UPDATE: Plutonium measured in 3/11 disaster debris

Published: December 22nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm ET


*Update* EXSKF: Radioactive Japan: Sanjo City’s Detection of Plutonium in the Iwate Debris and Soil Causing Excitement on Twitter … “levels are well within the background; they are actually much lower than the background measured in the past”

Fukushima Diary:  Plutonium-239, 240 and Strontium were measured from soil and wooden chips of Ohtsuchi cho Iwate […] Niigata prefecture accepted the debris from Ohtsuchi cho Iwate, started test incineration on 10/11/2012.

Published: December 22nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Shock? Major Japan Paper: Cancer risk in Fukushima ‘probably infinitesimal’ — More radioactive contamination should be allowed in food and where people live — Don’t question burning disaster debris March 3, 2013
  2. Report: 12 million yen “to censor Twitter” being spent by city starting to burn disaster debris September 18, 2012
  3. Japan Gov’t: Plutonium will no longer be measured — Almost impossible for normal person to detect, geiger counters ineffective October 4, 2011
  4. AP: Over 30 million tons of nuclear waste in Fukushima alone — Smoking mounds of disaster debris, possibly from spontaneous combustion March 10, 2013
  5. “Deplorable”: Plutonium detected at 5 locations — “Unknown which reactor plutonium came from” March 28, 2011

44 comments to UPDATE: Plutonium measured in 3/11 disaster debris

  • Plutonium is something you really don't want to find anywhere.

    It turns out you don't need to see the stuff anywhere either:

    25 Nuclear Power Plants Could Be Replaced By Geothermal In Japan
    December 22, 2012Jake Richardson

    Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/22/25-nuclear-power-plants-could-be-replaced-by-geothermal-in-japan/#L6DV3zZyfpWjKlJG.99
    "Ironically, it was the nation’s focus on nuclear power that caused this lack of attention for geothermal development. It isn’t as if Japan is missing the technical knowledge required for geothermal installations either. They actually make the turbines Iceland uses for its geothermal plants. As a percentage of total power, developing countries like Kenya and El Salvador have more geothermal power than Japan."

    Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xz6M)
    Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/22/25-nuclear-power-plants-could-be-replaced-by-geothermal-in-japan/#L6DV3zZyfpWjKlJG.99

    • Plutonium – General Info

      Over one third of the energy produced in most nuclear power plants comes from plutonium. It is created in the reactor as a by-product.
      Plutonium has occurred naturally, but except for trace quantities it is not now found in the Earth's crust.

      There are several tonnes of plutonium in our biosphere, a legacy of atmospheric weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

      In practical terms, there are two different kinds of plutonium to be considered: reactor-grade and weapons-grade. The first is recovered as a by-product of typical used fuel from a nuclear reactor, after the fuel has been irradiated ('burned') for about three years. The second is made specially for the military purpose, and is recovered from uranium fuel that has been irradiated for only 2-3 months in a plutonium production reactor. The two kinds differ in their isotopic composition but must both be regarded as a potential proliferation risk, and managed accordingly.

      Plutonium, both that routinely made in power reactors and that from dismantled nuclear weapons, is a valuable energy source when integrated into the nuclear fuel cycle. In a conventional nuclear reactor, one kilogram of Pu-239 can produce sufficient heat to generate nearly 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

      • Gnyf

        Eh, tonnes of plutonium in our biosphere? If that was the case we would be long gone. According to experts and scientists it takes about 10 pounds of plutonium in the atmosphere to wipe out the entire planet. We can sure agree on that there's still a lot of crap up there, and the fall out have never stopped, but not tonnes of plutonium. Besides that Merry christmas to you, and everybody else in here.
        Like some of you have pointed out, it's really no surprise that they measure different types af radioactive materials everywhere. The only thing surprising is that they keep reporting it as it is a surprise. We know this is the worst disaster in nuclear history ever. We know that those who say that the Fukushima disaster is "almost" as bad as the Chernobyl accident are either downplaying things, or are straight up morons. We know that harmful amounts of radioactive material have dropped over both America and Europe. We know that governments all over know this and is lying their butt off. We know that contaminated food is on the shelves in stores, and we will see a dramatic increase in cancer all over the northern hemisphere because of this. The only thing really surprising is that people still sitt on their ass and talk about it, instead of taking action.
        If some of you in here would like to take action, and demonstrate, I'm actually trying to start a protest organisation to demonstrate world wide. Will put info about it in here, when the webpage is ready after new year.

