Energy Journal: Fukushima “an ongoing crisis… an international issue, its important we all keep our eye on it… we owe it to the Pacific” — Nuclear fuel dropped into sub-basement and melted through some concrete, no one can get in to see where it is now (AUDIO)

Published: April 25th, 2014 at 8:44 pm ET


Fukushima revisited with Miles O’Brien, BURN: An Energy Journal (Major funding from: National Science Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation), March 2014:

  • 3:15 in – Miles O’Brien, journalist: You have these melted nuclear piles, they’ve melted through the pressure vessels of these boiling water reactors and much of the fuel has dropped down onto concrete sub-basements… While it has melted through some of the concrete, as best as they can tell — and no one can get in there… it has stabilized.
  • 4:00 in – O’Brien: The water just flows through that site naturally and its passing right through those piles of radioactive material and so everyday 100,000s of gallons of water becomes toxic… They’re going to have to face the reality that they are going to have to discharge some of this water and won’t be completely free of radionuclides… there’s really going to be a reckoning there, as to what to do about this water.
  • At 8:30 – Chadwick: Anything on this trip to change your perspective? O’Brien: Yes. I think what changed the most Alex is we all want these horrible things to be over. I had the sense things were more over than they are — this really is just beginning in so many ways. We’re talking about 30 to 40 years of very hard work… the whole issue of how do you get that fuel out of there safely and contained, this is an ongoing crisis… this is an issue that is really an international issue. Its important that we all keep our eye on it… the fact of the matter is we owe it to the Pacific Ocean, which we all have a lot of interest in, to watch this very carefully, make sure the Japanese are honest and frank about it and that Tepco is more transparent than it has been. And up to this point, the Japanese have not been great at this… we need to hold them accountable for this cleanup for a long time… In Japan consensus is important, you don’t say anything until everybody agrees on something, and as a result it looks like they’re trying to sit on secrets.

Full interview available here

Published: April 25th, 2014 at 8:44 pm ET


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321 comments to Energy Journal: Fukushima “an ongoing crisis… an international issue, its important we all keep our eye on it… we owe it to the Pacific” — Nuclear fuel dropped into sub-basement and melted through some concrete, no one can get in to see where it is now (AUDIO)

  • rogerthat

    TPB, in response to that interesting and unchallenged quote: Maybe it's time to invade some more banana republics. To relocate to, you know.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Professors discuss history, progress of “Kelp Watch 2014”
    April 27 2014

    I'm posting here..
    Join me?

    • rogerthat

      From the Kelp Watch yarn (Cal State Long Beach professor Steven L. Manley and Kai Vetter, the head of the applied nuclear physics program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory):

      … Kelp Watch 2014 aims to determine how kelp forests have been affected, if at all, by radioactive contamination (from Fukushima)
      … ''There was a series of explosions in several reactors that ejected particulates [including radioactive contamination],” (Manley) said. (He) added that radioactive isotopes of iodine and cesium … were released … “Over a year, I didn’t think too much about it,” Manley said. After reading a research paper that predicted radioactive Cesium-137 would reach California’s coastline in 2013 or 2014, Manley said, he began to think about studying how the U.S. would be affected, if at all. “[It was] sort of a wild idea,” Manley said of his idea to take samples of the local kelp forests. “It would be sort of interesting to collect kelp. Kelp has the ability to absorb from seawater and concentrate it in its tissue.”
      … Vetter described the impact of radiation in California as “insignificant.” He added that no one has died because of health complications from exposure to radiation. “No matter where you go in this universe, you will find radioactivity,” Vetter said.

      – will they employ the modern scientific method to arrive at the predetermined irrelevant conclusion?

      • demise demise

        This guy is very incompetent. Thought about collecting kelp. Not very thoughtfully realized is that kelp samples are a very small part of the picture. We have food chain disruption in the oceans, hot spots found by independent sources and many components including plutonium in the air and ocean.

