Radiation readings in Fukushima reactor at highest level since crisis began

Published: April 27th, 2011 at 7:11 am ET
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Radiation Readings in Fukushima Reactor Rise to Highest Since Crisis Began, Bloomberg, April 27, 2011 at 5:14 am EDT:

Radiation readings at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi station rose to the highest since an earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems, impeding efforts to contain the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Two robots sent into the reactor No. 1 building at the plant yesterday took readings as high as 1,120 millisierverts of radiation per hour, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said today. [...]

“Tepco must figure out the source of high radiation,” said Hironobu Unesaki, a nuclear engineering professor at Kyoto University. “If it’s from contaminated water leaking from inside the reactor, Tepco’s so-called water tomb may be jeopardized because flooding the containment vessel will result in more radiation in the building.” [...]

TEPCO starts tests for more water injection, NHK, April 27, 2011:

[...] The firm [TEPCO] says robots on Tuesday detected radiation levels of up to 1,120 millisieverts per hour inside the No.1 reactor building. It says some contaminated water may be leaking from the reactor into external pipes. [...]

Watch the video here.

Published: April 27th, 2011 at 7:11 am ET
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47 comments

47 comments to Radiation readings in Fukushima reactor at highest level since crisis began

  • Tricky Dick

    Radiation comes in different kinds. What kinds were measured?


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  • Noah

    “…Tepco’s so-called water tomb…”

    It appears a new plan exists to use water to encapsulate the troubled reactors.

    Frankly, I think all that can be done now is slow the process down. It will continue until it stops on its own, until the last of the fuel finishes reacting. That will be way past my life time.

    Realistically, I see where this will end. No one wants to say it. The war was lost when it first began.

    What does this mean for the rest of the world? I have a lemon tree that bears year round. In 20 years it has produced very finely shaped, attractive smooth skinned fruit. Yesterday I went out there and noticed that the fruit has extraordinary thick rough, lumpy skin, to the point of looking grotesque! Almost like the tree is trying to protect itself from the radiation by thickening its skin or is genetically mutating into a green hulk lemon. It is huge and deformed. I wish I could attach a photo to this post.

    What will happen to the fruit of the womb? Babies are the future of mankind.


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  • Tricky Dick

    Water leaks. This isn’t a problem in engineering, its a political,monetary,and status problem.


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  • FIX THE REACTORS!

    So, is TEPCO/JAPAN following through pronto with spraying down and treating the fallout dust to keep it from drifting internationally???

    Can they install the covers to contain the fallout dust SOONER, rather than LATER???

    Pulling for Japan and their ability to make any quick fix FAST!! Every bit helps.


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  • FIX THE REACTORS!

    GO JAPAN!!! You can do it.


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    • tony wilson

      enjoy yourself while you can..
      do not put any faith in that rotten company and that Paralysed corrupt government.
      who have prolonged this just to save plutonium that is worth billions and billions of dollars.on the open market.
      even if it stopped tommorow plutonium has been working it’s way around the world.
      the plotting of xenon gas in the atmosphere around the world can be seen as an indicator.
      with that xenon will be the bad stuff,the stuff of nightmares.
      we here about the stuff they want us to here.
      imagine how much worse is the brutal reality.
      tepco have been slowly killing people for years.
      they are good at it.
      look on you tube for a documentary from 1995 called nuclear ginza.


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  • Should be a massive international effort. I think some major players are already involved – U.S., Russia, France, .. ?


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    • tony wilson

      bruce conway…
      you remind me of the guy on the titanic that refuses to believe the ship will sink even though the ship is vertical.
      major players my arse.
      areva were in japan 12 days ago trying to do a trade swap water treatment heat exchangers for plutonium…russia rubbing hands knowing they will be selling lots of oil.
      also sorting out trade swaps for use of Landysh a russian radiation decon water barge.
      the usa who knows barry obama seems to spend his days like bush before him playing golf.

      these elite us nuclear marines have gone home..they did nothing.look at the report they left because of improving situation.
      wraps up mission : )
      ttp://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/earthquake-disaster-in-japan/marine-corps-nuclear-team-wraps-up-mission-in-japan-1.141944


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  • FIX THE REACTORS!

