Expert: Billions of pieces Fukushima nuclear fuel have spread pretty much everywhere — “It’s truly frightening… wherever there’s cesium, there’s plutonium” — Atomic bomb had one pound of uranium… Fukushima had hundreds of tons — TV: “Abundant quantities” of plutonium are being found (VIDEO)

Published: May 19th, 2016 at 11:02 am ET
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Fairewinds Japan Speaking Tour Series No. 3, Feb 24, 2016 (emphasis added):

  • Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education Podcast host: One of the things that you’ve talked about and [environmental scientist Marco Kaltofen, PhD, PE] have talked about is internal radiation exposures and hot particles. What’s the difference between a bomb exploding and a nuclear plant exploding in the hot particles?
  • Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer and former nuclear engineer (emphasis added): Most of the bomb exposure was from a direct flash that was over in seconds. There wasn’t a significant amount of contamination on the ground because the bomb went off 1,000 feet in the air. So there was not a lot of radiation residual left on the ground for hot particles to get into people’s lungs… That’s not what we’re seeing at Fukushima Daiichi. Everything I’m finding here is millions and billions of very, very small particles that are spread pretty much everywhere. We’ll know a little bit more about that in the future… There’s no comparison between a bomb and what happened at Fukushima. A bomb obliterated maybe a pound of uranium and it was a thousand feet in the air, so most of it went up almost immediately; whereas each of the nuclear reactors at Fukushima had 100 tons of uranium in them so that the quantity of radiation that’s spread out throughout the countryside is orders of magnitude higher at Fukushima than it was at Nagasaki.

Fairewinds Japan Speaking Tour Series No. 2, Feb 17, 2016:

  • Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer and former nuclear engineer (at 2:30 in): We found a parking lot at a supermarket [in Fukushima] that had a large radioactive source right in the middle… that people were walking over and driving over. It was loaded with black radioctive dust just wherever you go – it’s everywhere
  • AG: One of the samples that one of my fellow scientists collected showed plutonium –and significant amounts of plutonium. It was in a square meter… he was getting 19 disintegration per second [becquerels] of plutonium. That stuff is going to be around for a quarter million years
  • Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education Podcast founder: That plutonium was part of the core that came out then in the explosion, correct?
  • AG: Yeah, the only source it could ever have come from is inside that nuclear reactor.
  • MG: And the plutonium is being redeposited at locations that where unanticipated?
  • AG: Yeah, it’s everywhere.… It is everywhere, and we’re very careful, we’re wearing gloves all the time, respirators all the times…
  • AG: Wherever the ground is exposed, there is a high level of radiation in the mountains around here… it’s all going to run right off and into the Pacific Ocean…
  • MG: You talked about the plutonium — where was that found?…
  • AG: The plutonium was found in a farmer’s field about 10 miles from the power plant, it was found because that’s where they looked. If it’s sitting out in that farmer’s field, it’s everywhere. Wherever there’s radiation — cesium — there’s going to be plutonium, and that’s truly frightening… It’s pretty clear that significant amounts of plutonium are scattered throughout the hillsides… plutonium has got a 25,000 year half-life, so it’s a quarter of a million years before it’s gone.

Discovery, Dec 27, 2015: “Although only limited areas of Fukushima are allowing residents to come back, that doesn’t mean these areas are safe. You can still find dangerous radioactive elements such as cesium, strontium, and plutonium in abundant quantities here.”

Fairewinds’ podcasts here: No. 2 | No. 3Watch Discovery broadcast here

Published: May 19th, 2016 at 11:02 am ET
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595 comments

595 comments to Expert: Billions of pieces Fukushima nuclear fuel have spread pretty much everywhere — “It’s truly frightening… wherever there’s cesium, there’s plutonium” — Atomic bomb had one pound of uranium… Fukushima had hundreds of tons — TV: “Abundant quantities” of plutonium are being found (VIDEO)

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