“Ultimate, worst-case scenario” underway at Fukushima? New York Times: Experts suspect intense contamination is seeping out from under melted-down reactors and into Pacific — Will surpass even the leaks from disaster’s early days

Published: August 24th, 2013 at 6:23 am ET
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Title: Nuclear Operator Raises Alarm on Crisis
Source: NY Times
Author: HIROKO TABUCHI
Date: August 23, 2013

Experts have said they suspect that more contaminated water is seeping out from under the melted-down reactors into the groundwater and the Pacific. Elevated levels of radioactive cesium in surrounding waters seem to confirm those suspicions.

Tepco has said those leaks are not directly from beneath the reactors, but from maintenance tunnels that run along the coast and remain contaminated from the early days of the disaster.

But it also acknowledges that the water beneath the reactors is extremely contaminated, and experts say that if it does get into the ocean, it will surpass even the leaks that occurred in the disaster’s early days. (Study: Up to 47 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 released into Pacific from Fukushima)

“That prospect scares me,” Michio Aoyama, a senior scientist in the Oceanography and Geochemistry Research Department at the government-affiliated Meteorological Research Institute, said in an interview this month.

“It’s the ultimate, worst-case scenario,” Professor Aoyama said.

From Yesterday: AP: Experts fear giant underground reservoir of extremely contaminated water on verge of entering Pacific at Fukushima -- In contact with melted nuclear fuel? A race against the clock -- Nobody knows when this will end

See also: Wall St. Journal: They don't know where Fukushima's melted fuel cores are, or in what state -- Expert: "It's important to think of worst-case scenario"... Even greater levels of contamination may be on the way -- Plant "built on a river"

Published: August 24th, 2013 at 6:23 am ET
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42 comments to “Ultimate, worst-case scenario” underway at Fukushima? New York Times: Experts suspect intense contamination is seeping out from under melted-down reactors and into Pacific — Will surpass even the leaks from disaster’s early days

  • AB AB

    I am sorry to say this, but how many words can we find that star with F and end in K. FUKushima is not one of them. FiretruCK.. and others as you can imagine. We are really FUKED now…

    There! We just created a new verd, the verb FUK, It relates to getting affected by the crisis and worldwide, unstoppable, disaster at FUKUSHIMA DAICHI.

    I pray for the Japanese people. The sheer horror and panic parents must feel for their children. Anger, resentment… hate towards TEPCO and the Nipon Gov't.

    I guess the world is really FUKED now.


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    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      …it seems to be true….maybe, with the time we have left, we should all love each other – real hard….just a silly thought….


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    • InfoPest InfoPest

      They still don't get it. The ultimate disaster is when the radiation levels at Daiichi force the complete evacuation of all personnel. Then all the pools and melted reactors overheat, burn and cause massive atmospheric releases. Nobody will be able to get close enough to stop it and it will cause Fukushima Daini 10km south to also be evacuated with the same result. Then a weather pattern blows toward Tokyo and Seoul Korea, panic ensues, other nuclear sites are abandoned. The jet stream spreads the fallout around the globe. Total Global Panic. The human race turns on each other because there's no place to run, like a bad zombie movie. Dog eat dog, rape pillage and burn. Hell is coming so get a gun and let's have some fun before we all die….InfoPest.


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      • nohobear nohobear

        Ultimate worst case scenario indeed. You have just described my darkest fears about where this is all heading. I hope we avoid this fate, but I'm not optimistic.

        There may be a reason zombie/apocalypse films are so much in the Zeitgeist right now. It also explains the extreme militarization of police forces world wide. TPTB know that global panic and rebellion are coming, and they are prepared for civil unrest.

        On the optimistic side, for the first time in the 2+ years since this disaster, I see growing awareness in many people formerly oblivious to events in Japan. Now is the time for us enenewsers to double down and educate/spread the word. Our world is irrevocably changed, but we can still put forth the truth, with the goal to alert people to the nuclear lies. In a perfect world, I'd love to see nuclear power/weapons technology eliminated, but that's a utopian dream. I'll settle for a decommissioning of all commercial nuclear reactors.

