Record level of Cobalt-60 detected in groundwater at Fukushima — Hundreds of times above any measurement ever published for underground water (MAP)

Published: February 19th, 2014 at 3:50 pm ET


Monitoring at the East Side of Unit 1-4 Turbine Buildings, Feb. 18, 2014:

  • Feb. 13, 2014:  Co-60 @ 770 Bq/L
  • Feb. 17, 2014:  Co-60 @ 750 Bq/L

See also: [intlink id=”nhk-record-cesium-level-in-groundwater-at-fukushima-30000-times-higher-than-nearby-well-sampled-last-week-50-meters-from-ocean-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

And: [intlink id=”radioactive-cesium-spikes-over-past-24-hours-to-new-record-high-officials-admit-there-may-be-a-new-leak-iaea-urging-for-resumption-of-dumping-contaminated-water-into-ocean-all-options” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: February 19th, 2014 at 3:50 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Update from NHK: “Record cesium level” in groundwater at Fukushima — 30,000 times higher than nearby well sampled last week — 50 meters from ocean (VIDEO) February 13, 2014
  2. Asahi: ‘Unusually high’ radioactivity detected in Fukushima groundwater by ocean outside Reactors 1 & 2 — High-level strontium contamination ‘spreading’ underground September 27, 2013
  3. Japan Times: Fukushima plant plagued by problems as radioactive material bleeds into Pacific — Radiation level in groundwater now 25,000 times higher than when year began September 20, 2014
  4. Underground water skyrockets from ‘not detected’ to 1.7 Million Bq/liter of strontium-90 and other beta radionuclides — Antimony-125 now showing up — Tepco changes measurements from ‘under analysis’ to ‘out of range’ February 2, 2014
  5. Plutonium detected underground near Fukushima reactor — Test results not revealed publicly for almost a year after sampling date — Officials plan to pump up groundwater from same well it was found in and dump it into Pacific Ocean (PHOTO) August 13, 2014

68 comments to Record level of Cobalt-60 detected in groundwater at Fukushima — Hundreds of times above any measurement ever published for underground water (MAP)

  • What's Cobalt-60 good for again?

    • OldFool

      Cobalt 60 is 1000 times more radioactive than pure radium if memory is correct, where pure radium itself is extremely dangerous if unshielded. This creation of radioactive cobalt would therefore be somewhat bad news for anything or any person who gets a nice dose, since they probably would not live too long afterwards.

      • OldFool

        Since it would ultimately result in beta particles and high energy gamma rays, this would be just about the worst thing in the world to eat or drink. Several idiots have illegally opened up small Co-60 emitters intended for commercial use and died soon afterwards just from the gamma rays from external exposures.

  • FallOut FallOut

    Metals activated by neutrons must also be addressed. Aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, Inconel, and Zircaloy are the most common. The later three will all contain significant amounts of Co-60 if they have had any appreciable irradiation history. From this easily measurable activity, and the approximate decay time since irradiation, the activities of passively immeasurable isotopes Fe-55, Ni-59 and Ni-63 can be calculated. Activated carbon steel probably cannot be detected passively and some limited sampling and laboratory analysis might be necessary to characterize Fe-55 and possibly C-14. A small amount of Fe-55 is also possible in irradiated aluminum.

    • ocifferdave

      So, wait.

      Even metal can get 'cancer' from heavy radiation?

      Holy Shatner.

    • Charles Charles

      Yes there are all sorts of nasty things that can come from fission

    • Charles Charles

      I once worked at an experimental reactor for Union Carbide. (The people that brought us Bhopal) We tried creating all kinds of weird stuff using fission. One of them being fission product molybdenum. That reactor was decommissioned many years ago.

      • FallOut FallOut

        What's your read on the levels of everything the last two weeks cesium, cobalt, strontium-90. Everything hit another gear …

    • JimLynch JimLynch

      TYVM for the link and info

  • JMR

    New record levels are being set every day.

  • weeman

    Question please, has the CO 60 always been present in ground water, since accident or are they now just reporting or has it took this time to migrate to present location.
    Funny that they first reported CO 60 in removal of spent fuel from unit four, did they have a incident in pool, something is not right, why now, what is different.
    CO60 is that in any metal in a nuclear device, seems to me more to Fukushima than just electricity.

  • razzz razzz

    You can irradiate anything and it will become unstable or react.

