Japan radiation expert: Plutonium-238 from inside reactors went far from Fukushima after explosions — ‘Misleading’ media said it would stay close by

Published: October 31st, 2011 at 7:55 am ET


Mainichi has a report featuring radiochemical expert Michiaki Furukawa, professor emeritus at Nagoya University:

  • He says that some reports about plutonium have been misleading.
  • “When the disaster first happened, there were media reports saying ‘plutonium won’t make it far because it’s a large and heavy element,’ but no one who’s done serious research in environmental radioactivity would say such a thing.”
  • “At the very least, plutonium-238 had to have come from the explosions (at the plant). The plutonium that had heated up inside the reactors turned into fine particles when it came in contact with water, and was dispersed with the water vapor released in the explosions.

Yet, Furukawa says, “Since the plutonium takes the form of particles — unlike the gaseous radioactive iodine — it probably didn’t fly 100 kilometers.”

Some previous reports, however, appear to refute Furakawa’s claim:

  • [intlink id=”fukushima-meltdowns-caused-plutonium-be-evaporated-spread-around-gas” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”air-seattle-loaded-hot-particles-april-very-high-concentrations-pacific-nw-different-tokyo-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”nuclear-expert-americium-found-new-england-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”breaking-neutron-ray-measured-in-tokyo-uranium-235-found-in-chiba-cant-be-detected-by-most-geiger-counters-photo-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”uranium-234-detected-hawaii-southern-california-seattle” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Also in the Mainichi article, Hiroshi Ishihara, who heads the Medical Treatment for the High Dose Exposure Research Group at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Chiba, speaks about plutonium:]

  • He says that “inhaling 910 becquerels or more of plutonium-238 is believed to slightly raise the possibility of cancer.”
  • He adds that this will equal a cumulative radiation exposure of 100 millisieverts in 50 years… just from the plutonium-238.
  • “Even if one were to have inhaled plutonium soon after the explosions took place, it’s hard to think that the amount was enough to have any effects health-wise.”

Even the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan disagrees, saying “We do not take the position that plutonium is safe in amounts up to 910 becquerels.”

Read More: Unknowns about radioactive materials warrant vigilance amid delayed gov’t action

h/t Anonymous tip

Published: October 31st, 2011 at 7:55 am ET


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35 comments to Japan radiation expert: Plutonium-238 from inside reactors went far from Fukushima after explosions — ‘Misleading’ media said it would stay close by

  • many moons

    They say they are going to tell the truth…now and out pops blah blah blah lie uncertainty, probaly…….not but maybe, I wouldn’t say that. Rest assured when this is all over and 20 years have passed, we will tell the truth, but for now, light heavy particles may vaporize and float in gas from here to there but never very far from where it has become a particle again from being a gas. Geiger counters measure radioactivity and lies!

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    (Another) Great post admin that points directly to where Furukawa is proved wrong. TY

    • arclight arclight

      mr corbett you will not “enjoy” the video…..but it is the smoking gun for genetic damage denial by the IAEA and WHO….THE IAEA IS WELL ENTRENCHED IN KAZAHKSTAN..

      keep up the good work!!

  • Steven Steven

    In these enlightened days when you walk your dog in Australia you have to pick up his/her kak. It’s an offence if you don’t carry a small plastic bag specifically for that purpose. I can just imagine how the discussion with the local constabulary or park ranger would progress if you tried to argue this particular kak wasn’t harmful, didn’t travel far, or had to be injested in large quantities before noticing any ill effects.

    I’ve seen enough politicians, industry executives and physicists hiding behind complex, convoluted and controversial data. Kak is kak. If they can’t clean it up they shouldn’t have taken the risk of it spreading around in the first place. These guys don’t even have a bag on hand. It’s time to write someone a ticket.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Right on Steven. They are CRIMINALS who don’t know what the hell to do NOW. That’s the most shocking thing about all of this. THEY DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Dear Steven, this is BY FAR the best analogy I’ve ever seen on the topic.


      • Whoopie Whoopie

        It IS good, isn’t it BB? Perfect Steven.

        • Steven Steven

          Thanks Whoopie, B&B… yeah I reckon we’re all sick of the double standards and the conservative estimates and the damnable lists of data that mean NOTHING unless you understand that no amount of radiation is safe.

