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March 27, 2011

TEPCO corrections: Not “10 million times” normal level, “100,000 times”

  • errors As you might have noticed earlier today, TEPCO reported a level of radiation that was insanely high — 10 million times the usual level — coming from the water at a Fukushima reactor. This was very wrong, so much so that we took down our posts about this.
  • correctionsTEPCO apologized — while noting the amount was a still-very-high 100,000 times its normal level. “I am very sorry,” said TEPCO’s vice president, Sakae Muto. ”I would like to make sure that such a mistake will not happen again.” Good apology, Muto. source
12:04 // 3 years ago
10:07 // 3 years ago

That “10 million times” number at Fukushima? An error, guys.

  • what The high level of radiation reported by TEPCO was a huge freaking error, and in reality, the level is much lower.
  • how The worker taking the test freaked out, apparently — wouldn’t you? — before doing a backup test to confirm.
  • reaction A TEPCO spokesperson apologized. “The number is not credible,” said  Takashi Kurita. “We are very sorry.”  source

(thanks isuree)

10:01 // 3 years ago
March 26, 2011

Japan update: Lots of people trying to get Fukushima under control

  • 700+ engineers are battling the Fukushima crisis source

» Progress, but no end in sight: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano had these vaguely calming words about the incident: “We are preventing the situation from worsening — we’ve restored power and pumped in fresh water — and making basic steps toward improvement,” he said, “but there is still no room for complacency.” There are good and bad parts about the overall situation right now — while aftershocks are starting to tail off, radiation levels in seawater miles away are very high, but are said to be of little threat to those eating seafood from the ocean. Still, though …

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20:18 // 3 years ago
March 25, 2011

Japan Prime Minister on Fukushima: We’re not out of the woods yet

Don’t consider the situation at Fukushima settled just yet. That’s the message that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, in his first statements on the matter in over a week, would like to make clear. ”We are making efforts to prevent it from getting worse, but I feel we cannot become complacent,” he said. “We must continue to be on our guard.” Kan’s comments come in the wake of high instability at some of the plants — yesterday, two workers got radiation burns on their feet while working on Fukushima’s No. 3 unit, which is the most dangerous of the bunch due to its use of a mixture of uranium and plutonium. The situation led to fresh concerns about whether there might be a leak in that reactor. TEPCO officials are still looking for the cause of the high radiation levels. source

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17:35 // 3 years ago
March 24, 2011
zeitvox:

Japan Nuclear Crisis: What About The Plutonium MOX?

The media tells us that things are looking much better now in regard to the Japan nuclear crisis and we should all relax about the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima. 
Yet, there is something bothering us in London which makes it difficult for us to relax completely…
If the smoke billowing from the Fukushima reactor 3, amongst other reactors, does indeed contain plutonium, then this nuclear crisis has exposed Japan and the world to a much more extreme danger than the one originally envisaged.  If so, we all ought to know about it.  There should be some more specific investigations in regard to the contents.

Plutonium is one of the most lethal known health hazards.
 
See also 3/17: “Plutonium is the heaviest primordial element”Proliferation and safety problems of MOX useMixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel  | image source

This article, written by a risk assessment group, is purely speculative (and a couple days old), but The Guardian has been concerned about this too: “The condition of the No 3 unit is of particular concern as it contains plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel and would release highly toxic plutonium in the event of a meltdown.” Worth noting, but take with a grain of salt.

zeitvox:

Japan Nuclear Crisis: What About The Plutonium MOX?

The media tells us that things are looking much better now in regard to the Japan nuclear crisis and we should all relax about the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima. 

Yet, there is something bothering us in London which makes it difficult for us to relax completely…

If the smoke billowing from the Fukushima reactor 3, amongst other reactors, does indeed contain plutonium, then this nuclear crisis has exposed Japan and the world to a much more extreme danger than the one originally envisaged.  If so, we all ought to know about it.  There should be some more specific investigations in regard to the contents.

Plutonium is one of the most lethal known health hazards.

See also 3/17: “Plutonium is the heaviest primordial element”
Proliferation and safety problems of MOX use
Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel  | image source

This article, written by a risk assessment group, is purely speculative (and a couple days old), but The Guardian has been concerned about this too: “The condition of the No 3 unit is of particular concern as it contains plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel and would release highly toxic plutonium in the event of a meltdown.” Worth noting, but take with a grain of salt.

18:51 // 3 years ago

According to VOA, the U.S. government (along with a drug firm named Onconova) is currently working on an anti-radiation drug called Ex-Rad. “Ex-Rad is a drug which is effective in saving a cell damaged by radiation,” says Onconova CEO Ramesh Kumar, “and we have found that it can be given in advance of exposure to radiation up to a day ahead or it can be given up to a day after the exposure to radiation.” If this is true, it’s worth keeping an eye on. source

11:17 // 3 years ago
The reactors are more stable as time progresses. By now, the decay heat is greatly reduced and it becomes easier to supply sufficient water for cooling. As far as we know, the containments are holding and the radiation levels have dropped.
UC Berkley nuclear expert Peter Hosemann • Suggesting that Fukushima is quickly becoming less of an issue, and more under control. He does warn, however, that radiation may still get into the environment: “We might see some more release of radioactive material, mostly due to the water going through the systems.” Overall, though, this is promising in terms of getting things handled. source (viafollow)
10:45 // 3 years ago