Study: Huge spike in cesium outside Fukushima long after 3/11 — “Incorporation into sediments was almost irreversible”

Published: June 10th, 2013 at 5:01 pm ET


Title: Sedimentation and remobilization of radiocesium in the coastal area of Ibaraki, 70 km south of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant
Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Author:  Shigeyoshi Otosaka, Takuya Kobayashi
Date: July 2013, Volume 185, Issue 7, pp 5419-5433

Sedimentation and remobilization processes of radiocesium were investigated from time-series observations at nine stations in the coastal area of Ibaraki, 70–110 km south of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (1FNPP). Sediment samples were collected four times between June 2011 and January 2012, and concentrations of radiocesium as well as sediment properties such as grain size and elemental compositions were analyzed. […] The incorporation of radiocesium into sediments was almost irreversible […]

Full study here

Published: June 10th, 2013 at 5:01 pm ET


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35 comments to Study: Huge spike in cesium outside Fukushima long after 3/11 — “Incorporation into sediments was almost irreversible”

  • Sickputer

    "Almost irreversible" is doublespeak for "toxic to carbon life forms for 1000 years".

    The coastline will be looking much better in 3013 assuming the Japanese can stop Daiichi fallout (air and water) in the next 100 years.

    • Jay

      They are working on the Space Elevator , first usage : dispose in space of all the garbage , in a very low orbit so it will burn , OR very high to escape Earth gravity …

  • norbu norbu

    Sickputer, Hi, do you think in 100 years Japanese workers will still be out there spraying water on this mess? I mean there grand children. scary

    • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

      If we are lucky enough to achieve a global (or at least cultural) mentality shift in the direction that is so much needed…then yes, 100 years from now some of our grandchildren (from all over the world) will be involved in positve maintenance and improvement tasks at Fukushima Daiichi (not to mention most other nuclear sites around the globe).

      If things continue in the direction they are obviously taking…then no, there will be no one there in 100 years, and I think it's obvious why.

      Boycott all nuclear technologies or practices that lead to the creation of nuclear waste products in ANY quantity (with intent to abolish asap). Do this first by changing your electricity provider to one that is non-nuclear, and further to a company that does not even own a single nuclear facility. Do this while working toward energy self-sufficiency and soon enough your hands will be clean.

      BTW, the absract of this article is very interesting (thank you ENE). It brings to light the physical existence of "high-turbidity" layers within all ecosystems (not to mention space itself). The article focuses on the oceanic–or liquid–environment and how there are naturally-occuring layers in this medium where particulate matter of certain size/shape/density revolotizes and reconcentrates.

      This is a magnificent natural process that is at least influential in giving rise to unique forms of life, but when man-made nuclear waste products are involved in the mix…the candle flickers…

  • weeman

    Here's what you do you invent the space vacuum, a hose from space to earth the vacuum of space will suck all the sediment and dispose off out in space, in other words learn to live with it, if possible nothing can be done.

    • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

      haha, space vacuum is an interesting idea. Unfortunately, when I imagine it, I see it getting turned on, and the suction is so great that the entire earth almost instantly gets sucked through the giant straw only to come out the other side as a blue/green, chunky mush.

      That would be, "sucky".

      Are we just in God's vaccum bag? Amongst his dust bunnies and dog hair? I guess I could live with that. At least I can help keep it clean of man-made radionuclides since I'm here anyway.

      Love your posts weeman, sickputer, norbu, bones, irhologram and so many more. Miss you Orwell, hope you've got your lyrical library licked and slicked. Your lyrics are strong enough to effect massive positive change. If you put a collection together, I'd gladly support you with a purchase.

      Ramiswami Kumar, any two cents lately? What about your blog, I've read everything and am ready for more.

      Thanks to all 'newsers.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    It's wrong for anyone to work there, ever. A few men made the huge mistake developing nuclear fission, and now the world is paying for it.

  • The data is over a year old.

    "June 2011 — January 2012"

    + ADD 16 months of accumulation.

    What I would like to see is the estimate of accumulation over the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "These results indicate that radiocesium-enriched fine particles were transported from the coast to offshore regions through the bottom high-turbidity layer."

    The high turbidity layer..neato..(sarc)

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Turbidity, from Wikipedia:

      "Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles (suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

      Fluids can contain suspended solid matter consisting of particles of many different sizes. While some suspended material will be large enough and heavy enough to settle rapidly to the bottom of the container if a liquid sample is left to stand (the settable solids), very small particles will settle only very slowly or not at all if the sample is regularly agitated or the particles are colloidal. These small solid particles cause the liquid to appear turbid.

