Exclusive: Congressmen request hearing on new developments at Fukushima plant — Key issue is whether radioactive pollution in Pacific Ocean will affect U.S.

Published: September 10th, 2013 at 9:03 pm ET
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Title: Letter from Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Environment & Economy Subcommittee Ranking Member Paul D. Tonko to Chairmen Fred Upton and John Shimkus requesting hearing to examine recent events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan
Date: September 9, 2013

View the full letter from Waxman and Tomko here

Published: September 10th, 2013 at 9:03 pm ET
By

65 comments

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65 comments to Exclusive: Congressmen request hearing on new developments at Fukushima plant — Key issue is whether radioactive pollution in Pacific Ocean will affect U.S.

  • corium pudding corium pudding

    They STILL cannot think ahead. Just hold hearings on the already-acknowleged contaminated Pacific Ocean, and ignore the pending reactor 4 spent fuel pool disaster.

    Talk about wearing horse-blinders…


    Report comment

    • We Not They Finally

      I don't know that some of these people are "ignoring" it. it's just hard to get center stage in a completely irresponsible do-nothing Congress. Henry Waxman is a real bulldog when he wants to get something done, so he is a GOOD person to be pushing this. Ron Wyden (D-OR) also very much cares, went to Japan and tried to highlight SPF4 best he could. And Ed Markey (D-MA) has always been excellent on nuclear issues. Bernie Sanders also cares. And Barbara Boxer was vocal about shutting down the San Onfre NPP.

      So let's support Congresspeople doing this because they've got a very hard road to get anything done at all. There are (tragically) so very few that will push this. So please support their efforts, not downgrade them.


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    • afisher

      One should remember that the head of these Committees in DC are the ones who call for hearing. Many of these Committee Heads are non-believers in Science, period. They have sold out to the highest bidder, which in these cases are the Big Energy Companies.


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  • or-well or-well

    "…the Committee should confirm that this radioactive pollution will not affect the United States,…"

    and that's just what it will do.


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  • UncleCrusty

    Finally. I trust the NRC as far as I can spit, but it's a start none the less. I'm not too optimistic. This may disclose truth, and Congress reacts badly to that.


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  • SusanS

    ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢
    ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢

    http://tinyurl.com/FixFuku

    We need a worldwide consortium made up of experts in the field to start brainstorming solutions to what is happening in Fukushima and what can be done to FIX it. We need them NOW. Each country will also need to commit funds to this effort, since it is and will continue to affect the entire planet. The consequences could be the extinction of all life on earth. It is past time to do this. Japan is calling for help and they can not handle it alone.

    ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢


    Report comment

  • CB CB

    Just what exactly are they going to do when they find out they have already known it already has? I love being played a fool by our leaders.


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  • or-well or-well

    "We have a responsibility to protect!"

    "Mr. President…"

    "So we'll bomb someone all to heck!"

    "Mr. President…"

    "And if our friends that idea they reject,"

    "Mr. President…"

    "we'll bomb the crap right outta them next!"

    "MR. PRESIDENT!!!"

    "WHAT?"

    "Fukushima…"

    "Oh…get Airforce One out on the tarmac!
    Get my family – we're already packed!
    Good Night and God Bless and Good Luck!
    I'll see you later…if I come back!"


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Unfortunately, there's nothing anyone can do. This nuclear disaster can only be documented and talked about. And nothing more. Six months from now, two years from now, and five years from now, it'll be no different, (mark my words).

    We can only talk about it, as there is nothing that can be done to stop this disaster. It couldn't have, and can't be handled any differently. It is what happens when a nuclear plant on a shoreline melts down. We're are witnessing it. And that is all.


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    • We Not They Finally

      I believe that you're correct, sadly. But people still HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW. It's all very scary, but it still can make a huge difference in human dignity. I don't want to be killed off "anonymously" with no one acknowledging or explaining or treating me like my life (well, all of our lives) does not even matter.


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    • They can tell the truth and then deal with it realistically, with a much better chance of doing something that will work.

      Lying about a bad situation and covering up 99% of it, does no one any good, and it will never lead to a solution, by anyone involved.

      Sorry :(


      Report comment

  • ftlt

    If it is a hearing anything like the ones on fracking, pipelines, offshore drilling, Offshore spills or climate change, why bother..

    A rubber stamp process run by industry insiders….


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  • dosdos dosdos

    There are things that can be done. First, get the contaminated water off site. Grab a few super tankers and move the stored contaminated water to a location where storms and earthquakes and political strife are rare.