    Yes-the world needs to jump on this. Moreover, Japan needs to take more PRIDE in what they are doing…To save the world!!!~~~


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    • tony wilson

      mr fix the reactors…
      your words japan needs to take more pride in what they are doing…

      mr fix
      you are insane.

      unless you work for david rockerfella population reduction dept,then i suppose your comment makes sense.


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      • FIX THE REACTORS!

        Mr. Tony-well, it certainly is easy for you to be a weak and bitter cynic! I know it’s phenomenally bad-much worse than accounted for presently. AND so was The Plague, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, Y2K (they thought!), 9/11, and the BP Gulf disaster. Strangely, we’ve survived, often prevailed, and/or muddled through each of these potentially “END OF THE WORLD” disasters. I think it’s crazy and self-fulfilling to presuppose otherwise.

        I think Japan can make a huge difference in the outcome to this day.

        But, I’m sorry you’re so depressed. Believe in improvement, yet TAKE ACTION!


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        • FIX THE REACTORS!

          That said, Japan MUST upgrade this and they need and DESERVE support!! I believe they as a people are incredibly resourceful & talented, although they were hit hard below the belt, a sucker punch!! Bottom-line: get it done. And I believe in the potential of the Japanese people to do just that!!!!


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        • mothra

          You’re assuming there’s something to fix and that the melt is still in the reactor vessels. That may not be case. Until proven otherwise, assume not. The “pipe” leak is an unsubstantiated explanation. You’ll hear a lot of those going forward. Don’t worry though, the French are coming to clean aka La Hague leukemia-style the water, and Hawaii only had a little strontium detected in their milk. Yikes.


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  • Deetu 3

    The setup: “Electricity too cheap to meter”

    The sting: “Radioactivity too high to measure”


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  • Bluetek 25

    Mr. Fix the Reactors – None of the events you listed were ever considered “End of the World” disasters. They seriously affected the people involved in the disaster, but it is doubtful that the people across the globe thought it was the end. Not so with this nuclear accident of unparalleled proportion. The biological global impact of this event WILL end the world as we know it, most nations are in agreement. All living DNA will be affected. Who knows what genetic changes that will create. To compare Fukushima to any of the events you cited does NOT negate the serious global impact of nuclear radiation. Life as we know it, on a biological level, which you may not understand, has been changed forever.


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    • FIX THE REACTORS!

      It’s pretty botched up on many levels, but there are things that can be done. Do you think Chernobyl was a picnic?? It didn’t come with a manual either! The Russians came up with many ideas and applied a take-no-prisoners attitude.

      I still believe the Japanese & World can do more–much more and much faster. But, Japan has been hit hard. The seemingly callous attitude of the West doesn’t help.


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      • FIX THE REACTORS!

        This was in reply to Mothra, above.

        @ Bluetek,

        It’s all a matter of perspective. I have close relatives who survived a number of the foregoing crises in person and trust me, many other people at that time had a similar nihilistic attitude under the circumstances. The world was crashing down for them, millions were bereft and millions died horribly-everything about life changed drastically.
        However, my relatives all lived against the odds during and after these events–in fact, they went on to thrive for decades!… It’s amazing–for example, how a young American could survive both nerve gas in WWI, the full weight of the Depression, and then radiation illness post-Hiroshima in WWII in one lifetime, but they did it. We were up against it in several of these situations.

        So, don’t give up and don’t think you can’t make a difference. Those on hand in Japan and many around the world can yet make a difference here!!


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      • tony wilson

        your on crack cocaine you need to take your medication and report for a suicide mission.
        may i suggest the rubble that was once reactor 3 the mox fuel site..
        your going to love meeting mr plutonium.


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        • FIX THE REACTORS!

          Look, Tony boy, Your hostility and disrespect toward “the choir” is extremely misdirected. Frankly, you sound as though you have anger issues need a suicide hot line. Displaced anger, no less!
          I’ve never diminished this situation, EVER, and I did not bring it about–got that?!!
          I’m extremely tired of knee-jerking selfish, cynical, weak people…people like YOU have led to this…and have caused The West to lose all control of corporate and political corruption…

          Do not assume defeat for me, for yourself, or for the whole world for all eternity–thanks.


