Mayor: “White ashes” began to fall after Fukushima explosion… not black — “I sensed this was lethal” (VIDEO)

Published: September 16th, 2012 at 12:53 am ET


Source: NHK
Date Aired: June 22, 2012
Date Published: Sept 15, 2012
Translation by: guardianofmiyagi

Katsutaka Idogawa, Futaba Mayor: It was a low sound like echo. Naturally I heard the explosion sound of a nuclear power plant accident for the first time. I never forget that sound.

Then ashes from Fukushima Daiichi began to fall above us… Small ash and big ash…

Various debris did fall down very, very noiselessly. A really silent fall…

Not black but white ash… I sensed this ash was lethal.

I didn’t want citizens to be exposed to radioactivity anymore and I evacuated them to the outside of Fukushima prefecture, to Saitama here.

I do want them to say in a place as distant as possible form Fukushima.

Published: September 16th, 2012 at 12:53 am ET


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40 comments to Mayor: “White ashes” began to fall after Fukushima explosion… not black — “I sensed this was lethal” (VIDEO)

  • kintaman kintaman

    I wanted to be a distant from Fukushima as possible too. This is why I left Japan and I do not eat or buy ANYTHING from anywhere near Japan. Thanks TEPCO.

  • Mack Mack

    Remember this ENENews report about a farmer seeing the ash:

    "I’m the owner of the farm in Namie machi, where still 300 cattle are. I live in 14 km area from Fukushima plants. I heard the explosion twice. I saw the splashing ash and smoke with my own eyes."

    The white ash reminds me of stories on the atomic testing in the Marshall Islands, where children played in the white ash as it came down like snow:

    • andagi andagi

      Dear Mack,
      Thank you for posting. I have cared for Pacific Islanders and my heart aches. Let's keep working to break this glass ceiling of deliberate disception!
      Keep posting, reading and sharing ENENews 🙂

    • Maggie123

      I too, thought immediately of the Marshall Islanders – their story one I've only recently become aware of. (Holly Barker co-author of "The Consequential Damages of Nuclear War: The Rongelap Report" on "From Nuclear Weapons to Nuclear Energy: The U.S., The Marshall Islands, and Japan" given February 24, 2012 …

      I think it's from this 1hr20min talk that I first also learned of the Japanese fishing vessel, "Lucky Dragon", that was caught in fallout from the Castle Bravo test. Most descriptions of the boat crew's experience cite lots of "white ash".

      Much on the Lucky Dragon can be found by searching for "nuclear tests Marshall Islands Japanese fishing boat". Here's a 1-pg article discussing US official official response (downplay and denial) :

      Wider scope discussions on nuclear, including Holly's take on Japan's early resistance to all things nuclear here:, "The Secret Silent Poisoning, (Nuclear Victims in Peace and War)"

  • Mack Mack

    What radioisotopes do you think were in the white ash?

    Plutonium? Cesium? Strontium?

    Oddly, I can't find any information on "white ash" fallout from nuclear accidents. Only from nuclear explosions.

    Does the white ash help to prove the theory that Unit 3 was a nuclear explosion?

    Here are the isotopes which form into solids after a nuclear explosion:


    • SnorkY2K

      Those are the isotopes that form after a nuclear bomb explodes. It would have been far kinder should a bomb exploded then this. The nuclear reaction in a bomb doesn't even last a blink. While the list for a nuclear power plant shouldn't be much longer, this list leaves out the daughter products that have been brewing since the last refueling as well as irradiated materials from the non-fuel components of the reactor that would also have been at play in the explosion and fire.

      Early after the catastrophe, americium and curium were detected as far as Vermont, USA. These daughter products are undesirable in a bomb during the enrichment process because they are too hot for bombs. Even the atoms in the containment itself are being bombarded by particles changing the isotopes and even the properties of the containment itself.

      Not only are there other elements mixed in during the explosion, a nuclear reactor is full of isotopes that last only portions of a second, or hours, or days. When many of these decay, they alter something else near them. Even the water in a reactor has seven isotopes of hydrogen and three of oxygen with four of the hydrogen isotopes so short lived that they often do not appear on common charts.