    Next, divert groundwater about a mile upstream, where it definitely is not contaminated more than any other groundwater coming down from the mountains. Pump it to the ocean so it doesn't reach the plants.

    Third, secure the spent fuel pools in a manner that actually does something.

    Forth, get some serious decontamination equipment set up and operating. Start pumping out groundwater from wells and process it along with the cooling water. Again, move it to super tankers. Get it off site.

    That's for starters……..


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    • We Not They Finally

      Merry Christmas to you, Happy Easter Bunny, and bring in Alice in Wonderland. I mean no disrespect to your INTENT — I'm sure that that's sincere. But even your very first suggestion has been UN-DOABLE to date. For every 1000 tons of water flowing through the site and into the Pacific contaminated every day, there is a new 1000 tons of water flowing in.

      Why do people keep thinking that this is just an ENGINEERING project? The worst parts of the site (like whatever is re-fissioning underground) are completely unapproachable due to the radioactivity. How would they even set up pipelines to and from radioactive hell?


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      • We Not They Finally

        dosdos, by "groundwater", are you talking about the AQUIFER running underneath the plant? (These morons build an NPP on top of an aquifer? Sure they did!) How does anyone divert an underground aquifer? Tell the rats to burrow down and chew out new channels for the water to stream through. instead of chewing through the circuitry?

        Again, I'm sure that your intent is good. I just fear that this is all a non-starter giving the magnitude and non-fixability of the problems. Even dumping stuff from above instead of fixing what is likely permanently-fissioning from below — like maybe dump a zillion tons of boron from the air to neutralize some of the radioactivity, In the early days, chopper pilots could not even get close enough to effectively dump relatively tiny amounts of WATER.


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    • And who will pilot and crew this death ship with gamma radiation up the yazoo?

      Anyone getting on that ship will be dead, guaranteed.

      They will need a new crew each week.

      Sorry, but you would have to build some supertankers out of 4 feet thick lead.

      Lead is too soft to work as a ship in heavy seas, and too heavy to carry much load.. Most of the ship would be lead, no room for gamma rad water.


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    • your idea is already in use.. They are using a barge, loading it with liquid"; and then it disappears for awhile, comes back and loads again.. No one knows where it goes or what it is doing..


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      • Steve_G Steve_G

        From where is the water being collected, Dr. G? This is the second or third time I've heard this info. Might this have anything to do with secret undocumenred nuclear fuel processioning that's been spoken of on these pages?


        Report comment

        • Steve_G Steve_G

          "undocumented" need EDIT button.


          Report comment

        • Jebus Jebus

          Giant barge arrives at Fukushima plant to store radioactive water – 11:10 21/05/2011

          A giant water-storage barge has arrived at Japan's quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to store highly radioactive waste water from the basement of a reactor building, Kyodo news reported on Saturday.

          http://en.rian.ru/world/20110521/164150379.html

          Where did it go? Where are the coriums? Where is an international response to this disaster. Where is Waldo?


          Report comment

          • Jebus Jebus

            From above link.

            Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will use the 136-meter-long, 46-meter-wide Megafloat as a storage site for contaminated waste water leaked from reactor buildings.
            Reactor 1 suffered a near complete core meltdown in the March disaster, allowing 3,000 tons of water to leak into its basement.
            Fuel rods at reactors 2 and 3 may also have largely melted.
            TEPCO engineers have been pouring water into the reactors water to cool them in a bid to gain access to reactor buildings to restore the damaged cooling systems.
            They have now scrapped the plan and are trying to create a cooling system by circulating the water which is already in the reactors.

            Now two and a half years later from this link.
            Camera at reactor 1 finds water entry point – Sept 5 2013
            An entry point for some of the groundwater flooding the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant has been found at reactor 1, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.
            An estimated 400 tons of toxic groundwater are flowing into the four damaged reactor units each day, compounding the volume of highly radioactive water being produced by the makeshift cooling apparatus set up after the triple core meltdowns of March 2011. The fuel inside must be submerged at all times to prevent it from igniting.
            http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/05/national/camera-at-reactor-1-finds-water-entry-point/


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    • ftlt

      Dos: This is a good idea… A super tanker a month for 1000s years??? (of course more at the start until a manageable draw down has occurred… Maybe, more during wet periods..

