The Japanese government raised its rating on Friday of the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to the same level as the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency revised upward its evaluation of the severity of the disaster by one notch to Level 5 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale.
Level 5 is the third highest on the 8-notch scale and the worst for any nuclear accident to have happened in Japan.
The agency says it raised the rating because more than 3 percent of the nuclear fuel has been damaged and radioactive material is leaking from the plant.
The disaster’s initial rating of Level 4 was the same as the fatal criticality accident that occurred at a nuclear fuel plant in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1999.
Friday, March 18, 2011 20:01 +0900 (JST)
“There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.”
“Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.”
OUR PRAYERS CONTINUE FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THIS UNFOLDING TRAGEDY.
Prepare folks. This is not a false alarm. This is the real deal. See March 16 Updates, below this post, to learn how you need, must prepare for this fallout. It is not going to be a one-day event, but rather several days if not weeks.
From Wayne Madsen Reports – March 18,2011 – TEPCO, Japanese regulator stonewalling on nuclear plant crisis
WMR has learned of a concerted campaign of the stonewalling of key Japanese government officials by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, and Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) nuclear regulatory watchdog. WMR has been told by informed Japanese sources that the close relationship between TEPCO and NISA neutered effective oversight of TEPCO’s safety problem-ridden reactors for a number of years. The lack of effective contingency planning and TEPCO’s overriding interest in it’s corporate bottom led to the post-quake/tsunami Level 5 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant. The lack of effective NISA oversight is a direct result of the cozy relationship between the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency, according to our sources.
One of the major reasons why the Japanese Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has not been fully informed of the dire situation at the Fukushima reactor facilities is that Chief Cabinet Secretary, attorney Yukio Edano, cut his teeth in politics as an outspoken opponent of Japan’s nuclear power industry.
WMR has been told that TEPCO and NISA, skeptical of Edano’s past anti-nuclear stance, feared that Edano stands to amplify the threat posed by the current nuclear disaster at Fukushima. TEPCO and NISA has, therefore, acted to limit what information has been passed to Edano to avoid the Cabinet Secretary heightening fears during his many news conferences. Edano has been the chief Japanese government’s face in televised news conferences on Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown and radiation release.
Edano’s past anti-nuclear stance also extended to his opposition to nuclear-powered U.S. Navy ships from being homeported in Japanese ports. There are some indications that the Obama administration, which fully supports the U.S. nuclear power industry, has also quietly supported TEPCO and NISA from providing Edano with too much information, especially since Edano also holds the portfolio of Minister of State for Okinawa Affairs. The people of Okinawa have been adamant about the need for the U.S. to pull its military bases off the island.
Re posting from March 17, 2011 Update thread –
DO NOT TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA TO TELL YOU SAFE or NOT SAFE LEVELS OF RADIATION. TRUST THE GEIGER COUNTERS TRACKING THE LEVELS FOR YOURSELF. HERE IS ONE SUCH LINK THAT IS STREAMING LIVE.
HERE IS ANOTHER LINK –
AND ANOTHER –
AND ANOTHER –
To get today’s wind/jet stream forecasts, check out Dr. Master’s update at Wunder Blog – http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html
SEVEN DAYS LATER – The moment nuclear plant chief WEPT as Japanese finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people
- Officials admit they may have to bury reactors under concrete – as happened at Chernobyl
- Government says it was overwhelmed by the scale of twin disasters
- Japanese upgrade accident from level four to five – the same as Three Mile Island
- We will rebuild from scratch says Japanese prime minister
- Particles spewed from wrecked Fukushima power station arrive in California
- Military trucks tackle reactors with tons of water for second day
Overwhelmed: Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri cries as he leaves after a press conference in Fukushima
The boss of the company behind the devastated Japanese nuclear reactor today broke down in tears – as his country finally acknowledged the radiation spewing from the over-heating reactors and fuel rods was enough to kill some citizens
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted that the disaster was a level 5, which is classified as a crisis causing ‘several radiation deaths’ by the UN International Atomic Energy.