      Ash color tends to follow the color of the dominant burned material. Just because it was white does not mean that the ash was only one oxide. Just a little carried along with the burnt zirconium cladding would still be bad.

  • Sickputer

    The explosion created vaporized radioactive isotopes and turnec somd of thd concrete walls into white powder and that wafted as white smoke. Same white clouds happened on 911 at the WTC and at the Pentagon.

    "What CNN's host was referring to as 'white smoke' was part water vapor, part smoke from fires but, most importantly, part vaporized radioactive solids"

    SP: Tepco evacuated nearby residents 13 hours before the Unit 1 blast. That order applied to residents within 1.9 miles. But Futaba town is 2.2 miles away. Bad luck.

  • Mack Mack

    Okay, this took awhile to do, but here is a partial list of radioisotopes formed after a nuclear explosion.

    After an explosion, a "complex mixture of more than 300 isotopes of 36 elements" is formed

    —> From 20 hours to 2 weeks after the burst, Uranium 237 and 239 and Neptunium 239 and 249 can "contribute up to 40 percent"

    —> Oxygen-16 will decay in a minute or two
    —> Carbon-14 half life of 5,730 years PROOF THAT NUCLEAR FALLOUT ADDS TO THE CARBON FOOTPRINT ?
    —> Sodium-24 half-life 15 hours
    —> Manganese half-life of 56 2.6 hours but is a serious soil hazard for that time
    —> Silicon-31 half-life 2.6 hours
    —> Aluminum-28 half-life 2.3 minutes
    —> Neutrons captured by hydrogen in water becomes nonradioactive Deuterium and have no activity
    —> But neutrons mixing with salt in sea water have "considerable induced activity" and produces Sodium-24 half-life 15 hours
    —> If chlorine in water, Chlorine-38 half-life 37 minutes decayed in 4 or 5 hours
    —> Tritium half-life 12.3 years turns into Tritiated water and will move with natural water
    —> Neutrons can be captured in zinc, zipper, steel, iron, glass and could become radioactive
    —> Wood and clothing capture much less neutrons
    —> Uranium and Plutonium if ingested, digested, inhaled, or enters thru a break in the skin can cause damage
    —> Strontium-90 is a more serious hazard than Plutonium
    —> Iodine-131 half-life 8 days main hazard is thru ingestion – affects…

    • Mack Mack



      —> Cesium-137 (half-life 30 years) – main hazard thru ingestion
      —> Strontium-90 affects bones (half-life 27.7 years) – main hazard thru ingestion
      —> For every 1,000 atoms undergoing fission, 30-40 will become Strontium-90 and 50-60 will become Cesium-137
      —> Very fine fallout particles that get into the Troposphere & can take several months to fall to the ground (thru precipitation)
      —> If it gets into the Stratosphere below 70,000 feet, it will fall during the first winter or spring season. And it will take around 60 months to get to the southern hemisphere.
      —> Above 70,000 feet and it will take a year to begin falling, but will get into the southern hemisphere faster – at 10 months.
      —> Stratospheric fallout is low in the equatorial zone
      —> Fission products contain 1.5 amount of Cesium-137 as Strontium-90 — SO WE CAN EXTRAPOLATE HOW MUCH STRONTIUM-90 THERE IS WHEN WE KNOW THE CESIUM AMOUNT

      —> Largest particles fall to the ground but smaller particles can be picked up by the wind and may circle the earth several times before reaching the ground (rain or snow)
      —> After 3 months after a nuclear explosion, the contaminated area can be entered to take measurements


    • SnorkY2K

      Let me introduce a term, "ambient inclusion" to characterize all of the bonus elements that a nuclear power plant spews that a nuclear weapon does not. Think of a two car crashes where one is a drag racer and one is a passenger sedan. The drag racer has everything that it absolutely does not need strip from it and in the event of an accident where its fuel catches fire, not much is there to burn. When the passenger car has a fuel involved crash, the seats and interior fabrics burn and produce toxic fumes. Drag racers have no cooling system to produce toxic fumes as engine burns either.

      The nuclear weapon is also stripped of impurities. But, a nuclear plant is not. Even the bolts on the containment become radioactive over the years of operation. Imagine how toxic a car crash would be if all the toxic byproducts of driving where kept in the car until it was destroyed.

