause for alarm if proper precautions are taken, or Influenza is nothing more than old-fashioned grippe, the more people believed themselves cast adrift, on an ocean of death.  

      So people watched the virus approach, and feared, feeling as impotent as it moved toward them as if it were an inexorable, oncoming cloud of poison gas. ...
      ...
      And everytime the newspapers said, Don't get scared, they frightened.

      And back then, as now, there was also honor and courage displayed by ordinary people.  John Barry introduces his description of those acts of uncommon goodness and heroism with this:

      Albert Camus wrote, "What's true of all the evils in the world, is true of the plague as well.  It helps men rising above themselves.  

      The Great Influenza:  The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John Barry (From the Chapter entitled "The Tolling of the Bell".

      The circumstances are different, but there are lessons that can be gained from the near-universal failure of governments to communicate effectively with their citizens during that event, and the emotional injury and the critical loss of the public's trust  and erosion of their willingness to rely on statements of their leaders (both public and private).

      There are also lessons to be learned from the examples of quiet heroism of ordinary people facing the threat of death to "rise above themselves" to work where work is needed and give aid where people are suffering.

      Lessons to be learned by all of us from the hundreds of Japanese who day-in-and-day-out for a month have done battle with this beast in their desperate continuing attempt to keep that beast from breaking its bonds and laying waste to their country and the region beyond.  

      If the leaders of business and government (in Japan or anywhere around the world) need reassurance of the ability of their fellow citizens to "handle bad news" and "not to panic", they need only look to these Japanese workers at the Fukushima plant, the families of those workers and the thousands of other Japanese who are fighting the larger, overshadowed disaster still threatening the life and health of the direct victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami that together opened this chapter of history.      

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:08:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's the deal with this now? (11+ / 0-)

    Do they have a plan to finally resolve this, or is this something that is only going to be steadily controlled but with ongoing releases for months or years?

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:25:33 PM PDT

    •  Months or years (17+ / 0-)

      ...all of the scenarios I've read span a great deal of time. Furthermore, it seems likely that Fukushima and environs will never be inhabited again (by young people, at least). There was talk of removing and replacing the soil, but the increasing contamination levels make clean-up unfeasable.

    •  The most optimistic scenario I've seen (24+ / 0-)

      is that it will take 6 months to get the situation at the plant under control. That was by the president of Toshiba, one of he manufactures of the original equipment. The president of the other major manufacturer, Hitatchi, which worked with GE, suggested it would take over a year to stabilize the plant. That seems like a more realistic view. One the plant is stabilized, it will take at least 10 years to decommission it. It took something like 15 years to decommission Three Mile Island.

      Here's part of a comment I wrote this morning, about a report in the Sankei News (Japanese):

      Here are the last sections of the discussions of the four reactors in the Sankei article, where they lay out the practical problems still to be overcome.

      About unit 1:

      A plan has surfaced to cool the reactor core by "submersing" it, filling with water the containment vessel that encloses the reactor core, but the drawback is that pressure will rise inside the containment vessel.
      About unit 2 (analysis of the problem at unit 3 is similar):
      The "retained-heat removal system," which cooled water by circulating water at a stable temperature so it exchanged heat with seawater, is feared to have been damaged in an explosion and because of radiation leaks no one can go near it so it is difficult to repair.

          For that reason a plan to rebuild the system outside the reactor building has gained support, but they have not been able to come up with a concrete plan. There is also a proposal to recirculate back into the reactor contaminated water that is leaking out, but it would be a difficult job because it would be necessary to remove the high levels of radioactivity.

      About unit 4:
      ...there is an urgent need to restore a system that circulates the water that is injected into the pool [this is also needed in the spent fuel pools in 1-3].

          Moreover, there is the problem of whether the spent fuel can be removed from the pool and stored safely. Since high levels of radioactivity will be emitted when the spent fuel is removed from water, it will be necessary to carry out the work inside the reactor building remotely, but it is possible that the explosion damaged not just the building but also the crane and other equipment, so they are under pressure to come up with a method for removing the spent fuel.


      •  On #4, (10+ / 0-)
        Since high levels of radioactivity will be emitted when the spent fuel is removed from water, it will be necessary to carry out the work inside the reactor building remotely, but it is possible that the explosion damaged not just the building but also the crane and other equipment

        Didn't one of the videos of a helecopter fly-by show that the crane in #4 had fallen?  They were speculating that it had fallen onto the fuel, possibly damaging the fuel.

        I'm very glad you posted this here.  I'd have missed this little detail

        A plan has surfaced to cool the reactor core by "submersing" it, filling with water the containment vessel that encloses the reactor core, but the drawback is that pressure will rise inside the containment vessel.

        That seems the plan Siri was speculating about and the SAMG indicated -- fill the drywall up to the level of the vent.
        I was wondering what effect that would have on pressure.  I'm still wondering how long this would effectively cool it.  It seems the water would heat up without circulation.  It would have to be replaced with fresh water, and the waste would be contaminated.  Maybe I'm misunderstanding the process, though.

        6 months seems optimistic to me.

        "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

        by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:00:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  These are the only fly-by photos I can find (8+ / 0-)

          From April 10:

          http://cryptome.org/...

          Still, very daunting level of destruction.

        •  There is also the issue (5+ / 0-)

          of seismic instability for the containments to be flooded to that level. IOW, any of the 6+ aftershocks could crumble the things. If I recall reports from a few days ago, that was the reason they decided to go with nitrogen instead.

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:36:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  About unit 4 (7+ / 0-)

          I think the article was using typically understated Japanese. What it really means is that the crane and other equipment have been damaged, but the extent of the damage has not been officially verified yet so they can't state it as a fact. It's pretty obvious to the people who have been following the situation that the equipment in unit 4 cannot be used, and if that's the case it will be next to impossible to remove the spent fuel. That is a sobering thought.

          About unit 1, I don't understand nuclear reactors at all, but the problem of pressure seems very important. The plan they are talking about in the article is similar to what Siri was describing, and if the article is right then the "late accident mitigation strategy" of flooding the containment vessel might not work. In other words, their best option doesn't look practical.

          As for Joieau's comment, I've been wondering about the structural integrity of the various reactor buildings. If we are already seeing water leaks from several buildings, then isn't it likely the buildings are damaged? The combined stress of the original earthquake, the tsunami, hydrogen explosions, and aftershocks must have taken a toll. Existing damage to the buildings must be an important limiting factor on the "mitigation strategies" they can use at this point.

          •  Possibility (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peraspera
            by procrastinator john:
            As for Joieau's comment, I've been wondering about the structural integrity of the various reactor buildings. If we are already seeing water leaks from several buildings, then isn't it likely the buildings are damaged?

            Water leaks could be a sign of damaged piping systems or damaged floor / wall penetrations (aka - fire or radiation seals) that would leak like a sieve even if the building was intact.

            This type of damage to me seems more possible in that the Turbine building is getting highly radioactivity, when it shouldn't be. . .

            Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

            by Gilmore on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:04:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A Problem of Units (6+ / 0-)

    The definition of a Becquerel explicitly means "radioactive decay events per second."  Thus to say Becquerels/Hr cannot possibly be correct usage.  That would be like saying that a car goes 60 MPH/year.  Apparently this originated in the source material, but we should probably recognize the error and work around it rather than repeat it verbatim.

    "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    by craiger on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:27:51 PM PDT

    •  perhaps divide by 3,600 then. (5+ / 0-)

      10,000 terabecq/hr would equal 2.8 terab/sec then.

      I do wonder if there's a way to deduce the amount of actual material which is radioactive, the literal number of particles of a size you don't want to inhale or ingest, from the becquerels.


      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:56:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But "terab" already means "per second" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, HoundDog
        10,000 terabecq/hr would equal 2.8 terab/sec then.

        So why would you divide it by seconds again?

        But the correct way to report this would seem to be to say 2.8 TBq was released for several hours.

        But 2.8 is less scary than 10,000, I suppose, so that wouldn't do.

    •  TBq/hour (15+ / 0-)

      ... is actually correct in this case.    It means that each hour a quantity of material was released that had an activity of 10000TBq.   After 3 hours, you have released 30000TBq/h.    Then a month at 1TBq/h gives 730TBq for a total of around 30730TBq released.    Actually the news story was vague about the levels between now and then so we don't know the shape in between.

      Spread evenly over 1 acre:
          30730TBq/1acre*1.6E-12*Sv/hour/Bq*m^2 = 12.149629 Sv/hour

      Spread evenly over Fukushima Prefecture:
          30730TBq/13782km^2*1.6E-12*Sv/hour/Bq*m^2 = 3.5675519 microSv/hour

      Spread evenly over Japan:
          30730TBq/377944km^2*1.6E-12*Sv/hour/Bq*m^2 = 0.13009335 microSv/hour

      Much of that would have been short lived isotopes.  And some went out to sea.

      A little reminder (not directed at you):  bequerrel is abbreviated "Bq" and sievert is abreiated "Sv", capitalized exactly as shown.  Not becq or svrt or b or s.

      •  Yes, this is correct (8+ / 0-)

        For comparison, Chernobyl released an estimated 1,760,000 TBq of iodine-131, 85,000 TBq of cesium-137, and 6,000 TBq of plutonium-241 (among many other isotopes).

        For a full summary of radioactive releases from Chernobyl, see: http://oberon.sourceoecd.org/...

        O povo unido jamais será vencido

        by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:07:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So that's actually 90000TBq/h? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog
        After 3 hours, you have released 30000TBq/h

        Because if you multiply 30000 per hour, times 3 hours, that's what you get . . . .  so, now we're up to 9 times the amount originally reported, all by playing with the numbers.

        I agree with craiger that this is a really strange - and almost certainly incorrect unless the intent to totally obfuscate things - way to report the radioisotope release.

        •  Ugh, that should simply say 90000Tbq (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          middleagedhousewife, HoundDog
        •  TBq/hr is *correct* (13+ / 0-)

          10,000 TBq means "an amount of material that produces 10,000,000,000,000,000 radioactive decays per second."  This amount of material was released into the environment in one hour, hence 10,000 TBq/hr.  (So, whitis should have said 30,000 TBq in 3 hours, not 30,000 TBq/hr.)

          It's not done to obfuscate radioactive release - it's done to try to normalize the amount of radioactivity under discussion.  Using grams, for example, doesn't indicate that iodine-131 produces much more radiation than cesium-137, which produces much more radiation than plutonium-239, etc.  Using Bq, you can get a better idea of just how active these materials are (or were at the time of release).  

          O povo unido jamais será vencido

          by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:43:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It seems meant to obscure things (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SLKRR

            there are plenty of units available to measure radioisotopes, many of which do not have a time-dependent term built in already . . . .

            And I agree grams isn't the best unit for sure, but what about curies?   According to a handy radiation converter I just accessed on line - and I may have used incorrectly - this amounts to 0.00000027 teracuries . . .. .  you see that number and you're not quite as freaked out!

            Either way, the measurement still doesnt' account for the different emmission (both in type and strength) emanating from the different isotopes.

            •  If you're trying to get a handle on actual (10+ / 0-)

              environmental levels, I made a chart which I posted in the last diary of uSv/hr in the six monitored obvious hot spots in Fukushima prefecture over time. You can find this here.
              Background on the data:
              (1) These are all taken from the MEXT data (http://www.mext.go.jp/...) which are posted several times per day.
              (2) These spots are located 20-40 km from the plant, most at ~30 km.
              (3) These spots are not necessarily the only hot spots, they are just ones that are near monitoring stations.
              (4) The data only begin on the 17th (for some spots, even later, and the original event was likely the explosion on the 15th.  
              (5) Most of Fukushima prefecture, especially south of the plant, is not that contaminated, although significantly above background -- background is normally ~0.04-0.05 uSv/hr there.
              Go to the original MEXT source for the other "cooler" areas and look at the pdfs for Mar 17 on for radiation levels closer to the time of the accident.
              Hope that helps.

              "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

              by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:13:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, I was just commenting elsewhere (7+ / 0-)

                that a comparison with natural background levels would be really helpful!!

                •  So what are we supposed to be thinking about the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rja

                  release rate falling to "only" 1 teraBq/hour?  

                  Is this coming from unstable reactions in the core?  Fire in the spent, fuel rod pools, new leakage out of the reactors, or residual decay of the radioactive water?

                  And, does this mystery have anything to do with the comment by the TEPCO official that they fear, the total radiation release could surpass Chernobyl, before it's over?

                  Was that just an abundance of caution, on the possibility, they may be pouring water over the core, for 100 years, or is this a potential clue, that something bigger is still going on?