          And where’s the park ranger when you need him?… working on the sly for TEPCO, I’ll wager.

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Speechless again today after watching AC’s new video.
            What now? We are absolutely facing the worst nuclear disaster EVER. WHAT THE HELL NOW?

    • Dr. McCoy

      They’re called Crimes Against Humanity for a reason.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Yes,..Steven has beaten my tepco’s dirty diaper analogy!

    “No bag,…No KAK!”

    Tepco,…where’s your bag?

    You’re OUTTAHERE! 🙂

    • lam335 lam335

      A good analogy insofar as it points to the shameful, dirty, and irresponsible nature of TEPCO, though sadly there’s a point where the analogy breaks down. When actual “kak” lands on farmlands, it just fertilizes the soil. When this shit lands there, it taints the crops for generations. Japan (and the rest of us) would’ve been much better off if a sewage treatment plant had exploded all over their island, instead of three reactors (one with MOX) and perhaps a couple of spent fuel pools.

      The waste that occurs by nature has a way of dissolving back into the environment, but stupid Man has created a kind of waste unprecedented in the history of the world. And he wants to continue making more of it though he has no idea what to do with the 300,000 tons of deadly crap that he has already produced.

      • lam335 lam335

        I remember when housebreaking a puppy, a book said that dogs will never go in the place were they sleep. But these guys routinely spew their shit all over the air that we all need to breath and the rest of us are foolish enough to continue buying their products. We need a global boycott of GE, Westinghouse, Toshiba, etc., and all of their subsidiary companies’ products and services (everything from lightbulbs to small appliances as well as those media outlets owned by or connected with them–NBC, MSNBC, CBS, etc.). And we should also boycott all Japanese products until they stop burning their debris and sending more cesium our way. Economics seems to be all any of these people understand or care about. Well, then they need to be made to hurt economically before they will ever change their ways.

    • StillJill StillJill

      I loved that Whoopie! 🙂

      First, he said he was ‘stoned’ meaning MAD he later said,…then, at the end, he said that Fukushima keeps “Pooping out” radiation,…he says it twice,…as though it’s a common term! Maybe he’s read enenews? 🙂

  • This report is just as misleading.

    Plutonium does become a gas?

  • Secondly… The yellow substance detected in our rain. Is a particle. too…

    • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

      Do you have details about the sample you had tested, taco?

      Yesterday riding my bike my Geiger counter suddenly jumped up to 1.33 and read dangerous radiation background. I don’t know why it did that. I was riding so it’s difficult to know where it was reading this. I tried going back to the area, but didn’t find anything really high again.

      Since it did this once before, I am inclined to believe it’s malfunctioning, especially since both times it happened when I turned it on for the first time. Somehow it seems like it has something to do with that.

      • I am still waiting for an alpha detection unit to be at my disposal. I have also received a sample of olympic lights yellow rain too…

        So Now I am in possession of two alternate samples from Washington. In the Western Olympic, and NW regions.

        Both substances are identical (visually).
        I am awaiting a unbiased / sponsor to provide an alpha detection unit.

        i am also calling the A local university later today to see if their physics department can identify any types of radioactivity…

        Anyone that can identify plutonium Email me at Tacomagroove@facebook.com.

      • To Westcoastgirl, You have a Soeks model? These small and relatively cheap Geiger counters have been proven to be reliable.
        The solid state modern electronics means they do not need recalibrating. But the modern electronics is still hooked up to a Geiger Mueller tube. (GM tube) Radio-active particles enter tube and it causes an electrical charge that measures radiation. Sorry simplified version off the top of my head. You can google to get more technically correct data. But this is the downfall of the cheaper Geiger counters is the limitation of a small GM tube. It won’t react untill radiation is right on top of it. These small counters are good to generally show radiation in your environment but arn’t good for finding hot spots. Could be you entered hotspot as you turned on your machine. If everytime you turn it on it reads high maybe a problem with equipment. But if happened only twice maybe you turned it on as you entered a hotspot. To really search for hotspots or to find the source of radiation you need a more expensive model with a bigger GM tube
        But we make do with what we have and something is better then nothing. God Bless

  • selfsovereign

    So if the majority of fuel in those reactors was uranium-238 then it is converted into uranium239 as it absorbs neutrons during the core melting. This u239 decays to neptunium-239 gas-a state of matter that facilitates extensive travel-, which then decays into plutonium 239, lasting a minimum of 245 thousand years.

