Experts concerned about North Anna: “Uncomfortably close” to maximum quake that nuke plant was designed to withstand

Published: August 24th, 2011 at 7:09 am ET


Quake raises safety concerns as nuclear plant shut, Reuters, August 24, 2011:

[…] Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said the plant was designed to withstand an earthquake of up to 6.2 in magnitude.

But some experts expressed concern about the narrow margin between the design metrics and the quake’s size. […]

Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists

It was uncomfortably close to design basis.

See also: Company admits Virginia nuke plant only designed to withstand a magnitude 5.9 – 6.1 earthquake — Today’s quake was 5.9


Published: August 24th, 2011 at 7:09 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Quake over twice as strong as North Anna nuke plant’s containment structure was designed to withstand: Feds September 7, 2011
  2. Company admits Virginia nuke plant only designed to withstand a magnitude 5.9 – 6.1 earthquake — Today’s quake was 5.9 August 23, 2011
  3. NYT: North Anna nuke plant in situation that no US reactor has ever faced before — NRC has no protocol to see if design held up after quake September 8, 2011
  4. Nuclear Engineer: If quake caused weakness at Virginia’s North Anna nuke plant, hurricane could take it rest of way to failure August 27, 2011
  5. “Quake sensors removed around Virginia nuke plant due to budget cuts” — Spokesman: We’re still evaluating “all of the instrumentation that’s at North Anna” to determine forces reactors dealt with August 24, 2011

70 comments to Experts concerned about North Anna: “Uncomfortably close” to maximum quake that nuke plant was designed to withstand


    Western Pacific Ocean squid found with radiation elements inside /
    Posted:August 24,2011 Views:1

    Fukushima nuclear leak in Japan due to the impact of the State Oceanic Administration proposed to do the radioactivity marine waters
    [Financial new network] (trainee reporter Lin verse Recently, the State Oceanic Administration announced that, in Japan, western Pacific Ocean east of Fukushima marine environmental radioactivity monitoring shows that water in the area were detected cesium 137 and strontium-90, that ‘Fukushima east and southeast of the western Pacific Ocean, Fukushima nuclear leak has been significantly affected.’
    State Oceanic Administration on June 16 to July 4 in the Sea marine environmental radioactivity monitoring done results showed that 71% of monitoring stations sample, cesium-137 content than the bottom range of the China Sea, 94% of the monitoring stations sample, under normal circumstances can not be detected with the cesium-134.

    Although not detected in the monitoring of iodine-131, cesium 137 and strontium-90 but the highest levels, has reached the end of the scope of the China Sea 300 times and 10 times.

    Meanwhile, the State Oceanic Administration to monitor waters for squid (squid do Bart test results show samples of strontium-90 radioactivity, radioactivity of biological samples for the Chinese coastal average of 29 times the background, also check the sample a silver-110m and cesium-134, which in coastal China is generally difficult to detect in biological samples.

    State Oceanic Administration suggested that relevant departments should strengthen the seafood from the waters of radioactive detection, to ensure that the Chinese public health and safety(

    According to financial previously reported, the State Oceanic Administration has issued July 29, the marine environmental radioactivity monitoring of the preliminary results, with the release of the same result.

    At that time, there have been media reports, ‘the State Oceanic Administration said Japan’s Fukushima nuclear waste or has entered the China Sea’, but subsequently denied the State Oceanic Administration.

    Cesium 137, strontium-90 were cesium, strontium radioisotopes, half-life of 30.17 years, 28.79 years. ■

    • ALERT ()$*&@(*$&@()$*@&($*@&$@(*&@(*$&@(*$($*@}

      R3 being fussy



    Fukushima radiation alarms doctors
    Japanese doctors warn of public health problems caused by Fukushima radiation.
    Dahr Jamail Last Modified: 18 Aug 2011 14:09

    Residents of Ohkuma-cho attend a memorial service for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on 24 July 2011 in Ohkuma-cho, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, 20 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant [EPA]
    Scientists and doctors are calling for a new national policy in Japan that mandates the testing of food, soil, water, and the air for radioactivity still being emitted from Fukushima’s heavily damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    “How much radioactive materials have been released from the plant?” asked Dr Tatsuhiko Kodama, a professor at the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology and Director of the University of Tokyo’s Radioisotope Centre, in a July 27 speech to the Committee of Health, Labour and Welfare at Japan’s House of Representatives.

    “The government and TEPCO have not reported the total amount of the released radioactivity yet,” said Kodama, who believes things are far worse than even the recent detection of extremely high radiation levels at the plant.

    There is widespread concern in Japan about a general lack of government monitoring for radiation, which has caused people to begin their own independent monitoring, which are also finding disturbingly high levels of radiation.

    Kodama’s centre, using 27 facilities to measure radiation across the country, has been closely monitoring the situation at Fukushima – and their findings are alarming.