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:26:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  curies (9+ / 0-)

              Curies are an obsolete imperial unit replaced by Bq.  While once defined as the activity of 1g of radium, it is now defined as 37GBq.

              I did add an extra per hour on the 30000TBq number.

              Other than that typo, there is nothing inherently wrong with per second per hour when it is appropriate.   Units like per second per second are seen with second derivatives, like acceleration.   Gravity, an acceleration, is 9.80665 meters per second per second.  

              And, yes, you could even have TBq/h/h if you ere describing the rate of change of fallout being spewed into the environment.

              Conversion from Bq to sieverts involves various adjustments for the particle types and quantity, self absorption, and the exposure geometry.   I used a conversion factor for a standing person exposed to cesium deposited on the ground.    Far more error would be in the uncertainty of the 30730TBq number since we don't know the shape of the release profile (release amounts over time).

              •  I don't think this applies (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog
                Units like per second per second are seen with second derivatives, like acceleration.  

                as an aside, as a high school student, I appreciated learning that the unit for per second per second per second (i.e., acceleration per second) was "jerk"  - we had fun for a few days telling each other "you stupid acceleration per second!")

                Back on topic, I am quite sure that for TBq/h - you are not actually measuring the change over the hour or parts of the hour - i.e., you are not taking the derivative but instead the integral, so to speak,

                More accurately it seems this should be written something like (disintigrations) divided by seconds then divided by hours - which would result in multiplication by the second time term.  Which seems to be what is being done here.

                •  but you are measuring change (6+ / 0-)

                  Hour 0:   0TBq in the environment  (excluding natural and legacy sources)
                  Hour 1: 10,000TBq
                  Hour 2: 20,000TBq
                  Hour 3: 30,000TBq
                  Thus the rate of change during that interval is 10,000TBq/h.  

                  We are measuring quantities of material by their activity as a way of normalizing against the huge variations in the activity of different isotopes.  We are interested in their activity since that is what makes them scary.   But activity declines over time (so does mass since after decay it is some other material).

                  •  Going back to your example of (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HoundDog

                    speed/acceleration - it really seems that was you are adding up over time here is analagous to distance

                    Which is speed * time - similar to what you just showed in your example (where "speed" = "rate of change")  - no wheres does a term analogous to acceleration come into play in your example (which would be if the 10,000 TBq/h was ramping up or down during the one hour time period).

                    Thinking about it, acceleration is NOT distance per second per second.  It is distance per second squared (which is a seemingly minor, but absolutely critical, distinction . . .).

                    •  Speed/acceleration (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mattman, craiger

                      Speed in this analogy would be the number of decays... if the material is decaying at a constant rate, that is analogous to a constant speed.  However, the number of decays per second is going up... it is accelerating.  TBq/h is measuring the rate of change in the number of decays per second.

                      Distance per second per second is the same as distance per second squared, BTW.  You are only squaring the denominator (the "per second"), so they are equivalent.

                      O povo unido jamais será vencido

                      by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:07:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, this is equivalent to distance (0+ / 0-)
                        However, the number of decays per second is going up...

                        in the speed analogy.

                        The only way that acceleration would apply in this example is if the rate of release increased from say, 10,000 TBq/h to 15,000 TBq/h the first hour, from 15,000 to 20,000 the second hour, and so on.

                        That would be an acceleration of 5,000 TBq/(h^2)

                        If that happened during the 3 hour time period the total amount released would be

                        First hour = 12,500 TBq released
                        Second hour = 17,500 TBq released
                        Third hour = 22,500 TBq released
                        Total = 52,500 TBq released

                        Or you could use the formula d = vt = 0.5*a*t^2 to get the same answer . . .

                        •  Believe what you want... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Roadbed Guy

                          ;-)

                          ...but the becquerel already incorporates a time component.  10,000 TBq is 10 quadrillion decays per second.  If, an hour later, there are now 20 quadrillion decays per second occurring, then the rate of decay has increased. If there are 30 quadrillion decays per second two hours later, then the rate of decay has increased even more.  In this case it is a constant increase of 10,000 TBq/hr.  This is a measure of the rate of change in the number of decays per second, exactly analogous to acceleration measuring the rate of change in the number of meters per second.

                          Instead of using 10,000 TBq/hr, maybe it would make more sense to say 2.78 TBq/s which would be equivalent to 2.78 trillion (decays/s) /s or 2.78 trillion decays /(s2).

                          OK, I'm done trying to explain it... ;-)

                          O povo unido jamais será vencido

                          by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:11:23 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  There is no belief required here (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            middleagedhousewife, Wee Mama

                            for example, one can drive 60 miles per hour (look, there's a time-based unit involved) for 3 hours (there's another time-based unit!)  - which simply means that a total of 180 miles was covered.

                            All with (at least in theory - let's say this person has full tank of gas, an empty interstate, and really accurate cruise control) absolutely NO ACCELERATION being involved, despite evoking a time based unit twice in the calculations.

                            Maybe a high school physics teacher will happen along who can explain this more clearly so everybody can understand, since I clearly don't seem to be capable of doing so . . . .

                          •  OK... one more time ;-) (5+ / 0-)

                            Yes, you can drive 60 mph for 3 hours.  But what if after one hour you were driving 60 mph, after two hours driving 120 mph, and after three hours driving 180 mph?

                            In that case, you would be accelerating at 60 "mphph" (mi/hr/hr).

                            That is analogous to what we have here.  The amount of radioactivity in the environment, as measured in decays per second, is/was increasing.  It is not continuing at a constant rate for three hours, it is getting stronger every hour.  (And this only happens, of course, when more radioactive material is being added to the environment, since the natural trend for radioactivity is to decrease over time.)

                            I think the confusion may be that there are two different rates being used: 1) the rate of radioactive decay and 2) the rate at which radioactive material is being released into the environment.  In this case, 2) is being measured by the change in 1).

                            If that's still not clear, then hopefully someone else can clarify it better than I can... I think I'm out of analogies now.  ;-)

                            O povo unido jamais será vencido

                            by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:40:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I would argue that you should be (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            middleagedhousewife

                            using the word "accumulating" instead of "accelerating" . . .

                            Because your opening paragraph does not describe what is happening wrt to this leak - there wasn't three times more radioisotopes released the third hour compared to the first hour.  There was the same amount.  But the total accumulated release after three hours was three times more than after the first hour.

                            Anyways, I suppose all this has totally disqualified me from appearing on that "smarter than a 5th grader" show . .

                          •  Also, I might add - perhaps the most (4+ / 0-)

                            compelling reason yet to ban nuclear power is that discussing it on the internet is just too damn confusing.

          •  Or, if I'm calculating correctly (0+ / 0-)

            based on one person having about 15,000 Bq in themself normally, if one hour's release entirely went into the human population (evenly - obviously this is a hypothetical situation), every person's level of radiation exposure would go up about 100-fold.

            That's quite a bit, I'd think.

            •  only self irradiation (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, mattman, HoundDog

              If it all went into people, which it won't, then each persons natural radioactivity appears to go up by quite a bit but your self-irradiation is only a small portion of your radiation exposure and your radiation exposure is only a small fraction of your cancer risk.    So radiation exposure desn't go up by the calculated amount.     A typical person's activity is 100Bq/kg, btw, not per pound.

              You do want to keep the stuff on the outside, as much as possible.

              •  You don't eat bananas or brazil nuts (0+ / 0-)

                I presume?

                You do want to keep the stuff on the outside, as much as possible.

                Well, neither do I, but not for this reason . . .

              •  Just curious about this (0+ / 0-)
                A typical person's activity is 100Bq/kg, btw, not per pound

                how is a person' s exposure - when measured in disintegrations per second - estimated if those disintigrations are not in his or her body?

                For example, if an isotope generates both gamma radiation and alpha particles - that latter of which doesn't penetrate the body, is that type of thing taken into account?  (well, I'm sure it must be, but it would seem as though it could make the numbers rather fuzzy . . .).

      •  So that would be 30.73 PBq (9+ / 0-)

        Petabequerels........    The first use of that prefix in a real situation that I know of.  

        That is incredible to me.

        Peta has only been an SI prefix since 1975, meaning 10 ^15.

        mega giga tera peta exa zetta yotta  

      •  Those types of calculations can be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        middleagedhousewife

        really helpful - what would be even more helpful is context on how they compare to background levels of radiation!

        i.e., is the background level increased 100-fold? a million-fold? a trillion-fold?  a gazillion-fold?

        •  vs background (6+ / 0-)

          The average person gets 6.28mSv/year from all sources.    
          http://www.new.ans.org/...
          About 3.24mSv/year is from natural background sources, or 0.370uSv/h.   So you are talking around 10X background (5X annual exposure) if the specified amount was distributed evenly over Fukushima prefecture and 1/3 background if spread over the entire country of japan.

          Spread evenly over the earth's surface, we go from petabecquerels to picosieverts:
              30730TBq/510072000km^2*1.6E-12*Sv/hour/Bq*m^2 = 96.394235 picoSv/hour

          •  Normal background for Fukushima prefecture (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, Siri, peraspera, HoundDog, RWood

            and the rest of Japan is published as ~0.03 - 0.06 uSv/hr.
            http://www.meti.go.jp/...
            or for the whole series of levels over time:
            http://www.meti.go.jp/...

            Natural background sources for Japanese people is not 0.37 uSv/hr -- I'm not sure where this order of magnitude difference is coming from.

            (I'm not saying you're wrong -- I'm just wondering what the difference is between Japan and the US -- your source is for the US, but it states that as being from cosmic rays -- how is Japan better shielded from cosmic rays than the US? Does that make sense?)

            "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

            by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:41:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  evacuation (13+ / 0-)

    Does anyone know if any ships docked offshore could be used for temp. evacuation?
    Where are the us navy ships?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(T-AH-19)
    Life Boat Japan
    People should not be in shelters without food or water.
    Everyone is broke now, but we have many out of service ships that could be used for humanitarian services now.
    Getting relief supplies to ships docked offshore of japan should be easy. We should evacuate the people to ships.
    People would be out of the radiation area.
    Out of service cruise liners would work the best, in conjunction with mercy ships.
    This should be a world wide effort now, not 10 days from now.
    Any relief sites out there that are mentioning ships? These people need to evacuate for large amounts of time, on a small island. I think ships are the only way to go. It would cost millions, but whatever.

    •  interesting point ... how about subs? (5+ / 0-)
    •  Not sure how the "30-kilometer no-go area..." (14+ / 0-)

      around the Fukushima site as instructed by the Japanese government..." or the fact that...

      ...many shipping lines have adopted larger exclusion zones to avoid off-shore debris from the tsunami...

      ...could affect relocation efforts by sea.  It also seems that sometimes red tape; the continuing meme that "no one could have predicted" this or that disaster (despite the fact that these "unpredictable" disasters keep happening);

      - a  seeming inability to learn from past disaster response failures;

      - and the fact that the current crisis is ongoing, and there are infrastructure issues that haven't been resolved to the point that major relocation can easily be achieved--all combine to frustratingly keep people who desperately need help from getting that help.  

      It all makes me stop and wonder just how far the US has come from its failures to respond to many people's continued post disaster abysmal living situations in a timely manner following Katrina, and it's seeming ineffectiveness in the BP oil spill--and conclude that we're really not all that well prepared to respond to major disasters either.  

      •  Just from memory.... (8+ / 0-)

        Ships have been showing up in Korea, Russia, China contaminated with notable levels of radiation after sailing past Fukushima. Past, not at all near. Shipowners really don't like this since failing inspection means not only delays but likely prospect of repeated future inspections and delays.

        •  Multiple reports finding no significant radiation (7+ / 0-)

          ...according to these reports: Countries Begin Radiation Checks on Ships That Have Visited Japan...

          Shipping companies and airlines around the world, already nervous about rising fuel prices and the potential effect of an economic slowdown in Japan, now have another worry: intensified monitoring of ships and aircraft that have made recent stops in Japan...

          ...governments around the globe have announced various steps to monitor or screen ships and aircraft arriving from the quake-stricken country.

          So far, few ships or planes appear to have registered unusual radiation levels or suffered holdups because of contamination fears...

          Still, the prospect of tighter checks and possible delays to port calls has made many operators nervous..

          The Japanese government is aware of these fears, and in response, has said it would institute screening of ships leaving the Tokyo Bay area for foreign ports...

          A Japanese ship denied entry to a Chinese port over radiation concerns last month was allowed into a Hong Kong port on Friday...

