NYTimes Experts: Fukushima is having bigger effect on environment than we expected, we don’t know what’s happening — Radioactive releases from plant spiking this year — “Worrisome problems”

Published: October 27th, 2013 at 11:17 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
51 comments


New York Times, Oct. 24, 2013 (Emphasis Added):  For months now, it has been hard to escape the continuing deluge of bad news from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. [...] [Scientists] say there are worrisome problems that may be the result of new leaks. [...] [Tepco] says the source of the increased contamination appears to be highly radioactive water that had been trapped since the accident in conduits around the reactor buildings and had slowly found its way out.

Michio Aoyama, oceanographer at a Japanese government research institute: The magnitude of the recent spike in radiation, and the amounts of groundwater involved, have led , to conclude that radioactive cesium 137 may now be leaking into the Pacific at a rate of about 30 billion becquerels per year [Actually PER DAY], or about three times as high as last year. He estimates that strontium 90 may be entering the Pacific at a similar rate.

Blair Thornton, associate professor at University of Tokyo’s Underwater Technology Research Center: hot spots [are] spread across at least 150 square miles of the ocean bottom [...] Radiation levels there should naturally weaken over time [...] The fact that radiation levels are still up to hundreds of times as high as they are in other areas of the sea floor raises the possibility that the spots are being blanketed in new contamination from the plant [...] particles could work their way into the food chain [...]

Jota Kanda, oceanographer at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology: “Obviously, there is some continuing source of cesium 137. We are not sure exactly what is happening, but we are seeing a bigger than expected effect on the environment.” [...]

See also: 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

Published: October 27th, 2013 at 11:17 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
51 comments

Related Posts

  1. NY Times: “Worrisome” evidence at Fukushima plant — “Latest releases appear to be carrying much more contaminated water than before into Pacific” — Expert: “No precedent for what’s happening… we’re on untrodden ground” October 25, 2013
  2. Nuclear Safety Expert: “Many experts are extremely concerned we could have additional releases” at Fukushima plant — “Very, very unstable facility” (AUDIO) May 1, 2013
  3. Radiation readings spiking to record levels all around Fukushima plant October 24, 2013
  4. US Gov’t: Plutonium is from Fukushima reactors, not fuel pools — Experts: Plutonium needs to be in U.N. assessment of radioactive releases October 26, 2013
  5. NHK: Typhoon approaching Fukushima plant — Underwater fences breached — Tepco: No ‘immediate’ effect (VIDEO) September 26, 2013

51 comments to NYTimes Experts: Fukushima is having bigger effect on environment than we expected, we don’t know what’s happening — Radioactive releases from plant spiking this year — “Worrisome problems”

  • mairs mairs

    "…that radioactive cesium 137 may now be leaking into the Pacific at a rate of about 30 billion becquerels per year [Actually PER DAY], or about three times as high as last year.'

    What does this mean? Is the "per day" an editorial comment here? Is it what oceanographer Michio Aoyama said?


    Report comment

  • Naha Johari

    Can anyone believe any of these coming from scientists beholden to Shinzo Abe's government?

    "Even the most alarmed of the scientists who were interviewed did not extend their worries about the new releases to human health. With more than 80,000 residents near the plant evacuated almost immediately after the disaster, and fishing in nearby waters still severely restricted, they say there is little or no direct danger to humans from the latest releases."

    Then the article becomes self-contradictory:

    "In either case, researchers say, the hot spots are a concern because shrimp and small fish tend to gather in depressions on the ocean floor for protection. If the radioactive materials are entering their bodies, those particles could work their way into the food chain, requiring that fishing be suspended for longer than local fishermen had hoped."


    Report comment

    • Naha Johari

      "Less attention has been paid to the continued airborne releases of cesium from the site’s crippled reactors, whose layers of protection were damaged or destroyed. The plant still emits 10 million becquerels per hour into the atmosphere, according to Tepco."

      And then this 'reassuring' comment from one of Shinzo's scientists:

      "These aren’t levels that are going to directly affect human health,” Masashi Kusakabe, a researcher at an institute that has monitored cesium in the ocean for the government, said, referring to releases into the Pacific."

      Sorry but I'm not feeling reassured at all.


      Report comment

  • bo bo

    'Even the most alarmed of the scientists who were interviewed did not extend their worries about the new releases to human health. With more than 80,000 residents near the plant evacuated almost immediately after the disaster, and fishing in nearby waters still severely restricted, they say there is little or no direct danger to humans from the latest releases.'

    P-R-O-P-A-G-A-N-D-A


    Report comment

  • mairs mairs

    "…those particles could work their way into the food chain, requiring that fishing be suspended for longer than local fishermen had hoped."

    Oh please! It will be suspended for much longer than any of you will be alive. How about thousands of years!


    Report comment

  • bo bo

    '… requiring that fishing be suspended for longer than local fishermen had hoped.'

