Engineer reports Cobalt-58 in black substance from Kanto region (VIDEO)

Published: September 1st, 2012 at 3:43 pm ET


Update: Cobalt-58 is may have been mistaken for Cesium-134. See comment by here:

Video and comments from July 2012 by Mr. Sakagami, an engineer of radiation measurement equipment, translated by Fukushima Diary:

h/t Climate Change Update

Published: September 1st, 2012 at 3:43 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Strange: Pieces of highly radioactive mystery black substance cling to magnet (VIDEO) March 20, 2012
  2. Local official detects 130 microSv/hr from black substance on roadside — Japan TV starting to cover mystery? (VIDEOS) March 19, 2012
  3. HCR: Mystery black radioactive powder detected outside school — Local official posts 3 videos of black substance (PHOTO & VIDEOS) February 24, 2012
  4. Official: Plutonium detected in black substance from Minamisoma (PHOTOS) April 27, 2012
  5. Source: Over 500 microSv/h detected from black substance (PHOTO) April 27, 2012

41 comments to Engineer reports Cobalt-58 in black substance from Kanto region (VIDEO)

  • JustmeAlso

    Thats only 710 days… but what does the stuff do in the MEANtime?

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "…which means Fukushima plant was having recriticality a few months ago"

    What this tells me is that, along with everything else we know, recriticality has been occurring on a regular basis since 3/11.

    How is this affected by the loss of cooling water?

    Oh, wait, no one will tell us the truth. Back to drinking.

    • hbjon hbjon

      The massive amounts of borated water should have stopped fission from happening. Except for the fact that borated water can only come into contact with the extreme outer most crust of any coriums. So, if there is corium granola in the sfp's, that is probably just decaying without fission. A huge molten core that is insulated by earth and corium crust is probably fissioning.

      • andagi andagi

        Dear hbjon,
        Can you explain more about Co-58? I could only find the info below. Thanks ūüôā

        '58Co, is produced when nickel is exposed to a source of neutrons. Since nickel is used in nuclear reactors, 58Co may be unintentionally produced and appear as a contaminant in cooling water released by nuclear reactors.'

        '58Co and 60Co may be released to the environment as a result of nuclear accidents (i.e, Chernobyl), radioactive waste dumping in the sea or from radioactive waste landfills, and nuclear power plant operations.'

      • BringoutYourDead

        " A huge molten core that is insulated by earth and corium crust is probably fissioning."

        Off and on, I would guess this mass to behave somewhat like a weld in progress, with the lighter factions, like slage moving to the surface.

        There are three of them, we've been told they are all X-vessel. This means they have all been released into the environment. How much material was this again, a pound or two? Is this what is known as a "Idiocracy?

        Can we learn, or is it already too late?

    • omniversling

      Not sure about Mr. Sakagami's conclusion…or perhaps a translation effect from Fuku Diary, but as JustMe also points out above, 71 day half-life = 71 x 10…

      "half life = 1/10th of total decay time of mass. Half life is half of the mass, then another half life for half of what's left,then another half life for half of what's left, and on and on…So a given amount co58 with a half life of 71 days would decay totally in 710 days. FukuSteamer is now just over 510 days, so plausible that this co58 is from original melt-throughs…"

      not that that makes it any better…

    • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

      Isn't it 'safe' (<-trying to put everyone at ease… TEPCO style) to assume recriticality is happening all the time!?

      • andagi andagi

        Dear GlowInTheDark,
        Please tell me, is this finding of Cobalt-58 hard evidence of recriticality? Am I right in thinking it's a large amount? If so, is it absolute proof of TEPCO's deception? I'm trying to get this and don't have nuclear background.
        I read the summary notes from the recent IAEA Extraordinary Meeting. I wish I could find more on their discussions. Will repost this.
        Aloha ūüôā

        'Affirming that the operator has the primary responsibility for the safety of the nuclear installation that it operates;
        Recognizing the importance of openness and transparency as vital elements of a national framework regarding the safety of nuclear installations;
        Noting that confidence in and acceptability of decisions concerning the safety of nuclear installations increase if the relevant parties are engaged in the decision-making process based on scientific and technical knowledge and if the process proceeds in an open manner;'
        '6. Ensure that its regulatory body operates in a transparent and open manner, taking into account legitimate concerns over security and other sensitive interests that might be adversely affected by the public disclosure of particular information.'

        • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

          I am no nuclear expert either.
          omniversling could be right that Co-58 is from last year or it could be from more recent recriticality. But if TEPCO don't know where fuel rods are re: R1, 2 & 3 then it could well be that recriticality is happening all the time uncontrollably.