          The container ship...was rejected by Chinese authorities when it arrived at the port of Xiamen in eastern Fujian province last month after China said it had detected "abnormal" radiation levels...a spokesman for Hong Kong's Marine Department said...radioactivity readings taken were "below Hong Kong's intervention level for surface decontamination..."

          To alleviate concerns about contamination from the nuclear plant, Japan's transport ministry said on Friday it would start measuring the radiation levels of ships and containers leaving the Tokyo Bay area for foreign ports, and issue to ship owners certificates recording radiation levels confirmed as below a standard level...

          Meanwhile, both the EU and the US have been screening ships that have stopped in Japan, and so far, according to their spokespersons, no significant radiation levels have been found.  

          Yet, no doubt people, including shippers, those working with ships and cargo, and the public in general will probably be wary for a while at least.  

      •  Hey kurious, check out this quote (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, peraspera, rja, RWood, kurious

        “This is an admission by the Japanese government that the amount of radiation released into the environment has reached a new order of magnitude,” said Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor in the department of quantum engineering at Nagoya University. “The fact that we have now confirmed the world’s second-ever level 7 accident will have huge consequences for the global nuclear industry. It shows that current safety standards are woefully inadequate.”

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:42:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The industry and governments have been... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja, peraspera

          ...told about safety issues that could lead to potential accidents for decades now, and have largely ignored the warnings.  They have seen the accidents at Chernobyl and now the one at Fukushima, yet they persist in insisting that nuclear power is safe and necessary.  In the US,

          ...Leaks, burst cooling pipes, faulty controls, misplaced fuel rods and engineers' warnings about design flaws have done little to slow down approvals for continued operation of the nation's aging nuclear plants...

          The NRC just released a report that found A quarter of U.S. nuclear plants not reporting equipment defects.  

          The IG’s report worried some experts who said the NRC was missing critical information that could prevent bigger accidents...Government watchdogs have raised alarms before about defective parts at nuclear plants. In 1990, the Government Accountability Office released a report saying that utilities had installed counterfeit or substandard parts at about 64 percent of the country’s plants.

          Despite a minimum of 20 years of a "heads up" about substandard parts in US nuclear plants, and despite the evidence of Chernobyl and now Fukushima that the consequences of accidents at nuclear to the immediate region, the nation involved, and sometimes other nations as well--The Industry and the (lobby-influenced) politicians  mostly agree.  Most discouragingly, this recent poll conducted March 25-27 shows that a majority of Americans Say Nuclear Plants Safe.

          One has to wonder just how many global disasters of this awful magnitude have to take place before the politicians and the people understand that they have to prioritize safety in nuclear plants, and that it's a good idea to look into safer energy sources like renewable energy?
           

    •  Maybe we should offer up one of those states we (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, rja

      really don't use that much, for an evacuation sanctuary.

      Like North Dakota, or Montana.

      Hardly anyone would notice or care.  Maybe a few Moose might be annoyed.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:40:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  done with updates for night, team... (24+ / 0-)

    i think i caught it all, )although the breaking news feed i put in at the top will have to change, i couldn't resist) PLUS

    I put in a small map!!! I know. THE HORROR! I know. Against rules.

    Check out the Greenpeace map AND THE BBC coverage. Both amazing!

    Night. I've been at puter since 1 ...

    Pray. A disaster like this, we have only imagined in the worst of our nightmares.

    As I said before, I am amazed at how zoned out the world is about this. Just un believable. I spoke with my daughter whos in denver earlier and she was yacking on and on about grad school and her latest fight w/ boyfriend and her  job and i just didn't couldn't tell her... i just couldn't do it ...

    •  i suspect part of the reason for the disconnect (22+ / 0-)

      is that the contamination seems more focused locally in japan, in contrast to the high clouds of fallout from chernobyl. it's very hard for people to stay focused on events far away from their immediate lives, even if it grabs their attention for a week or so. hell, once the media abandons a topic, even if you cared a lot about it you have to be pretty determined to keep up on it.

      most people, in america and elsewhere, mostly go about their daily lives with only passing interest in events outside of those lives. it's a measure of the depth of this catastrophe that so many of us are paying attention for as long as we have, be that tragic or no. it's playing rather differently in east asia, because it's closer. east asians weren't terribly exercised about deepwater horizon after the initial drama died down either.

      it is this tendency towards localism that is so challenging for dealing with issues of global import such as global warming, because we really aren't used to thinking of events in the world as an inextricable part of our reality.

      •  People will sit up and take notice (15+ / 0-)

        when Dancing With the Stars is cut short.  Until then everything seems pretty normal for most people and Japan is a strange and distant place far, far away from home.

        When I share news about this unfolding event with family and friends I get looks like I'm some sort of Henny-Penny.  For many, the news cycle ended on this story a long time ago and it must seem to them that I live in a mega-disaster time warp of some sort.

        If and when the story reemerges on the front page, many will think something happened again, unaware that the disaster has been unfolding continuously.  Collectively we have such short attention spans.

        "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

        by ovals49 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:50:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Explosions Draw Attention. (10+ / 0-)

        It's like news is now governed by the rules of writing and producing an action/adventure movie.

        Only so many minutes can pass before another explosion, car chase or shootout must occur.

        Only so many minutes can be allocated to serious talking before either a pratfall or "boom" event must be inserted.

        The flooding in Pakistan did not meet these threshold rules, one of the reasons it got comparatively little coverage (along with getting the crew out there to get the images.)

        Are there cameras that can "see" radiation?  

        If there are,  images from such a camera would draw the media.

        We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

        by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:30:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NISA INES 7 press release (15+ / 0-)

    NISA Press Release

    INES (the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale) Rating on the Events in Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station by the Tohoku District - off the Pacific Ocean Earthquake

    This table has

    estimated and announced the result of the trial calculation in the current stage regarding the total amount of discharged radioactive materials to the air

    I wonder why the NISA estimate is about half the NSC announced values.

    Assumed amount of the discharge from Fukushima Dai-ichi NPS (Reference) Amount of the discharge from the Chernobyl accident
    Estimated by NISA Announced by NSC
    131I ... (a) 1.3x1017 Bq 1.5x1017 Bq 1.8x1018 Bq
    137Cs 6.1x1015 Bq 1.2x1016 Bq 8.5x1016 Bq
    (Converted value to 131I) ... (b) 2.4x1017 Bq 4.8x1017 Bq 3.4x1018 Bq
    (a) + (b) 3.7x1017 Bq 6.3x1017 Bq 5.2x1018 Bq
    (Notes) The conversion of the values to be equivalent to radiation impact of 131I regarding the NISA’s estimation and the NSC’s announcement were carried out by NISA in accordance with the INES User’s Manual.
  •  Conflicted feelings among evacuation zone mayors (15+ / 0-)

    Kyodo spoke with mayors about how they feel about nuclear power. They have grown distrustful of TEPCO and the government but their towns are heavily reliant on nuclear power for jobs. It's worth clicking through to read the mayors' comments.

    Mayors in Fukushima disillusioned with nuclear safety myth: poll | Kyodo News

    Most heads of the 12 municipalities within a 30-kilometer radius from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture say they have become disillusioned with the myth of the safety of nuclear power generation and called for a drastic overhaul of Japan's atomic energy policy, according to a recent poll by Kyodo News.

    Asked about how to go about the reconstruction of areas affected by the nuclear crisis, about half the mayors surveyed indicated they cannot begin to think about rebuilding unless the situation at the plant is settled.
    ...
    In the poll, 11 mayors either talked about the demise of the myth of nuclear safety or called for a change to the nation's nuclear energy policy or development of alternative energy sources.
    ...
    Meanwhile, Masatake Hansaki, a 59-year-old farmer in Minamisoma, expressed dismay at the fact that the nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture generated power not for local supply but for the Kanto region centering on Tokyo.

    ''We have provided power, but now that an accident has occurred the people of Fukushima are no longer welcome elsewhere,'' Hansaki said, referring to fear that people from Fukushima may spread radioactive contamination. ''Why do we have to be mistreated like this?''

  •  Small amount of strontium found outside evac zone (13+ / 0-)

    No story up yet on Kyodo, just a news crawl.
    Kyodo News crawl

    NEWS ADVISORY: Minute amount of strontium found outside 30km from Fukushima
  •  Experts say ... (15+ / 0-)
    Experts said that the melting of the fuel rods should not be seen as an indication of imminent danger.

    Another brilliant piece of reporting from ABC News.

    "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

    by ovals49 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:16:36 AM PDT

  •  Arnold Gundersun on CNN: "7 balls in the air at... (13+ / 0-)
    the same time"

    at Fukushima, vs. 1 plant involved at Chernobyl was his comment when making comparisons between Fukushima and Chernobyl.  He also said that Chernobyl was covered over by this point in that disaster, whereas the Fukushima situation is still ongoing.  

    Also, when asked about how long a clean-up would take, he commented that withing an immediate 6 mile zone, the clean-up will take at least

    "a generation".

    He also stated that pregnant women and children should have been evacuated sooner.  

    OTOH, he said that given the severity of the disasters, several factors have kept things from being much worse than they currently are, including the fact that winds have been blowing out to sea rather than over populated areas.  

    FWIW, I'm just trying to summarize as I listen to him, so it's possible I'm not transcribing all important points in the interview or even the most important points.  I just heard the interview on CNN and a transcript will probably be available at a later time.  

  •  No link but (10+ / 0-)

    heard on BBC radio this morning that TEPCO was rating each reactor individually instead of the site as a whole.  It's probably been a level 7 for a while now.

    •  Greenpeace Germany released a report (11+ / 0-)

      March 25th that found

      “Taking all the releases from the Fukushima-daiichi reactors together this even obviously an INES 7 with the possibility that it is three INES 7's,

      http://www.nirs.org/...

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:12:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes that's exactly what they were doing (9+ / 0-)

      Each reactor had its own rating on the JAIF reports as seen here

      http://www.jaif.or.jp/...

      on the lower part of the first table.

      1 - 3 were rated at a 5
      4 was rated as a 3
      and 5 & 6 were not rated at all

      They refused to look at this as a compound problem. The radiation releases were treated in isolation to each other instead of in a comprehensive way which dealt with their cumulative effect. Every time something happened we were told that that particular thing would have no immediate impact on human health

      That is, till now. Monday was the first time Yukio Edano actually said that the radiation was dangerous to human health in its cumulative effect. Which has really been the key all along. They just didn't want to go there till it became obvious they had to.

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

      by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:05:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  INES Rating Scale - Site & Facility. (5+ / 0-)

        There is really no justification for applying only a self-serving facility-by-facility measurement.  

        I do not believe the INES rating tool intends that.

        I am unclear how TEPCO or any Japanese regulatory authority could have applied it (exactly how did they segregate the radioactive release from each facility when they didn't even know where some of it was coming from?)

        I cannot see how the impact to people or the environment is anything other than cummulative from all sources on the site.

        Release of radiocative material, especially when it crosses the site boundary, is neither susceptible to individual facility mearurement, nor particularly relevant to the people or environment exposed (the impact of cummulative exposure doesn't depend on which reactor or spent fuel pool the radioactivity is coming from even if it could be accurately measured.)

        Also, the safety measures for each facility, to the extent their contined operability is dependent on the successful handling of the threat posed by the facility with the highest current INES rating, should be deemed as threatened (at best).  As with the Fukushima installation, if one or more of the facilities becomes 'too hot' for workers to continue to continue and/or resupply the MacGyver saftey systems that have been rushed into use to keep each damaged facility from progressing to worse stages, then they too should be classified at that higher level.  

        In the same way that common causing events can increase the rating (as should have been done here), cummulative impact and mutal dependencies should also be taken into account.

        While a number of the facilities could possibly have been assigned lower or possibly even 0 rating under the guidelines, and while for a variety of reasons each facility should also be rated indvidually, the installation or site should also have been meausured independently using a cummulative measure and taking into account the dependencies and inter-related operations that would either continue or stop based on the worst outcome of any facility to which that facility was dependent (including mere proximity that could prevent further human presence.)  

        If they did not measure cummulatively for the site, taking dependencies into account, I cannot see how it conforms to INES guidelines.  If somehow it does, with the number of nuclear plant sites containing multiple reactor facilities growing, INES must immediately revise its rating system or supplement its guidance in how they are applied to clarify this issue.

        INES The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale
        User’s Manual 2008 Edition
        http://www-pub.iaea.org/...

        We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

        by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:55:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks, very nicely put (5+ / 0-)

          I think the whole system is just spin and politics, however and ultimately means little.  If the number of the glowing cesspool near where I live is Level three and my kid gets thyroid cancer, do I get a plaque, or a low interest loan or something?  Ask the people of the former Soviet Union what they got....  for the SECOND worst disaster being visited upon them.  