    Here you can start with waves from radioactive sources and see what they can do and what they are used for. Notice how the food industries try to avoid any mention of radiation by using certain other catch phrases: "cold pasteurization" or "electronic pasteurization"

    'Food Irradiation'

    From there, intense radiation where neutrons and protons are emitted from a radioactive source, are not waves but particles or rays at the atomic size level, traveling onto or through matter. These radioactive particles or rays can energize stable matter, making it unstable, aka radioactive.

    Why Are Some Atoms Radioactive?


    • razzz razzz


      'Activation by neutron capture'

      "Activation (or radioactivation) involves making a radioactive isotope by neutron capture, e.g. the addition of a neutron to a nuclide resulting in an increase in isotope number by 1 while retaining the same atomic number. Activation is often an inadvertent process occurring inside or near a nuclear reactor, where there are many neutrons flying around. For example, Cobalt-59 has a large neutron capture cross-section, making it likely that Co-59 in or near a nuclear reactor will capture a neutron forming the radioactive isotope Co-60. To avoid this inadvertent activation, the use of cobalt in or near reactors is minimized to the extent it is practical. Light water coolant in nuclear reactors inevitably contain traces of impurities which inadvertently become neutron-activated making the primary water coolant radioactive. In boiling water reactors (BWR), the radioactive water/steam contaminates the inside of the steam turbine with radioactivity. Maintenance in a BWR steam turbine requires radiological controls to avoid contamination of the maintenance personnel."

      I cross fine and thick lines and gray areas when oversimplifying radiation but you will get the idea…it all bad news.

    • American Phoenix57

      In simple terms, microwave ovens change the molecular structure of food with radiation. If manufacturers would have more accurately called them “radiation chambers” it’s doubtful they would have ever sold one, but that’s exactly what a microwave oven is. When food is irradiated the radiation breaks up the molecular structure of the food and creates a whole new set of chemicals known as “unique radiolytic products” (URPs). These URPs include benzene, formaldehyde and a host of known mutagens and carcinogens. Irradiation kills vitamins, friendly bacteria and enzymes in food, and effectively renders the food “dead” and therefore useless to your body.

      • American Phoenix57

        Research demonstrates that it is of particular importance in selecting a herbal product is that it be certified organic to ensure it has NOT been gamma irradiated with radioactive cobalt-60 in the USDA-approved process known as "cold pasteurization." Conventional spices and herbs are commonly exposed to as high as 30 Kilograys of gamma radiation, or the equivalent of 990 million chest x-rays worth of radiation. The irradiation of non organic herbs produces toxic formic acid, poisonous formaldehyde and unique radiolytic byproducts with carcinogenic properties.

        • john dpugh

          American Phoenix57 Could you provide some links on microwaves creating URP s please ? Thanks

          • razzz razzz

            The distinction has to be made between types of radiation. Some are more energetic that other. All dangerous to certain extents or in their own rights. Microwave ovens excite matter enough to make it heat up and dangerous if the oven seal is not functional (blocking the waves). On the other hand, you don't want to stand in front of a microwave dish ex. a cell phone tower, workers need to wear special suits to work on them. But they say cell phone reception won't hurt you. Go figure.

            I copied and pasted an entire sentence into Google search for you, to find links for some answers to the questions raised. Give the page time to load the question and wait for the results…

      • mairs mairs

        Telecommunications satellites, well… all satellites communicate in the microwave spectrum of radio waves. So do cell phones, bluetooth, remote news feeds, the military, all radar uses microwave radiation. radio astronomy, GPS, amateur radio, etc.

        Microwaves do not contain sufficient energy to chemically change substances by ionization, and so are an example of non-ionizing radiation. The word "radiation" refers to energy radiating from a source and not to radioactivity.

        • We Not They Finally

          Everyone, please see BARRIE TROWER, an elderly British scientist who has studied harmful EM sources for decades, and says that microwaves, wi-fi, cell phones, tons of things we now take for granted, are deadly harmful. He has great youtubes out there. He's the best we've heard on the subject ever.

          • We Not They Finally

            There is apparently a HUGE amount of damage that can be done with EM-based products. It doesn't have to be ionizing radiation. I don't understand all the science, but please listen to BARRIE TROWER. Like there are cancer clusters around cell towers. We're surrounded by unsafe emitters.