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          • tony wilson

            you got it real angry..
            your bilge about life going on it is bilge.
            chernobyl did not end europe because the fuels power receded if it had of reach the water table…you would not be putting out positive vibes now.

            this thing will be self sustaining for generations.
            it has know positive outcome.
            you may live your neighbour may not i do not see that as something to feel good about.


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          • WindorSolarPlease

            The world has gone through many changes and has gone through many crises including radiation exposure.

            I don’t believe what is happening in Japan compares to any other Nuclear crisis. This is radiation and who knows what else mixed in. They have not been able to control this, and all it has done, is gotten worse. There are 4 plants in trouble with possible 5 and 6 also. This amount has never happened before, this has been “On Going”. Levels are going up, not down.

            This is not just effecting just an area. This has the potential of changing the lives of many people in Countries around the world.

            I don’t know if they can fix this, they haven’t yet.
            How many more layers can the people and the environment take? This is going on to long.

            I would love to be Polly Anna on this situation, sorry I can’t. I can’t until I see some light at the end of the tunnel, a solid plan in a short time frame.

            Even if they could fix this in nine months from now, that’s just to many layers of this ahead. Look what has happened in just over a Month.

            Poly Anna has left the building..Being realistic on very possible challenges and trying to prepare the best as I can.


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          • FIX THE REACTORS!

            Tony & any others here–
            Why don’t you stop railing against the powers that be on here and start directing it toward the State of California, your local leaders, and the US Govt.?!! Rise up and do something constructive with all that enmity!!
            If you are freaking out on the West Coast, then start throwing it down on your elected officials. You pay a lot of taxes, don’t you?!
            I don’t mean send a polite letter. I mean CALL THEM, GO to their offices, ORGANIZE protests!! If freaking California can’t get off their tanned and toned butts in such a receptive political climate to object in real life to a proven threat, then maybe they deserve it??!! Get some courage, people!! Every citizen must take POSITIVE ACTION and keep positive.


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        • FIX THE REACTORS!

          You’re not even in the United States, are you? It’s strange how you’re cheering on the worst, but I guess it’s from a safe distance. Throwing hater bombs from a distance. Again, how weak!

          I support and expect Japan to turn it around!!


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          • tony wilson

            let us see where your mystical positive energy gets you.
            tepco and the japanese government should commit suicide…they covered up given out false information and lied.
            arnold gundersen,michio kaku do not believe these guys are doing anything positive..but maybe it is my fault.
            i cannot help sending negative energy to the soon to be ex prime minister Naoto Kan.
            he has been sending me his filth for 5 weeks.


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          • FIX THE REACTORS!

            Tony & any others here–
            Why don’t you stop railing against the powers that be on here and start directing it toward the State of California, your local leaders, and the US Govt.?!! Rise up and do something constructive with all that enmity!!
            If you are freaking out on the West Coast, then start throwing it down on your elected officials. You pay a lot of taxes, don’t you?!
            I don’t mean send a polite letter. I mean CALL THEM, GO to their offices, ORGANIZE protests!! If freaking California can’t get off their tanned and toned butts in such a receptive political climate to object in real life to a proven threat, then maybe they deserve it??!! Get some courage, people!! Every citizen must take POSITIVE ACTION and keep positive.


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  • psky

    Wind is calm today. Chemtrail spraying going on in the SF bay area.


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  • Anyone have any idea what the plan is if any to resolve this in 9 months?

    Deetu what do you see happening?

    What are the realistic, worst and best case scenarios, really?

    Any insights?


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    • dan

      If you want to get a better understanding of what’s going on, watch the movie “The China Syndrome”. It explains a lot of what’s happening on both a technical and political level. Except the movie is on a _much_ smaller scale.

      Then watch some of Arnie Gunderson’s stuff at fairewinds.com, including this video about the effects of 3 Mile Island:
      http://fairewinds.com/content/seven-wing-presentation-tmi-health-effects
      Then realize that the effects discussed were the ones detected pretty early after the 3 Mile Island accident. But longer term cancer rates, etc. weren’t included.