        Because nobody in known to have died yet in NA from radiation is a ridiculous statement at every level to base an opinion on.
        He's just part of the University system and government cover-up.

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        "predetermined irrelevant conclusion"

        That is the object of the project.
        There is no impetus to tell the truth among this set.. their role is to be a mouthpiece for the government.

        What caliber of scientist ..states the conclusion ..before an extensive period of research?

        When dealing with an entire ecosystem ..indicators should come from a large and varied sampling of the members of that ecosystem .. along with research into physical changes of the ecosystem ,itself.

        Irrelevant? ..yes .. standing alone is simply not enough.
        Conclusion?.. a bit preemptive ..isn't it?

        • id8

          I dropped a post there, thanks for the link.
          Discussions come up almost everyday at slashdot. Today one on B&W cutting funding for its small reactor project, after spending $400 Million.
          A win. The economics of these just gets worse.
          The tide there appears to be turning. In the past, anyone who spoke out was shouted down, heavily outnumbered, had their karma blown up.
          Now more and more folks are stepping up there. Statements rarely go unchallenged. Good. Many still post well argued, rational arguments anonymously speaks to the fact that the slashdown crew is still there.
          I hope you are incorrect about the Kelp project, we need the information.
          Couple of things may support your view.
          Mr Vetter is Prof-In-Residence at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Head of the Applied Physics Program Nuclear Science Division at LBNL.

          And second, my comment still awaits moderation. Now two of them, actually. I took screenshots of both.
          Perhaps some poverty stricken, over-worked grad student just hasn't gotten to it yet.
          We shall see.

          • id8

            Update on above: Original post, second post, and my apology, request to delete the re-post all are there now.
            Good. Open, transparent is good.
            Keep the faith, people.

            • id8

              Update. Posts are Not There.
              still "waiting moderation".
              Here Is what I posted: Or rather Tried to post.
              Was it out of line somehow?
              Thanks for doing this. I hope it will continue, 2015 and forward.
              Radiation continues to flow to the sea. There is precious little info from Japan, and they have distressingly passed that “state secrets law’, making it a crime to talk about. This is insane.
              On our end, here in the US? I mention to folks that neither FDA nor EPA are measuring anything. They do not believe me. Nah, they are smarter than that, folks seem to think.
              My hope is the lack of interest is truly because the amounts are “insignificant”, as Mr Vetter has evidently already concluded. The Professor-in-Residence of Nuclear Engineering will hopefully not be shocked by the numbers.
              The history of secrecy, lies and cover-ups related to everything nuclear from the start motivates me to seek proof. Currently it is Ken B. at Woods Hole, and you folks. Given the magnitude of the disaster I am baffled, and alarmed by the lack of interest.
              It feels quite like see no evil, suffer no liability.
              Or, “I don’t know, and nobody told me”.
              Thanks again for these important efforts. And I hope you folks will make it an annual thing for the foreseeable future? We need this information.

  • Crickets Crickets

    Worldwide cancer rates to soar in the next 20 years, but they still completely ignore the elephant in the middle of the room. Not one mention of FUBARSHIMA or the likely number of other NPP failures that will occur during that time. As usual, the elephant in the room is completely ignored.

    • The ramifications of the statement in there—

      Affluent lifestyles are correlated to cancer….

      that don't seem all that affluent to me!

      • Sol Man

        How true! MOX particles picked up by the shuffling goose makes for bad pate. Radionuclides on the champagne grapes, and barley for the 18 year scotch, as well. At least there are no poisons spread on the golf courses….oh, the do? Never mind.;

  • rogerthat

    The Grauniad yarn does not even mention radiation. But look on the bright side, no bananas either ha ha ha

  • Nick

    It never ceases to amaze me that some humans think Fukushima is a "past" event.

    If the quantities of the cores and fuel pools that we think got airborne, that is reason for alarm enough.

    The poisoning of the Pacific is related, but it has different implications.

    At any rate, all of our troubles are happening at the atomic level, a teeny tiny scale that few humans can grasp.