Officials said the rating was raised after they realised the full extent of the radiation leaking from the plant. They also said that 3 per cent of the fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima plant had been severely damaged, suggesting those reactor cores have partially melted down.
After Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri cried as he left a conference to brief journalists on the situation at Fukushima, a senior Japanese minister also admitted that the country was overwhelmed by the scale of the tsunami and nuclear crisis.
He said officials should have admitted earlier how serious the radiation leaks were.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said: ‘The unprecedented scale of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, frankly speaking, were among many things that happened that had not been anticipated under our disaster management contingency plans.
‘In hindsight, we could have moved a little quicker in assessing the situation and coordinating all that information and provided it faster.’
Nuclear experts have been saying for days that Japan was underplaying the crisis’ severity.
It is now officially on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979. Only the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 has topped the scale.
The radiation that is expected to reach California tomorrow is from the initial problems faced on Friday [a week ago today]. Radiation from the explosion at reactor #3 is not expected to reach the west coast until Sunday or Monday. Whether the radiation from reactor 3 will be as low as the levels expected tomorrow is, at this time, unknown.
For those on the west coast: Prepare, stay level headed, and do NOT panic.
- Officials remain committed to cooling down overheated nuclear fuel rods and keep spraying reactor No.3 at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant. But the plant’s operator, Tokyo electric Power Co., says encasing reactors in concrete may prove the only way to prevent a catastrophic radiation leak, the method used at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.
- Electricity could be restored on Saturday morning to reactors 1 and 2, the nuclear safety agency said, which would restart pumps needed to pour cold water on the fuel rods. Priority is to get water into spent fuel pools, particularly in reactor No. 3, which contains plutonium.
- he agency also raised the incident level at the striken power plant to a 5 on a 1-7 scale. That would suggest a level of seriousness on par with the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the United States in 1979. But it said there was no need to expand the evacuation area beyond 30 km at this point.
- The head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, says it could take weeks to cool the reactors.
- G7 industrialised countries agreed, after a teleconference of finance ministers, on concerted intervention, the first since 2000, to restrain the yen, hoping to calm global markets.
And updated timeline:
FRIDAY, MARCH 18
17:53 – Electricity could be restored on Saturday morning at the No.1 and No.2 reactors, the country’s nuclear safety agency said on Friday. The agency also raised the incident level at reactors No.1, No.2, and No.3 at the Daiichi plant to level 5 from level 4.
10:04 – Japan’s nuclear safety agency said it was aware of the ultimate “Chernobyl solution” to contain the nuclear disaster at the quake-hit plant by covering it in sand and encasing it in concrete, but added that it was currently focusing on efforts to restore power and cool down the reactors.
09:20 – White smoke or steam was rising from reactors 2, 3 and 4, the nuclear safety agency said on Friday. It said it believed there was still water in the spent fuel pool at reactor No.3.
Read the full update at zerohedges blog by clicking on the hyperlink embedded in the headline of this post.
Folks, Reactor No. 3 is the reactor that has spent fuel rods carrying pounds of plutonium. Although the other 3 Reactors carry lethal radioactivity it is No. 3 many are watching closely. FYI –
The fuel rods at all six reactors at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi complex contain plutonium — better known as fuel for nuclear weapons. While plutonium is more toxic than uranium, other radioactive elements leaking out are likely to be of greater danger to the general public.
Only six percent of the fuel rods at the plant’s Unit 3 were a mixture of plutonium-239 and uranium-235 when first put into operation. The fuel in other reactors is only uranium, but even there, plutonium is created during the fission process.
This means the fuel in all of the stricken reactors and spent fuel pools contain plutonium.
Plutonium is indeed nasty stuff, especially damaging to lungs and kidneys. It is also less stable than uranium and can more easily spark a dangerous nuclear chain reaction.
Nuclear experts have said the men are on a suicide mission and that not even their airtight suits can save them from contamination.And if they survive, they will face a lifetime of health problems.
The group, whose identities remain a mystery, stayed at the plant after 700 of their colleagues fled when radiation levels peaked at lethal levels.