    According to Dr Kodama, the total amount of radiation released over a period of more than five months from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is the equivalent to more than 29 “Hiroshima-type atomic bombs” and the amount of uranium released “is equivalent to 20” Hiroshima bombs.

    Kodama, along with other scientists, is concerned about the ongoing crisis resulting from the Fukushima situation, as well as what he believes to be inadequate government reaction, and believes the government needs to begin a large-scale response in order to begin decontaminating affected areas.

    Distrust of the Japanese government’s response to the nuclear disaster is now common among people living in the effected prefectures, and people are concerned about their health.

    Recent readings taken at the plant are alarming.

    When on August 2nd readings of 10,000 millisieverts (10 sieverts) of radioactivity per hour were detected at the plant, Japan’s science ministry said that level of dose is fatal to humans, and is enough radiation to kill a person within one to two weeks after the exposure.

    10,000 millisieverts (mSv) is the equivalent of approximately 100,000 chest x-rays.

    It is an amount 250 per cent higher than levels recorded at the plant in March after it was heavily damaged by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

    The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), that took the reading, used equipment to measure radiation from a distance, and was unable to ascertain the exact level because the device’s maximum reading is only 10,000 mSv.

    TEPCO also detected 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) per hour in debris outside the plant, as well as finding 4,000 mSv per hour inside one of the reactor buildings.

    The Fukushima disaster has been rated as a “level seven” on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). This level, the highest, is the same as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, and is defined by the scale as: “[A] major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.”

    The Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters are the only nuclear accidents to have been rated level seven on the scale, which is intended to be logarithmic, similar to the scale used to describe the comparative magnitude of earthquakes. Each increasing level represents an accident approximately ten times more severe than the previous level.

    Doctors in Japan are already treating patients suffering health effects they attribute to radiation from the ongoing nuclear disaster.

    “We have begun to see increased nosebleeds, stubborn cases of diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms in children,” Dr Yuko Yanagisawa, a physician at Funabashi Futawa Hospital in Chiba Prefecture, told Al Jazeera.

    She attributes the symptoms to radiation exposure, and added: “We are encountering new situations we cannot explain with the body of knowledge we have relied upon up until now.”

    “The situation at the Daiichi Nuclear facility in Fukushima has not yet been fully stabilised, and we can’t yet see an end in sight,” Yanagisawa said. “Because the nuclear material has not yet been encapsulated, radiation continues to stream into the environment.”

    Health concerns

    Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan, reporting from Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, said of the recently detected high radiation readings: “It is now looking more likely that this area has been this radioactive since the earthquake and tsunami, but no one realised until now.”

    Workers at Fukushima are only allowed to be exposed to 250 mSv of ionising radiation per year.

    Junichi Matsumoto, a TEPCO spokesman, said the high dose was discovered in an area that does not hamper recovery efforts at the stricken plant.

    Yet radioactive cesium exceeding the government limit was detected in processed tea made in Tochigi City, about 160km from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, according to the Tochigi Prefectural Government, who said radioactive cesium was detected in tea processed from leaves harvested in the city in early July.

    The level is more than 3 times the provisional government limit.

    Yanagisawa’s hospital is located approximately 200km from Fukushima, so the health problems she is seeing that she attributes to radiation exposure causes her to be concerned by what she believes to be a grossly inadequate response from the government.

    From her perspective, the only thing the government has done is to, on April 25, raise the acceptable radiation exposure limit for children from 1 mSv/year to 20 mSv/year.

    “This has caused controversy, from the medical point of view,” Yanagisawa told Al Jazeera. “This is certainly an issue that involves both personal internal exposures as well as low-dose exposures.”

    Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director, said: “It is utterly outrageous to raise the exposure levels for children to twenty times the maximum limit for adults.”

    “The Japanese government cannot simply increase safety limits for the sake of political convenience or to give the impression of normality.”

    Authoritative current estimates of the health effects of low-dose ionizing radiation are published in the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation VII (BEIR VII) report from the US National Academy of Sciences.

    The report reflects the substantial weight of scientific evidence proving there is no exposure to ionizing radiation that is risk-free.

    The BEIR VII estimates that each 1 mSv of radiation is associated with an increased risk of all forms of cancer other than leukemia of about 1-in-10,000; an increased risk of leukemia of about 1-in-100,000; and a 1-in-17,500 increased risk of cancer death.

    Dr Helen Caldicott, the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a group that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, is equally concerned about the health effects from Japan’s nuclear disaster.

    “Radioactive elements get into the testicles and ovaries, and these cause genetic disease like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and mental retardation,” she told Al Jazeera. “There are 2,600 of these diseases that get into our genes and are passed from generation to generation, forever.”

    So far, the only cases of acute radiation exposure have involved TEPCO workers at the stricken plant. Lower doses of radiation, particularly for children, are what many in the medical community are most concerned about, according to Dr Yanagisawa.