      Where is the depository Chilian/Bolivian desert, the deep Sahara, Antarctica ???? Someplace vast and deep and safe for 1000s of years

      This could probably capture 80% of the dirtied waters…

      The best plan yet… Still very expensive..

      That means extracting about 250 acre feet of toxic water per tanker per month…


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  • rockyourworld

    will they hold the meeting in their elaborate bunkers?


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  • Nigwil

    Now Dosdos, that would be an interesting ride eh… a supertanker manned by a suicide squad of irradiated cretins full of 2 sievert liquids that no body wants and nobody can get near. Be like Wagner's Flying Dutchman – never allowed home. I suppose they could run her up the Colombia River and dock it at Hanford – a little more there would not be noticed!!!
    http://www.hanfordwatch.org/


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  • Henry Waxman is considered one of the most influential Liberals and has been a çongresman since 1975. So maybe Californians have a betterview but up here in bc it looks promising. Dosdos is bang on there is lots that can be done but the japanese are too cheap. Maybe obummer could just send the drones to japan. He might not get to play war in syria. Why not japan?


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  • rockyourworld

    do they even come out of their bunkers these days?


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  • I dont follow American regional politics much any californian americans have an opinion on Waxman?


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  • rockyourworld

    i dont believe anythings stored in those tanks, i think they flushed it all our way. paybacks a b


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    • We Not They Finally

      Even whether there is currently contaminated water in the tanks. They were built to NOT last. There was no building code applied and they were thrown together from spare parts from defunct factories.

      It's national suicide. They just don't have the right to take the rest of us with them.


      Report comment

    • Could be right…

      Who checks the water levels in the tanks?

      NO ONE.

      Who checks to make sure they are doing this?

      NO ONE.

      Who checks on how much water is going through the basements?

      NO ONE.

      Who is checking on the 3 coriums underground?

      NO ONE.


      Report comment

  • The problem with ships, is that the people who often do that in other countries are often associated with the underworld, and the cargo just kind of mysteriously disappears once it gets on board the ship, somewhere off shore.

    It's been happening like that for a long time…

    Everyone just looks the other way, no one wants to deal with nuclear waste. Just dump it where we cannot see it, like in the ocean for example.

    (sarc)


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  • Nigwil

    Yes, now that Russia has Syria under control the good President O should invite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a quiet chat about how the Rising Sun is destroying not only itself, but the USA's western seaboard and eventually much of the habitable globe.

    And if Obama wants any verification of the seriousness of the issue he needs go no further than the USS Ronald Reagan – a chat with a few of the now seriously-unwell crew should take the shells from his eyes.
    https://www.facebook.com/ussronaldreagan
    (Mind you, not much about Fuku on that facebook page!)


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    • Nigwil

      USS Ronald Reagan's captain's log for March 14, 2011 states:

      "…As you may have already heard, radioactivity was detected on 17 personnel from our ship.
      …to put this into perspective, the maximum radiation dose received was equalt to the amount of natural background radiation one would receive in one month from sources such as rocks, soil and the sun."
      https://www.facebook.com/notes/uss-ronald-reagan-cvn-76/from-uss-ronald-reagan-commanding-officer/196001977088322

      Same old same old…


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      • Sickputer

        Another posting on their FB page:

        March 16, 2011 David Iodice I heard on CNN that there is a shortage of bottled water and was wondering if your ship has a sea water reverse osmosis machine to generate some water to give to people in Japan. best wishes from Boston.

        SP: Sorry David…taking contaminated radioactive seawater into the RO machine was what really screwed up the entire ship besides the massive air blast of MOX from Unit 3 explosion.

        I'm sure they had enough Ozarka spring water for the officers to drink during their helter skelter escape from Fukushima Hell! The enlisted personnel did not fare as well…


        Report comment

  • razzz razzz

    After the Congressional hearing, I am glad they are going to shut down any BWR type reactors in the US like Daiichi has then address the spent fuel and its radioactive waste that has to be stored safely for centuries…Aren't they?

    Anyway, here is an outtake taken from a report in .pdf format about the early fallout releases from Daiichi's blown reactor's and Unit 4's pool. 4's pool was a major contributor of fallout. At least read the entire Abstract. Confirms Gundersen's fear of a fuel pool going up in flames. This report had to work backwards to reconstruct releases from what little was know at the time. I bet the releases were even higher.