          • andagi andagi

            Dear GlowInTheDark,
            Thank you for your response. This was complicated for me. Hey, how nice about 'ohana' ūüôā I tried to look it up and found it means flower in Japanese? That's great! It's family in Hawaiian. Two of my favorite things!
            Take good care.

            • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

              Yes, it's tough one for me too but it seems you got the good answers below.

              Oh, is ohana…family!? wow I've learned my third Hawaiian word today, I won't forget that one ūüėÄ


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in re-criticality .. not good.

  • Anthony Anthony

    The re-criticality fact flies in the face of the TEPCO promise of cold shutdown. It's also in deep conflict with the concept of being in any sense of control.

  • Urban27

    This shows they have been lying about the situation.
    It is a crime, not to tell people when you know this has been going on. It is a crime against all individuals there.

    • CaptD CaptD

      Of course they are criminal, but only in our minds, in their minds they are all "getting better" and that is OK for all those affected…

      Is the USA any different?

      Why is this important, because without any factual info this radioactive pollution is happening in the USA:

      Food Contanimation in CA?…

      It contains large listing of radionuclides now being found in the USA and elsewhere…

      Yet the US-EPA is saying nothing!
      Here is a detector that even attaches to your smart phone and they also make a USB model for using in one place!

      Permalink Flag

      • andagi andagi

        Dear CaptD,
        'Of course they are criminal, but only in our minds, in their minds they are all "getting better" and that is OK for all those affected… '
        You captured this beautifully.

  • Atomfritz Atomfritz

    Good to know what these black bacteria can do for us.
    Eat them and they'll cleanse you.

    But, another thing I don't understand.
    Where should that cobalt-58 come from and how should it have been produced?

  • dosdos dosdos

    But the report from TEPCO to the IAEA says that the accumulative release of isotopes from Units 1-4 is less than 0.01 Bq/hr. They wouldn't lie to us, would they?

    • CaptD CaptD

      And to make things even worse for the Japanese people the IAEA is going to "help" Japan test for ANY radiation problems after Fukushima…
      Expect to see ZERO health issues discovered after they spread lots more Nuclear Payback* around…


      Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other "costs" are for others.

  • CaptD CaptD

    Last year I coined the word for this: The Fuky Effect …

    Yes, I agree it has been going on "uncontrolled" by any human beings and as such has been responsible for much of the ongoing radioactive pollution being spewed from Fukushima! The more EQ's and heavy rains, the more these re-criticality happen…

    Here is my thinking:
    1. I believe that the Corium is now completely below the RPV and so any reading taken above it, are going to be MUCH lower than expected (which matches the data observatio­ns above).

    2. The Corium molten mass is probably now below the "base mat" or floor of the containmen¬≠t structure and is working its way into the landfill below, which would allow most if not all radioactiv¬≠e gases to disperse to the atmosphere¬≠, instead of being contained in the holed RPV…

    3. The Ocean water will show increased RAD readings due to the leakage being washout out from around and below the reactor due to the HUGE rains…

    4. A Hydro-Corium(s) steam event is still very much a possibilit­y especially when enabled by additional Earth Quakes
    + if it is happening very slowly then that would explain all the fluctuatin­g increases in RAD reading inside and north of Tokyo!


    • CaptD CaptD

      I agree that technical language overwhelms readers. So every attempt should be made to be accurate:

      1. Criticalit­y Рself sustained nuclear chain reaction where the production of neutrons from fissions in the chain reaction are offset by the losses (absorbtio­n and leakage). Criticalit­y is self sustaining when no external source of neutrons or fissions is required to keep the chain going. Once the source is removed, the neutron levels remain constant. Not decaying, not increasing­.

      2. Subcritica­lity Рnuclear chain reaction that requires an external source of neutrons to multiply to some level (determine­d as Multiplica­tion Constant). Upon removal of the source of neutrons, the chain reaction decays.

      3. Supercriti­cal Рnuclear chain reaction that grows exponentia­lly over time.

  • CaptD CaptD

    He also added this:
    The molten coriums are not "turning themselves on and off". There is no Fuky Effect. The spikes you see in temperatur­es at the onset were not from fission spikes. Moreso this could be an instrument feature as well.

    Fissions are ongoing, however with the external source of neutrons, from spontaneou­s fission in uranium present, the level of fissions has equillibra­ted to the subcritica­l multiplica­tion level.


    • CaptD CaptD

      Some of the above was from a discussion about a year ago on Huffington Post; which occurred almost daily after 3/11/11 between those Pro Nuclear and those that were and still more strongly against nuclear reactors than ever…

      The Japanese Gov't. has delayed releasing any data in the hopes that if they wait long enough many radionuclides will no longer be detectable…

      Here is a great example of the Japanese finding high levels of radioactive contamination in food from CA, due to Fukushima!