    I think this might require fishing to be suspended forever..


    Report comment

  • zardoz2012 zardoz2012

    I just get this feeling that the continuous rise in Cs-137 levels is being caused by a chain reaction from the corium contacting some other material in the earth or ocean. This is probably generating Cs-137 as a by product continuously in large quantities.


    Report comment

  • bo bo

    Hiroko Tabuchi – winner of Pulitzer award that should have been given to hatrickpenry


    Report comment

  • mhocker10

    Japans food supply is screwed… their fresh water supply is screwed… they have little to no land to farm for a meat supply, and what beef, pork etc they do raise is contaminated. there is no way around it… Tepco.gov is silently killing them and the media blackout in Japan is criminal to say the least.

    too bad it will be too late when the Japanese people realize they've been lied to, and they are bleeding out of every orifice

    I wrote my Congressional leaders on the dangers of Fuku and got snubbed with, Nuc. power is EXCELLANT… we should be building more NPP's! If Fuku continues un-abated, I forsee US losing everything West of the Rocky Mt.s in 20 years from Pacific driven storms dropping radioactive rain, which will also poison the fresh water supplies.

    FFAN on facebook = Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/124537680994270/


    Report comment

  • bo bo

    I miss the physical paper version of New York Times… I really liked having the physical paper to catch my puke after I finish reading their articles


    Report comment

  • weeman

    If the conduits are the source of recent spike, why not drain them, put a pump in there and pump back in to basements, like you do with other contamination?, yes I am sure that the contamination is leaking in to conduits from turbine building, put a float on pump so it automatically pumps back into basement?
    You may eventually get access to these tunnels and seal leaks, better still fill with concrete?
    Not up to task, not human, finale solution is for nazi's.


    Report comment

  • rakingmuck

    The heart of US silence is the strategic support of ABE and Nuclear Industry. I believe Fukushima, destruction of food change, humanity itself must be made an election issue to see any change in policy whatsoever. It may be too late. But nothing else will work as Nuke industry owns the White House. THAT has to change.


    Report comment

  • Jaskal

    PHYTOPLANKTON.
    I've read estimates that they create 71% of the atmosphere's oxygen.
    Food for though.


    Report comment

  • pkjn

    Cs-134/137 density in marine soil of offshore Fukushima spiked up this September / Over 10 times much
    October 27th, 2013 Fukushima Diary
    Cesium-134/137 density in dry marine soil spiked up this September at 4 sampling locations offshore Fukushima.
    The readings increased to be over 10 times much as last analysis in August. The leaked radioactive material might have accumulated on the bottom of the sea.
    http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/10/cs-134137-density-in-marine-soil-of-offshore-fukushima-spiked-up-this-september-over-10-times-much/
    http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2013/images/ocean_soil_131025-j.pdf


    Report comment

  • Horse Horse

    Testing for cesium 137 must be the cheapest or easiest. Only estimates for strontium 90. No mention of the rest of the radioactive family, that might be too scary by verifying on going criticalities. I wonder how the emissions are changing the chemistry of our oceans and air. Will it increase ocean acidification or form dangerous compounds? Tritium is usually 'managed' by nuke industry; filtered, stored and released when safe. Tritiated water is only lethal if ingested, affecting mostly aquatic species. Read that Krypton might be a super greenhouse gas. The cores are not contained. The leaks won't stop.


    Report comment

  • They only talk about Cesium 137 and strontium 90. Below an Incomplete list of radio-active isotopes. Each bequerol is one disintigration of 1 atom per second. Compounds and elements. Remember your high school science. All this crap transmuting into different crap giving off mutenogeous energy with half lifes ranging from seconds to thousands of years, OK? If they level with us it'll be a lynching party. Since my Buggie died I have had no use for the New York Times.

    hydrogen-7
    hydrogen-5
    hydrogen-4
    nitrogen-10
    hydrogen-6
    lithium-5
    lithium-4
    boron-7
    helium-5
    helium-10
    lithium-10
    carbon-8
    helium-7
    beryllium-6
    helium-9
    boron-9
    beryllium-8
    boron-16
    beryllium-13
    lithium-12
    boron-18
    carbon-21
    beryllium-15
    beryllium-16
    Copernicium-277
    hassium-265
    boron-19
    meitnerium-266
    boron-17
    carbon-22
    lithium-11
    boron-15
    boron-14
    carbon-20
    boron-13
    boron-12
    beryllium-12
    carbon-19
    carbon-18
    bohrium-262
    helium-8
    carbon-9
    lithium-9
    carbon-17
    carbon-16
    boron-8
    helium-6
    lithium-8
    carbon-15
    flerovium-289
    beryllium-14
    beryllium-11
    carbon-10
    dubnium-261
    seaborgium-266
    dubnium-262
    rutherfordium-261
    nobelium-253
    carbon-11
    nobelium-259
    fluorine-18
    mendelevium-257
    erbium-165
    fermium-252
    erbium-160
    fermium-253
    manganese-52
    thulium-167
    way more, continued.