    "…For 137Cs, the inversion results give a total emis-
    sion of 36.6 (20.1–53.1) PBq, or about 43 % of the estimated
    Chernobyl emission. Our results indicate that 137Cs emis-
    sions peaked on 14–15 March but were generally high from
    12 until 19 March, when they suddenly dropped by orders of
    magnitude at the time when spraying of water on the spent-
    fuel pool of unit 4 started. This indicates that emissions may
    not have originated only from the damaged reactor cores, but
    also from the spent-fuel pool of unit 4…"

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/2313/2012/acp-12-2313-2012.pdf


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  • razzz razzz

    You load an old oil tanker with radioactive waste water and like all the land-borne holding tanks they (tanks and ship) all become radioactive waste eventually that has to be dealt with. The longer the exposure the more radioactive they become.

    On the other hand, I read where heavy crude is a good material to contain radioactivity so maybe an old doubled hulled crude tanker might be the temporary ticket.


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  • Sol Man

    I suggest that Congressman Waxman determine what has been happening in the birthing rooms across the nation. How are the mothers and infants doing? What kind of rise in infant mortality are we seeing because of the increased radiation- if it is known. Where is this information reported?


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Henry Waxman starts a lot of investigations..
    Are these investigations effective?..that's another question..

    Markey, Waxman to Continue Probe of Presence of New Oil Sheen Near Macondo Well

    http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=news/markey-waxman-to-continue-probe-of-presence-of-new-oil-sheen-near-macondo-well

    I'm not going to hold my breath here..
    I don't suggest anyone else does either.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The US has no idea what is going on..?
    Yet..people like Lake Barrett are involved.

    "Barrett served as a former director of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the Three Mile Island plant in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. An independent energy consultant, he also served as an acting director of the Office of Civilian Nuclear Waste Management at the U.S. Department of Energy. A graduate of Mechanical Engineer with a master’s degree in Mechanical/Nuclear Engineering at the University of Connecticut, he was sought to provide advice on how to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and contain the leaking radioactive water at the plant."

    http://japandailypress.com/us-nuclear-expert-to-serve-as-adviser-to-tepco-regarding-fukushima-crisis-1135716/

    Since there is no fix…he must be advising in deception.


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  • Sol Man

    All psyops is deception. We have government by deception. Truth gone missing.
    HotR it is very good not to hold our breath.


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  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Congress has done nothing to stop the wars, the thief of the peoples wealth by the banking cartel, would not fund the upgrades of our own run down nuke plants & now they seem concerned about Fukushima? They are all show & do nothing except to take lobbyist monies to enjoy their plush life styles!


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  • FXofTruth

    Water is poured on to a melting core at 30,000 gallons per minute – (scientific estimation during an emergency meltdown)
         – 8.3 pounds is the weight of one gallon of water (variations in weight can happen because of elements in the water)
    – 30,000 gallons of water weight 249,000 pounds
         – A short TON, commonly used in the US, is equal to 2000 pounds

    ONE MINUTE – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 124.5 TONS of water. (All based on 30,000 gallons per minute)
    ONE HOUR – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 7,470 TONS of water.
    24 HOURS – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 79,280 TONS of water.
    1 WEEK – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 1,254,960 TONS of water. 
    ONE YEAR – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 65,257,920 TONS of water.
    50 YEARS – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 3,262,896,000 TONS of water.
    100 YEARS – of water flowing over a SINGLE melted core is 6,525,792,000 TONS of water.

    The question is, "How long does core cooling water stay in the melted core's area?"
    At the rate of 30,000 gallons a minute…minutes I would venture to say!
    If the water sat too long it would boil off.
    The above numbers are related to cooling off ONE melted core.
    These numbers will need to be multiplied times 3x melted cores.

    If water is flowing over a single core for ONE YEAR at the rate of 65, 257,920 tons.
    Then, in gallons that equals…


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  • rockyourworld

    if our govt claims they didnt know, we need a whole new body of govt. vote the corrupt lying insiders out in 2014 and 2016 and dont think lying corrupt insiders arent behind the tea parties formation.


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  • hatrick penry

    In the NRC FOIA documents pertaining to Fukushima, only 3 Congressmen/women actually asked pertinent questions about the fallout and plume. All the others should be rounded up and placed in irons pending a Nuremberg type trial. Why assemble Congress and talk about Fukushima in the Pacific but not begin hearings on Plume-Gate?

    Something Wicked This Way Comes: The story of Plume-Gate, the world’s largest, provable cover-up: http://hatrickpenryunbound.com/?p=3683


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