    “Humans are not yet capable of accurately measuring the low dose exposure or internal exposure,” she explained, “Arguing ‘it is safe because it is not yet scientifically proven [to be unsafe]’ would be wrong. That fact is that we are not yet collecting enough information to prove the situations scientifically. If that is the case, we can never say it is safe just by increasing the annual 1mSv level twenty fold.”

    Her concern is that the new exposure standards by the Japanese government do not take into account differences between adults and children, since children’s sensitivity to radiation exposure is several times higher than that of adults.

    Al Jazeera contacted Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s office for comment on the situation.

    Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations for the Prime Minister’s office, Noriyuki Shikata said that the Japanese government “refers to the ICRP [International Commission on Radiological Protection] recommendation in 2007, which says the reference levels of radiological protection in emergency exposure situations is 20-100 mSv per year. The Government of Japan has set planned evacuation zones and specific spots recommended for evacuation where the radiation levels reach 20 mSv/year, in order to avoid excessive radiation exposure.”

    The prime minister’s office explained that approximately 23bn yen ($300mn) is planned for decontamination efforts, and the government plans to have a decontamination policy “by around the end of August”, with a secondary budget of about 97bn yen ($1.26bn) for health management and monitoring operations in the affected areas.

    When questioned about the issue of “acute radiation exposure”, Shikata pointed to the Japanese government having received a report from TEPCO about six of their workers having been exposed to more than 250 mSv, but did not mention any reports of civilian exposures.

    Prime Minister Kan’s office told Al Jazeera that, for their ongoing response to the Fukushima crisis, “the government of Japan has conducted all the possible countermeasures such as introduction of automatic dose management by ID codes for all workers and 24 hour allocation of doctors. The government of Japan will continue to tackle the issue of further improving the health management including medium and long term measures”.

    Shikata did not comment about Kodama’s findings.

    Kodama, who is also a doctor of internal medicine, has been working on decontamination of radioactive materials at radiation facilities in hospitals of the University of Tokyo for the past several decades.

    “We had rain in Tokyo on March 21 and radiation increased to .2 micosieverts/hour and, since then, the level has been continuously high,” said Kodama, who added that his reporting of radiation findings to the government has not been met an adequate reaction. “At that time, the chief cabinet secretary, Mr Edano, told the Japanese people that there would be no immediate harm to their health.”

    Kodama is an expert in internal exposure to radiation, and is concerned that the government has not implemented a strong response geared towards measuring radioactivity in food.

    “Although three months have passed since the accident already, why have even such simple things have not been done yet?” he said. “I get very angry and fly into a rage.”

    According to Kodama, the major problem caused by internal radiation exposure is the generation of cancer cells as the radiation causes unnatural cellular mutation.

    “Radiation has a high risk to embryos in pregnant women, juveniles, and highly proliferative cells of people of growing ages. Even for adults, highly proliferative cells, such as hairs, blood, and intestinal epithelium cells, are sensitive to radiation.”

    ‘Children are at greater risk’

    Early on in the disaster, Dr Makoto Kondo of the department of radiology of Keio University’s School of Medicine warned of “a large difference in radiation effects on adults compared to children”.

    Kondo explained the chances of children developing cancer from radiation exposure was many times higher than adults.

    “Children’s bodies are underdeveloped and easily affected by radiation, which could cause cancer or slow body development. It can also affect their brain development,” he said.

    Yanagisawa assumes that the Japanese government’s evacuation standards, as well as their raising the permissible exposure limit to 20mSv “can cause hazards to children’s health,” and therefore “children are at a greater risk”.

    Nishio Masamichi, director of Japan’s Hakkaido Cancer Centre and a radiation treatment specialist, published an article on July 27 titled: “The Problem of Radiation Exposure Countermeasures for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Concerns for the Present Situation”.

    In the report, Masamichi said that such a dramatic increase in permitted radiation exposure was akin to “taking the lives of the people lightly”. He believes that 20mSv is too high, especially for children who are far more susceptible to radiation.

    “No level of radiation is acceptable, for children or anyone else,” Caldicott told Al Jazeera. “Children are ten to 20 times more sensitive than adults. They must not be exposed to radiation of any level. At all.”

    In early July, officials with the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission announced that approximately 45 per cent of children in the Fukushima region had experienced thyroid exposure to radiation, according to a survey carried out in late March. The commission has not carried out any surveys since then.

    “Now the Japanese government is underestimating the effects of low dosage and/or internal exposures and not raising the evacuation level even to the same level adopted in Chernobyl,” Yanagisawa said. “People’s lives are at stake, especially the lives of children, and it is obvious that the government is not placing top priority on the people’s lives in their measures.”

    Caldicott feels the lack of a stronger response to safeguard the health of people in areas where radiation is found is “reprehensible”.