          •  Chernobyl still probably #1, at least for now. (4+ / 0-)

            Based on how they rank things like this anyway.

            People?  What do the people get?  What are you, some kind of socialist?  Worse yet, a liberal Democrat or liberal Independent?  

            When elephants dance, ants get trampled.

            There's another more scatological analogy that could be built off that.  

            We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

            by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:28:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And If That is the Case, Could the Press Statement (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, peraspera

      have made that any less clear?  

      It's really not hard to construct a sentence making that point.  

      In fact, you did a rather nice job of it.  

      TEPCO is rating each reactor individually instead of the site as a whole.

      There.  Not so hard.  

      Ijuts.  Daggum stupid-as-a-turnip ijuts.  

      Or evil.  

      Or both.

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:53:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Guardian has an interesting photo gallery (10+ / 0-)

    "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

    by Andhakari on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:05:26 AM PDT

  •  Great Work Night Shift ! ! ! (11+ / 0-)

    I'm off to get Dad settled into his new digs.

    See ya tonight!

    Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

    by Gilmore on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:40:53 AM PDT

  •  New Minister of Clusterf#!k (11+ / 0-)

    Kan's adviser Hosono eyed as minister for nuclear crisis

    Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, may become state minister in charge of addressing the continuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a senior opposition lawmaker said Tuesday.

    Over the past weeks, Hosono has been playing a major role in liaising between the government and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Hosono is a lawmaker in Kan's Democratic Party of Japan.
    ...

    Hosono, 39, who has been in the current post since January, is seen as one of the up-and-coming parliamentarians of the ruling party. Earlier this month, he said the government has set a target of ''several months'' for the release of radioactive substances from the tsunami-stricken plant to be stopped.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:17:31 AM PDT

  •  German smarts hurts French pride (12+ / 0-)

    ... and profits.

    http://www.reuters...

    Germany's decision to phase out nuclear energy was an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to events in Japan which could hurt ties with France and should have been discussed at the European level, French lawmakers said on Tuesday.
    ...

    French state-owned nuclear group Areva could benefit from increased worries about nuclear security because it makes advanced EPR reactors built with higher safety standards.

    But a broader backlash against nuclear energy that spreads from Germany could also crimp demand for French-made nuclear plants in the longer-term. France may also be worried that an acceleration in renewable energy investment in Germany could put it at a competitive disadvantage.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:34:52 AM PDT

  •  Japan-US Strain Alluded to (13+ / 0-)

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/...

    ...

    Decay of alliance feared

    Two days later, Nagashima called on the Prime Minister's Office, warning that Washington was "growing poignantly frustrated" with Japan's handling of the nuclear crisis, adding, "The Japan-U.S. alliance could collapse, completely contrary to [the recent trend of] being strengthened," if the government's approach to the nuclear problem remained unchanged.

    This signaled the nuclear crisis was threatening to strain the Tokyo-Washington relationship.

    The question should therefore be asked, "Why did the government fail to act without wasting time in the initial phase of the nuclear crisis?"

    This problem must be severely and carefully scrutinized.

    It seems a bit unrealistic to me...?

    •  Ongoing issues that surface in disasters... (9+ / 0-)

      This linked study of the disaster response to the The Great Hanshin Earthquake discusses some cultural issues that impeded disaster response.  It seems that though progress may well have been made, there is still apparently opportunity for further improvement.  Meanwhile, people's lives are adversely affected by the lack of coordination, cooperation, and information.  This study published a few months following the disaster in 1995 pointed out: (emphasis mine)

      The 7.2-magnitude Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 hit the Kobe area...on...January 17, 1995, leaving in its wake more than 5200 deaths, 30,000 injured, 300,000 homeless...  the...tremor has provoked considerable discussion in Japan and abroad about lessons to be learned. Among the central issues are the following:

      1. Overconfidence in the ability to withstand earthquakes...

      2. Lack of local preparedness for natural disasters...

      3. Ineffectual crisis management in Tokyo. The central government authorities in Tokyo at first appeared paralyzed because they were unable to secure information from the scene more accurate and timely than that provided by television news programs...

      5. Reluctance to accept aid from abroad. One of the most puzzling and frustrating discoveries was the reluctance of Japanese authorities to accept assistance from foreign countries. This reluctance stemmed from three sources. First, a strong sense of national pride and self-sufficiency predisposed some Japanese officials to reject such aid, especially from countries that in their eyes are less developed than Japan. Second, the multi-layered Japanese bureaucratic decision-making process made it difficult to respond quickly to the immediate offers of aid from many countries around the world. Third, risk-averse Japanese bureaucrats resisted allowing medicines, relief personnel, dogs to locate survivors, and so forth into the country without first subjecting them to time-consuming procedures..

      7. Selective reporting by the mass media...

      While many of these issues have been addressed, there are probably many issues that still need some work.  But, I fear that the same could be said for disaster response in many nations, including the US.  If the federal, state, and local governments' response post-Katrina didn't teach us all that governments' responses aren't all that one would expect in these modern times, with trained disaster responders, high tech equipment, and worldwide experts and organizations dedicated to responding efficiently and effectively to disasters.  

    •  Sounds a Bit Like Political Hyberbole (4+ / 0-)

      In the rare instances that I have witnessed it here in the US, it had some passing resemblance with that statement.

      I'm guessing the person issuing the statement is either from another party or is looking to rise within the same party at the expense of the current leaders.  

      Very possibly elements of the US Govt are critical of how the Japanese Govt leaders and TEPCO have handled the incident and the communications.

      Also very possibly the US Nuclear Power Industry is not very happy with the handling of either the incident or its PR.

      There is NO chance that this would cause the Japan-US alliance to "collapse".  

      Zero.
      Zip.
      None.
      Nada.  

      Political and economic reality dictate otherwise, so does our unique historical connection.

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Socialists to rescue capitalists (14+ / 0-)

    Japan mulls spinning off part of nuclear operator

    The Japanese government is considering spinning off the part of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) that oversees the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Jiji news agency reported on Tuesday.

    The spun-off unit would become a government funded firm dealing with the nuclear accident and compensation issues, while the remaining part of TEPCO would stay publicly listed...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:39:08 AM PDT

  •  Experts urge external cooling system (13+ / 0-)

    The Japan Times

    "The leakage (from the reactors) has to be stopped. Leaking means the water inside the reactors is decreasing. So the water has to be replenished, and then it leaks again. This cycle has to be stopped," said Hisashi Ninokata, professor of nuclear reactor engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
    ...

    Some experts, including Ninokata, have started floating the idea of temporarily building a brand new external cooling system for the reactors, given the daunting task of removing the deadly water in the building housing the RHRS.

    "It will probably take half a year or a year to restart the RHRS, so the external cooling system needs to be used during that period of time," he said, adding that the work to set one up could be finished in a few weeks once the decision is made.

    But Ninokata also proposed another step. Since there is a chance the existing RHRS was severely damaged by the tsunami, it might even be better, in addition to an external cooling system, to set up a brand new RHRS right outside the turbine building. This could be completed in a couple of months, he said

    .

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:56:49 AM PDT

  •  Nation's unpreparedness (10+ / 0-)

    Anytime someone says, "this time it's different" get ready for a disaster.

    The Japan Times

    "The tsunami and the earthquake were bigger than anything I have experienced," said Ryohei Morimoto, an honorary member of the Association for Earthquake Disaster Prevention and a retired professor of volcanology at the University of Tokyo.

    But he also pointed out that March 11 wasn't the first time the northeast Pacific coast was visited by killer waves, including tsunami in 1611, 1896 and 1933. The geographical characteristics of the bays can amplify tsunami, such as the waves that hit in 1896, taking more than 22,000 lives.

    "I've heard the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. say they couldn't predict the tsunami would reach that high, but that is ridiculous," Morimoto said, noting any history book would have set them straight.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:03:45 AM PDT

    •  Didn't Predict. Different from Couldn't. nt (5+ / 0-)

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:09:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Someone should probably give him a copy of this... (5+ / 0-)

      newspaper article which he can then pass along to the "No One Could Have Predicted" disaster preparation people (whose job it is to know these things):

      As unprecedented as this tsunami is in terms of energy, it is but the latest tragic event in a predictable series along what could be called Japan’s "Tsunami Coast"...The north-eastern coast...area called Sanriku, has experienced four destructive tsunamis in the last 115 years, and with more loss of life than any tsunami-prone region in Japan or perhaps the world.

      ...(a) powerful wave in 1933 took fewer lives, about 3000...it led to the massive building of dikes and other defences...

      Until this week, Sanriku’s tsunami history might have been read, from the tragic baseline of 1896, as one of progressively fewer casualties due to human intervention and planning. Now it reads as a futile contest with a never-ending series of tsunamis, occurring in a 30-40 year cycle, and unpredictable only in destructive capacity...

      The people of Sanriku are fated to live with seismic waves like the people of Bangladesh with cyclonic storms and the people of the American Midwest with tornados. It’s just that the region’s tsunamis are on much longer cycles, and, when they do come, give far less warning and often no ready means of escape...

      It seems that the only predictable thing is that the people whose job it is to know all about the vulnerability, magnitude, and likely consequences of such events when they will inevitably occur--they will predictably say "No One Could Have Predicted"--except that people could have, and some did--predict.  The other predictable thing is that the people whose responsibility it is to learn all they can about potential risks before issuing building permits--before allowing large populations or dangerous industries to locate in disaster-prone regions--will ignore history and warnings if there is a potential influx of currency involved in their ignoring the potential risks. Those things are always predictable, IMHO.

  •  A small survey of the displaced (10+ / 0-)

    The Japan Times

    It gives some idea of the stresses.

    According to the National Police Agency, more than 150,000 people have been displaced by the disaster. A tally by Kyodo News found that about 35,000 people mostly from Fukushima Prefecture have fled to other prefectures. [I believe some 70,000 were thought to formerly live in the 20 km zone]
    ...

    Asked to pick three issues that worry them most, 53 percent cited money (for living expenses), 50 percent chose work and 40 percent said housing.

    Some 30 percent said they were worried about their houses and assets, 28 percent they were concerned about their health and their family members, while 25 percent said they were fretting over education for their children and grandchildren.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:14:57 AM PDT

  •  (Tera)bequerels per hour is gibberish (6+ / 0-)

    1 bequerel is defined as 1 decay per second. There is already a rate built in there. Saying bequerels per hour is nonsense, unless you're measureing the rate at which the radiation level is increasing (in which case, GTFO now).

    Again and again, when I ready about issues I am familiar with in the media (I'm a nuclear physicist), I just get depressed at hour horribly wrong they get it.

    •  What is a unit for accumulated amount? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, Siri

      rate (Bq) X time=something

      Pareto Principle: 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

      by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:46:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on amount of what... (3+ / 0-)

        If you are talking about an amount of radioactive material, they use becquerels.  It means whatever amount of "x" that produces the specified decay rate.

        If you are talking about an amount of accumulated exposure to radiation, you will usually see units such as grays or sieverts.

        O povo unido jamais será vencido

        by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:03:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One would hope that information released to... (5+ / 0-)

      the largely non-nuclear physicist public would be comprehensible, standardized, and correct, so that those whose lives are most affected will have the necessary information upon which to base their decisions.  Yet, unfortunately, it seems that "official" information has been inconsistently released, often incorrect at first and later being corrected, and contradictory.  All this just adds to the stress of people who have already undergone more than enough stress.  

    •  Bq also defines the intensity (7+ / 0-)

      I believe what they are trying to describe is the duration of a release at a given intensity. It makes sense to me.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:50:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so what would you say about the measurements (6+ / 0-)

      cause that's what we're here for ... to get analysts/experts to dissect and interpret....

    •  What would be your take on why (6+ / 0-)

      the Japanese Government is using it in press statements? I appreciate your expert perspective here. Thank you.

    •  Whitis addressed this here (8+ / 0-)

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Stating:

      TBq/hr is actually correct in this case.    It means that each hour a quantity of material was released that had an activity of 10000TBq.

      What is your take on that?

      "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

      by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:20:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're a nuclear physicist & confused? (3+ / 0-)

      How do you think the rest of us feel?
      I would've guessed curies  were more appropriate for this data but I didn't compile the data. Did I guess good?
      At this level of reporting there will be no correct time-stamp on each isotope. Take what you get. If it's seriously meaningless either you just move on or maybe you could discuss it here.

    •  That's what they *are* measuring (8+ / 0-)
      Saying bequerels per hour is nonsense, unless you're measureing the rate at which the radiation level is increasing (in which case, GTFO now).