      Then you can assume the worst case, meaning they can’t do a damn thing to stop what’s happening, and the nuclear fuel continues melting it’s way down to the water table. Which isn’t very far, considering it’s right next to the ocean. And once it hits the water table, who knows how bad it could get? Google on what the Russian’s were worried about if Chernobyl’s fuel hit the water table. Then take into account that Japan is a relatively small island, as opposed to being in the middle of a large continent. Which may come as a relief, unless you happen to be Japanese or a fish. Or something higher up the food chain, that will eventually eat the fish. Then add in the fact that the amount of fuel at Fukushima is probably 24 times the amount at Chernobyl. If a similar percentage ends up in the atmosphere, you can probably assume that the effects will be about 24 times that of Chernobyl. Unless we reach some sort of tipping point, and too many things can’t recover in a reasonable time? Or ever? Some things I’ve read say that if nuclear fuel melts down to the water table, then there will be steam explosions. If that happens close enough to the surface, I imagine it could send vaporized fuel particles up into the atmosphere. If it gets high enough, it’ll end up in the jet stream, and come down when it rains.

      Anyway, that’s what I’m seeing as a _worst_ case. But there are still lots of things we don’t understand about nuclear meltdowns. And some of those things may actually help mitigate the problems. I’m not a religious person, but I do believe that prayer actually works. And thinking–and more importantly _feeling_–positive can somehow help bring about a more positive outcome. So my advice would be prepare for the worst. Find the safest place you can. Think positive. And pray.


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  • Thank you for your thoughts Dan.

    I’ve seen the film the Battle for Chernobyl, read the research on the Chernobyl effects long-term, and watch Arnie compulsively.

    I’m currently reading about the “downwinders” of US nuclear testing here in the southwest. What a terrible history that is and the US government lied about every aspect, including the science, throughout.

    I’m confident that the Japanese people are in terrible jeopardy and I feel sorrow for their plight. Cryoptome has new photos of the abandoned villages and the set includes a pic of a library shelves, collapsed, spilling over with small children’s books.
    http://cryptome.org/

    What I don’t really understand are the likely downwind risks for us on the US and Canadian west coast from steam explosions or from the type of nuclear event that Arnie and Busby describe as happening in unit#3.

    I get that every increased exposure means increased risk of cancer. However, how much exposure are we really at risk from?

    Also, how much radiation contamination will accumulate in food and water suplies over 9 months of continuous low-level releases?

    Does that scenario in any way equate with the above-air testing effects and accumulation in the 40s and 50s?

    Caldicott’s lecture discusses the amount of fuel. How much of that could get airborne I wonder?

    One thing I’ve learned already from the books Fallout and Under the Cloud is that a rainout is potentially deadly.

    so many questions and uncertainty….


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    • dan

      As far as accurately quantifying the risks, there are so many variables, and only so much history to go on.

      For the downwind effects, I try to imagine what will happen as the fuel melts down. And the different ways it can get into the atmosphere. Then compare it to previous accidents. How high up did the Chernobyl radiation go? How much was spread by the jet stream? If we can get a reasonable idea how that affected North America, we might be able to roughly determine what we can expect from Fukushima.

      Radiation in the ocean is a different thing altogether. Fish swim, and breath the stuff. Bigger fish eat the little fish. Some of the radiation stays with the bigger fish. Some hopefully goes back out the other end:) Then fish swim. Some get eaten by birds. Rain falls in Japan. Earthworms get contaminated. Birds eat the earthworms. Birds migrate. Etc. Who knows where the stuff will go, and how long it will take to get there?

      Then there’s the radioactive debris that’s floating around. Hopefully there’s not too much of it. But supposedly it’s going to make its way to the west coast. One hugely contaminated piece of debris could cause very serious problems. Then again, maybe nothing significant will get here.

      So getting an accurate forecast of the risks is going to be extremely complicated. And if weather forecasts are any indication, we’ll probably see a lot of predictions that sound very reasonable, but end up being completely wrong. I think the potential risks are very high, given the known amount of fuel, and the apparent lack of ability to contain it. But it’s mind boggling trying to figure out what’s actually going to happen, with any reasonable degree of certainty.


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      • Regarding weather, how will the upcoming hurricane season affect the radiation fallout? From what I can see, the maps follow the jet stream and wind forecasts. Watching the Atlantic basin for years, I see that the winds tend to move storms along the Atlantic, over Nova Scotia, then the head out towards Greenland and Iceland before dissipating. How will this affect Scandinavia and Northern Russia? Will the storms contain it to the Northern Hemisphere, or will the monsoon season move the radiation from Fukushima to the southwest?


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