    “Millions of people need to be evacuated from those high radiation zones, especially the children.”

    Dr Yanagisawa is concerned about what she calls “late onset disorders” from radiation exposure resulting from the Fukushima disaster, as well as increasing cases of infertility and miscarriages.

    “Incidence of cancer will undoubtedly increase,” she said. “In the case of children, thyroid cancer and leukemia can start to appear after several years. In the case of adults, the incidence of various types of cancer will increase over the course of several decades.”

    Yanagisawa said it is “without doubt” that cancer rates among the Fukushima nuclear workers will increase, as will cases of lethargy, atherosclerosis, and other chronic diseases among the general population in the effected areas.

    Yanagisawa believes it is time to listen to survivors of the atomic bombings. “To be exposed to radiation, to be told there is no immediate effect, and afterwards to be stricken with cancer – what it is like to suffer this way over a long period of time, only the survivors of the atomic bombings can truly understand,” she told Al Jazeera.

    Radioactive food and water

    An August 1 press release from Japan’s MHLW said no radioactive materials have been detected in the tap water of Fukushima prefecture, according to a survey conducted by the Japanese government’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters.

    The government defines no detection as “no results exceeding the ‘Index values for infants (radioactive iodine)’,” and says “in case the level of radioactive iodine in tap water exceeds 100 Bq/kg, to refrain from giving infants formula milk dissolved by tap water, having them intake tap water … ”

    Yet, on June 27, results were published from a study that found 15 residents of Fukushima prefecture had tested positive for radiation in their urine.

    Dr Nanao Kamada, professor emeritus of radiation biology at Hiroshima University, has been to Fukushima prefecture twice in order to take internal radiation exposure readings and facilitated the study.

    “The risk of internal radiation is more dangerous than external radiation,” Dr Kamada told Al Jazeera. “And internal radiation exposure does exist for Fukushima residents.”

    According to the MHLW, distribution of several food products in Fukushima Prefecture remain restricted. This includes raw milk, vegetables including spinach, kakina, and all other leafy vegetables, including cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and beef.

    The distribution of tealeaves remains restricted in several prefectures, including all of Ibaraki, and parts of Tochigi, Gunma, Chiba, Kanagawa Prefectures.

    Iwate prefecture suspended all beef exports because of caesium contamination on August 1, making it the fourth prefecture to do so.

    Due to caesium contaminated straw, beef exports have been banned in four Japanese prefectures [EPA]
    Jyunichi Tokuyama, an expert with the Iwate Prefecture Agricultural and Fisheries Department, told Al Jazeera he did not know how to deal with the crisis. He was surprised because he did not expect radioactive hot spots in his prefecture, 300km from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    “The biggest cause of this contamination is the rice straw being fed to the cows, which was highly radioactive,” Tokuyama told Al Jazeera.

    Kamada feels the Japanese government is acting too slowly in response to the Fukushima disaster, and that the government needs to check radiation exposure levels “in each town and village” in Fukushima prefecture.

    “They have to make a general map of radiation doses,” he said. “Then they have to be concerned about human health levels, and radiation exposures to humans. They have to make the exposure dose map of Fukushima prefecture. Fukushima is not enough. Probably there are hot spots outside of Fukushima. So they also need to check ground exposure levels.”

    Caldicott said people around the world should be concerned about the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Radiation that continues to be released has global consequences.

    More than 11,000 tonnes of radioactive water has been released into the ocean from the stricken plant.

    Scientists warn that tuna caught off the Pacific coastal prefecture in northern Japan are now at risk of being radioactive [EPA]
    “Those radioactive elements bio-concentrate in the algae, then the crustaceans eat that, which are eaten by small then big fish,” Caldicott said. “That’s why big fish have high concentrations of radioactivity and humans are at the top of the food chain, so we get the most radiation, ultimately.”

    On August 6, the 66th anniversary of the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said: “Regarding nuclear energy, we will deeply reflect over the myth that nuclear energy is safe. We will thoroughly look into the cause of the [Fukushima] accident, and to secure safety, we’ll implement fundamental measures while also decreasing the degree of dependence on nuclear power generation, to aim for a society that does not rely on nuclear power.”

    But doctors, scientists, agricultural experts, and much of the general public in Japan feel that a much more aggressive response to the nuclear disaster is needed.

    Kodama believes the government needs to begin a large-scale response in order to begin decontaminating affected areas. He cited Japan’s itai itai disease, when cadmium poisoning from mining resulted in the government eventually having to spend 800 billion yen to decontaminate an area of 1,500 hectares.

    “How much cost will be needed if the area is 1,000 times larger?”