      This is exactly what was being measured, at least for a few hours early in the crisis.  Yeah, GTFO a month ago... good luck with that.

      Since you're a nuclear physicist, you must know that becquerels are often used as a measure of an amount of radioactive material.  In other words, 10,000 TBq/hr means that a quantity of radioactive material that decays at a rate of 10,000 TBq was released in one hour.

      O povo unido jamais será vencido

      by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:53:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Units of measure for radioactivity (8+ / 0-)

      have been used and abused throughout this crisis. We've seen micro and millisieverts confused and often we're not told the duration per hour, per year, per one time exposure, per lifetime.

      I understand your frustration. I do however, understand what they're saying here. The rate of 10,000 terabequerels went on for hours. Perhaps that didn't come over right in the translation. It's not that they are saying something went 60 miles per hour per day, which makes no sense. Rather, it's 60 miles an hour for days. They stated it incorrectly but the meaning is clear.

      In this case, a rate of 10,000 terabequerels fo ra period of hours.

      I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around 10,000 trillion as a number.

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

      by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:09:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  INES Manual - Directions for How It Should Be Done (5+ / 0-)

      Everyone questioning the use of terabecquerels  needs to take it up with the INES.  

      Two methods are given for assessing the radiological significance of a release, depending on the origin of the release and hence the most appropriate assumptions for assessing the equivalence of releases.   If there is an atmospheric release from a nuclear facility, such as a reactor or fuel cycle facility, Table 2 gives conversion factors for radiological equivalence to 131I that should be used. The actual activity of the isotope released should be multiplied by the factor given in Table 2 and then compared with the values given in the definition of each level. If several isotopes are released, the equivalent value for each should be calculated and then summed (see examples 5–7). The derivation of these factors is explained in Appendix I.

      [Table 2 follows in the manual]
      ...

      For events involving releases that do not become airborne (e.g. aquatic releases or ground contamination due to spillage of radioactive material), the rating based on dose should be established, using Section 2.3. Liquid discharges resulting in doses significantly higher than that appropriate for Level 3 would need to be rated at Level 4 or above, but the assessment of radiological equivalence would be site specific, and therefore detailed guidance cannot be provided here.
      ...
      Level 7

      “An event resulting in an environmental release corresponding to a quantity of radioactivity radiologically equivalent to a release to the atmosphere of more than several tens of thousands of terabecquerels of 131I.”

      This corresponds to a large fraction of the core inventory of a power reactor, typically involving a mixture of short and long lived radionuclides. With such a release, stochastic health effects over a wide area, perhaps involving more than one country, are expected, and there is a possibility of deterministic health effects. Long-term environmental consequences are also likely, and it is very likely that protective action such as sheltering and evacuation will be judged necessary to prevent or limit health effects on members of the public.


      Pgs 15, 16 & 17
      http://www-pub.iaea.org/...

      I wonder if the terminology is just confusing, like "light-year" is not a measure of time, but of distance.  

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:21:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Physicist Reviews Nuclear Meltdowns (14+ / 0-)

    NYT

    Given that in the history of nuclear energy, 582 reactors have operated for a total of 14,400 years (counting each year of operation by one reactor as a reactor-year), a core-damage accident has happened once every 1,309 years of operation. With 439 reactors now operating worldwide, the rate would yield an accident an average of once every three calendar years.

    One variable is that some of the accidents were at types of reactors that are no longer commercially operated.

    In contrast, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has set a goal of no more than one accident per 10,000 years of collective operation. A corollary goal was that no more than one in 10 of those should result in significant off-site releases of radioactive material.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:49:09 AM PDT

    •  Since posting this I've realized (7+ / 0-)

      ... how uncomfortable assessments base on collective durations leave me. For one they always seem to result in large numbers, and while it might be correct for raw risk analysis, there seems a soothing implication for how long one might get away with something before it goes wrong.

      My own simpler math feels more comprehensible. There have been 582 reactors, two of which have resulted in level 7 disasters in the 69 years since the first man-made reactor, known as Chicago Pile-1. This translates to one level 7 event for each 34.5 years since we started building reactors. ( As per the article some were experimental units, but each new design pretty much is at the start )

      Or we could compare to commercial operations which are thought to be as safe as we can make them. On June 27, 1954, the USSR's Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant became the world's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid so we've had commercial nuclear energy for 57 years. The rate of level 7 events for commercial nuclear is one each 28.5 years.

      Newer designs are presumably safer, but the size of the populations exposed and the power of the units increases as well translating in the possibility of larger events in the future. I'm not sure how the safer vs. greater consequences balances out.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:32:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Any way you slice it (10+ / 0-)

        in my estimation, engaging in an activity which every 30 years will produce an accident that displaces millions of people, exposes them to cancer risks and birth defects, poisons the soil, water, air and vegetation to the extent that the area becomes uninhabitable for decades, costs billions of dollars to clean up at the taxpayers and not the profiting corporations expense and destroys the livelihoods of millions, is just not worth it.

        It's like having a potential ticking time bomb in your back yard....button, button...

        "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

        by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:21:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The thing that keeps nagging at the back of my (13+ / 0-)

        mind is the life of the fuel and the plant waste, and the need to maintain the plant's structural integrity vs the life of your average civilization.  These things require intimate knowledge of physics and chemistry to build and maintain and properly manage and store the waste.  When they go bad, there should be fleets of highly educated engineers on hand to help assess what's wrong and find the safest, most expedient way to fix it. In short, they require a fully functioning, highly educated civilization committed to maintaining its infrastructure, as well as one with vast resources to throw at it when it goes wrong -- think of the water, time, manpower, putzmeisters needed to keep this thing from getting any worse.
        What is happening right now in the US?  Where is our commitment?  

        "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

        by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:30:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What does this picture show? re Putzmeister, #4? (3+ / 0-)

    here is a handout photo from Tepco shwing the putzmiester in action - or should I say inaction, since it clearly doesn't fit into the debris field and nothing is coming out the end of it.  

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    The caption from the UK guardian is clearly bullshit, as it states the device is pumping contaminated water OUT of "reactor #4"  So many ways that is wrong it's hard to list them all.  

    Does anyone have a good guess or a true caption for this?

    I'm guessing if this is indeed building 4, they are going thru the motions of adding water to the supposed spent fuel pond, but it looks like the crane arm won't even reach into the interior of the building proper due to twisted beams and rubble.

    If this is a handout photo, I am curious what TEPCO captioned it with.  I didnt see it on cryptome, a great archive for images thus far but maybe I missed it....  

    •  It's the putzmiester... (8+ / 0-)

      they have been using to dump water into the spent fuel pond for quite some time, and that building looks like #4.

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:01:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  soapbox rant re #4, sorry to go on like this (7+ / 0-)

        This is my pet area of concern, so I will say this:  that concrete truck is not capable of sending it's boom far enough into the building to dump water over the area where the spent fuel pond used to be/ supposedly still is.  The picture seems to clearly illustrate the problem.  Yes, it goes high but no, it doesn't extend horizontally much.  It's built for making third stories of buildings and such, not arming over half a river width...  

        I am not there, and I am no expert but I think the whole Putzmiester exercise, in the case of unit 4 is a spectacle and mainly for show.  If there is still fuel left in that building it is on the lower floors sloshing around with the rubble.  Every day they add some water but there isn't much besides a thermal image and some guesswork to show for it.  

        Japan makes some of the world's finest cameras and lenses and has access to every sort of flying machine and robot known to mankind, and yet we still don't have a picture of this supposed spent fuel pond.  Why is this?  

        It's very likely that the #4 building exploded as a result of the fuel in the spent fuel pond being DRY as a BONE, for a LONG TIME and we can see that explosion seems to have destroyed walls LOWER than the deck of the pool, where the other buildings all were wrecked after hydrogen releases from a venting reactor.  This case is different.  

        Hydrogen is a gas, and lighter than the normal atmosphere in the building, or water, served up boiling, fresh and cool from a riot canon, or sloshed up from a tsunami.  Logically, given some room to expand it fills the space ABOVE where it is generated, which in this case puts it at least at the level of the bottom of the pool, if not lower.  We also have heard that the water that was said to be added to the pool previously (through water cannons) was disappearing from of the pool faster than it should have been evaporating.  Minus some magical water fairies carrying it off, this leaves us with the conclusion that the pool does not hold water.   Either it is cracked, or it is broken, and a pool that does not hold water in not a pool.  

        On the basis of this and other evidence, I'd be willing to make an educated guess that the basic structure of the #4 spent fuel pond is severely damaged and that it was also likely damaged prior to the explosion, since the hydrogen gas that formed was flooding gas at the level of the pool's sides - the floor underneath the operating floor.  Or, perhaps the pool was dry and filled with hydrogen above the level of the crumbled fuel that sat burning on the bottom - and when it exploded the sides of the pool cracked so much that the walls on that level also blew out.  

        This is an ex-pool....  

        Another theory could be that the lower floors of the building were flooded with some sea water, and the fuel evaporated all the water from the pool, and then the pool cracked in an aftershock or the fuel burned thru the floor and when it hit the flood water that is when it exploded.  ( We also know some fuel has been blown up to a mile away, but they won't say how or where from) Let's face it, any number of things could have happened, but the fact remains that the walls are blown out on the level of the "deep end" of the pool, unlike the other 3 buildings.  Reactor building #3 had a MASSIVE explosion and yet the pool and the exterior walls at its level seem relatively intact.  #2 likely had an explosion at the level of the TORUS (below the reactor) and yet the walls held.  What conclusions can we draw???  No one is even speculating much.  Nuclear experts are busy with models and simulations of meltdowns.  No one at GE or AVEDA has any simulator programs on 1331 fuel rods being left out to dry for four days, since "that could never happen.  I'd like to hear from a demolition expert....  Something BIG happened at Unit 4, where the reactor was OFFLINE.  And yet no one seems to know, or say in any detail what happened at this last building in the row, or what the condition truly is at present.  

        There are so many other things to talk about with reactors #1-3 that I think TEPCO has pulled a fast one on the press and the public by not saying much of anything about unit #4.  Everyone is distracted (rightfully so) by the reactors pressure readings and "partial meltdowns" and "feed and bleed" and toxic trenches and liquid glass, etc etc and there just isn't much to SAY about building #4, so it gets ignored, like the proverbial elephant in the room.  

        I'm just an ordianary blogger, not an expert on much of anything useful here except maybe photography.  Please dear reader take everything I write with a huge grain of salt. But here me on this:  Weeks, months or years from now if and when we learn some of the truth I predict the story will be closer to my narrative than TEPCOs current one, or lack of one.  

        •  I'm looking for those photos too. (4+ / 0-)

          The rest of your questions and speculation - darn, is anyone even curious about this stuff? Will dog and pony shows permanently snuff critical intelligence?

          (It's Areva.  Aveda is hair products. Everyone's been doing this. Power of advertising. Even over the most skeptical.)

        •  If time proves you right, (8+ / 0-)

          remember that as of today, TEPCO claims to be removing water from an existing SFP in #4.  

          TEPCO, meanwhile, took 400 milliliters of water from the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 unit to check to what extent the spent nuclear fuel stored there is damaged.

          There is a possibility that the fuel may have been temporarily exposed when the water level at the storage pool dropped following the March 11 disaster, but camera footage found that the water level now was enough to cover the fuel. But the temperature of the water was 90 degrees, much higher than the usual 20-30 degrees.

          "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

          by jlynne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:39:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  1st JAIF status update with INES level 7 (8+ / 0-)

    2011-04-12 Reactor Status and Major Events Update 83 - NPPs in Fukushima as of 16:00 PDF(273KB)

    INES (estimated by NISA)
    Level 7 ※Cumulative amount of radioactivity from Fukushima Diichi NPS has reached the level to be classified as level 7.

  •  just finished updating info on rov ... (11+ / 0-)

    missed some of these near bottom... if anyone wants to add please feel free.

    i created our own JNI newfeed along the top.... what do you guys think... should be relatively easy to just plunk news in there as we confirm ... then go in later to add more content?

  •  we are on the Fukushimi wiki blogs to follow page (12+ / 0-)
  •  Dirty water transfer commences (7+ / 0-)

    NHK

    The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has begun work to remove highly radioactive water after a one-day delay due to a series of earthquakes since Monday.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company started transferring radiation-contaminated wastewater from a tunnel outside the Number 2 reactor to a turbine condenser on Tuesday evening.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:43:15 AM PDT

    •  hey, i got this in our newsfeed at top LOL. (6+ / 0-)
    •  Deadly h2o into leaky tank: this is progress? (9+ / 0-)

      The work at the plant is so impossibly hard, and my heart goes out to the men and women on the grounds of the plant who are trying so valiantly but it makes me sad that this is the "best news" we've heard today, if you leave out the news that some women and children, families are going to be forced to flee their homes for their own safety, etc. a month later than they should have.  