    Is this what the orange/yellow goo that fell into Alaskan buckets was?
    Is this what potrblog has been observing, decaying so rapidly?

    Like last weeks video by the Japanese woman declaring Japan is in possession of latent nukes, all nuclear facilities transmutate uranium into plutonium.

    The kitty cat video convinces me that there is no god……………

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I am convinced that the nuclear industry and all politicians in favor of nuclear power and nuclear weapons are following the devil. These criminals should be in jail in Fukushima for crimes against humanity and against the earth, not spreading nuclear technology to other countries. All nuclear power plants in the world should be shut down and decommissioned. All nuclear weapons plants in the world should be shut down and decommissioned.

      The media and physicians should be educating the public, not peddling nuclear medicine and nuclear proliferation.

      All investors in uranium mining and in nuclear power and weapons plants should be in jail in Fukushima.

  • I’ve posted this before. Plutonium readily reacts to hydrogen and oxygen. “Plutonium shows enormous, and reversible, reaction rates with pure hydrogen, forming plutonium hydride.[11] It also reacts readily with oxygen, forming PuO and PuO2 as well as intermediate oxides;” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium#Physical_properties
    We know during meltdown large amounts of hydrogen were produced and the plutonium in reactor 3 was finely ground up for use as a fuel so it stands to reason that the plutonium oxidized and bonded to the oxygen and hydrogen molecules and floated out over the sea as a gas. Somebody please tell me I’m wrong!

  • I’m no scientist so this is all my own uneducated speculation. I’m always happy to be proven wrong especially in this case.

    My idea is as the fuel melted, it split the cooling water, producing hydrogen and oxygen, some of the plutonium reacted with hydrogen before the explosion. Therefore when hydrogen exploded (or if there was a nuclear explosion) it was burning off Plutonium hydride as well. I’m sure this shit traveled far. Plutonium reacts to water, damp air hydrogen and oxygen. Therefore totally wrong to say its heavy and won’t go far as its very properties dictate that conditions in the reactor 3 were and are conducive for chemically changing and bonding to hydrogen and oxygen. Might be in our rain water but as it is basically an alpha emitter hard to measure with civilian equipment. Taco is on the right track. Shit could be raining down on us and we can’t tell.

    Don’t walk around with coffee in hand on rainy days!

  • StillJill StillJill

    “Plutonium reacts to water, damp air hydrogen and oxygen.”

    Mark,…this is what I think also.

    Two weeks ago, when my ‘club’ punked me,…I drove through the thickest FOG in my life! I had to use wipers, because the fog produced HUGE water spots. The water was ‘filmy’, and it smeared the windshield. My throat burned like razor blades,….I WAS DOSED,….big time!
    I have been VERY ILL ever since.

    Moral of the story: “Don’t let your ego run with you”,…No,..sorry,..”Stay OUT of the fog,…rain, snow, wind, smoke,…..Oh hell, stay indoors! 🙂

  • @ Mark.

    You are right to assume this. Take the presence of neptunium being detected at pissing on the roses In st louis. As a clear indication that the plutonium is here in masse.


    Would that not be proof of their lies?

    Concerned yet?

    Have a happy winter. As the military says: Button Up.

  • dpl dpl

    by Leuren Moret

    “God save the queen from her complicity in turning planet Earth into a death star.”
    the rad dust comes back to those same bastards who delivered it.

  • Hot Tuna Hot Tuna

    NSC: “We do not take the position that plutonium is safe in amounts up to 910 becquerels.”

    Personally, I try to keep under 666 bqs of Plutonium. But that’s just me. I like being on the safe side.

  • sworldpeas

    ‘Misleading’ media said it would stay close by”

    I’ve been reading that the Pacific currents are keeping the leaked radiation closer to the coast than expected, sounds good right?

    I also read about the tsunami debris reaching the Midway islands and Hawaii much sooner then expected. humm not good.

    I wonder… how does all that pesky radiation stay close to the coast while 20 million tons of radioactive tsunami debris is on a fast track across the Pacific? and then you HAD me at “misleading media”