Of those who decided to stay, five are known to have already died. A further two are missing and at least 21 others have been injured.
Military assisted voluntary departure of American citizens and personnel in Japan – women and children first
Japan raised the severity level of crisis-hit reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 5 on an international scale of 7, the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said Friday.The provisional evaluation stands at level 5 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale for the plant’s No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors as their cores are believed to have partially melted and radiation leaks are continuing, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.
A network of international monitoring stations has begun to pick up the signatures of radioactive elements emitted by Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, a Swedish official said Thursday.
At high, sustained doses, these radioactive elements—including iodine and cesium—can be dangerous to human health.
However, the amounts released from the plant so far are small, and are largely being dispersed over the Pacific.
Currently, “they don’t pose a danger” to the U.S. or even other Asian countries, said Lars-Erik De Geer, research director at the Swedish Defense Research Institute, who has seen the data from the monitoring stations.
The several dozen workers now attempting to cool the overheating nuclear fuel at the Fukushima plant face the gravest danger from radiation sickness. The closer people are to the source, the greater their risk. Residents of Tokyo and other populated centers south of the plant also face little immediate danger, since even the low level of radiation is being blown eastward across the ocean, scientists say.
the unfolding disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant follows decades of falsified safety reports, fatal accidents and underestimated earthquake risk in Japan’s atomic power industry.
The destruction caused by last week’s 9.0 earthquake and tsunami comes less than four years after a 6.8 quake shut the world’s biggest atomic plant, also run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. In 2002 and 2007, revelations the utility had faked repair records forced the resignation of the company’s chairman and president, and a three-week shutdown of all 17 of its reactors.
With almost no oil or gas reserves of its own, nuclear power has been a national priority for Japan since the end of World War II, a conflict the country fought partly to secure oil supplies. Japan has 54 operating nuclear reactors — more than any other country except the U.S. and France — to power its industries, pitting economic demands against safety concerns in the world’s most earthquake-prone country.
Nuclear engineers and academics who have worked in Japan’s atomic power industry spoke in interviews of a history of accidents, faked reports and inaction by a succession of Liberal Democratic Party governments that ran Japan for nearly all of the postwar period.
Japan’s science ministry says radiation levels of up to 0.17 millisieverts per hour have been detected about 30 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Experts say exposure to those levels for 6 hours would result in absorption of the maximum level considered safe for 1 year.
The government has instructed residents living within a 20 to 30 kilometer radius of the plant to stay indoors.
The ministry gauged radiation from 9:20 AM to 3:00 PM on Thursday at 28 spots, in areas 20 to 60 kilometers from the plant.
The ministry also observed radiation levels of 0.0183 to 0.0011 millisieverts per hour at most of the observation points.
It says these levels are higher than normal but pose no immediate threat to health.
Thursday, March 17, 2011 21:20 +0900 (JST)
UPDATE MARCH 16, 2011
Praying for all who have been affected by the horrible tragedy unfolding in Japan.
Just in – Fukushima Dai’Ichi Reactor 4 is on fire – this particular plant was closed for inspection but due to lack of water to cool the rods it is once again on fire
by Dr. Sircus, Treatments for Nuclear Contamination
Checkout Dr. Jeff Masters Wunder Blog models on air flow from Japan eastward by clicking HERE
IAEA SAYS CORE DAMAGE AT UNITS 1-3 CONFIRMED, SITUATION “VERY SERIOUS”
IAEA SAYS FUEL RODS EXPOSED IN UNITS 4, 5 AND 6
IAEA SAYS HIGHER RADIATION LEVELS FROM DAMAGED JAPAN REACTORS
IAEA SAYS TOTAL OF 4 JAPAN UNITS HAVE CORE DAMAGE
Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have postponed a mission to dump water by helicopter on the No.3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, because radiation above the facility has climbed too high for such work.
White plumes started rising from the reactor on Wednesday morning. Tokyo Electric Power Company says the vapor was steam caused by water evaporating from the reactor’s storage pool for spent fuel rods, which is heating up.