    Follow Dahr Jamail on Twitter: @DahrJamail

    • Japan nuke accident seen from Seattle
      Clues to events at crippled plant found in traces of radiation reaching Pacific Northwest By Devin Powell April 23rd, 2011; Vol.179 #9 (p. 16) Text Size
      SMALL SPIKEAir samples collected by physicists in Seattle show trace levels of isotopes from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.A. Knecht
      Radioactive particles wafting eastward over the Pacific Ocean from Japan have been spotted in Seattle and used by a forensic team of physicists as a window into recent events inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant 5,000 miles away. Working backward from these nuclear byproducts, the physicists have confirmed that contaminated steam is the source of this radiation, not spent fuel rods or material ejected directly from the reactor core.

      “We haven’t seen any of the heavier stuff that would come right from the core, which people saw 30 years ago during the Chernobyl accident,” says Andreas Knecht, a nuclear and particle physicist at the University of Washington in Seattle who published the new data online March 24 at

      Starting March 16, Knecht and his colleagues saved and analyzed the air filters that clean 100 million liters of air every day in the ventilation system of the University of Washington’s physics and astronomy building. Using a detector originally designed to spot neutrinos coming from outer space, the researchers searched for gamma rays originating in the by-products of nuclear fission. On March 18, the first nuclear isotopes arrived from Japan.

      The mixture of elements found in the Seattle filters drives home the differences between Chernobyl and Fukushima. The total meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor in 1986, which exposed the core, belched tons of radioactive material from fuel rods directly into the atmosphere. At the time, scientists in Paris detected 20 different isotopes. The partial meltdown of the Fukushima plant, in contrast, released only five isotopes measurable by the Seattle team’s equipment: iodine-131, iodine-132, tellurium-132, cesium-134 and cesium-137.

      The complete absence of iodine-133, an ephemeral isotope that breaks down in days, confirmed that the radiation spotted by Knecht had been traveling for at least a week or so.

      The presence of tellurium-132, a by-product of nuclear fission that degrades over weeks, suggests that the wind-blown radiation came from a material that had recently seen fission inside a nuclear reactor. This rules out older, spent fuel rods kept on the premises of the power plant and points to the fuel rods that were generating power until the earthquake struck.

      The lack of heavier elements ruled out the possibility that the material in these fuel rods was tossed directly into the atmosphere after the earthquake. Instead, radioactive cesium and iodine — which dissolve easily in water as the compound cesium iodide — likely contaminated steam released by Japanese utility company TEPCO to control pressure inside the damaged reactors.

      “This is what we expected to see,” says Knecht. “But obviously it doesn’t hurt to check.”

      These particles tell the same story repeated by groups of scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, the University of California, Berkeley, and other institutions monitoring the West Coast: Only minute amounts of radiation are reaching the United States. Levels of radioactive iodine, a cause for concern in Japan itself, were in Seattle a mere hundredth of the safety level set by the EPA.

      “We’d like to confirm that what’s coming over here is at a level which is tolerable,” says Ed Morse, a nuclear engineer at the University of California, Berkeley. “So far that’s consistent with what we’re seeing.”

      The scientists have analyzed only the first five days of data so far but will continue to monitor the air above Seattle. They’ve seen some evidence of day-to-day fluctuation in radiation levels and hope to explain these changes by looking to changes in local weather patterns or events in Japan.

      • Jebus Jebus

        Uh Uh, You can’t post that and leave out the link…

      • Jebus Jebus

        Please provide a link to this story….

      • Jebus Jebus

        Were you trying to discredit a certain someone that reported about hot particles in Seattle?

        If so then then this article provided and the paper published, does not provide empherical proof that there were not hot particles in Seattle. If these researchers used one air filter in their building to detect with, then they provide no more proof either way than Gunderson did using what people believe were car air filters. They can only dispute his method as to the volume that was used for his calculations.

        • I think enough people tasted metal flavor in their mouths to establish that we had hot particles !

        • Quite the opposite…

          I am seeing potential for the contamination to be much more prevalent than previously reported.

          Likely ranging between 10,000 – 695,000 bq cm/2 , In all of seattle… (this is based on the data we do have available for tokyo).

  • Radiation Impacts

    The Nuclear Accident in Japan
    The full impact of the Japanese nuclear crisis remains to be seen, but the health risks posed by radioactive contamination are well documented. In 2006, the National Academies of Science issued a definitive report on radiation exposure that concluded that even low levels of radiation can cause human health problems, including cancer, heart disease, or immune disorders.

    The United States imports around 80 percent of its seafood as well as an increasing share of its fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, the FDA inspects less than two percent of these imports, leaving consumers at risk to a host of food-borne issues, which now includes potential radioactivity.

    Take Action Now

    Radioactive emissions from Japan have been detected throughout the United States, from California to Colorado and as far east as Massachusetts. Monitors in the Carolinas have detected the presence of radioactive iodine, the first time this material had been detected there since the Chernobyl accident 25 years ago.