        And as an earlier poster said, now is a good time to find love and compassion. We'll all be needing lots of it in the not-too-distant future. And sadly, reluctantly, I agree a gun might be a good thing to have as well. (and I never thought I would say that-but I've lived too long and seen the evil to which humanity can sink to )

        I hope there is a special hell awaiting those who have promoted this deadly technology, and covered up it's lethality.


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      • Kassandra

        I believe this scenario described by Infopest (among others) and immortalized in 'The Road' is our future if we do not take massive collective action NOW to

        1. Contain criticalities at Daiichi

        2. Lessen ocean and fresh water contamination at Daiichi and everywhere else as well

        3. Help people relocate from the most contaminated areas, in Japan and elsewhere

        3. Test food, water and air and warn public of high levels, as is done with ozone (everywhere)

        4. Teach public how to mitigate radiation exposure from radioisotopes, the same way the public has been trained to limit their sun exposure

        5. Work collectively to identify and contain radioactive and chemical waste so that it does not add to our environmental burden

        6. Demand rule of law, accountability and transparency on the part of our leaders

        7. Eliminate war and work to reduce violence everywhere

        It may be too late and these efforts may not ensure our long term survival.

        However, failure to enact them immediately will result in the near-term mass die-off of humanity from genome degradation, disease predation, resource depletion, and war.


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        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          Kass,
          Excellent!
          Once we have contaminated and trashed our remaining resources via Radiation Contamination there simply will be "no resources" left for any of our future children's children.

          The clock is ticking!

          We must shut all this Nuclear Technology down!


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        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          Kassandra: All good suggestions, but I'm afraid they are too late. I'm 80 and began my anti-nuke activism during the Pacific armospheric tests in the 1950s while a student at UCB. I believe the best we can do now is to leave our knowledge, what we have learned, behind us for whatever next branch of evolution comes along and might benefit from our cautions.

          BTW: Cassandra has long been one of my personas.


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    • zardoz2012 zardoz2012

      I don't think the Japanese people care as much as they should. When the incident first took place 2 and a half years ago I tried to warn my Japanese friends and they just laughed at me. Now that the truth is slowly starting to be told by mainstream media, I still don't hear any outrage from the people I know who are from Japan. Just like in the rest of the world I feel most of the Japanese people are in a state of extreme denial over this doomsday scenario that is unfolding.

      It really shows you how weird human nature is.


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  • AB AB

    No sir… the Ultimate Worst Case Scenario is what Shimatsu said and which I reported on for all to hear: A massive hydrogen explosion that triggers volcanic eruptions under Japan, affects the mantle of the planet and a massive volcano of molten metal comes out of the earth killing all life as we know it. That is a Worse case Scenario…
    Read and watch here
    http://concienciaradio.com/fukushima/shimatsu_nuke_explosion_possible_at_fukushima.html


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    • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

      excellent link AB. I'm not sure of the science behinds Shimatsu's warnings, but the article's summary of the Fukushima's effects on the Pacific are real. This is a must read for those who are still straddling the fence…


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      • bsgcic bsgcic

        That is an interesting link.
        Erik Klemetti, an assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University at the time of the following article in Wired magazine: <a href=http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/04/could-people-trigger-a-volcanic-eruption-on-purpose/>Link</a> provides a scientific overview of possible scenarios where humans trigger a volcanic eruption. While, the nature of the situation at Fukushima is unique (e.g., tritium, etc.), it looks like a very precise mix of components have to all come together for a volcano to actually be triggered (e.g., precisely the right amount of water, a simultaneous large earthquake (of course possible in Japan), enough molten rock (4.4 meters) above to be displaced to reduce the pressure for bubbles to form, a volcano that is already primed to erupt (e.g., "showing some signs of magma intruding at shallow depths"), etc. So it seems even more unlikely for a volcanic eruption to form at Fukushima. However, the science is reported to still be largely unknown. It is reported, for example, that an "earthquake and landslide at Mount St. Helens triggered the 1980 eruption." <a href="http://seismo.berkeley.edu/blog/seismoblog.php/2010/05/18/today-in-earthquake-history-mount-st-hel-1981">Link</a&gt;. So who knows?


