Japan TV: Radioactive release was up to 500 times larger than thought for Fukushima reactor — Surprising surge in radiation levels before explosions — Our understanding of what happened at plant is ‘very limited’ (VIDEO)

Published: April 30th, 2014 at 9:51 am ET


NHK Nuclear Watch, Apr. 30, 2014:

  • At :30 in — Kenichiro Okamoto, NHK reporter: The data recorded here [5.6 miles from Fukushima Daiichi] after the nuclear accident contained some surprising information.
  • At 1:00 in — Okamoto: It shows a clear spike in radiation levels at 2:40p, what’s surprising about this surge is it happened almost 1 hr before the 1st hydrogen explosion.
  • At 1:30 in — Okamoto: Shortly after 2pm opened [inaudible] to decrease the pressure in Reactor 1. Tepco officials explained the amount of radioactive particles released into the atmosphere would be limited. […] The steam building up inside the reactors would pass through a water tunnel […] that would capture radioactive particles. Nuclear engineers believed this system could limit radioactive emissions to 0.1%. The data we recovered from the monitoring post clearly contradicts this explanation. We asked scientists to verify the 0.1% theory and see if the venting could have released more radiation than expected.
  • At 3:15 in — Okamoto: This institute in Northern Italy specializes in testing nuclear plant equipment. It agreed to recreate the condition of the venting system at Fukushima Daiichi [… Experts] say some of the steam generated by the meltdown had interacted with the water before venting […] the temperature was raised in the upper layer of water. The influx of steam generated a large amount of bubbles that rose all the way up to the surface. This would have allowed radioactive particles to escape […] up to 50% of radioactive elements could have been released into the atmosphere. That’s 500 times higher than the previous simulation. Our investigation has shown that crucial safety features can fail to perform as expected. It also reminds us that our understanding of what happened inside Fukushima Daiichi remains very limited.

Watch the broadcast here

Published: April 30th, 2014 at 9:51 am ET


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31 comments to Japan TV: Radioactive release was up to 500 times larger than thought for Fukushima reactor — Surprising surge in radiation levels before explosions — Our understanding of what happened at plant is ‘very limited’ (VIDEO)

  • Yet another reason to stop the folly of Nuclear Power.

    "…crucial SAFETY features can FAIL to perform as expected."
    — Okamoto

    There can never be enough backup systems to make Nuclear Power safe.

    • nedlifromvermont

      ChasAha … as you probably already know, the ECCS was never demonstrated by AEC, NRC or industry to function properly in a real world scenario, in the 70's … approvals were granted on the basis of 'human'-designed computer simulations …

      Another part of the fraud perpetrated, in our name, on behalf of the Big Nuke Ponzi Scheme of milking the government for an unnecessary 'industry' …

      Rock on bro'

    • OldFool

      This incredibly vast underestimate of the true percentage of radiation released was predicted years ago by Arnie G., who is now totally vindicated. Arnie specifically discussed this and said that the industry always assumed that almost all of the radiation would be trapped by going through the water first. This is also the main reason why the USS Reagan sailors were cooked by the radiation released off the coast. This is a key development in showing how astronomical the radiation release was – even early in the disaster.

      • OldFool

        This inconvenient truth also has two other more ominous implications –
        (1) the theoretical release calculations for the Pacific islands and the North American continent were underestimated by a factor of 500, so everybody really got cooked far more than any simulation estimate.
        (2) the theoretical release calculations for all the Boiling Water Reactors are underestimated by a factor of 500. So all the BWR engineering safety calculations are based on a foundation of sand.
        If government official had any technical brains, they would be peeing their pants in sheer terror by now.

    • Is Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plus 3 Melted Coriums Heating Ocean? via @AGreenRoad

  • dosdos dosdos

    I doubt if anyone knows the definitive answer to what happened at 1F, even those who were there. Power was down, lights were out, instruments and meters dead, it was chaos. Add to it, the suppression of existing records by TEPCO to protect its financial status. And today, with TEPCO raking in billions in profit this year, dredging up old records is the last thing they want to do.

  • Nick

    "The influx of steam generated a large amount of bubbles that rose all the way up to the surface."

    Wow! I had no idea that bubbles could rise ALL THE WAY to the surface in water.

    "Nuclear engineers believed this system could limit radioactive emissions to 0.1%"

    Nothing like faith-based science. Just how was the water going to trap the particles anyway?