    A major avenue for exposure to radioactive contamination comes through food and water. Decades after the Chernobyl accident, the United Kingdom still maintains restrictions on large sectors of the country’s sheep production because radioactive cesium—dispersed through wind and rain—still contaminates grazing lands.

    The U.S. imported around 150 million pounds of food from Japan in 2010, a small percentage of what Americans consumed, but not an insignificant amount. Imports from Japan included nearly 600,000 pounds of crab and anchovies and nearly 5 million gallons of bottled water, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages containing water, products that may be potentially higher risk if contamination continues to spread to the ocean and fresh water sources.

    American consumers could be at risk through consumption of food products from other countries that experience radioactive fallout from the nuclear accident in Japan as well.

    The FDA should immediately ban all food and water imports from Japan, expanding on the FDA’s original step of restricting imports of milk and produce from the region near the accident site.
    The EPA should increase its monitoring in the United States of air, water, precipitation, and milk for radiation.

    The data generated by this environmental monitoring should be used by the FDA and the USDA to design sampling programs for soil, water used for irrigation, livestock or crop production, crops including leafy greens, and meat and milk in areas of the United States that are affected by radiation.

    Congress should provide adequate funding for food inspection, both at home and abroad, instead of attempting to cut both USDA and FDA’s funding, which would weaken their ability to meet their current obligations even without the additional burden posed by this nuclear accident.

    Congress should rethink our agricultural and trade policies, which encourage importation of an increasing share of our food from countries with weak regulatory regimes. If radiation from Japan ends up affecting these countries’ food systems, regulators there will not have the tools to ensure that food production is safe.

  • “The real danger from radiation will be cumulative and will involve many factors. As humans, we are at the top of the food chain and therefore more susceptible to radiation exposure as it moves up the food chain.”

  • Another earthquake just now on the 37 parallel (Headed towards japan)… FORESHOCKS>??? Huge quake to come???

    Heres the list…

    I could be wrong, but take a closer look.

    Japan earthquake on Jul 10, 2011
    38.040°N, 143.287°E

    Colorado quake on Aug 23, 2011
    37.070°N, 104.700°W

    M5.8 – Virginia – 2011 August 23 17:51:04 UTC‎

    37.7485,-122.1372(M3.6 – San Francisco Bay area, California – 2011 August 24 06:36:54 UTC)


    37.5448,-118.8718(M4.2 – Central California – 2011 August 24 11:59:51 UTC)

    I see a pattern here. Could the next big one hit in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and therefore create a devastating tsunami?

    What’s your take on this?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I have noticed the 37 parallel…
    Or the New Madrid…..

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Public disobidience events –> check this calendar for an event near (or far) from you:

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I can’t remember at the moment which one of our patriotic forefathers said.
    Disobedience to one’s country is obedience to God.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Is America ripe for a Tahrir moment??

    I guess it is.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    So….nuclear places destabilize ..we send in the military.. the Navy ..the National Guard. firefighters at Los Alamos..whoever.
    These PEOPLE..make of blood and bones..hearts and souls are being exposed to tremendous amounts of radiation.
    Others are being exposed to the death soup called the GOM.
    These PEOPLE are our families, our children…
    We send them to fight the invisible enemy unprepared.

  • StillJill StillJill

    unprepared,…and unprotected, uninformed, unenlightened.

  • StillJill StillJill

    I know,…my son’s a Marine. (I should have eaten him with the afterbirth). God forgive me,…but the truth ain’t always PURDY,…but it’s still the truth!

  • farawayfan farawayfan

    Why is this reactor off the main power grid? I haven’t heard about massive power outages? Is the line to the plant so rinky-dink with no backup lines that it will lose power at the drop of a hat? Why aren’t there independent lines to offsite power running off in different directions? When they lost one of two generators to one of the reactors, why weren’t they reporting out they were urgently bringing in an additional diesel, since we’re exactly one generator and 4 hours battery power away from coolant system shutdown?

    Transparency apparently has become very opaque.

    • “power outages”, I have heard nothing either, but it is said all the nuclear plants we have only produce 20% of our power needs !

      • farawayfan farawayfan

        Hi, I wasn’t saying power outages due to reactor offline, more why is this reactor off the main grid power it needs to stay cool when there aren’t any other massive power outages. I.e. its link is apparently far worse than that of the average office building or gas station….

        I agree though, for as little as they do, the risk ain’t worth it. 500-1000 windmills can generate as much power for much less initial and ongoing investment, and hey, I haven’t heard about much plutonium or cesium generated by windmills 😛

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Also not funny..I know…
    The military breeds killers, not brave individuals..armed in defense of the country.
    They want killers.
    I read an article written by a chaplain in Iraq.
    He said that when it was time to bow ones head in prayer …he had few takers.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Indeed Heart,…try gettin’ one on his knees, with bowed head. (And take a picture as proof!)