        • vital1 vital1

          Gnyf, You are very welcome make use of these resources.

          Get the message out there on how serious the Fukushima nuclear disaster is quickly, and efficiently. You don’t need to explain anything just distribute the lifesaver.pdf or podcast below. (or create your own), hand it out, mailbox it, or email it.


          This informative podcast on New Zealand radio station GreenPlanetFM carries more weight when trying to convince friends and relatives. It has with mine. So if you can use it as a resource please do. The interview starts after a bit of an introduction on synchronicity.


        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          "According to experts and scientists it takes about 10 pounds of plutonium in the atmosphere to wipe out the entire planet."

          A recently disclosed Tepco documentation indicates total emissions estimates of both plutonium 239 and neptunium 239 for the first 100 hours of the catastrophe. This leaked Tepco document [19] suggests a release of 1.2 trillion bq of pu-238,pu-239,p-240 and pu-241 collectively and 76 trillion bq of Np-239 within the first 100 hours of the catastrophe. Our goal with this study included developing atmospheric dispersion plots of these emissions and modeling radionuclide concentrations at receptors worldwide.

          With really nice, full color charts:


          "…direct download from US EPA Radnet computers. It shows in the weeks after the accident, plutonium detecting in the US at levels 2900% to 3500% over background."


          "The most terrifying fact is that the Japanese power plants are using ‘dirty’ fuel, which most countries have rejected and banned. Needless to say that the Americans built them. Since the Earth is moving Counterclockwise most of the fall-out will drop on U.S., unless very strong winds take it somewhere else. […]"

          'Dirty' fuel = MOX.


        • StPaulScout StPaulScout

          "it takes about 10 pounds of plutonium in the atmosphere to wipe out the entire planet."

          I'm quite certain you are refering to statements made on this blog early on that refered to the fact that IF the 10 pounds was chopped up finely enough and everyone on earth ingested their small share that yes, we would all die. Look at the number 3 reactor building. After it exploded they never poured any water on it. There was nothing left to cool. Look at reactor number 1, the first thing they did was build a tent over it. Must have been lots of bad shit coming off of that sucker. The spent fuel pool number 4 did 'burn'. There were photos taken and certain experts stated that there was supposed to be fuel rods in the photos but they weren't there. No, I am quite certain that huge amounts of fuel, both spent and 'fresh' vaporised and is floating all around the earth. Thousands of pounds of it, probably tons, who knows. TEPCO ain't sayin and they turned RADNET off.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          “…Betwecn 1945 and 1976, about 26,000 curies (5 pounds of human-made 238Pu) were released into the atmosphere:
          9820 curies from the atmospheric testing of plutonium bombs, and 17,000 curies from the satellite that burned up as
          it reentered the atmosphere in 1964. Of the total, based on samplings throughout the world, only 0.00055 pounds
          has been inhaled or ingested by all human beings….

          “Of more importance in how plutonium moves through the environment is that, once it falls on land, it can be
          resuspended into the air whenever the ground is disturbed by wind or human activities such as tilling or construction.
          This means it is available to be inhaled by humans, which is the most harmful path. Most of the studies on
          resuspension were conducted in arid environments, leading to question wbether resuspension of small particles would
          be less in more humid or wet areas. There is no solid evidence to support this idea, since measurements taken
          throughout the United States actually showed that the lowest concentration of particles per cubic meter of air were in
          White Pine County, Nevada — a very arid area — and that the highest were in the more humid Midwest, where soil
          erosion and tilling produce major resuspension. Other experiments in South Carolina, Enewetak, and Bikini also
          show that resuspension of soil was essentially the same as in arid environments….”

        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          I would protest but part of me thinks it is too late as there is no way to stop the Fukushima nuclear nightmare. However you're right I do sign petitions and write to the powers that be but I understand why they are not talking as there is no solution and informing the public would cause so many problems it makes my head spin plus the general population doesn't want to know. I've tried discussing it with doctors. scientists and chemists and they go about their days eating sushi and salmon continuing to swim in the river denial. I know they realize how serious Fukushima is thus I don't think demonstrations, etc will serve any purpose except Frustration, the state which we currently find ourselves in. I personally think all nuclear plants should be de-commissioned but that will never happen for various reasons. I don't know I'm torn and saddened and try to enjoy my remaining days on this beautiful planet which man has used and abused. JMHO

          • Time Is Short Time Is Short

            "I'm torn and saddened and try to enjoy my remaining days on this beautiful planet which man has used and abused."