    Many folks discussed sleep disturbances way back on the thread before politics slipped in and diluted the topic.

    Our neuro-hormones and the various other hormones are sensitive molecules. Many have resonating structures that share electrons. Ionizing radiation disrupts this balance and can lead to all kinds of disturbances in a biological organism.

    If you mess with serotonin and melatonin molecules, the body may not experience "normal" sleep patterns. When we are stressed our bodies grab l-tryptophan to make niacin at the expense of serotonin/melatonin.

    It is way past time for a global cessation of all things nuclear, we simply cannot afford to continue with our love for splitting the atom.

    It may be too late. There already are tons of toxins flooding into the biosphere 24/7.

  • Nick

    Check this NY Times article out. Needs serious editing!

    "The Chernobyl accident can be likened to a huge dirty bomb, an explosion that spewed radioactive material in all directions. The blast was followed by a fire that sent even more contaminants into the atmosphere that were then carried by winds across the region and into Western Europe.

    In this way the disaster differs from nuclear power’s two other major accidents, at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979 and Fukushima in 2011. At both of those plants, reactor cores melted down, but the core material — the nuclear fuel — remained within protective containment structures."

    How are we going to deal with Fukushima if the NYT LIES?

    • Same ol lies and propaganda around Fubargeddon..

      10% of Chernobyl

      Nothing left containment

      No spent fuel pools even got uncovered, none burned, none melted out

      No plutonium left the site

      No one died, no one will ever die.

      Radiation is safe and good for you, as long as you smile enough.

      Only 76 million bananas came out of Fuku

      The WIPPing of pro nuclear propaganda will continue until everyone is smiling and happy.

      They keep trolling for TRU waste believers and the fish keep on biting.

  • demise demise

    Look what is being revealed today and you can multiple that by 100 in 5 years. The leaks are really bad and getting worse and there is no sign of a solution.
    The after math will be the end of nuclear power, but the loss of food and quality of life in Japan and North America will shatter the world order. Nobody talks about this, but Tokyo and the West Coast of USA will be gravely affected and Tokyo Olympics in 2020 probably won't happen in the city is radioactively polluted which is certain to happen well before that time.
    In the US, coastal property values will plummet putting those states in huge financial peril as well as the fishing and farming market losses will put the US into another Great Depression with no way out of it. Get away from the coast now if you can.

  • Sol Man

    Keeping an eye on it will accomplish…nothing.

  • talking to the general public is quite painful, I avoid contact to lessen my need for judgment.
    that said, the disconnect is easily seen and heard.
    walking about the public is draining to the thought, my iq is drained out and I feel cheated. how did I end up here?
    i finally have a GC on the way, I dread and anticipate it both.

  • NitWit

    One core was "ejected into the air".
    I like that term I learned it from the BORAX video as they blew up a small BWR using cold water.

    Here's the video.

    If you just want to watch a mini reactor 3 jump to 13:30 mins.

    I made thatconnection and I'm a Nitwit.

    Today that location is a public park called Red Gate Woods in Chicago. There is a stone marker (M) not to dig. Google Earth has photos of the stone markers and the vent pipes.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "We owe it to the Pacific".

    "its important we all keep our eye on it".

    Somehow.. watching it happen .. is going to fulfill the debt?
    Like a wake?
    Stand around with hats in hands?

  • Seeker

    A famous quote,whose current relevance is unclear:

    "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

    In our current world, God's megaphone goes largely unheeded due to social engineering. Events threatening the extinction of life on earth go unheeded. Why?? Agnotology is the study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the suppression of data or the publication of inaccurate or misleading data, resulting from media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy, selective and understated release of news to create false ease of mind, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness. FROM WIKIPEDIA

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      We are all agnotologists!

      But in observing we change the results, and being both observer and observed we are breaking all the damned rules.

      The results are flawed. It's time for a do-over.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Expedient Personal Emergency Radiation Detectors Free to First Responders

    Why are they worried about radiation?
    What radiation?

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