  • “Experts concerned”

    Wow ! Too bad the Experts weren’t concerned prior to building these extinction makers !

  • Darth

    Peak Ground Acceleration

    Check out this USGS map of peak ground acceleration – what Nuke sites are supposed to actually design for. I see it was 0.5g or 50% of gravity or half a g acceleration at its core.

    Anyone know what the reactor complex design spec called for?

  • James2

    People assume that engineering is an exact science.

    Good engineering uses exact calculations and bases those exact calculations on documented assumptions and follow up testing. (Nuclear engineering is usually some of the most precise ) On top of that, some kind of “safety factor” is usually applied to account for unknowns.

    It’s true that most engineering is a highly refined process however it is not exact. If someone says the plant was designed for a 6.2 earthquake and this one was only 5.9 so whew, we dodged the bullet, I have to laugh, because from an engineering perspective there may not be any difference between the two. There are simply too many variables to account for.

    I can calculate the engineering strength of a piece of material – say a piece of steel – but the actual strength is going to be different. That’s because there are very many assumptions in my calculation. I assume the material is alloyed precisely to the recipe, and manufactured precisely to dimension. I assume there are no defects in the material – either corrosion or large dents or scratches. I assume the material is installed per the design and not damaged during the install, and I assume the loads are exactly as I had anticipated. I assume the piece of steel hasn’t been subjected to undue temperatures (fire) or chemicals during its lifetime. I also assume the testing which determined my strength calculation tables (either manual or automated in the design software) was accurate and no transcription errors occurred when the data was published.

    That’s a lot of assumptions – any incorrect one of which could throw off the accuracy of my calculation for that component. Now a device is made up of many components (nuclear reactors, many, many components) – all with a set of assumptions or “tolerance” in the calculation . Now let’s add all of those assumptions up for every major structural component of the facility – this is called tolerance stacking, and will give you an overall variability of the project.

    Let’s say you add it all up and you get a + or – 30% tolerance. Well, then, you need to design everything at least 30% stronger than you think in order to account for this. The you are generally OK, because random variations occur both up and down, and most of the time the strength calculations come out pretty close. Additionally, engineers will often will add much more than the required 30% as a safety margin or safety factor, they might add 50% or 100% or not unusually 200% – 400% on critical components.

    So I’m personally not worried about the reactor designed for 6.2 and this was a 5.9 as being close. I think arguing that point shows ignorance.

    What I think this situation is useful for is to demonstrate how close this reactor is to a major metro area in the US – how critically these nuclear reactors rely on backup power, how much nuclear material is onsite, and how Fukushima has proven that residents pretty far from the plant should always be cognizant that the plant could melt down and you might have to abandon your home and belongings forever on very short notice.

    • Darth

      Even if a factor of safety of about 2 was used that means the design is sure to fail at 0.24g’s. The peak acceleration was 0.5g’s.

      Not sure why you characterize the design being based on earthquake magnitude – for it is not. It is based on peak acceleration. Sure enough a mag. 6 may produce a 0.5g shake but the engineering design parameter is actually peak acceleration.

      From the shake map it looks like the plant may have been in the 0.1g shake area. Lucky, lucky…

      The question keeps arising,

      Is the squeeze worth the juice?

      I guess Japan will help answer that question. I guess Mother Nature might help the USA answer that question. But a reasonable person might wonder about how many idiots are in villages these days – it used to be each village had only one idiot.

      • Darth


        I use the village thing because of Hillary Clinton’s book It Takes A Village. Needless to say it seems she is one of the more outstanding idiots that now populate the village. Since the village reflects its leader…

      • James2

        I only use earthquake magnitude as an example.

        The same would apply to peak acceleration, or any other measure.

        saying something is “sure to fail” at .24g’s is as much incorrect as it is to say it would fail at 6.3 magnitude.

        And that is my point. There is simply no way to predict when a complex system is going to fail or is not going to fail with any precision. The only thing you can do is to design it to exceed the loads it is likely to experience.

        If Fukushima tells us one thing clearly is that the structural stability of the buildings and equipment was pretty good. The basic structure withstood the earthquake and the Tsunami intact – all of them.

        The peripherals are what failed. The cooling pipes; the generator fuel tanks, possibly the generators themselves – and, of course the surrounding roads and infrastructure that made it impossible to bring in new equipment in time to keep the units from melting down.

        So debating the structural integrity of the reactors is silly – they’re plenty strong enough.

        The problem is the basic premise of building something that self destructs with devastating unrecoverable and permanent consequences within 24 hours if it doesn’t have 24x7x lifetime services delivered to it – and we now have hundreds of such devices

        • Darth

          But, but… the cooling pipes is what failed at Fuku. Those plants were in meltdown before the tsunami hit. There was no recovery even if the pumps worked the water would escape.

          A plant like this is only as safe as its weakest link.

          • James2

            Then we agree. It’s not an engineering problem at all.