      Food Contanimation in CA?

      It contains large listing of radionuclides now being found in the USA and elsewhere…

      Yet our EPA is saying nothing!

      • CaptD CaptD

        Sorry for the double post…

      • andagi andagi

        Dear CaptD,
        Thank you so much for your patience and explainations. So, the cobalt-58 has ionizing effects similar to cesium in the body but a shorter halflife. It's presence indicates recent (and significant?) exposure of nickel to neutrons at the Fulushima site (140mi away -very small particles and lots of them -easily inhaled), suggesting criticality (neutrons available from fission)?

  • chrisk9

    Co58 and Co60 are the isotopes most commonly found in an operating nuclear reactor. Piping, valves and components corrode, the corrosion products flow through the system and become activated when flowing through the core. That is standard everyday life at a nuclear plant. If they found Co58, there also exists Co60 which has a much longer half life. These are not new occurrences. Radioactive cobalt contaminated the countryside as soon as unit #1 blew up. Co60 will be everywhere for 10 half lives or the next 52 years.

  • Ok… I am very confident that the spectrum I see shows Barium 137m (Cs137) and barium 134 (Cs134), not Co58.

    The peak shown is commonly confused for Co58, but it looks like 847 keV from Cs134. This is a classic and well known spectrum configuration. This is one reason that auto isotope ID software does not replace a human.


  • NoNukes NoNukes

    There is Iodine-131 all over Japan, which indicates far more than a single criticality has taken place, they are on-going, in the open air:

  • hbjon hbjon

    Sorry Atomfritz and Anti-proton I actually believe the headline and I'll tell you why. Tepco laid down thousands of tons of Fe sheets to shield workers from the contaminated ground. When water comes into contact with Uranium, it gains neutrons and carries them in tritium or 4H. It can then deposit them in Fe and the Fe will decay to Cobalt. However, cobalt doesn't need water to form it can also happen directly from Fe and U contact.

    • Atomfritz Atomfritz

      I always believed the origin of the cobalt problem were the cobalt impurities in reactor steel, which would lead to some of it becoming radioactive.

      So reactors are built using low-cobalt steel and so cobalt radiation is only small compared to cesium.
      If there were substantial radiocobalt, workers wouldn't have been able to work in the reactor unshielded when changing the shroud.

      Thus I still believe this article is a hoax.

    • You don't have to apologize for believing something. You have an absolute right believe as you wish. I disagree with you because the spectrum is very much a Cs134 and Cs137 spectrum. It is about as classic as it gets. Co68 has a short halflife of about 70 days and it would have decays so much since Fukushima as to only show as a small peak. Co68 is not a common fission product.

      Please keep in mind that water does not make uranium gain neutrons, nor does it carry them away in tritium or 4-H. Water can moderate a neutron, slowing it down, and allowing uranium to capture it (a process known as moderated s-capture), but this occurs just before a fission, not in a building up sort of fashion.

      Take a look at the links I provided and find an energy in them which matches the ones shown. You will not find one.

      Here are some additional images showing the Cs137 and Cs134 spectra. Compare to the video.

      (the above picture is explained in the actual page,


      (from safe cast… more)

      (site for above image,

      Here is a Co58 spectrum showing the reason the unit misread the isotope. lol


    • Just to clarify: I am not calling the article a hoax, which would suggest that I suspect any mal-intent on the part of the posting party or origionator of the video. I merely suspect that the isotope ID software messed up.

      My hand held gamma spectrometer, which is sitting beside me (i'm in my lab lol) seems to think Eu-152 contains zinc 65. lol It does this because it see's one of the peaks from Eu-512 at about 1112.07 keV (Br.13.64) and thinks it must be from Z-65, which produces a peak at 1115.5 keV (Br.50.8). The tools are fine, but they mess up and a person needs to figure them out.

      Cs134 overlaps Cs137 on both sides and really throws off ID software.

      I think it was just an accident.

      Also, Cs134 is an extremely common thing to find in Fuku (all of the spectrum I have seen or tested (I have personally tested Fuku soil) look like his) but Co58 is not. Why would such an odd thing be there and not the common thing?

  • Ok… I just watched this again really closely. He doesn't actually determine the isotope. He just let's the gizmo do it. That's something you do not do in nuclear physics. It's fine to let the auto-isotope-ID software have a go, but then you need to follow that up with a really analysis (that's what the human is for). This can take minutes or hours, depending on the spectrum.

    Here is a video were I show how much work is required for a good analysis and even show one in time-sped-up mode. In the video I take soil from a normal place in the USA and test it for what ever I can find.