      It's good that they have some place to pump this DEADLY (not dirty, DEADLY) water for the time being but are they going to get it there in time?  It's already too late for all the water that has leaked into the ocean, and so much more is on the way, tons and tons each day that is being added to reactors with blown seals, no working pumps, cracked containment etc.  

      At this stage in the Chernobyl disaster, army units were scrubbing towns and cities, moving massive amounts of topsoil and copter pilots were flying suicide missions to do everything necessary to mitigate the situation, while conscripts tossed sandbags out of the helicopters directly onto the burning fuel.  Miners were working in a desperate tunnel operation headed underneath the reactor, racing to head off the meltdown from reaching ground water.  A massive sarcophagus had been designed and was being assembled on the site, and other workers were running minute long shifts to clear bits of fuel from the area on rooftops with shovels, wearing homemade lead suits.  I'm not saying it was all brilliant, or safe, but by gawd they were TRYING.  

      In comparison, what has the response been like here?  Why is TEPCO still in charge?  Their leader was AWOL, and the plan and  thieir response and leadership, (and transparency)  is clearly inadequate thus far....  as evidenced by PM Kan's story regarding the venting of the reactors in the first 48 hours.  The Soviets lied and didn't tell their own people the true dangers, and made terrible blunders but they GOT OFF THEIR ARSSES and DID SOMETHING.  

      And yes, we can now enjoy official sanction to compare these GE/TEPCO apples to the Soviet's orange - both disasters are now level seven, although in truth this may be three or four , or eight (if you count the spent fuel ponds) separate disasters, each worthy of their own rating.  

      (Small note: please let me know if I am ranting too much. I'm trying to be productive but it isn't easy.)

    •  Another depressing tidbit in that article (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, evergreen2, Just Bob, Siri
      Some 700 tons are to be transferred to a ''condenser'' where in normal operations steam created from the reactor is converted into water. The operation is expected to take 40 hours.

      Still there is a long road ahead to remove a total of some 60,000 tons of contaminated water, found in the basements of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings as well as the trenches connected to them, and to store it in nearby tanks and other areas.

      At that rate, it would take almost 143 days to empty those two basements and trenches.

      Of course, they could use more pumps with higher capacity, but the water level is rising, and after the 700 tons are removed, are they prepared to continue with the rest?

  •  here's an interesting article (8+ / 0-)


    by Ed Lyman at UCS about the NRC's "SOARCA" study:

    Panic on the 18th Floor?

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:54:10 AM PDT

  •  Radioactive isotopes released from Chernobyl (14+ / 0-)

    This might be a good table to include in future ROVs, with a column added to compare between Chernobyl and Fukushima, as more data becomes available on how much material has been released.

    Isotope Half-life Amount released
    Xe-33 5.3 d 6.5 EBq
    I-131 8.0 d 1.76 EBq
    Cs-134 2.0 y 54 PBq
    Cs-137 30.0 y 85 PBq
    Te-132 78.0 h 1.15 EBq
    Sr-89 52.0 d 115 PBq
    Sr-90 28.0 y 10 PBq
    Ba-140 12.8 d 240 PBq
    Zr-95 65.0 d 196 PBq
    Mo-99 67.0 h >168 PBq
    Ru-103 39.6 d >168 PBq
    Ru-106 1.0 y >73 PBq
    Ce-141 33.0 d 196 PBq
    Ce-144 285.0 d ~116 PBq
    Np-239 2.4 d ~95 PBq
    Pu-238 86.0 y 35 TBq
    Pu-239 24,400 y 30 TBq
    Pu-240 6,580 y 42 TBq
    Pu-241 13.2 y ~6 PBq
    Cm-242 163.0 d ~900 TBq
    TBq = Terabecquerels (1012)
    PBq = Petabecquerels (1015)
    EBq = Exabecquerels (1018)

    Source: http://puck.sourceoecd.org/...

    O povo unido jamais será vencido

    by SLKRR on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:00:05 PM PDT

  •  Governor holds ok for 2 reactors (8+ / 0-)

    This might have already appeared:

    Shimane governor won't OK operations of 2 nuke reactors without safety steps

    Shimane Gov Zembee Mizoguchi said Monday he will not approve the operations of two reactors at the Shimane nuclear power plant unless the central government comes up with new safety measures following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

    ‘‘The existing (safety) standards will not be adequate,’’ Mizoguchi said concerning whether he would authorize the Shimane plant’s operator Chugoku Electric Power Co to run the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors.
    ...

    Although the prefectural government had expressed readiness to approve the restart of the reactor’s operations following the national government’s approval in February, Mizoguchi said Monday, ‘‘The situation has changed.’‘

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:33:40 PM PDT

    •  He's not the only one (7+ / 0-)

      This may also have been posted, sorry if I missed it, but it's relevant to your story. It will be interesting to see how many projects get delayed and or scrapped due to the Fukushima disaster.

      Kyushu Electric Power Co. has frozen procedures to build a third reactor at its nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture in light of the country's quake-triggered nuclear disaster, a company official said Tuesday.

      (snip)

      Following a request from Kagoshima Gov. Yuichiro Ito, who had agreed to the project last year, Mamoru Dangami, vice president of the regional power supplier, notified the governor Monday that the firm will not apply for reclamation near the plant for the time being, according to the official.

      Kyushu Electric shelves plan to build 3rd nuke reactor in Kagoshima

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

      by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:48:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  IAEA - Release excerpts (10+ / 0-)
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can confirm that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has submitted a provisional International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) Level 7 rating for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This new provisional rating considers the accidents that occurred at Units 1, 2 and 3 as a single event on INES and uses estimated total release to the atmosphere as a justification. Previously, separate provisional INES Level 5 ratings had been applied for Units 1, 2 and 3.

    (snip)

    The provisional rating was determined by NISA after it received the results of the analysis conducted by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES). NISA then applied the INES assessment methodology to calculate the total estimated release in terms of radiological equivalence to I-131. Based on this provisional assessment, NISA concluded that the accident would be provisionally rated INES Level 7 as per the definition below, taken from the INES User's Manual, 2008 Edition [pdf]:

    Level 7

    "An event resulting in an environmental release corresponding to a quantity of radioactivity radiologically equivalent to a release to the atmosphere of more than several tens of thousands of terabequerels of I-131."

    (snip)

    "On 11 April the Government of Japan announced that they had concluded to establish 'Planned Evacuation Areas' and 'Evacuation prepared Area' in the areas beyond the 20km radius from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The review was conducted because the Government consider the safety of residents its first priority.

    (snip)

    About the 'Planned Evacuation Areas', the Japanese authorities have found that the areas beyond 20 km radius could be exposed to over 20mSv during the course of the next one year, approximately until next March. Therefore the Government of Japan will be consulting with the local communities in terms of planned evacuations, ant at this juncture they are hoping that this planned evacuation will be carried out during the next month to come. The Planned Evacuation Areas that have been newly designated for evacuation include Kutsurao village, Namie town, Iitate village, a part of Kawamata town and a part of Minami Souma City.

    The Government also defined a second new area called the 'Evacuation Prepared Area'. This area includes the area previously defined as the 'Indoor Evacuation Area' between 20 and 30 km from Fukushima Daiichi, but excludes those areas designated above as 'Planned Evacuation Areas'.

    Within the 'Evacuation Prepared Area' people living in this area should be prepared for indoor evacuation or evacuation (outside of this area) in case of emergency. Voluntary evacuation is recommended within this area. Children, pregnant women, people who require nursing care and those who are hospitalized should not enter this area. Kindergartens, pre-schools, elementary schools, junior-high schools and high school will be closed within this area."

    Radiation Monitoring

    On 11 April, deposition of both iodine-131 and cesium-137 was detected in 6 and 8 prefectures respectively. The values reported for iodine-131 ranged from 2.1 to 35 Bq/m2 and for cesium-137 from 5.2 to 41 Bq/m2.

    Gamma dose rates are measured daily in all 47 prefectures, the values tend to decrease. For Fukushima, on 11 April a dose rate of 2.1 µSv/h, for the Ibaraki prefecture a gamma dose rate of 0.15 µSv/h was reported. The gamma dose rates in all other prefectures were below 0.1 µSv/h.

    Dose rates are also reported specifically for the Eastern part of the Fukushima prefecture, for distances of more than 30 km to Fukushima-Daiichi. On 11 April, the values in this area ranged from 0.2 to 25 µSv/h.

    In an additional MEXT monitoring programme, on 11 April measurements were reported for 25 cities in 13 prefectures. In Fukushima City, a value of 0.42 µSv/h was observed. In all other cities, gamma dose rates ranged from 0.04 to 0.13 µSv/h. Typical normal background levels are in the range of 0.05 to 0.10 µSv/h.

    On 11 April, the IAEA Team made measurements at 9 different locations in the Fukushima area at distances of 30 to 58 km, West to Northwest from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. At these locations, the dose rates ranged from 0.1 to 2.2 µSv/h. At the same locations, results of beta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.01 to 0.28 Megabecquerel/m2.

    More info at link
    http://www.iaea.org/...

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:39:59 PM PDT

    •  How very convenient to combine... (5+ / 0-)

      I'd still like to know the individual assessment/ rating for each unit and spent fuel pond.  If this were poker, they are telling us that all together, we now have one seven card when before we had four of a kind - of fives.  (They like to play low card games, where the loser get to keep the pot - see above story about socializing the segment of the company that gets to clean up the mess, while leaving the private side intact and up for trades.)

      And, as it has been pointed out, what the heck happened to Level Six, and when did we pass that benchmark?  Isn't the lack of a "six" an admission of a coverup, any way you slice it?  Their semantic games are as endless, and unappreciated as those of a freshman logistics major caught cheating on his exams, or a sitting president with his hand in the cookie jar/ torture scandal / intern's panties, you name it.  

      Keep in mind the rating system is akin to the seismic one, where each new number is greater by a power of ten.  So if a Level One incident is an "oops factor" of 1, and a level 2 is a 20, and a 3 is 300, etc, then we've suddenly gone from 200,000  (four number 50,000s, at most) to 7 million, as I see it.  

      I am no physicist, but it seems more likely to me that the "level seven" release came from one event, such as the TORUS being blown on #2 or the explosion from the spent fuel "fresh air core melt" on #4, rather than the semi-TMI like ventings from the reactors.  I am WAY over my head in saying this however and I fully admit so.  I just have a hunch about it based on taking the mindset of TEPCO and whatever whitewash, industry spawned and funded agency runs this sideshow and asking myself, "how can I spin this?"  One lumped together number seven is easier to admit to than three-to-seven or so fully fledged Chernoby type ONGOING incidents, if you were to count the fuel ponds and the online reactors separately.  

  •  Are TEPCO and NISA withholding info. again? (12+ / 0-)

    One giant h/t to RJA (or better yet a full up Bill and Ted style we're not worthy bow) for this catch.

    I wanted to post this as a separate comment so it doesn't get lost.

    h/t to jlyne for posting this comment with a kyodo story quote regarding the spent fuel pool in #4

    There is a possibility that the fuel may have been temporarily exposed when the water level at the storage pool dropped following the March 11 disaster, but camera footage found that the water level now was enough to cover the fuel. But the temperature of the water was 90 degrees, much higher than the usual 20-30 degrees.

    We have NEVER had a temperature reading for any sfp's except 2, 5 & 6. The only thing we've had to go on for 1, 3 and 4 has been the thermography. The latest thermography reading for #4 was 46C on April 8th.

    90C is a hell of a lot hotter than 46C. It's nearly boiling. As of today's JAIFreport, there is no temperature reading available besides the thermography.

    This would not be the first time officials have quoted a temperature to the press that was not reported on their official reports. The same situation arose on March 20th when they gave temerature readings for the reactors in a press piece. They did not start to release those temps on official reports till March 23rd. See my comment here for the run down of that episode.

    If that temp. is accurate, and they're withholding it, what else are they not telling us?

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:54:52 PM PDT

    •  "All the info we think you need" phase? n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

      by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:13:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  UNIT #4 : WORST CASE, LEAST PRESS (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, oldhippie, evergreen2, bincbom, Siri

      One reason this is not getting much attention in the MSM:  Not much  of a narrative to cover, and few experts to ask question of since it isn't an expert situation. It's a, "That would never happen" situation.   There are no statistical models to study regarding Unit #4, and TEPCO has quietly played down any news about this part of the multi-dimensional disaster.  So the MSM has been missing the story, possibly the BIG story here.