      • Maggie123

        Mack and SnorkY2K – thanks for the list and the term "ambient inclusion". My brain works by generalization and synthesis – I need summarizing vocabulary! I've saved Mack's list and SnorkY2K's car comparison – both very useful!!! Thanks!!!

        • SnorkY2K

          Two elements in Fukushima are curium and americium. The reactor on board the space shuttle Columbia ran on Am242 which was one of the spewed daughter products of Fukushima. The Columbia disaster was one of the few times that an Am based reactor was publicly spoken about.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    MOX is made in part from very fine particles of Plutonium. So we know that when Unit #3 exploded and perhaps also Unit #4 that Plutonium went high in the atmosphere and also circled the globe. The hot particles were detected in the NW of the USA and probably were elsewhere if anyone was testing for it.

    • or-well

      Anne, I remember reading an article somewhere that aerosolised plutonium from Fukushima had been found in Europe.

      At the time it struck me that there'd be more…comment, discussion, reaction…coming from Europe because of that, considering their awareness of Chenobyl. That didn't seem to happen.

      • andagi andagi

        Dear Orwell,
        Thank you for illuminating this point. Although we're so very fortunate here at ENENews to have our magnificent/acclaimed European posters, I (like you) wonder about the apparent absence of concern/involvement/leadership from European politcal/medical/scientific communities. Have they all become 'boondoggled' too?
        No, I think not all. I would like to extend my sincere and warmest invitation to any and all of those so moved to please post and participate here at ENENews. The world is meeting here 🙂
        Thank you again Dear Orwell and thank you Dear Admin!

        • or-well

          HI andagi, I too appreciate the commenters
          from outside my own borders…
          political borders, mental borders…

          Citizens Global!
          Not perspective hoarders,
          those unwilling to march
          to Nuclears' orders
          but caring recorders
          of nuke disorders,
          deep river forders
          wading through lies
          of nuke overlorders
          (those who despise
          like Sauron of Mordor
          truth and the light);
          awakened from torpor
          and lighting corridors
          dark, full of fright –
          roar and soar
          Global Citizens bright!


      • StPaulScout StPaulScout

        I'm sure it is the same there as in the U.S. in that all major media are controlled and anything that does get written or stated is disputed by the likes of 'FOX' Europe. The BBC is most likely controlled and scripted, like most news outlets the world over.

        • Maggie123

          StPaulScout – interesting. One thing I've noticed is that *all* major news media outlets practice support of status quo power arrangements – with occasional 'block buster' exposes or critical articles. IMO, BBC deservedly rates as more "thorough", more willing to dig and reveal, than most, but I've heard, for example, some BBC "economic solution expert panel discussions" that have driven me nuts.

          I'm finding increased discussion on the question: "Why do people who believe themselves well-educated and rational ignore obvious challenges to 'comfortable' beliefs?"

          It's not only the press, it's people generally. It's significantly based on acquired, unexamined, beliefs – but it's also based on astonishing refusal to see what's obvious if it requires 'future-casting'. Some have suggested that we're genetically programmed to detect *immediate* danger (sabre toothed tiger leaping for us), and are not programmed to imagine long-term consequences – I guess this fits with out of sight, out of mind.

          The US population is astonishing in its "no more questions" response to assassinations of JFK, King, etc.

          ENE and other sites are evidence that *some* people are wired to imagine, visualize damaging, even disastrous, outcome. (The general 'visualize/imagine' brain capacity is used in all problem solving so is actually common to everyone!) (more…)

          • Maggie123

            Sorry – meant to make brief comment! Main media outlet people are pretty well situated in terms of 'material comfort'. The US has in last decades become extreme in stratification of 'comfortable' vs 'worried or uncomfortable.' Media personalities and editors are for the most part out of touch with reality except for 'feature articles' when they leave comfort zones to "get the story", but then they go back to comfort. Same with health issues – they're covered.

            IMO most are well-meaning, believe themselves so, but are so "protected" that they're inclined to support the system, which from their experience works pretty well. Moreover, they *are* able to imagine "economic consequences" to themselves if they challenge status quo!