      • john dpugh

        Americanphoenix Are you sure about the microwave owens and how they work ? Do you have any references to what you are saying ? Cause the way i learned it was that the microwaves would work only by mobilising water molecules in the food . Basically switching them from one pole to another so by making them move they would create heat . Never heard of radiation in a microwave owen . Could you give us some links about how radiolytic products are created in a microwave ? Thanks

        • American Phoenix57

          The microwave oven vibrates the water molecules in whatever you are heating back and forth until the friction generates heat. The back and forth polarity switching effect is done thousands or millions of times per second and shreds and distorts the nutrients (vitamins, enzymes, probiotica) until they are unrecognizable or become toxic to your digestive systems. It make look like the pizza slice you put in but what comes out is not user friendly. Catch up on why the Russians banned them for years until corporations jammed them down their throats.

          Here are some YT videos to catch you up.

          Radiation from Microwave Oven (Electromagnetic Radiation)
          The Dangers of Using Microwaves
          Microwave Cooking is Killing You
          The Dangers of Using Microwaves
          Microwave Ovens – The Hidden Hazards

          Search for some great new YT videos that are now coming online. The cats out of the bag on this one.

          Switch to a convection or turbo oven and non-toxic ceramic coated cookware or quality stainless products as soon as you can.

          I bought mine from 7 years ago and still going strong.

        • HanfordOnHeart HanfordOnHeart

          AmericanPhoenix is right – microwave radiation does create "unique radiolytic products." I first learned this from the book "The Zapping of America" by Paul Brodeur.

          These aren't the most scientific links, but here are a couple to get you started:

          The first addresses various types of irradiation, while the second is microwave-specific.

          For in-depth information (with scientific back-up), I recommend Brodeur's book.

    • Charles Charles

      Wasn't there an idea put forth at one time to irradiate our food supply in order to kill germs?

      • john dpugh

        charles Its not just an idea as far as i know . I think radiation is being used to kill germs in many products .

        • We Not They Finally

          Using radiation as a preservative or to allegedly kill germs? I mean, what does it matter? Do you want to eat irradiated food just because some profit-making crap of a company doesn't care about poisoning you? I think people would say NO. But they do it without even LABELING it.

          I'd like to go kill the "germs" of their poisonous mentality which they think entitles them to POISON people.

          • john dpugh

            So basically they are allowed to sell us radiated food and we are not even allowed to know about it . Great .

      • We Not They Finally

        I think it's not only done, but many laws BLOCK labeling those products so people can know what they are eating. Obviously no one would want to buy a food product marked "radiated." But it is.

      • bo bo

        Food irradiation has already been going on in America for forty years.
        Apparently are 50 licensed facilities gracing our food with radiation.

        There have been many accidents, and also, apparently every year, some radioactive material goes missing unaccounted for.

        • bo bo

          Since radiation will zap everything in the end, meat processing plants don't have to be clean when they slaughter animals. This way, you can pressure workers at the slaughterhouse to butcher animals at mad, superhuman speed. This has caused more physical accidents to workers who work on the physical slaughter, aside from actual radiation leaks.

  • SadieDog

    Obama and Abe to attend Nuclear Summit in March.

    • We Not They Finally

      I guess I should look it up. After I go vomit, that is.

      • We Not They Finally

        Just looked it up. Completely infuriating. THEY'RE concerned about "nuclear terrorism"? They ARE the terrorists. They secretly terrorize us with invisible deadly death particles every day of the week.

        Also furious at Ernest Moniz' (DOE secretary) visit to Japan. That he came away with what do we do to protect NPP's against terrorists? You just DISMANTLE them, you craphead!

        These people all being psychiatrically ill and projecting their psychopathology onto everyone else, is really no excuse.

        Noticed though, that this upcoming "summit" is being held at The Hague. I've got a better use for The Hague, so long as "the gang" will be in attendance anyway. Calling for mass arrests.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    This should be interesting..

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Interesting, yes. Probably like a Doublemint Gum ad. Both actors look at the camera and simultaneously shout, "No immediate Danger!" with a shit eating grin and twin pairs of crossed fingers.

  • dosdos dosdos

    Cobalt 60 is widely used in medical imaging and radiology (burning away cancer with a focused beam). It is extremely toxic if ingested.

  • Speedy

    Cobalt 60…That's the stuff those crazy Mexicans stole, they opned up the shipping container and got a dose….

  • Capt. Nemo Capt. Nemo

    If Pollution From China Affects the West Coast, How Come Pollution From Fukushima Doesn't?

    – See more at:

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Radiation on the winds from Japan must take a special bus approved by charter of the U.N. through a special no immediate danger treaty sanctioned and approved by the IAEA.