      Turbidity (or haze) is also applied to transparent solids such as glass or plastic. In plastic production haze is defined as the percentage of light that is deflected more than 2.5° from the incoming light direction.[1]"

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    "And daily you saw it come and you gave warning, but couldn't run and so you watched until it was broken and knew that foresight delays no motion. I know it's awful, I know it's bruising, I know you can't see past the conclusion, but still the world turns on it's axis and we make circles so we can match it." (Emmy the Great)

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    TEPCO is not going to build a sarcophagus and plans to start removing corium in 2022 to 2026.I'm at a loss for words.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    According to Wikepedia the IAEA requires nuke plants to build a sarcophagus after decommissioning or so I thought, does anyone know why TEPCO is allowed to, NOT, build a sarcophagus and just continue to contaminate the air, land and sea? Thanks in advance.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      It is because Fukushima is built on porous sedimentary rock and landfill.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Why Underground Entombment At
        Fukushima Daiichi Won't Succeed
        By Yoichi Shimatsu
        Exclusive to
        Copyright 2011 – All Rights Reserved

        • We Not They Finally

          Part of many ways they built something that they could not fix in the event of disaster. The most dangerous industry on Earth, yet no one plans for a thing. Thousands of years of poisonous waste. Nuclear plants on earthquake faults. No evacuation plans for New York if the aging Indian Point plant goes down. And at Hanford, they gave massive contracts to Bechtel before viable designs were even done. The history of reckless stewardship of Earth will make for ugly reading should anyone be able to survive it and look back.

        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          Thanks Anne interesting article. I think some of us have witnessed the mini-fission events referred as I recall seeing nasty black some spewing from cracks between the reactor buildings many moons ago. I have not been watching the live cam recently thus I don't know if this is continuing or not. I digress thanks again.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        The Disastrous Status
        Of Fukushima Daiich

        From Richard Wilcox, PhD
        By PhilipUpNorth

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      There is a decommissioned nuclear plant near me. Fort St Vrain NPP. It wasn't in operation very long. The live fuel is still there and is air cooled. There is no sarcophagus.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    and the disaster which was never going to be
    rained invisible toxin on land and sea
    awash in the currents that once carried the living prana
    in air and water to every bounding animal and sky reaching tree

    With no intent or purpose, the heavy poison fell
    deep in shifting earth to rise again in flowers bell and water well
    In every yearning breath and thankful morsel tainted with death
    the poison drifted to roots of life, every nucleus of living cell

    Now in thyroid or kidney gland
    in the heart of every animal kingdom of sea and land
    the toxin worked its way of well worded decay
    exhausting furry flippered friend and elder trembling hand

    A foe even the mighty lion could not fight
    an unseen harpoon to spear the majestic whales might
    the unknown killer giving no fear to self blinded man
    or unsuspecting animal, or bird that falls from the sky in flight

    a cry of pain from mothers heart hoping in vain
    a descending sadness, a fearful omen, an unstoppable train
    bringing misery without redemption, an empty promise
    from the scheming of mans mind gone insane

    The Indian prayer has ended, his spirit is broken
    all men were "white man" acquiring non-ownables with empty token
    man feared and fearful, far worse than snake or scorpion
    speaking without wisdom, leaving only tears and destruction after all was spoken

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Radiation leaking into and onto the island daily. And to the Northern Hemisphere, for generations to come.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "TEPCO plans to freeze the land side of the reactor blocks first, pump out the tunnels, fill the tunnels with cement and then finish freezing the sea side of the reactor blocks. TEPCO and the government consider the tunnel water to be a big enough problem they have put resources into dealing with it."
    There is some big news going on here. TEPCO had planned to remove the reactors and buildings as a part of the plant decommissioning. They were going to go right down to bedrock and tear everything out. But now, TEPCO has pivoted. They will fill various parts of the plant with grout, and leave it right where it is.
    Previously, TEPCO had announced that they will fill the TORUS and TORUS Basement with grout at Unit1. Now, they say that the tunnels connecting Reactors1,2,&3 will be filled with grout, after the water is pumped out, meaning that the tunnels will stay in place forever.
    More and more, TEPCO is moving towards filling the buildings with cement and leaving it in place. This goes double for Reactors and Containments1,2,&3. They already know workers can't go in, and robots cannot function in the intense radiation there. So, my guess is that they will simply fill everything with grout and walk away.

    • Sickputer

      I think that's a likely scenario and one likely to be emulated with some variations at Hanford Site eventually (when they find out Bechtel's glass plant is too little too late).

      We suspect the three huge 100 ton chunks of runaway coriums are either under the ocean floor now or went straight down into the mudstone layers a 1,000 yards deep or more.

      Sealing off their top vent routes won't cool them down so it will be a dicey decision for the first few months after they fill in the reactor buildings which is going to require a lot of grout, borax, and cement. The pressure buildup potential is something they must acknowledge as a risk. In any event…future explosions or not…the emissions will find an exit area somewhere. They have no idea what surprises remain to be revealed.

      So the likely scenario will be a continuous release of dangerous radiation forever into the ocean and atmosphere. Unlucky for mankind, courtesy of "electricity too cheap to meter".