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        • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

          brilliant followup bsgcic. Regarding Shimatsu's theory, you pretty much hit on all the questions I had…


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          • We Not They Finally

            Note that Shimatsu is a VERY GOOD Japanese-American journalist who still travels back and forth to Japan at great risk to his health. And this may be the worst case scenario, but all the so-called "lesser" scenarios are still frightening.


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            • bsgcic bsgcic

              I think the massive flow of radiation into the Pacific is the 2nd worst scenario.
              I think the worst scenario which unfortunately has a significant risk of actually materializing is an uncontrolled nuclear reaction within both spent fuel pools over reactors 3 and 4.
              http://fairewinds.org/media/in-the-news/mission-impossible-fukushima-scientists-brace-for-riskiest-nuclear-fuel-clean-up-yet
              According to Arnie Gundersen, if that happens, the entire Northern Hemisphere will be highly contaminated for over 3 centuries (for example, half life of cesium 137 is 30.17 years x 10 years = 300+ years to fully decay).
              Much of Asia could become uninhabitable. Gundersen stated "Japan as a country would cease to exist."

              I lived and worked in Japan for 8 years with my family (wife is Japanese national – 3 small kids between 2 and 6 years old) and moved everyone back on 3/28/11 (literally just dropped everything and left). We go to Japan (especially my wife) for various reasons. Basically, when I am there, people just go on with their lives as if nothing has happened or is happening; many people just eat everything. But some people are concerned but there is nothing they can do about it (or at least that is what they think).

              If the spent fuel pool goes, that could be an unthinkable loss of life. In addition to that horrendous tragedy in lost life and increased illness, I would guess that financial markets could crash worse than the "great recession" and hence lost livelihoods,…


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        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          bgdcic! Excellent links. Thanks. As someone who was a few days off in predicting major seismic activity along this latitudinal meridian at the time of Mt. St. Helen's, I'm always happy to find more information. I sent my findings to a probabiltity mathmatician at UCB to ask him to do the probabilities on the "conditioners" I'd discovered as predictors. I used a cross combination of Geo-centric and Helio-centric (Astrol/Astron) charts. He was too busy playing the probabilities on horse races to take time off for this, saying that I was just psychic! Well, I am a strange one. But thank you bgd!


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  • CATASTROPHE looms. Easy to see now, the only event that will bring this situation to the fore is people getting sick and dropping like flies. Japan's future is being written, as a lackadaisical world watches from what it foolishly believes is afar. When talking of nuclear contamination, how long does "afar" apply?


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  • nedlifromvermont

    Thanks be to GE!!!


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    • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

      I agree Nfv, people keep saying it is Japan's fault, the reactors were GE Mark 1 made in the USA. (but they provided many jobs for the economy so we should be happy, right??? sarcasm) What many people don't realize is we have 70+ reactors in this country holding 40 years worth of spent fuel rods in cooling pools. Japan reactors at Fuku had only 10 years worth. If the grid ever goes down we are all Fuku'd….


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      • We Not They Finally

        Yes, very true about the electrical grid. But there are also man-made dangers standing to make everything worse. Like fracking causes earthquakes. And The Gulf may be a monstrous methane volcano getting ready to blow. (See recent Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle article.)


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Leaking..gushing..
    The fracturing of the aquifer..and displacement by the corium..is causing upwelling. An until an attempt at a wall there has been no attempt to stop the flow of water.
    That wall was breached.
    Perhaps a deeper aquifer system has become involved.