    • Vince Vince Ivey

      Fukushima? You mean that meltdown that happened 3 years ago?

      They went to cold shutdown and everything is fiiiiiine.

      Japan is a model economy,

      their prime minister is NOT a member of a suicidal death cult.

      They didn't make it illegal to report about Fukushima.

      Fukushima is fiiiiiiine.

  • Ontological Ontological

    All these Cobalt facts are fabulous but how the hell did flash radiated Co60 steel get in the water? Is it being etched by Cesium chloride, and is in the water unchanged? Is a neutron event from corium on Co59 making rust in the water become Co60? Confused I am. Cobalt as in super alloys do not rust and retain their physical and chemical properties at high temperatures.

  • Shaker1

    Ontological, just a comment, but with the temperatures experienced, the alloys as we know them might not be something that can be particularly imagined. Is what is precipitated out of this metallic chemical stew in the groundwater from this subject to knowledge from experience?

    What truly wants to make me puke is that seems those with some knowledge who might claim it's all OK have exhibited their reluctance to use that knowledge to bring some urgency into the situation at the beginning, say on the order of that German study that concluded there would be a definite strontium uptick at approximately 1000 days. It's bad enough that the manipulated testing has seemed to support the German study, but how many others have imagined the progression of this situation and stood silent or been denied to publish their conjecture? We seem to be tasting the psychological stew as well as the radioactive stew here. Neither is palatable; the combination is even worse.

    • weeman

      Did the German study predict the CO60 spike we see, I don't know?or is it not predicted.
      I am going to guess that CO60 is a very heavy element and hence it took this time to percolate through soil?
      What the next isotope, anyone want to predict.

      • Ontological Ontological

        I agree it took time to percolate apparently. Co60 dust…shudder. Now I have to wonder exactly what it was that trashed my skull bone so fast? That explosion at R3 was the dirtiest nuke of all dirty nuking's. Why I call it FUKU dust I guess. Even avoidance tactics are soon going to be more & more futile.

  • RonM RonM

    Through reading other posts I have a theory that the shavings are beginning to accumulate from the steel racks and rod assemblies as they are pulled out, they were most probably irradiated when fission occurred in the initial days of the disaster when the pool lost most if not all of it's water, then as Arnie Gunderson said the racks were distorted and pulling out the assemblies would be like pulling out cigarettes from a crushed pack. Well I think they have finally removed most if not all of the "low hanging fruit" which are the undamaged rod assemblies and are now beginning to get to the damaged assemblies but the first ones that they remove that are damage don't appear that damaged only after withdrawing that long length assembly the long distance through the rack are they discovering that they are slightly warped and scraping the sides on the way out hence the "shavings" and the higher cobalt 60 readings.

    Just a theory from an amateur armchair physicist jack of all trades. Please anybody respond if this might be a likely possibility, I did notice this weeks removed assemblies haven't been updated so maybe there are complications beginning to be encountered.

    • RonM RonM

      Oops I meant to comment about the higher Cobalt 60 readings in the #4 reactor fuel rod pool, not the increasing Cobalt 60 groundwater readings, what a real mess Fukushima is with all the different radioactive elements in the air, ground, water, tanks , buildings , food chain, what a nightmare, and to think there isn't an urgent international meeting to declare a global moratorium and international clean-up effort on nuclear power plants and nuclear waste!

      How sad.

    • Homo Insapiens Homo Insapiens


      You write "I did notice this weeks removed assemblies haven't been updated so maybe there are complications beginning to be encountered."

      I initially thought so too, but no longer.

      I've found the status at two different links, but they are not both being updated. See the second link for current info. Perhaps you are looking at the first link (which I was doing, until recently.) (stale) (current)

  • Ontological Ontological

    Cobalt 60 grenade was my conclusion of the worst case scenario with the Mark One. Co60 dust washing into the ground is perhaps what has happened…Yikes!
    ELEmental mud, I133, Xe133, Ce137, Strontium90, U239, Pu239, Co60, etc. etc. All mixed in Tritium water. The horrible oxidation from all this will lead to acid rain like what the planet Venus has plenty of. Radioactive Sulfur 35 sulfuric acid, with Ce137 chloride Pu & U oxidations as extreme corrosives in the rain. I wonder if glass will even be resistant to this new ether of death we have created.

    • American Phoenix57

      Pile that on top of Bill Gates latest project.

