Top scientists refute Japan gov’t: “Copious quantities” of radioactivity leaked from Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — A “significant part” of overall cesium release

Published: October 25th, 2011 at 12:53 pm ET
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STOCKHOLM, Oct. 25 — A new Fukushima study appearing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics “suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137,” reports Nature.com‘s Geoff Brumfiel.

The study says the spent fuel being stored in the unit 4 pool released “copious quantities” of caesium-137.

Japanese officials have maintained that “virtually” no radioactivity leaked from the pool.

Yet the model by Andreas Stohl’s, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, “clearly shows that dousing the pool with water caused the plant’s caesium-137 emissions to drop markedly.”

“I think the release from unit 4 is not important,” says Masamichi Chino, a scientist with the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority in Ibaraki, who helped to develop the Japanese official estimate.

But Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeller with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, says the new analysis implicating the fuel pool “looks convincing”.

Read More: Fallout forensics hike radiation toll : Nature News

Published: October 25th, 2011 at 12:53 pm ET
By

21 comments

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21 comments to Top scientists refute Japan gov’t: “Copious quantities” of radioactivity leaked from Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — A “significant part” of overall cesium release

  • James Tekton James Tekton

    Good morning everyone.

    Nothing to see here…there is no radiation and there is nothing to be concerned about…move along please. Go back to your football and beer.

    (sarc off)

    • westcoastguy westcoastguy

      Love this comment. It amazes me how hypnotized people get over sports. My roommate watches all different sports all the time and its like hes in a trance when he watches it

  • massive amounts of radiation released from destroyed fukushima da-ichi reactors and the SFP4. this cannot be a good thing, no matter how you cut it.

  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    up japanese and world residents, fight for your right to live without fear and to transparency.
    or stay in hole and play Ostriches up till your end as sheep

    • Bekrl Bekrl

      yes Bleifrei! Its time to take it to the Mofos. I sing all about the uprising in my new song:

      Raise a fist at the Mushroom Cloud’s Industries.
      http://www.bekrl.org

      People should be protesting globally at Japanese embassies. This is the sort of pressure the Japanese would not be able to handle.

  • jwfuki

    You mean the half melted building (no photos or vids available) that Arnie Gundersen says is the one to be most concerned with if it collapses? What’s the big deal? Kick-off at 3:00!!!!

  • StillJill StillJill

    LOVE your music Bekrl!!!!

    Now, you’re stuck in my head,….that’s a good thing, right?

    Here’s a brain game thank you.

    Good example of a Brain Study: If you can read this you have a strong mind:

    7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.

    PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F U C4N R34D 7H15. J

  • StillJill StillJill

    It took me three times through to get two words,….1MPR3551V3, and C3R741N,…Oh, and 7H15.

  • arclight arclight

    liked this bit

    “The Japanese government’s report has already acknowledged that the shaking at Fukushima Daiichi exceeded the plant’s design specifications. Anti-nuclear activists have long been concerned that the government has failed to adequately address geological hazards when licensing nuclear plants (see Nature 448, 392–393; 2007), and the whiff of xenon could prompt a major rethink of reactor safety assessments, says Yamauchi.”

    though the start of the report from norway says tsunami..?

    still no mention of iodine 131 ?

    no mention of plutonium, stronium etc ?

    no mention of reactor 3 ?

    most comprehensive report yet ?

    🙁 time for tea!!

  • dosdos dosdos

    The thing that galls me about unit 4 is that the reactor was emptied for modifications, meaning that all the fresh fuel was in the spent fuel pool, along with the spent fuel. In short, the spent fuel pool of #4 was hotter than any of the reactors 1-3 and totally uncontained. Yet they deny that anything was wrong with unit 4, even after the explosion that rocked it, blaming it on leakage of hydrogen from unit 3.

    How would hydrogen, the lightest element in existence, get to unit 4 via the basement corridors, some four stories below the containment vessel? Am I the only one who sees something terribly wrong in this argument?

    • No that whole “theory: of how the explosion took place was absurd on it’s face. I have been constantly frustrated by the lack of institutional knowledge and/or analytical capability of the media throughout this crisis. They have been unable to call TEPCO and IAEA and NRC on the bull5h1t they have spewed from day one. First they denied fuel melting when we all saw hydrogen explosions… well where did hydrogen in those amounts come from if not from melting fuel rods? The media should have people capable of asking the right questions AND understanding when they get the wrong answers. Of COURSE the unit 4 fuel pool was jammed full of fuel rods both old, new, and freshly pulled from the reactor core. That is the absolutely worst time to have a loss of coolant or station blackout condition. The media accepted the horse-plop about units 4-6 being in safe “cold shutdown” with nary a follow-up.

  • corollnary

    Hi. Did anyone else notice the article’s other image, which isn’t hotlinked here (“Radioisotope reconstruction” @ http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111025/full/478435a/box/1.html ) is credited to “Ref. 1/MEXT”? Reference 1 is Stohl’s study, but isn’t MEXT the Japanese Educational Board (or equivalent)?

  • jdstone1

    Here is the U.S Governments statement of support for the Japanese Government as reported by the wall street journal.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/10/26/u-s-regulator-defends-fukushima-daiichi-policy/?mod=google_news_blog

    Notice the last statement ” while acknowledging that one of his fears at the time—damage to fuel rods in the spent-fuel pool of Reactor No. 4—turned out to be unfounded.