Japan  - 
Article published the Monday 21 March 2011 - Latest update : Monday 21 March 2011

Radiation found in seawater near damaged nuclear plant

Smoke coming from the area of the number three reactor of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, 21 March 2011
Reuters/Tokyo Electric Power Co.

By RFI

Abnormally high levels of radiation have been found in seawater near the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan which was damaged by last week’s massive earthquake. Smoke rising from the plant hindered rescue efforts, while Japanese officials said the crisis can be overcome.

The company that runs the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) sampled water about 100 metres south of the plant and found the level of iodine-131 was 126.7 times higher than government-set standards.

Caesium-134 was 24.8 times higher, and caesium-137 was 16.5 times higher, though a plant spokesman said Monday that the levels were not threatening to humans.

Shipments of milk and certain vegetables from areas around the plant have been suspended after high radiation levels were found in some products, according to a government spokesperson.

Meanwhile, smoke coming out of the damaged plant forced workers to evacuate, disrupting their efforts to repair its cooling systems destroyed by the earthquake.

Grey smoke rose from reactor number three, according to Tepco. The cause of the smoke was not clear, but it took over two hours to clear. White smoke was later seen rising from reactor number two.

Fire trucks spraying water to help cool the reactors were disrupted by the smoke as well.

Before the smoke, Japan’s nuclear safety agency had said engineers were close to restoring some functions in the control room of reactor number two.

Yukiya Amano, the Japanese head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, said Monday that he had “no doubt” that the nuclear crisis could be overcome.

The head of the French nuclear safety agency warned, however, that local contamination would continue to be a problem "for decades and decades".

tags: earthquake - Fukushima - Japan - Nuclear
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Comments (3)

Worse Than Chernobyl

No one likes an alarmist without cause, however, in
this case, there appears to be cause for alarm.

Study the close up views of the #3 reactor explosion and you will see
that the blast was not the type of blast one would expect from a
hydrogen explosion. The fireball seen in the corner of the plant may
have been due to hydrogen but it was much too small to cause the main
blast. Not only that, inspection reveals that this was a directional
blast. Much as if a cannon had been fired straight up from inside
the reactor building.

This is what one would expect if the reactor dome exploded with
enough force to take out the removable concrete pads covering it.

Injecting sea water into the molten core causes an immediate
explosion of steam. If the temperature of the reactor vessel had
reached critical temperature, it would not have had the integrity
required to withstand this dramatic increase in pressure.

If my assessment is correct, the dark colored cloud we witnessed,
that was shot approximately 1,000 feet into the air, contained the
remains of the MOX core and made this accident worse than Chernobyl.

I also suspect that the #1 and #2 reactor vessels have lost their
integrity due to the same process.

P.S. - If someone associated with this site wishes to contact me,
try the e-mail address submitted with this post.

My Yahoo account seems to have been deleted.

Highly unlikely.

Where the contaminated water is being stored? They can't even keep water flowing *to* those cores reliably. I'm sure they are FAR less concerned with containing the outflow, and I would be very surprised if the slightedst effort is being made to do so. This is a global disaster, no doubt about it.

Radiation In Seawater

Please find out where the waste water from the reactor
drenching is being stored. I strongly suspect that proper
holding vessels are not being employed and that contaminated
waste water is returning to the ocean.

Given the tremendous volume of radioactive run off created
during the past several days, this is a problem that needs to
be addressed most urgently.

If the electric company needs to hire ocean going tankers with
specialized pumping equipment, this service should be
available. The delay is allowing this to become an even larger
disaster. Not only for Japan but perhaps for us all.

Someone must take command that understands the consequences of failing to properly contain the waste water being generated at Fukushima.

The solution is actually rather simple and the solution is not
dilution. By dumping a few loads of sand into the manhole(s)
closest to the ocean, the storm sewer system becomes a
holding cell. The manholes closer to the plant could then be
used as points from which the radioactive waste water could
be pumped back onto the reactor buildings or to a tanker.

PLEASE HURRY

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