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      The Unit4 Crane Support Structure is now complete. See new photos of Crane Support Structure here:
      TEPCO will remove any intact fuel assemblies that remain in SFP4. Many fuel assemblies in SFP1,2,3,&4 are so damaged that they cannot be handled. Others will fall apart during removal, spilling their fuel pellets onto the SFP floor. TEPCO will clean up the mess left in the SFPs as best they can. My guess is that when they are finished, TEPCO is going to fill each SFP with grout, and leave it in place. And, of course, it will be necessary to fill the floors below the spent fuel pools with concrete, in order to support the concrete in the SFPs.
      In the end, Fukushima1,2,3,&4 will become a big pile of concrete, and the ruins will be abandoned in place forever.
      Why doesn't TEPCO simply abandon all pretense that the plants are being decommissioned. They could just set up a concrete plant at the site, and begin filling everything up with grout?
      But we know that the ground under the reactor buildings is full of faults, holes, corium lava tubes, and that Reactor Building4, for example, has been sinking unevenly. Grout-filled buildings would probably crumble and tilt as they sink. They would need to build a foundation to hold up the grout-filled buildings. How does TEPCO build any structure underground that would disturb fuel debris?

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "Roadmap to decommission Fukushima reactors". Just released!
    "The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company have decided to accelerate the removal of spent fuel rods from 2 of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    "Government and TEPCO officials on Monday jointly released a revised timetable aimed at eventually decommissioning all 4 reactors at the plant damaged by the 2011 March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

    "The revisions reflect instructions made by the industry minister to speed up the removal of damaged fuel rods.

    "Multiple plans have been drawn up which will allow the removal procedures at the separate reactors to begin on different dates.

    "The quickest plan calls for the process to begin in the first half of fiscal 2020 at the No.1 and No.2 reactors. That's 18 months earlier than previously planned.

    "But depending on the speed of the decontamination work at the reactors and the installment of needed equipment, more plans have been presented.

    "At the latest the removal work is to begin in the latter half of fiscal 2022 at the No.1 reactor, and the first half of fiscal 2024 at the No.2 reactor.

    "The plan for the No.3 reactor remains unchanged, with the work to begin during the latter half of fiscal 2021, at the earliest."

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "Roadmap to decommission Fukushima reactors" (Con'd)

    "But the decommissioning process remains marred with challenges, as 3 of 4 reactors suffered meltdowns.
    High radiation levels at the reactors have made technical advances necessary in order to decommission them, such as improving robots that can be operated remotely.

    "The government and TEPCO plan to officially approve the timetables before the end of the month, after hearing from local governments."

  • jackassrig

    The proposals by TEPCO to freeze the ground and dump grout is just another TEPCO pipe dream. The refrigeration to accomplish this would require another NPP. Installing the miles of pipe to circulate refrigerant would require years to install in this hot environment. Not to mention the soggy ground. Piling tons of grout on this gumbo will be impossible. TEPCO's boneheaded managers just can't be this dumb. TEPCO once again is smoking wacky backy. No the world is stuck and TEPCO knows it. God damn those NPP.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    The Revised Roadmap seems to focus mainly on the removel of fuel assemblies from SFP1,2,&3 by the dates indicated, unless I am mis-reading what they are saying. Dealing with the spent fuel is a fairly straight-forward procedure, involving building a Crane Support Structure at Units1&3, similar to the one at Unit4. We can assume that the Unit2 cranes still function, although they may need to be fitted with remote controls because of the high radiation levels inside the building. Let's see, they will begin fuel removal at SFP4 in 2013, to be completed in 2014, including removal of any spilled fuel pellets. Each building takes, say, a year to remove wreckage down to the equipment floor level. This is already in process at Unit3. Then it takes, say, one year to put in the Crane Support Structure. Finally, it takes a year to remove the spent fuel. Even if they want to wait to start removing spent fuel from Units1&3 until they have completed work at Unit4, in order to gain experience, I just don't see how it can take as long as projected to get this work done at Reactors1,2,&3. Any thoughts? apparently still seems to assume that the melted nuclear fuel remains inside Containments1,2,&3, or at least remains somewhere inside the building ruins. They seem to remain determined to build robots to remove the melted fuel. IMO, there will need to be some big changes to their plan once they fail to locate much of the 219 tons of corium inside Buildings1,2,&3.

  • AB AB

    Maybe this will be my only comment from now on>

    Why not build a massive sarcophagus around Japan instead?

    Baja Mexico waters will be the place with highest accumulation from 2016-2021. Imagine 2040-2051? Worse.

    I really think there is a sinister hand behind this, now more than ever. The sheer defiance of TEPCO and the JapGov on the matter is preposterous. What Japan has done is declare war on human life, animal life and plant life. Mineral life, well they don't complain that much when they die. So, I think it would be OK for them, right?

    Time to roll over and play dead. Seriously!

  • AB AB

    And who allows Japan to plan this out decades into the future? US-AID, the Yakuza, The Illuminati? Maybe there will be only skeletons left on the drawing tables in Japan if they keep thinking without their massively efficient banana for brains and not do something like ENTOMB the things… Whoops! Sorry! My bad. I forgot that the radiation already got out and will eventually get worse when the Godzilla Mutant Rats take out the pump cables again… Time for NUCLEAR MAN!

    I am so infuriated! I have two sons..

  • AB AB

    Does ENENews have an agreement with the NSA on all our comments?

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