    "Tepco has said those leaks are not directly from beneath the reactors, but from maintenance tunnels that run along the coast and remain contaminated from the early days of the disaster."

    What a bunch of lies..
    The corium tidily move over to the maintenance tunnels..before melt-through?


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  • Joe Ebslap Joe Ebslap

    Has anyone considered dumping a buttload of Corexit at the site? After watching this slow motion train wreck for 2.5 years, my only solution is to change my name to Chelsea. Theater of the Absurd…


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  • saltyfishlvr

    All this to boil water and make weapons of mass destruction. Now, their water boiler has become the weapon of mass destruction…with no boundaries for borders or race or religion, there will be no peace talks, no cease fire. It will affect every living thing on the planet.


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  • Wotcha Wotcha

    According to Paul Langley's blog posted 13 Dec 2011. Quote <GE has maintained that the design of the Mk1 reactor was, and is, superbly safe. Yet, as reported by by ieee spectrum, the reactor pressure vessels of this design, which is copied in every unit at Fukushima, essentially were designed to have hernias in their bases. The holes and seals through which the control rods pass through to the core is at the bottom of the reactor, not the top. As soon as there there is a melt down in GE Mk1 based design, there is an easy route for melt through and escape of the molten core material from the pressure vessel. The weak spots are holes and seals the control rods pass through at the base of the pressure vessel>.
    http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/the-disaster-chain-at-fukushima-the-story-of-the-reactors-designed-to-have-hernias-in-their-bases/
    So all the cooling water is escaping through these holes at the bottoms of the reactors where the fuel has melted through? Kinda like a sieve. I'm no expert so pls correct if I'm wrong.


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  • weeman

    It's all going to pot now, maybe if we all smoked some pot it would all go away, we are now in mortal danger of being exterminated by our own technology, aren't we smart, what a waste of DNA we have become.
    The sooner the better for the sake of the rest of nature.


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  • irhologram

    "Multiple melt downs" and a 300 Ton leak just made the AP Big Story page. http://bit.ly/17bEDh3


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  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    they no longer have to maintain face, and no eggs in the pants.

    how much KW (or joule) per hour probably need to cool?
    and they must not stop
    they need millions of kilo watts (or joules) 20% more heat is generated as

    no water it is smoky, and is scattered


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  • Sickputer

    Race against the clock? They have been racing the clock at Hanford Site for decades.

    It's not a race…it's a thinning process. Survival of the smartest and luckiest.


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  • rockyourworld

    GE, we bring death to good things!


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  • pkjn

    Disturbing thyroid cancer rise in Fukushima minors
    August 21, 2013 Russia Today
    90 percent of those who are exposed to hazardous level of radiation don`t meet criteria for cancer screening provided by Tokyo Electric Power Company.
    Six minors in Fukushima Prefecture who are 18 or younger have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Ten other children are believed to have developed the same form of cancer.
    The latest figures bring the number of children who have been diagnosed with having cancer to 44, up from 28 as of June. Of the 44, 18 have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and 25 others are showing symptom. Another child suspected of having cancer is later diagnosed with benign tumor.
    The 2005 Japanese rate for thyroid cancer in the age 0-18 is given as 0.0 per 100,000.
    There can be 200,000 cancers in 10 million of population in the 200km radius of the site in the next 10 years, and 400,000 over 50 years.
    http://rt.com/news/fukushima-children-thyroid-cancer-783/
    http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/subj/22378.shtml


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  • Sol Man

    All of the collective security forces may not be as much of a help to the politicos and elite as they may desire. Why might this be true? They are all part of the population that will also be getting the cancers, sick children, parents, and themselves that they would be too weak to man the tools. They must take care of their loved ones like any other person, instead of inflicting further harm to others. Sol Man's advice to all- take care of one another.
    Yes, love one another and tell the truth! Do no harm!


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