            It's all we have left. May G-d have mercy on us all.

    • nedlifromvermont

      Great Post PU … the TRUTH will out ! peace …

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    This only to be expected after 3 meltdown/meltthrough/meltouts, an exploded fuel pool, a couple of fuelpool fires and constant emissions from the smouldering mess that remains. I'M JUST NOT SURPRISED!

  • Jebus Jebus

    sigh… what once was…


    enjoy, but ignore the disney cartoon… 😐

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Only takes a tiny speck of plutonium to kill you.

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      What was the ratio of hot particles considered a fatal dose for every man,woman & child on the planet again? Wasn't there like 500+ tiny specks for each & every one of the human race?!! I'm pretty sure I got mine already about the same time cancer began & grew like crazy into huge tumors in my wife's body that likely followed release events/radiation spikes in Dec.2011 that were luckily treated & removed in time(so far as we've been told) except I don't do Dr. visits for anything bothering me anymore and will be happy if I manage to hang on until my wife either recovers or loses her battle with multiple health ailments which either began after 3/11 or got much worse regarding health issues she had before 3/11 such as her asthma & syncope/sleep apnea,etc. Her seizure disorder was eventually deemed to be a "hormonal imbalance caused by a non-specific thyroid disorder"which by itself sounds suspicious to me!(?) The cancer was the (previously)"VERY RARE" and aggressive,fast-moving Inflammatory Breast Cancer and hospital records I wasn't supposed to see made reference to "marked mutation of DNA markers p21 & p51 likely due to "EV"(wth is EV"-Environmental Pollution"?!)-which I saw by chance via a bump of the exam room pc's mouse before the head oncologist & author of her file & footnotes who performed the follow-up exams.If that wasn't enough to raise suspicion-then the fact that 14(!) Dr.'s from 4 different hospitals were present when they pushed…

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        cont'd from above-for the clinical trial study that supposedly was to help develop new treatments & drugs for treating her particularly nast form of cancer! Even though they looked disappointed by her decision to receive the conventional treatment plan-I doubt they've had any trouble locating new "guinea pigs" for their experiments allegedly for the sole purpose of helping cancer victims! Since then FOUR family members & friends have been diagnosed with the same cancer she has(had?)under similar circumstances & timelines??!! What are the odds of KNOWING four people who've all come down with the same RARE cancer found in only 1-5% of the entire population?! Obviously the "odds" have changed and I'd bet statistical changes since 3/11,in fact since Jan.2012 to 1/13 will reflect that particular "formerly" rare affliction now is closer to 25-40% of new breast cancer cases and attempts to add Fukushima or ANY nuke-related issues into the conversation even via innocent questions has been met with uncomfortable looks followed by ANYTHING they can do to change the conversation! Yes I AM crazy,but NOT because of or indicated by my logic regarding nuke crap!~ Whatever…I don't care about anyone's website generating profits or "troll-jousting",or getting the attention mommy & daddy didn't give me as a child!~my "angry rants" are simply my way of venting and documenting the harm Fukushima & Big Nuke,govt. pukes have done to my family's physical & mental…

        • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

          cont'd~health status since this event began!~PERIOD!~ And if I live long enough to see those responsible brought to trial with justice being properly served I want it to be known that I do NOT care about gaining money as a result of their crimes and my loved ones suffering! If that's the BEST or ONLY way to make them pay-then I won't turn it down but WILL donate every cent of the "blood money" to ENEnews,Fukushima Diary,American Cancer Society and other related charities and unbiased research institutions who become "targets" for the corporations and industry/govt. interests whenever somebody "breaks ranks" and breaks the silence about whatever environmental issues they know is hurting innocent folks! With that said I will sign out now & do my caregiver duties & routine for my wife and close by wishing everyone a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year!!

          • pcjensen

            oh man…

          • Time Is Short Time Is Short

            And we will all soon join you, one way or the other, Johnny Blade.

            My deepest prayers to you and your family. We can only hope there is justice in the afterlife. There certainly isn't any here.

            • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

              Thanks TimeIsShort and everyone who commented. But I don't find any comfort in the thoughts of anyone else going through this and there's another post a bit further down on the page from this one that "plants the seed" of,and hints of what I think might be going on with me although I won't go there or "do that" opting instead to let the "new" "natural" "official"[ly sanctioned] form of population management run its course if my "hunch" about certain things turns out to be another painful reality. I'm not liking where I took this discussion due to the "sensitive" nature of my not too subtle hints(!!)lol-'nuff said 'bout that since I'm never gonna confirm it anyway and the best person in the world is sitting a few feet from me warming this house with her laugh watching holiday comedy flicks & she needs me to get her through the bad days(sometimes weeks)& help her through this while she still has that 32% chance of surviving the next 4 years without the cancer coming back & that chance gives me the "positive" mindset mode ability for her sake even when I'm not very confident about our future thanks to the handful of ongoing,mega-disasters "thinking people" cannot remove from mind when planning for any future on the path TPTB are "herding" us down.I sure wish I'd been born and died in the old days before the Industrial Revolution without modern conveniences or electricity,but in a CLEAN world!Life in the 21st Century SUCKS!!(now)… 🙁

  • Jebus Jebus

    Nature chose to let plutonium go away, long ago.

    Man found this out and chose to exploit it.

    Humans have spent only 60 years, manufacturing TONS of plutonium.

    Why is plutonium the important and bad element here.

    Things I have learned.

    Because of the potential energy that is in each atom.
    Because of the effect of that on carbon based life forms.
    If each plutonium atom lives alone, by it self, it's energy gets to last centuries.
    No energy lasts forever, but thats a hell of a long time.
    By itself, each atom's energy is capable of destroying a carbon based life form.
    I think everybody agrees that more than one atom is floating around.
    When they get together, they react and party.
    They start dancing around on the periodic table.
    They decay faster and become daughters.
    They all release more energy in a shorter period of time.
    They all destroy carbon based life forms faster.
    You can not stop the energy decay of an atom of plutonium.
    It will decay the way it wants to.
    There is only one way to stop them.
    That is to make them release all their energy at once.
    Humans are all about increasing the odds.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    NOT surprised that Plutonium was found. More Plutonium will be found. Plutonium will also be found in people around the planet. The medical examiner will note that cause of death was " Heart Failure".

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    Hmm, on March 2nd,2011 these scientists made this statement about the impacts of a "regional" nuclear war. So what's the difference between the releases from intentional deployment & detonation of nuclear weapons used in a "region" or limited to one or two continents and the releases via Fukushima and whatever else(?) they were able to sweep under the rug without our knowing had occurred?!! https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/research/3995/nuclear-war-and-ultraviolet-radiation according to this study's findings a handful of nukes used in one region could (or would)cause the already damaged ozone layer to be degraded to the point where UV levels of 21+ WILL happen!(?) There would be more than "eggs" frying on the sidewalk during the Summer! I hope to get something more to post here on ENE from the staff members who were part of the aircraft crew that flew research missions which tracked Asian dust and pollution plumes from their base in Boulder,CO to the coast of Japan & back taking samples & measurements that USED to include detailed radiation surveys which USED to be posted publicly as well! I have a "hunch" about two of them in particular being "approachable" and willing to talk more about it than the others "in the know" who've probably taken an oath to remain silent for "security" reasons(?)!…we'll see how it goes? PEACE 🙂 HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!! BLADE;Over & Out

  • tasteslikedaniel

    My neighbor confided in me that he had 130 plutonium 'seeds' implanted into his prostate as a way to treat his prostate cancer, the theory being that the plutonium would kill his prostate so his cancer wouldnt spread into other organs. He told me his doctor also worked on one of the founders of JC penny and that guy had the same operation but that guy had plutonium leak out of his prostate and killed him. Every time I see my neighbor im like 'damn that guy must have some good faith to live through that' maybe its just grit

  • Did you know…

    The Rocky Flats (processing) Facility near Denver Colorado lost
    –> 65 POUNDS of Plutonium into the air ducts…!

    That's what this expert said in 1991.

    Radiation Chit-Chat
    An episode of "As it Happens"
    Prof. James Warf – Manhattan Project Chemist
    A general discussion of Nuclear Radiation from 1991.
    (The plutonium comment – OMG)
    (preset time start to 20:30)

    "65 POUNDS!"
    Yes, that is what he said.

    FBI/EPA Raid and investigation

    This reads like a movie… but it's not.

    "Late that year the FBI commenced clandestine flights of light aircraft over the area and noticed that the incinerator was apparently being used late into the night."

    "In 1992, Rockwell was charged with environmental CRIMES including violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Clean Water Act. Rockwell pled guilty and paid an $18.5 million fine. This was the largest fine for an environmental crime to that date."


    An 18 million dollar fine, yet nobody went to jail for these crimes.