    Now I know we are no longer in Kansas.


      rolling over here, Nick! Imagine that?! Bubbles rising in water! Who'da thunk…

      • Shaker1

        Yeah, aftershock. You'd think these people would have some experience with glass or plastic bongs and water pipes…Or maybe they come upon this shit naturally?

        Oh, had I been blessed with such a high…Well, maybe not.


          miss those days, Shaker1, but then again…maybe not. Quick aside. Back in the day, I designed one of the most awesome weed pipes, which was used a parties and festivals. (Had to figure out some way to get the rich kids to breakout the goods!) Long story, it eventually made its way into the DEAs museum of paraphernalia. Fortunately, I was not around when they came-a-knock'n…

          • Shaker1

            I guess they had a generous supply of paper from all their studies, generously enough to keep they warm in winter, as insulation or in the form of fire, with enough left over to simply roll what they had (always my personal preference). They never had the thought to study or to put in the effort to construct such an apparatus as yours.

            But, seriously, since this isn't like some vacuum cleaner that uses water filtration, and the differences between them should be quite obvious, I think this approach to filtering such material was just an 'add-on' for some comfort to the truly non-curious that was cheap and easy to build. As much of a joke as what I've seen of medical kits that are supplied to satisfy OSHA regs that never approach what can be imagined of the severity and the danger associated with process and potential wound from the process. They're there for show only. Apparent is there has been no real effort in that regard with nuclear power plants, only systems that become quickly overwhelmed (and then too 'hot' to be renewed which in themselves are 'waste' requiring care), or stacks that reach to the heavens for distance and dispersal. Think god's getting a good buzz from that? Regarding water, the system ended at primary containment even in the most modern designs, as Fukushima might be glaring testament. It's patently silly to think otherwise.

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              Hey guys, watch out for that nostalgia! Maybe it's not such a worry if you're not a "friend of Bill's." I'm not quite but I was once on the fringe & running a little scared.

              If you're a friend of Bill's so to speak, you'll get my drift.

          • sayonara kitty sayonara kitty

            right on aftershock!! i swear, i would wear that badge proudly,.. i really would!! awesome.

  • Well, it's only low-level and safe – right? That's why we need this conference – to see if it's really low-level and safe, even though we know already that low-level and high-level radiation is unsafe. But, first we need to know the levels:

    Global scientists plan Vancouver Fukushima session

    "The rationale behind the session—according to an April 25 release from SFU faculty of environment adjunct professor and session cochair Juan Jose Alava—is to “stress the need to conduct lines of research and monitoring aimed to understand baseline data and bioaccumulation potential of radionuclides and radiation risks in the region” since the March 2011 nuclear-reactor-meltdown disaster in Japan.

    This urgency came about as a result of “the lack of knowledge and data from regional governments regarding potential risks of Fukushima-associated radiation in the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Ocean”.

    According to SETAC’s website, as many as 2,500 members are expected to attend up to 1,900 presentations during the five-day convention, which will take place from November 9 to 13."

    • Of course, we need nuclear plants so that we can kill or bluff each other more effectively with the weapons they produce while dual-using them to boil up a cup of tea:

      Risk of nuclear accidents is rising, says report on near-misses
      Chatham House report lists 13 instances since 1962 when nuclear weapons were nearly launched

      "Some of those accidents were described in a book published last year, entitled Command and Control.

      Author Eric Schlosser gives an account of an incident in September 1980 in Damascus, Arkansas, in which a maintenance engineer dropped a socket wrench into a silo holding a Titan II nuclear missile, igniting its fuel and triggering an explosion which sent the warhead flying. It landed near a road but did not detonate.

      In an earlier accident in January 1961, a B-52 bomber broke up over North Carolina, dropping its two nuclear bombs over the town of Goldsboro. One of the bombs activated, engaging its trigger mechanism. A single low-voltage switch was all that stood between the eastern US and catastrophe."

      • melting mermaid melting mermaid

        I saw a Chomsky movie about how many times we've almost actually had a Dr Strangelove like scenario and he said we are already living on borrowed time. Sometimes I wonder if this is war, soft war. We are at war after all. And if someone could kill a bunch of Americans without firing a shot, using our complacency and denial against us would they.I'm sure there are people out there that don't care about our resources or land. They just want us to leave them alone or maybe they want us to suffer as they have suffered. A little hole here, a little plume there. A little truck fire, some "legal" venting. I'm just thinking out loud. Mankind is after all practiced in the art of killing and the subtleties of war, and just careless when it comes to the stewarship of their planet. Either way its time to right yourself with the world because the quality and quantity of your life was just abridged, malice was not required.