      It's sometimes hard to remember, amidst all the other news and commentary, that this building's reactor was offline when the earthquake hit.  All the fuel, 1, 331 rods worth, was stored in one pool, and that pool received ZERO water for the next four days while TEPCO floundered about dealing with the other reactors.  No action, not story to write. Then, on the 15th, the building experienced a huge explosion, and caught fire, and burned for a day.  THEN, and only then, did they start doing anything....  but always playing down the real facts of the situation.  We, the people, have NO photos that show this supposed pool, and scant information in the form of guesswork as to what is going on there.  Other than spray some water at the problem, nothing else has been done here.  How does a new editor pitch that story?  

  •  Diablo Canyon Renewal Delayed (7+ / 0-)

    Renewal DELAYED!
    Diablo Canyon License Renewal Application delayed at the request of Pacific Gas and Electric Company until 2015.

    On April 11, 2011, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requesting “that the Commission delay the final processing of the [License Renewal Application] LRA such that the renewed operating licenses, if approved, would not be issued until after PG&E has completed the 3-D seismic studies and submitted a report to the NRC addressing the results of those studies.” PG&E states that the studies will be completed not later than December 2015.
    More at:
    http://mothersforpeace.org/...

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:49:50 PM PDT

  •  TEPCO to give cash to nuclear evacuees (9+ / 0-)

    The story indicates that all households subject to evacuation, including the shelter in place and those outside the current 30 km zone, will be eligible for payment.

    2011/04/13 03:47 - Nuclear-Affected Residents To Get Tepco Cash Soon: METI Chief

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    TOKYO (Nikkei)--The government plans to have Tokyo Electric Power Co. distribute emergency funds as soon as possible to those forced to evacuate their homes following the nuclear plant crisis, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda told a news conference Tuesday.

    "Many people were forced to flee without packing any possessions," Kaieda said. A government office charged with nuclear-crisis compensation will soon approve the disbursement at its inaugural meeting, according to Kaieda.

    The government will then notify Tokyo Electric, known as Tepco. Payments are expected to reach 1 million yen [$11,812] a household, with a total around 50 billion yen [$590.6 million].


  •  Updated environmental readings Fukushima prefect. (10+ / 0-)

    Data are from http://www.mext.go.jp/... and are in uSv/hr.

    Looks like there's no great change in contamination.  The levels that were decreasing have now leveled off  -- maybe I-131 is largely decayed, while the Cs remains?

    Date/Post 31 (30 km WNW) 32 (30 km NW) 33 (30 km NW) 81 (30 km NW) 83 (20 KM NW) 62 (40 km NW)
    17-Mar 61.6 158 78.2     20
    18-Mar 45 150 52      
    19-Mar 42.1 135 59.2     25.9
    20-Mar 45 110 55     25.8
    21-Mar 28 90 45      
    22-Mar 23 75 40     20
    23-Mar 24 75 35     15.3
    24-Mar 25 65 30   106 16.8
    25-Mar 25 65 27   92.5 13.2
    26-Mar 20 46 26   82 12.3
    27-Mar 23 50 20 44 87 10.2
    28-Mar 25 45 43 41.2 77.6 9.6
    29-Mar 18.3 43 18.9 38.5 73.5 9.1
    30-Mar 16.3 41.6 17.3 32.2 59.3 8.5
    31-Mar   38 21.5 31.4 55.6 8
    1-Apr 15.4 36.2 18.2 34.5 70.9 7.7
    2-Apr 14 34 21 36.8 62 8.6
    3-Apr 12.5 32.7 21.3 35.2 65.2 7.7
    4-Apr 9.8 32.7 18.6 27.4 57 7.2
    5-Apr 10.6 26 16.3 29.1 58.3 6.3
    6-Apr 10.9 25.8 13.2 28.3 58.8 6.4
    7-Apr 11.4 27.8 19.5   58.5 6.4
    8-Apr 9 24.6 15.5   53.5 6.5
    9-Apr 10.7 26.1 15.3 24.2 47.5 7
    10-Apr 12.8 25.2 18.7   52 6.4
    11-Apr 12.6 23.9 17.5   53.5 6.7
    12-Apr 12.3 26.4 15.6 16   6.3

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:47:15 PM PDT

  •  Radiation and Jet Stream forecast UPDATE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, rja, Siri

    Cesium-137, Xenon-133, and Iodine-131

    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Environmental readings for power plants (9+ / 0-)

    These data are compiled from the Seismic Damage Reports posted to NISA METI http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/...
    Readings are in uSv/hr.  The readings are taken regularly every hour.  I have averaged them for each day. (NPS stands for nuclear power station).

    Norma range [μSv/hr] NPS 5-Apr 6-Apr 7-Apr 8-Apr
    0.023-0.027 Tomari NPS 0.027 0.028 0.028 0.032
    0.024-0.060 Onagawa NPS 0.403 0.388 0.380 0.375
    0.012-0.060 Higashidori NPS 0.017 0.017 0.017 0.021
    0.033-0.050 Fukushima Dai-ichi※ 67.567 73.236 59.290 54.555
    0.036-0.052 Fukushima Dai-ni 4.432 4.282 4.132 3.900
    0.011-0.159 Kashiwazaki kariwa NPS 0.065 0.066 0.066 0.068
    0.036-0.053 Tokai Dai-ni NPS 0.483 0.470 0.458 0.441
    0.039-0.110 Tsuruga NPS 0.075 0.075 0.075 0.078
    0.064-0.108 Hamaoka NPS 0.045 0.045 0.045 0.045
    0.0207-0.132 Shika NPS 0.033 0.033 0.034 0.038
    0.028-0.130 Shimane NPS 0.030 0.030 0.030 0.036
    0.070-0.077 Mihama NPS 0.074 0.074 0.074 0.076
    0.045-0.047 Takahama NPS 0.043 0.043 0.043 0.045
    0.036-0.040 Ooi NPS 0.035 0.036 0.036 0.037
    0.011-0.080 Ikata NPS 0.014 0.014 0.013 0.017
    0.023-0.087 Genkai NPS 0.026 0.027 0.026 0.031
    0.034-0.120 Sendai NPS 0.038 0.037 0.039 0.041
    0.009-0.069 Japan Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant 0.016 0.016 0.016 0.018
    0.009-0.071 Japan Nuclear Fuel Plant Disposal 0.023 0.023 0.023 0.023

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:04:35 PM PDT

    •  Do we know why Onagawa levels (6+ / 0-)

      are elevated?  Is it because of Fukushima?  I know they aren't too far apart.  I know Onagawa lost power for a bit, but I don't think they vented anything, did they?

      "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

      by jlynne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:29:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Onagawa info from NISA and Reuters (7+ / 0-)

        The report about Onagawa can be found here pg 17-18

        Onagawa NPS (Tohoku Electric Power Co. Inc.)
        (Onagawa Town, Oga County and Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
        (1) The state of operation
        Unit 1 (524MWe):   automatic shutdown, cold shut down at 0:58, March 12th
        Unit 2 (825MWe):   automatic shutdown, cold shut down at earthquake
        Unit 3 (825MWe):   automatic shutdown, cold shut down at 1:17, March 12th

        (2) Readings of monitoring post, etc. MP2 (Monitoring at the Northern End of Site Boundary)  Approx. 0.37μSV/h (16:00 April 7th)
        (Approx. 0.38μSV/h (16:00 April 6th)

        (3) Report concerning other incidents
        ・ Fire Smoke on the first basement of the Turbine Building was confirmed to be extinguished. (22:55 on March 11th)
        ・ Tohoku Electric Power Co. reported to NISA in accordance with the Article 10 of the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness. (13:09 March 13th)

        This March 13th story from Reuters explained the spike as coming from Fukushima

        (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear safety agency said on Sunday there was no problem with the cooling process at Tohoku Electric Power Co's (9506.T) Onagawa nuclear power plant and that a rise in radiation levels there was due to radiation leakage at another plant in a neighbouring prefecture.

        The agency said a report from Tohoku Electric shows that cooling systems at all three reactors at the Onagawa complex, which were automatically shut after a massive earthquake and tsunami on Friday, are functioning properly.

        Cooling systems at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (9501.T) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were damaged by the quake and tsunami, forcing the power utility to let out air from reactor container vessels to reduce pressure built inside.

        "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

        by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:48:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm guessing it was the water spill from the fuel (7+ / 0-)

        pool a couple of quakes ago:
        http://mdn.mainichi.jp/...

        Water spilled out from pools holding spent nuclear fuel at the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in Miyagi Prefecture during a major aftershock off the prefecture on April 7, it has been learned.

        Officials said 2.3 liters of water spilled from the pool at the No. 1 reactor, along with 3.8 liters at the No. 2 reactor and 1.8 liters at the No. 3 reactor when the magnitude-7.4 aftershock rocked the plant. The radiation level of the water was between 817 and 5,410 becquerels -- far below the level of 3.7 million becquerels requiring the plant's operator to file a report to the government.

        It doesn't really seem like that's enough water to raise the levels by much, but who knows.  I can look for the data prior to Apr 7th and see if that's when the radiation levels rose there (if the data for that plant is available).

        "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

        by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:56:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, nevermind-- those data are from (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja, jlynne, Just Bob, peraspera

          prior to the 7th.  The levels are elevated for a different reason -- see Siri's comment.  Hers makes more sense than mine. I think I need more sleep!

          "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

          by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:25:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Readings around the Dai-chi plant for Apr 9 (9+ / 0-)

    Yes, that is the latest we have for several spots at the plant.

    These readings are taken from various locations around the plant, starting with the northern most point near the ocean, continuing counterclockwise around the perimeter to the southern most point near the ocean (the MPs and gate readings).  There are also some readings from within the plant.  The distance from reactor 2 to the main gate is ~ 1 km, and to the gym is ~ 0.5 km.  Data are taken from http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/... the same place as the readings for the various power plants I listed previously.  Given the differences in reported figures, I'm not sure where the reading listed in the table I posted previously for this plant are taken from.

    Location Reading [μSv/hr]
    MP1 13
    MP2 42
    MP3 42
    MP4 42
    MP5 83
    Near W gate 50.6
    Main gate 82
    MP6 128
    MP7 259
    MP8 209
    Near Gym 371.9
    Earthquake isolation Bldg 427
    S of Main office 644
    N of Main office 2015

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:31:52 PM PDT

    •  It always pays to read. (6+ / 0-)

      The near the gym reading has not been updated since Mar 17.

      The north of main office reading has not been updated since Mar 21.

      The earthquake isolation building reading has not been updated since Mar 24.

      The main gate reading I listed was for Apr 6 and done my monitoring cars.  There is an updated reading of 90 uSv/hr for the 9th, reported as measured by transportable monitoring post.

      All other readings are for Apr 9.

      Sorry if I've caused any confusion.

      "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

      by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like the south end is the worst (6+ / 0-)

      Maybe there is a clear pattern here...  who can say without a map?  (I guess they don't think the Pacific Ocean side is worth measuring. ) The worst readings however seem to be at the south end of the half circle. which is where Unit #4 is located.  I'd love to see the map that goes with this table.  Or a homemade facsimile with some blogger guesswork.  Which do you think we will have first?

      •  I was going to tell you to click the link, but my (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, Siri, ricklewsive, peraspera, jlynne

        link is broken  (there are all kinds of things wrong with that comment!)
        I am glad you said something:  http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/...
        Try that on p5

        "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

        by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:14:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  south is worst regardless of time stamp n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, Siri, peraspera
        •  i see map - inconclusive data IMHO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Siri, Just Bob

          This table might be useful to someone smarter than I, but all I see is that there are a bunch of readings very far away from the reactor buildings.  A more useful sampling might be if, gosh, they were to read the radiation levels at each building and SFP separately. I was hoping that this table would tell us which of 1-4 is the "hottest"  -this table doesnt do that.

          Keep in mind some of the fuel from SFPs has probably been ejected onto the grounds and there will be hot spots where the chunks of uranium rods landed.  We learned there were some such chunks bulldozed over between buildings.  

          Maybe if we just look at readings from april 8 and 9, some pattern would emerge but this looks like garbage in, garbage out to me, other than the fact that it is nice to have readings from SOMEWHERE on site.  

          Sorry I didnt have much to add.  Thanks for posting this.  It's all part of the puzzle somehow.  

  •  Comments about the data delay (10+ / 0-)

    http://www.nytimes...