      ". . .To carry out this agenda, Bill Gates (a major funding-source for geoengineering efforts) even commissioned an aerospace company called Aurora Flight Sciences to design a custom drone aircraft designed to disperse one million tons of sulfuric acid droplets per year (for twenty years) into the atmosphere for solar radiation management/geoengineering purposes (the study can be downloaded here). (Gates has investments in “stress-tolerant” seed companies that could gain in value due to the controlled introduction of these climate and soil/precipitation stressors. Conveniently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also helps manage and operate the “Svalbard Global Seed Vault” in Norway (colloquially referred to as the Doomsday Seed Vault). The “seed vault is an attempt to insure against the loss of seeds in other genebanks in case of large-scale regional or global crises.” Will a Bill Gates managed enterprise control what remains of the world’s non-patented seeds, as his sulfuric acid drones circle the earth destroying native agriculture in favor of stress-tolerant plants?)

      A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.

      Wake the flock up!

    • Daisy207

      Ontological – I fear you are correct. I am as far from the west coast as I can get. Snow here shows elevated levels of radiation – not high, but above background. I will test the pH tomorrow if I can find my kit – moved recently and everything is in boxes. Also will check DO (dissolved oxygen) – which should be around 10-11 in snow and rain – less than 5 in sub-surface water. A combination of reduction of oxygen producing phytoplanktyn in the ocean and oxygen grabbing radionucleides, spells a real problem. Its a horrible situation and our government is more interested in maintaining the system than getting their job done. Wait, do they even have a job? I'll post again when I have data.

  • babbo dorian babbo dorian

    How is cobalt 60 created in a crippled atomic power plant?
    Please somebody help me with the answer…..
    Txs in advance,

    • Ontological Ontological

      @ babbo dorian, Cobalt 60 is irradiated stable Cobalt 59 which is good clean 'stainless' steel. It will as mass 60 radiate for about 6 years, then cool slowly back to C059 again. Basically any cobalt 60 is from shards of irradiated steel used for encasement units etc. The large amount from R3 was due to so much shattering/dustificated steel around that was flash radiated by the detonation, including the reactor vessel itself. Hope it helps, confusing at best this stuff can be. I have many questions also. The only bad question is the one not asked however. Thanks for askin'

  • razzz razzz

    For the remedial class…
    "…Activation is often an inadvertent process occurring inside or near a nuclear reactor, where there are many neutrons flying around. For example, Cobalt-59 has a large neutron capture cross-section, making it likely that Co-59 in or near a nuclear reactor will capture a neutron forming the radioactive isotope Co-60. To avoid this inadvertent activation, the use of cobalt in or near reactors is minimized to the extent it is practical…"

    Forget the technicalities. The reactor shell is composed of high grade iron with added cobalt-59, the primary containment shell is composed of high grade iron with added cobalt-59, along with the suppression doughnut, the reinforcing bar imbedded in the concrete the I beams, in the ground naturally, it's everywhere. Apparently a magnet for neutrons so it morphs into Cobalt-60 (goes from stable Cobalt to being radioactive Cobalt) by capturing neutrons given enough time and flying neutrons available.

  • razzz razzz

    This is what happens in a meltdown, here with (3) of them. PHDs eyes glaze over, governments stop monitoring fallout, people and animals become mysteriously ill, the nuclear industry downplays it to the point of ignoring it.

    Go to any physics website and inquire about how to handle a meltdown and out without containment. The correct answer is, there is nothing you can do about it because the radiation is to intense to get anywhere near it and survive to live a useful life.

  • Nothing ever measured this high before. Classic nuke industry information dispersal tool. Tell you the bad news after the fact. Maybe when your kids are born with two heads they might start offering some real info. Peace, y'all. You need one of these to know the truth. An if you have to ask you can't afford it type of radiation detector which can actually detect radiation in water.

  • tpak tpak


    $6.5 BILLION for new NPP here in the US just announced by energy secretary…May our children forgive us

    Anyone here in DC want to go mount a protest outside the White House DOE or NRC in Rockville??

    We gotta do something. I can't just sit here and read this sh–. This is HORRIFIC!!!!

  • tpak tpak

    BLACK….for the grim reaper

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    Question ENEers: Is Cobalt-60 Magnetic?

  • Radioactive Cobalt 60 Properties, Dangers, Half Life, Weapons Application, Radiological Accidents Listed, Negative Health Effects, Food Irradiation, Radiation Poisoning Cases