            Making them stronger, or better from an engineering standpoint makes no difference.

            Therefore all those who say – “oh, those were old reactors, the new ones are better” are full of hot air.

            To the contrary – arguing that the engineering or construction is bad is just as disingenuous.

            The problem is – and this situation illustrates the point perfectly – that you have a device that is not controllable – that has the capability of wiping Washington DC out tomorrow.

            And, not only that – you have those devices near many cities.

            Granted, the probability is low – but it is not anywhere close to zero. In fact – this threat is higher than any terrorist organization can muster- higher than any airline security problem – higher than all the drug problems combined. With the exception of a plague of some kind, I cannot think of an internal threat to the US that is greater.

            This is the story that need to be written.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Hear this.. engineering morons..
      Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done!”

    • [ALERT!!!] 14 plants have released radiation after the quake. North Anna may be the most significant.

      Based on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Operations Center Event Reports For 08/23/2011 – 08/24/2011, fifteen nuclear plants made emergency notifications related to the 8/23/2011 Virginia earthquake.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    This is a repost from somewhere here ..this is awesome…check it out Tacoma ..a seismic wave larger than we suspected.
    IMHO.they are downplaying the Pisgah activity and the activity of the volcano off Oregon.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    I remember growing up I always loved watching lighting and storms raging. Even used to chase Tornados before it became a “fad”. NO MORE. Now I’m just LEFT in a state of ANGER at our Gov.

    Don’t know about you guys but I’ve decided to keep an Eye on the New Wikileak Releases
    For many reasons but one in particular:
    The Nuclear Industry
    We all might do well watching that for awhile, eh?

  • Wreedman

    Why so many nuclear plants and just 20 to 23% powers the country? These plants are not really just for providing power, they use them to secretly create plutonium with which they can create atomic wapons.. If you look at this map for Google Earth: you can clearly see that only country’s who are considered as big in warfare have lot’s of nuclear power plants. Like USA, France, Russia, Germany. So the power it’s creating is just a welcome bonus.. We pay them to create massdestruction weapons AND take the risk of radioactive exposere whem things go wrong!

    • From articles I have read it seems there are a lot of high people making huge amounts of money and the hands are greased to many who help them along with large kickbacks and power stature in the Elites !

  • Describes the North Anna horror story in the possible making …

    [detailed article on weaknesses]

    Nuclear Plant Near Earthquake Epicenter, with Hurricane Coming

  • Elenin Velikovsky Elenin Velikovsky

    Hey Astronomically-interested interdisciplinary types,
    Like Tacoma and y’all
    Elenin alignments have something to do with quakes…
    Also, the predicted Solar-CME big double sunspot stuff…
    old Sol is sending greetings and the Peruvian Quake today.
    Old Sol is gradually increasing the power and
    magnitude of interactions
    with Elenin/Nbiru, and we are part of the electrical show!

  • sueec

    @ James2
    I absolutely agree with what you are saying, we should be hammering home the fact that nuclear power stations are not “safe” by any standards. For the same reason I am very concerned by NASA sending up 10 lb plutonium in the Mars rover in dec/ jan. Their own risk assessment puts the risk at 1 in220.
    It’s a stupid argument. If it goes wrong, can you recover it.… no.
    Ps may I use your post( or copy some of it, to spread the message via FB
    I am using the KISS method with friends and relatives)

  • James2

    I didn’t go so far as to say they are not safe by any standards.

    After all, the public must not think they are unsafe or they would demand they be shut down.

    So in the public’s mind, they might be 100% safe. Of course this is the world of misinformation, but that is a standard we live by.

    Additionally, by the standard of “is this plant going to blow up tomorrow?” – still pretty safe. Very unlikely that any one plant will blow up on any given day. That is the argument we use on airliners or in our cars – “is this particular airplane going to crash?” It could, and somewhere one will this week, but again, very unlikely that a particular plane or car will crash.

    But in the case of nuclear powerplants – that is entirely the wrong question.

    The safety question to ask is: What are the consequences if this plant were to melt down like Fukushima did? And then – is it possible for this plant to melt down like Fukushima?

    The answer to the first question – in the case of the plant like North Anna is that it could make Washington D.C. uninhabitable – meaning everyone there would have to move out in 24 hours and never return.

    That’s a pretty huge risk.

    The answer to the second question is – yes – it’s absolutely possible. It has happened – 3 times in the past 35 years – at Three Mile Island we were lucky it got contained – at Chernobyl and at Fukushima – no such luck.

    But the design of the reactor is such that it will absolutely melt down in a mere 24 hours if somehow cooling service is stopped. Have the dam break at Lake Anna and let the water go – the nuke plant will melt down. Have a catastrophic accident that takes the cooling pipes out – melt down. Have an accident that doesn’t allow people near the plant – melt down. Goodbye Washington D.C.