    Report comment

    • Sorry since my budgie died I have had no use for any newspaper as bird cage floors mostly fit a folded newspaper perfectly.
      Continuing list
      vanadium-48
      californium-253
      chromium-51
      mendelevium-258
      beryllium-7
      californium-254
      cobalt-56
      scandium-46
      sulfur-35
      thulium-168
      fermium-257
      thulium-170
      polonium-210
      cobalt-57
      vanadium-49
      californium-248
      ruthenium-106
      neptunium-235
      cadmium-109
      thulium-171
      caesium-134
      sodium-22
      rhodium-101
      cobalt-60
      hydrogen-3
      californium-250
      niobium
      meta state Nb-93m
      strontium-90
      curium-243
      caesium-137
      titanium-44
      uranium-232
      plutonium-238
      nickel-63
      silicon-32
      argon-39
      californium-249
      silver-108
      americium-241
      niobium-91
      californium-251
      radium-226
      carbon-14[1]
      americium-243
      curium-245
      niobium-94
      plutonium-239
      nickel-59
      neptunium-236
      uranium-233
      technetium-99
      uranium-234
      chlorine-36
      curium-248
      aluminium-26
      beryllium-10
      zirconium-93
      caesium-135
      technetium-97
      manganese-53
      technetium-98
      palladium-107
      curium-247
      iodine-129
      uranium-236
      niobium-92
      plutonium-244
      samarium-146
      uranium-235
      potassium-40
      uranium-238
      thorium-232
      lutetium-176
      rhenium-187
      rubidium-87
      lanthanum-138
      samarium-147
      platinum-190
      lutetium-176
      rhenium-187
      rubidium-87
      lanthanum-138
      samarium-147
      platinum-190
      vanadium-50
      tungsten-180
      europium-151…


      Report comment

      • Damn! Theres more.
        molybdenum-100
        bismuth-209
        zirconium-96
        cadmium-116
        selenium-82
        tellurium-130
        germanium-76
        xenon-136
        neodymium-150
        calcium-48
        tellurium-128 The longest half life @
        2,200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

        See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_radioactive_isotopes_by_half-life

        Please realize all this water in tanks and ditches is coolant retrieved from melted out cores. Only Tepco knows how much coolant is lost ie running over melted cores and leaking into the underground river and entering the sea. Damming up that river above melted cores would slow down the destruction but….we sure won't bankrupt our precious money machine just so folks can eat uncontaminated Sushi over the next millenium. USA and Canada were/are both embroiled in a senate controversy. Its the appearance of being busy while they are busy propping up a system of organized crime making money by raping our childrens future. Are you mad yet?


        Report comment

      • Hot and Bothered Hot and Bothered

        Holy fucking shit!!!!!!!


        Report comment

  • jec jec

    Just get Al Gore to CHARGE($$$$) Japan for their HUGE carbon footprint/global warming increase caused by Fukushima. Now that would be an interesting bill to send to Abe! And might even get some environmental attention to the damage the emissions are causing to the atmosphere. Look at the Artic warming and changes since 3/11, thanks to Fukushima!


    Report comment

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    If the effects of this are bigger than these experts expected, then these so called 'experts' are pretty fucking stupid. Reactor 3 spewed it's contents, with most of it going directly into the Pacific. What the hell did these experts think would happen? Did they think it would all just go away in a week or two?


    Report comment

  • StPaulScout, The experts knew this was a triple melt through on day one. Obamma does not need to read Enenews to know whats going on.
    The Experts are doing a fucking awesome job dude. Most of the world doesn't even know whats happening. I gotta bounce. Sunny day on Eagle Mountain. Peace all.


    Report comment

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    "Both Tepco and the government say the largest continuing problem, the water releases, is not a cause for concern"

    There is continual downplaying of the event. In face of the devastation already inflicted on people and the environment, such downplaying seems unthinkable for leading experts in the nuclear field. For a better overview, read instead this excellent paper (referenced before at ENEnews);

    Mr. Ebisawa, NAIIC expert reactor engineer, estimated the amount of radioactivity that had seeped into the water that fills the basement of the reactor buildings;

    Cesium-137: 276 PBq (i.e. 40 percent of the reactor core inventory)

    Strontium-90: 23 to 33 PBq (i.e. 4.4 to 6.3 percent of the reactor core inventory).

    http://www.worldnuclearreport.org/World-Nuclear-Report-2013.html


    Report comment

  • jackassrig

    That list of isotopes is longer than the giraffe on the Johnny Carson show. 2/3 of those PHDers should locked up padded cells. The teachers of crap.