    Seiji Shiroya, a commissioner of Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission, an independent government panel that oversees the country’s nuclear industry, said that the government had delayed issuing data on the extent of the radiation releases because of concern that the margins of error had been large in initial computer models. But he also suggested a public policy reason for having kept quiet.

    “Some foreigners fled the country even when there appeared to be little risk,” he said. “If we immediately decided to label the situation as Level 7, we could have triggered a panicked reaction.”

    ...

    To use the model, scientists enter radiation measurements from various distances from a nuclear accident. The model produces an estimate of the radioactive material escaping at the source of the accident.

    Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Shiroya said those calculations were complex, and it was only recently that researchers had been able to narrow down the amount to within an acceptable margin of error.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:29:00 PM PDT

    •  There was never 'little risk' (4+ / 0-)

      Other than that, it's a pretty safe scientific comment.  "Wait until you have all the data to report your findings."  Only sometimes it is wise to run like hell, or to air on the side of caution.  "captain, we hit an iceberg" usually gets the response of, ready the lifeboats, THEN go check the damages.

      The politics surrounding labeling this a Level seven disaster however are another story.  Skipping level six suggests a coverup.  Lumping the sites together to make it a Seven is also  both an argument that is being discussed upthread.  

      Going from a supposed  "individual 5s" to "lump sum 7" is akin to your car going from 20mph to 700mph.  That's why the public isn't swallowing it.  But the scientists call them as they see them, and then the various gatekeepers weigh in.  

  •  Estimate of 1% released (9+ / 0-)

    NHK

    The company on Tuesday announced the estimated radioactivity levels of all substances at the plant's 6 reactors and fuel storage pools at the time of the disaster.

    The estimates are classified under radioactive noble gases, iodine or other materials.

    81 million tera-becquerels of iodine-131 are believed to have existed at the plant.

    The utility says the amount of iodine-131 released outside the plant is about one percent of the total with a margin of error included.
    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said earlier in the day that 130,000 tera-becquerels of iodine-131 have been released so far.

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:35:16 PM PDT

  •  Plans to cap TEPCO's liability (8+ / 0-)
    TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters) - Japan may cap Tokyo Electric Power's liability to as little as $24 billion for damages stemming from its crippled nuclear plant, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, citing a draft plan being considered by the plant operator and the government.

    The scheme is designed to ease worries in the financial market over the fate of Tokyo Electric, which is the country's largest corporate bond issuer and whose shares are widely held by financial institutions, the newspaper said

    (snip)

    Shares of Tokyo Electric were untraded with a glut of buy orders at 498 yen, up 10.7 percent from Monday's close.

    The plan calls for other power utilities to contribute to a fund that would shoulder up to 2.7 trillion yen of compensation payouts, with the remaining damages to be handled by the government, the Yomiuri said.

    The utilities, including Tokyo Electric, would contribute to the fund in proportion to the number of reactors they own. This could come to about 30 to 50 billion yen for each reactor, the newspaper said.

    The draft plan will likely face hurdles including opposition from shareholders of other utilities such as Kansai Electric , which has 11 reactors and could be asked to contribute as much as 550 billion yen under the scheme, the paper said

    http://af.reuters.com/...

    This is all to prop up TEPCO's shareholders. You just know no one will care if taxpayers balk at picking up the bill but watching the shareholders of the other utilities go nuts over this ought to be interesting.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:52:45 PM PDT

  •  there is a new ROV in the queue (8+ / 0-)

    ready to go.. anyone can put updates in. Ive updated with latest news but not pulled comments from here yet and Ihave to head out.

    Also the link to this ROV http://www.dailykos.com/...

    has to be inserted where it says visit 46 at bottom of top section so readers can flip back for news from yesterday...

    There is so much good analysis in here ... from peraspera and MAHW and siri and ricklewise.... I'm hoping someone will add that to the new ROV.

    I took some stuff which is in here out ...

    Also, if someone wants to republish under their name you guys know i have no problem at all with that.

    Just wanted to get a rov ready ....

    see you all later...

    Hope Gilmore's day went okay and hope MO's doing ok AND i must be missing someone else,

    but mahw? The name of the diary? you and i will get it:) (and again, i'm fine w/you changing. i actually started to write a poem after your comment earlier....

  •  Another strong quake hit Fukushima and Ibaraki (8+ / 0-)

    Kyodo News crawl

    NEWS ADVISORY: Strong quake jolts Ibaraki, Fukushima prefectures (10:14)

  •  Strong quake jolts Ibaraki, Fukushima (9+ / 0-)

    prefectures Kyodo news crawl - 10:14

    Apr 13, 2011 10:07:42 JST Hamado-ri, Fukushima Depth: 10km Mag.: 7.2 JMA Scale: 6-upper

    http://quake.twiple.jp/...

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:26:13 PM PDT

  •  Another quake per Kyodo news crawl (5+ / 0-)

    No more info on Kyodo yet.
    Kyodo News

    NEWS ADVISORY: Strong quake jolts Ibaraki, Fukushima prefectures (10:14)
  •  Map (5+ / 0-)

    USGS reports M5.2

    http://neic.usgs.gov...

    Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:38:37 PM PDT

  •  Jackzo - Head of NRC - Gives Alternative Theory (11+ / 0-)

    about the explosion in his testimony before Congress today...

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Mr. Jaczko also offered a new theory about the cause of the explosions that destroyed the secondary containment structures of several of the reactors. The prevailing theory has been that hydrogen gas was created when the reactor cores overheated and filled with steam instead of water; the steam reacts with the metal, which turns into a powder and then gives off hydrogen.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the nuclear plant, intended to vent the excess steam as well as the hydrogen outside of the plant, but experts have suggested that when operators tried this, the vents ruptured, allowing the hydrogen to enter the secondary containments.

    But Mr. Jaczko said Tuesday that the explosions in the secondary containments might have been caused by hydrogen created in the spent-fuel pools within those containments.

    He also calls the situation "unstable," and implies that inadequate solutions for US nuclear reactors have been sought.

    However, Barbara Boxer's response to this third redaction is very noteworthy:

    He drew praise from the committee’s chairwoman, Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, but criticism as well. She is seeking an especially high level of scrutiny for two twin-reactor plants in her state, the only ones that the commission says are in zones of high seismic activity. Mr. Jaczko said that all reactors were being evaluated.

    She countered by saying that those two plants, Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, were at the highest risk. Mr. Jaczko said they were not, explaining that they were designed with the earthquake risk in mind and that risks to American plants generally were small.

    Ms. Boxer replied that the Japanese had said the same thing, at least until the March 11 accident. “It’s eerie to me,” she said. “I don’t sense enough humility from all of us here.”

  •  3/25 article: more cs-137 @ Fukushima hotspot than (7+ / 0-)

    at any soil sample from the Chernobyl disaster.

    I was also struck by the nuclear engineer's estimate, below, of 150 mSV/year from this one hotspot.  

    h/t jlynne for mentioning this article towards the end of rov 45

    Japan Soil Measurements Surprisingly High

    The soil measurements are more significant for evacuation purposes than radioactivity in the air, says nuclear engineer Shih-Yew Chen of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, because cesium dust stays underfoot while air is transient. Levels of cesium-137 are also more important than soil readings of iodine-131, which is short-lived and more of a concern in milk and vegetables. "It's the cesium that would prompt an evacuation," says Chen.

    Based on a rough estimate, a person standing on soil with 163,000 Bq/kg of cesium-137 would receive about 150 millisieverts per year of radiation, says Chen. This is well above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard of 50 millisieverts per year for an evacuation. (Per day, it's 0.41 millisieverts, which is equivalent to four chest x-rays.) But Chen adds, "one point [of data] doesn't mean that much."

    The hot spot is similar to levels found in some areas affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the former Soviet Union. Assuming the radiation is no more than 2 centimeters deep, Chen calculates that 163,000 Bq/kg is roughly equivalent to 8 million Bq/m2. The highest cesium-137 levels in some villages near Chernobyl were 5 million Bq/m2.

  •  Gilmore Doing OK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rja, peraspera
    By Boatsie: Hope Gilmore's day went okay and hope MO's doing ok

    My Dad's move from his single family home to an independent living facility has been chock full of twists and turns. . .  I'll write a diary about it for KosAbility if NurseKelley will let me. It's getting easier each day. . .

    I hope the swirling winds of life ease for mahakali overdrive and that warmth and comfort fill the voids that were created by the loss of her friend.

    Special thanks to all the regulars:
    Boatsie
    Procrastinator John
    middleagedhousewife
    peraspera
    Siri
    (+ anyone my tired mind has missed)

    Also special thanks to those who drop in to catch up and keep this tragedy present in the hearts and minds of their friends.

    Peace, Love and Understanding to all
    Gilmore
    P.S. If any and all could find their way to Netroots Nation 2011 in MN this year it would be great to sit around and just relax. . . Yes, that's an invite. . .  to what exactly I don't know. . .

    Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

    by Gilmore on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:43:08 PM PDT

  •  Same old, same old. (0+ / 0-)

    Aerial radiation continues to decline. Cooling systems are operating same as a couple weeks ago. No one has reached the safety limit 5 REM radiation dose. Certainly nobody is dying.

    Rain water is the main actor at this point. Concentrating cesium-137 should be enough to get anybody's attention.

    Self-Defense Force cleared out a "hot" area northwest of the plant. That was weeks ago. No press release. Here's the dull daily maximum radiation hazard numbers from Ibaraki Prefecture -- though their average radiation exposures are less than half the max:

    -- 350 nanoGrays/hour -- 09:30 PM local time on the 16th

    -- 356 nGy/h -- 04:50 AM local time on the 15th

    -- 360 nGy/h -- 09:00 PM local time on the 14th

    -- 362 nGy/h -- 10:40 PM local time on the 13th

    -- 366 nGy/h - 11:10 PM local time on the 12th

    -- 379 nGy/h - 09:40 PM local time on the 11th

    -- 389 nGy/h - 07:30 AM local time on the 10th

    -- 404 nGy/h - 10:00 AM local time on the 9th

    -- 423 nGy/h - 09:00 AM local time on the 8th

    -- 437 nGy/h - 10:30 AM local time on the 7th

    -- 441 nGy/h - 10:30 PM local time on the 6th

    -- 464 nGy/h - 10:00 PM local time on the 5th

    -- 463 nGy/h - 9:00 PM local time on the 4th

    -- 480 nGy/h - 9:00 PM local time on the 3rd

    -- 499 nGy/h - 9:40 PM local time on the 2nd

    -- 536 nGy/h - 5:10 AM local time on the 1st of April

    -- 556 nGy/h - 9:40 AM local time on the 31st

    -- 575 nGy/h - 11:00 PM local time on the 30th

    -- 597 nGy/h - 4:40 AM local time on the 29th

    -- 646 nGy/h - 6:50 PM local time on the 28th

    -- 684 nGy/h - 10:20 PM local time on the 27th

    -- 786 nGy/h - 11.00 PM local time on the 25th

    -- 866 nGy/h - 8:20 PM local time on the 24th

    -- 957 nGy/h - 7:30 PM local time on the 23rd

    -- 1012 nGy/h - 1:10 AM local time on the 23rd

    -- 1221 nGy/h - 7:20 PM local time on the 22nd

    -- 1178 nGy/h - 9:20 PM local time on the 21st

    -- 1145 nGy/h - 6:10 PM local time on the 21st

    -- 1160 nGy/h - 4:30 PM local time on the 21st of March

    The Tokyo area is seeing 46-to-84 nGy/h. Normal range for background rad for industrialized areas.

    Eating a banana smacks you with 100 nanoGrays. Same for a spinach salad. 5,700 nGy/h = 5 REM/year = the IAEA worker safety limit.

    These out-of-doors rooftop readings show roughly 5%-to-1% of the safety limit.

    Schools are open in western Fukushima Prefecture and parts of Miyagi. Background rad levels there are below 50 nanoGrays/hour, despite unsubstantiated claims in various blurbs. E.g., Greenpeace is being seen in Japan as anti-Japan for reason of the whaling issue. They've put out a dozen press releases on FNPP that fell flat on the facts. Their comparisons with Chernobyl, particularly, fail credibility.

    BTW: Rain run-off areas near to and south from FNPP are at risk of concentrating cesium isotopes.
    There could be as many as 1,000 "hot" areas, but more likely 50 to 100.

    Cesium-137 is a poison.

    Even the apparently spotless Japanese children like to get down in the mud when parents are not looking. This hazard needs at least 200 people assigned just for Ibaraki -- starting as close to yesterday as possible.

    Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 06:23:41 AM PDT

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