            (I don't count Fox at all as they're more blatantly bent on skewing facts and interpretations.)

            Interesting 1 hr "TalkingStick" interview on general population and govt coverups I came across only last night speaks to this using JFK and King assassinations as focus: "Jim Douglass – MLK, JFK, RFK and the Unspeakable".

            "UNSPEAKABLE" is the key. It affects all populations and their media.

            This is a wandering, indirectly relevant, unintended OT post – my apologies!

  • How selflessly so many of discuss about such an important ongoing catastrophe. Why is it that I am the only Indian like name that is discussing here? It is so important because Sr90 has caused 28.6 million infant mortalities in India alone in the nuclear era from 1945 till 1997 with the source strength at 477 PBq in the N Hemisphere. The estimated Sr90 released by the nuclear explosions at Fukushima has been put at 1200 PBq. Which means about 84 million infant mortalities in India assuming the same penetration mechanisms at work. Is this not discussion worthy? No activist has even bothered in India to take off from my discussion in Indian media like my own blogs. The disappointment is all the more because the log log fit of Infant mortalities to cumulative Sr90 annual source strenghts(data from UNSCEAR 2000)is a perfect fit and which I have repotred in enennews columns! I*nscrutable are the ways of mortals gifted with brains! What wicked rulers exist in this world!

    • or-well

      Ramaswami, I wish I knew the answer but I can only mention observations.
      I've been reading the news AND threads here longer than I've been commenting and wondering about the international readership as well as the commenters and asked myself the same question as you.
      For a time I thought that going by those who self-identify their country of residence might not be fully reflective of the actual "audience".
      Now I feel both active and non-active readers are mostly North American.
      There was a lady in India who was active on the webcam thread for a time, but, where is everyone from a country with so many english speakers facing the nuclear problem?
      There are a few from western Europe, there have been a few from the Scandinavian countries and…
      a guy from Spain, briefly, an expat in S. Korea, expats in Japan & sometimes Japanese citizens, a few Australians…I'm sure I've missed some, but…
      Admin has in the past mentioned this sites Alexa ranking in Japan and that was good news I guess.

      Enenews Readers outside N. America – are you there?
      Can you help us learn about your situation?

      I note that there's a viewer of Fukushima Diary who translates Iori's posts into french.

      Written english can be an obstacle even to those who can converse in it.

      I take heart that the global knowledge base grows.
      Thank you for helping make that happen Ramaswami.

    • andagi andagi

      Dear Ramaswami Kumar,
      'Why is it that I am the only Indian like name that is discussing here? It is so important because Sr90 has caused 28.6 million infant mortalities in India alone… '
      Great shout-out!! Very tough statistics. 28.6 million, roughly the entire population of Venezuela.

    • SnorkY2K

      Yes, I fear that India is at very high risk for the plant at the southern tip to have an accident that will render at least the southern half of India unlivable. Name everything that was wrong about Fukushima and you have Kudankulam. While India has very strong earthquakes, what I fear most is an almost indefensible nuclear power plant that can have its cooling capability knocked out by terrorists so easily. India has no need to worry about missiles coming from Pakistan because as long as India has fuel at Kudankulam Pakistan already has their bomb there. No need to bring a stove when the bread is already there. We really need the anti-nuclear and often well educated Indians to speak up and act up.

  • Thank you Admin for a classic site! And to all of you who are taking part and offering replies. I am touched. is a site which is carrying in its latest edition, three articles about Kudankulam. Please follow and comment on the heartrending live happenings there. How proactive are people at Kudankulam!

  • Sickputer

    Great discussion Mack, Andagi, Anne, Or-well, and Ramaswami!

    We who are about to suck in poisonous fumes salute you!

    Mack writes: "Fission products contain 1.5 amount of Cesium-137 as Strontium-90 — SO WE CAN EXTRAPOLATE HOW MUCH STRONTIUM-90…"

    SP: My thought exactly. I have seen the multiplier listed a little higher by some scientists at 1 unit of strontium 90 for each 1.6 units of cesium.

    Strontium 90 has become the flavor of the month for the nucleocrats as a taboo word, joining the Nucleocrats Hall of Shame for taboo words. Corium, plutonium, strontium are words they shun.