    Report comment

  • mairs mairs

    And Snopes continues to quote the Berkeley nuke professor who says no matter what happens at Fukushima, it won't affect the US. Snopes is worthless too. Sorry to be country-centric. He probably means it will only affect Japan. Yeah, whatever you say, Snopes.


    Report comment

  • FXofTruth

    So the experts all agree…"Fukushima is having bigger effect on the environment than we expected, we don’t know what’s happening."

    What type of effect did they originally think was going to happen? Exploding cores, cooling systems failing, cores melting, TEPCO downplaying everything…"experts" are surprised by the bigger effect on environment? I'm no expert but, anyone with eyes and had a history lesson on nuclear power, understood that once the cores blew up all bets were off of this EVER having a safe outcome for everything around it!

    Here we are going into a two and one half years and TEPCO is STILL holding back on facts; underestimating data; developing solutions that all fail; no Governments are in any uproar of any type blasting Japan for screwing around with this whole disaster…deadly silence and inaction.

    So, I wonder what the real goal is by letting this exponentially, growing disaster to continue? A lot of experts are guessing the amounts of KNOWN deadly materials and elements being released daily. Nothing on the Planet should get a higher priority FROM ALL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD to contain and control this catastrophe.

    But, nothing on a major, worldwide effort is being done. The Japanese Government along with lap-dog Abe is denying there's a serious problem. TEPCO shows up at work everyday to see that everything is getting more contaminated and their bungling is causing more of the Pacific to die.

    So, why is it being allowed to continue?…


    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    There is contamination of the groundwater… above and below.


    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Maybe its like Robin stated and its happened and there is nothing that can be done, so live your life?

    I am pretty sure the non nuclear countries are clueless and the nuclear countries are being run by the Nuclear Industry.. since it is the biggest stick in the room.

    If its invisible, odorless and tasteless then I do not see a problem..where is it..see it anywhere?

    Gee must not be harmless so I will just continue to.. Party On!


    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    oops..Gee must "be" harmless so I will just continue to.. Party On!


    Report comment

  • Jebus

    Think of how much all of the releases of radionuclides are right this moment. Massive amounts into first the atmosphere early on and now all of the ocean releases to this day over two and a half years later. A large chunk of the earth much more contaminated for a long long time. Think.
    Think seven and a half years from now.
    Yippee, Tokyo Olympics?
    Not if the truth is told.
    Now think 25 years from now.
    Will it be stopped, will the releases be over?
    Now 50 years
    Now, is it over?
    75 years
    Now?
    ?


    Report comment

  • larry-andrew-nils

    this thing's gonna run longer than the energizer bunny.


    Report comment

  • Fukushima: Questions and Answers
    Q : Why after the accident, all the reactors were not entombed?
    A : Because of the pools fully loaded. There where hope to remove them before entombing the rest.
    Q : Why the pools are not still emptied?
    A: Because ceils and even the cranes had collapsed on them and made it difficult to do it.
    Q: Why does the Pool number 4 in worst state them the others?
    A: Because it was loaded with new, therefore hot rods. The core was emptied and the rods were on the pool, which dried and caught fire, probably melted trough the pool floor after the earthquake and tsunami, destabilized the structure that was not prepared for such a fire.
    Q: So how TEPCO is going to fix this? Are they going to empty that pool?
    A: Difficult to say so! Even the cranes in operation on the site are remotely controlled. Yet with the new structure they built on top of number 4, they will probably have more radioactivity trapped in. It will require a hell of precision to extract these rods which are certainly in a bad shape, and of cause, remotely! Technically impossible, but what choice do they have left if not try…


    Report comment

  • Q: So success is not at sight?
    A: they are very aware of failure. The structure they have built is not unnecessary anyway. It is most probably a beginning of a sarcophagus, and in case things go wrong, they have less than 25% to complete before it start spewing unsupported radiations. They can still also berry the pool with cement since they built an access to it. So the structure is totally independent to the pool, showing that a certainly collapse of that pool will not affect that structure, and still give access to do all the entombing work to contain it.
    New technologies are the most wanted to limit Fukushima consequences.
    http://kanaky.freeiz.com


    Report comment

  • Sparky Sparky

    See "Fear vs. Radiation" for the US version of TepcoJp talking points on recent NYT OpEd: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/opinion/fear-vs-radiation-the-mismatch.html?src=recg. For context see from author's website, http://dropeik.com/dropeik/background.html; and author's clients, http://dropeik.com/dropeik/clients.html


    Report comment

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Important to remember the mainstream media apparently hasn't wrapped their minds around three melted out coriums.

    They still mistakenly believe the coriums are somewhere inside or near the containment structures. The idea of melted out corium contaminating the groundwater and ocean just doesn't seem to be on their radar as "reality" yet.

    Of course they would be surprised and taken aback.


    Report comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.