  • Nick

    Nuclear worker at FDNPP: Joe, the power just went out.

    Joe: Don't worry, the steam coming off the radioactive core is designed to go into the water tunnel.

    NW: But won't it just boil away the protective water mass?

    Joe: Nah. See this printout from our computer model runs? The data indicate that the radioactive steam will be trapped by the water. We can then filter the water later to recover the radioactive particles.

    NW: Um. I see bubbling.

    Joe: No way.

    NW: Better get TEPCO on the phone asap.

    TEPCO: "Yes?" "What's that you say? You see bubbles and they are rising all the way to the surface?" "How is that possible?"

    NW: Do you think this will be a problem?

    TEPCO: Yup. But keep quiet about it.

  • rogerthat

    Feels like an episode of Dr Who. After Fukushima, everyone is frozen in mid-stride. Three years later, they unfreeze. Life, thought, action are restored. Critical faculties begin to return. There were explosions? Goodness me! There were meltdowns? Goodness me! Radiation escaped into the atmosphere in larger quantities than previously modelled? Goodness, goodness me! What next? Will we progress to a contemplation of the consequences, will we say dearie me, and wring our hands? Perish the thought.
    Luckily, ''our understanding of what happened inside Fukushima Daiichi remains very limited.''
    And why would that be? Isn't this all straight physics and chemistry? Haven't they been doing this stuff for 100 years? How did they build 500 nuclear power plants around the world, and make 150,000 nuclear weapons and warheads, with only a ''very limited'' understanding? Einstein must be turning in his grave.

  • Nick


    Tepco just announced the initial results from FDNPP units #5 and #6.

    As you know, TEPCO has been experimenting with trying to learn what went wrong at units 1-4 on 3/11/11.

    The dedicated workers have successfully initiated an intentional melt-out of unit #5's reactor core.

    The water tunnel test was the most impressive and workers reported bubbles of radioactive steam actually rising all the way to the surface!

    ****end of news bulletin

  • melting mermaid melting mermaid

    Oops we meant it would stop 0.1% of the radiation and we were right again. Go Nuclear! And with the billions we've made in profits we are going to build our own domed future, sorry no radioactive peasants allowed.

  • ftlt

    PU239: What then? They break up and all scramble home to apply for grants – that will be written carefully so as not to upset the status quo (who fill their offering platters)?

    Science's failure at FUFU has been another in the the long line of flat-line (walking dead) readings on the societal responsibility life monitors of their industry (the science industry – yep).

    Science and academia have become the enemy. The state's do nothing church. They are a big part of the problem.

    The common man only has to walk down from his door to see the damage, we (human kind), are doing everywhere around us. We certainly don't need a bunch of yuppie elitist bought-off self cloistered scientists telling us what is so obviously wrong – at least, in the way they have over the past half century.

    It is time to spit on them and their self promoted "special" ways in public. It is time for them to get down and dirty like the rest of us – or get out of the way.

    Screw'm, they sicken me. In the main, they are nothing but a bunch of useless new age temple priests living of the fat of the land and our sweat.

    Next time, I will really tell you what I think of scientists.

  • Factor 500 – what a pathetically small number… only three decimal digits ! Hardly worth mentioning. I mean, 10^17 Bq or 10^19 Bq (to name two arbitrary values) – does that really make a difference ? They are still referring to the one-time events. I'm waiting for the day (a few years from now ?) they will express their befuddlement about the finding that the daily dose flowing into the Pacific Ocean is – against all odds and (their) scientific expectation – also above the estimate by a factor of 10,000 to 100,000 or so… 🙁

  • Cisco Cisco

    Everything's going to be…just fine! The cash flow and a little help from Japan's generous tax payers by way of the politicians, fixes everything, right? It's all about the money, stupid!

    "Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, has recorded a $A4.65 billion annual net profit."

  • Nick

    Just how does one operate a crippled nuclear plant?

    How much are the Tokyo Olympics going to cost again?

    Best that money be spent relocating millions of tortured souls.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    One nuclear plant contaminating earth.

    Only takes one.

  • Dr Nakayama MD – Japan Contaminating Everyone By Burning High Level Radioactive Waste, 100,000 Bq/kg via @AGreenRoad

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