    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      Those Manhattan Project scientists were/are pretty careless with their handling of the nasty crap! http://www.osti.gov/accomplishments/documents/fullText/ACC0071.pdf even worse that CP-2 "open air fission" about 2 miles from where my family has lived since 1897 was possibly the 1st place ever irradiated with reactor-generated fallout?!! At least one section leader had misgivings about his role in expediting what seems to be the method of self-extermination still favored & unsurpassed in its lethality!The writer sounds like an egotistical,pompous ass-so blinded by his vanity & egotistical ways that in 1967 he was still congratulating himself for his great contribution to the world!! The story of how the ass spilt and saved the worlds supply of Plutonium with a Sunday Chicago Tribune newspaper!! I hope this haughty,old d-bag lived long enough to finally realize,see and regret what he was such a big part of developing including people he recruited who probably saw a good number die of cancer after withering away…depressing but worth reading since it holds value for those of us who want to know all of the history that led up to now & how different things would've been had ANY of the little things that favorably fell into place mostly by luck not occurred when they did. There's also NO mention about the fate of Louis Werner-the 1st "known"(?) death from radiation sickness from mishandling the (demon)core resulting in a criticality?! G'Nite ENEwser's 🙂

      • Sol Man

        From the report that Johnny Blade put up: "And it is fiendishly toxic, even in small amounts." Glen T. Seaborg on reporting in "The First Weighing of Plutonium."
        And, from reading all of the monitoring results for Pu from the EPA website that Mack had included above, it was shocking to learn of the two highest readings of the cities listed.
        Little boys playing with fire. Nothing is more evil than genocide set upon the world to such a degree.

      • The inventors of plutonium.

        On page 26 he says they had heated discussions in their small office about things like decontamination and waste storage.

        That was 1942.
        So… 70 years later there is still no answer.

        ;( Maybe they should have thought of that?

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        “Louis Werner, 86, a world-renowned nuclear chemist who during WWII isolated the element plutonium, passed away on May 20, 2007. …”

        “…The early studies of plutonium were carried out on a tracer scale with amounts too small to be weighed. The first visible amount of plutonium (about a millionth of a gram of plutonium fluoride) was isolated by Seaborg, Burris B. Cunningham, and Louis B. Werner on Aug. 20, 1942….”

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          “Louis Werner, 86, a world-renowned nuclear chemist who during WWII isolated the element plutonium, passed away on Finally 2.77 micrograms of the first pure chemical compound of plutonium was prepared by Burris Bell Cunningham (1912-1971) and Louis B.Werner (1921-2007) at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago on August 18, 1942. ‘This memorable day will go down in scientific history," wrote Seaborg, codiscoverer of plutonium, "to mark the first sight of a synthetic element, and, in fact, the first isolation of a weighable amount of an artificially produced isotope of any element.’…".

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Deadly exposure: Plutonium-related cancers plague children of the Manhattan Project

        • razzz razzz

          That article is so sad.

          It will be civil lawsuits that bring down the nuclear industry.

          • Time Is Short Time Is Short

            No, we're going to have them all rammed down our throats until there isn't any living thing left on this planet.

            Once you know who the major shareholders in the nuke industry are, you'll understand they now control the western world's governments. Big, big money. They have no concern for us, and remember, they and their families are breathing it, too. They will not go quietly, and they will take us all with them.

            Orwell didn't have dark enough dreams. McCarthy did.

  • PattieB PattieB

    I'm sorry that it took so long for you folks to get "on-board" with the plutonium facts I told of.

    However, again, there is mis-information goin on here… to lower the damage it does! FACT: In a nuclear detonation…? MOST ALL of the plutonium is changed "Fissioned" and the result is U-234 This is bad, yes! But there are natural things and foods to flush it out of your body. The fuku deal was a fissle, re: reactor #3. MOST of it went up into the air as PLUTONIUM! 30+ entire rods consising of 1/3% P-239, 1/3% P-240, 1/3% P-241/// and that's WHY it did the "FIZZLE" and didn't QUITE go off like a real nuke weapon would normaly. There are still 40 of these burning-away in the pool of #4

  • CaptD CaptD

    Maybe now it is time to revisit the idea that the Japanese did have a secret NUKE facility at Fukushima and that is the reason that TEPCO has been able to call the shots since the meltdown happened without the Japanese regulators doing anything about it…

    Many believe that Japan has the all the components to assemble nuke weapons but like some other Countries they must not disclose they HAVE nuclear weapons because that would be illegal in Japan!