    Assuming the human race survives the next thousand years in some civilized semblance, there will still be workers trying to filter the toxic disaster scene at Fukushima Daiichi.

    Wrap our heads around that fact…our descendants and grandchildren 35 generations down the line will still be handling toxic sludge at Fukushima and a thousand other nuclear waste sites.

    Does that sound cost effective? Electricity you use now and pay for a million years?

    Are we run by leaders who are the worst stewards of mother earth in the history of mankind?

    The answer is yes…these horrible miscreants are well on their way to sending mankind back to the Stone Age.

    See you in the jungle when it all comes undone. Survivors will be using Cadillac Escalades for chicken coops. Assuming any chickens survive the radioactive worms.

    Have a peaceful Sunday or Monday for everyone in…

    • Sickputer

      …harm's way.

    • TBOA

      Ditto that this was a great discussion! It is truly puzzling to me why or how the masses … through the mass media and the politicians … that they would not all be embracing this situation with demands to do all that is humanly possible to at least attempt to clean it up and stop all nuclear activety on Planet Earth. It is truly a mystery. But, I believe that people's own sense of limited mortality in the best of times combines with a very powerful personal survival instinct to make them want to turn blinds eyes … let's face it … even to their neighbors accross the street! In essense, people quickly identify that they are powerless over everything other than the smile on their face. We've been trained to "be happy" … we were told after 911 that if you want to help, go shopping! And it is certain … it is true absolutely … that life must go on for most or our doom would be imminent from the lack of food & water if everyone stopped to pay attention to Fukushima. I mean… what can be done? I have not seen a boat load of americans going over to give their life to help! And maybe there should be a sign up sheet here at this site! Maybe it is past time to end the talk and demonstrate by actions! Everyone hear knows that the solution to this crisis means death for many 1000s of men and women … both young and old … a quick death from doing one small task before the next guy can do the next task and also die.

  • Well the experts said that the mushroom cloud was not from a nuclear explosion. Whew! That's a relief. Whatever the white ash consists of, even if its from workers ash trays, it is poison coming from a melted out reactor(s) being spread by an explosion. This is not supposed to happen and is testimony of an industry that can't run itself in a safe manner. But why is NHK reporting on white ash a year and several months after the event?

  • Urban27

    Agree to this man – Stay away, as far as possible, from Fukushima Daichi plant.
    The authorities and companies just don't tell the truth. They plan to hide everything.
    People should understand that, as long they are cooling the cores, there are emissions. The water boils off, and goes into the air. And there is nothing that stops the radioactivity going into the air..
    The authorities are gambling with peoples lives. They know it is dangerous, but they don't say it, because it would make nuclear industry impossible.

  • kalidances

    So…when are the Japan-wide evacuations going to begin? Anyone?

  • Sickputer

    Kalidances sez…"So…when are the Japan-wide evacuations going to begin?"

    SP: My opinion: Some citizens will evacuate when and if fuel pond fires erupt, the island is abandoned, and they are unable to stop the fallout using planes and helicopters. That is the black swan event that will make some, but not all Japanese evacuate.

    Even if massive numbers of radiation deaths occur in a few months, many people will stay and die in situ.
    You think they will evacuate to China? Not likely.

    The US bases will all empty, that is a plan they should have solidly in place. But knowing the nucleocrats, it's possible that Dunkirk scenario will find the US government woefully unprepared.

  • hbjon hbjon

    Ash from an exploding nuclear reactor can only be one of the following. A) dandruff B)healthy C)safe D)lethal.

    • Sickputer

      hbjon typed these pixels of light: "Ash from an exploding nuclear reactor can only be one of the following. A) dandruff B)healthy C)safe D)lethal.


      Or: E) remains of Jimmy Hoffa F) Obama's college application for financial aid G) Romney's tax returns for 2000-2010
      H) Areva's Secret Formula for Death

  • kalidances

    LOL Sickputer! So my next question is: when is the American government going to tell all of their soldiers in Japan that they are in deep trouble?

    • Sickputer

      They will never tell them anything and will deny future illness claims. They might suggest they don't go swimming in Tokyo Bay.. That's about as honest as they will get.

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    White ash…Devils Dandruf…