In an effort to avert the fuel rods’ exposure, a Self Defense Force CH47 helicopter took off from the Sendai base hauling a large container of water on Wednesday afternoon.
But the plan was aborted after radiation levels above the plant were found to have largely exceeded 50 millisieverts — the maximum permissible for SDF personnel on a mission.
The Self-Defense Forces say it is ready to recommence work when radiation levels and other conditions allow.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 19:06 +0900 (JST)
ALERT: RADIATION FROM STRICKEN JAPANESE PLANT REACHES ALASKA
Radiation from the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster has reached Alaska, according to the state commissioner of health and social services in that state. He said the state has detected a “very small increase in radiation levels – well below levels that would be a health concern.”
Read the rest of the story HERE
From Drudge: ‘Military flying in US Navy pumping equipment in a last ditch effort to cool those rods in the nuke plant. Flying out of Yokota Air Base. Wish us luck!'
Stay safe and Godspeed.
World Nuclear News
Problems for units 3 and 416 March 2011
FIRST PUBLISHED 0.25am GMT
UPDATE 1:14am GMT Information from TEPCO spokesman and video feed
UPDATE 2: 4:10am GMT Update title from ‘Second fire reported at unit 4’ and information on Unit 3 and 4 from Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has described problems that occurred on the morning of 16 March with Fukushima Daiichi 3 and 4. He also outlined plans to pump water into unit 4.
At 8:34am local time white smoke was seen billowing out of Fukushima Daiichi 3. Efforts to determine the cause of this development were interrupted as all workers had evacuated to a safe area due to rising radiation readings. Readings from a sensor near the front gate had fluctuated for some time, although Edano said that on the whole there was no health hazard. Earlier in the morning readings had ranged between 600-800 microsieverts per hour, but at 10am readings rose to 1000 microsieverts per hour. Readings began to fall again from around 10:54.
Read the rest of the story HERE
TOKYO (Reuters) – The wind near a quake-damaged nuclear complex in northeast Japan, which has released radiation into the atmosphere, will blow from the northwest and out into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, a weather official said.
The wind speed will get stronger in the afternoon, blowing as fast as at 12 meters (39.4 ft) per second, said the official at the Japan Meteorological Agency in Fukushima prefecture where the plant is based.
Can You Explain It In Layman’s Terms? “It’s Bad! IT”S BAD!!! And It’s Getting Worst! How’s That!”
TEPCO releases photo of No.4 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company has released a photograph of the No.4 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant where fires were reported on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It shows that a large portion of the building’s outer wall has collapsed.
The company produced the photo at a news conference on Wednesday.
The photo, shot the day before from the northwestern side of the reactor, shows that a large portion of the building’s outer wall has collapsed. There is an 8-meter hole on the 4th floor, and the interior is visible.
Another 8-meter square hole was also confirmed on the outer wall of the building. Both appeared after an explosion early on Tuesday.
An ensuing fire near the 4th floor reportedly later went out on its own.
Flames were also found spewing from the building early Wednesday, but the utility company said they were no longer visible half-an-hour later.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:57 +0900 (JST)
Anderson, the answer is it is unstoppable. The meltdown is a done deal! These men have families suffering from the tragedy of an earthquake, volcano and tsunami. Moreover, these men valiantly fought the impossible and finally accepted the fact that this beast was bigger and mightier then a mere human being. Humility is an honorable trait, Anderson.
Animated map of 300+ Japan earthquake aftershocks
Another fire at No.4 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company said early on Wednesday that a fire had broken out at one of the reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The same building was the scene of a fire the day before.
The utility says a worker spotted flames at around 5:45 AM near the northwestern corner of the building that houses the No. 4 reactor.
It says, however, that the flames could not be confirmed half an hour later from several dozen meters away.
The fire broke out at around the same spot in the building as Tuesday’s fire, where an instrument that adjusts the speed of a pump sending water to the reactor is located.
The company says workers cannot get any closer to the spot because the radiation level is higher there.