Top 33 Headlines from the NRC’s Fukushima FOIA releases

Published: December 2nd, 2012 at 10:09 am ET


Thanks to all of you who have written in recently about covering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FOIA materials related to Fukushima. In case anyone missed it, at the start of 2012 we featured many original reports documenting revelations from the NRC’s documents and audio files. Please add your own links in the comment section.

United States Contamination:

Japan Contamination:

Nuclear Fuel Outside Reactor Buildings:

Fukushima Daiichi Reactors:

More (h/t Enformable):

See Enformable’s database of documents here

Published: December 2nd, 2012 at 10:09 am ET


Related Posts

  1. NRC FOIA: No one thought such massive & destructive hydrogen explosions could occur before Fukushima — So was it simply hydrogen then? January 17, 2012
  2. Interview: Fukushima Reactor No. 4’s problem is not only its nuclear fuel pool! — Pit filled with highly radioactive materials July 3, 2013
  3. Photo: Cracks found in spent fuel rods at Japan nuclear plant January 12, 2013
  4. Kyodo: Secret worst scenario was ‘reactor explosion’ at No. 1 and Spent Fuel Pool 4 drying up -Hosono January 6, 2012
  5. New footage from Fukushima Unit 3 shows “large amounts of debris and sediment accumulating on fuel racks” (VIDEOS) February 21, 2013

36 comments to Top 33 Headlines from the NRC’s Fukushima FOIA releases

  • Mack Mack

    Here's the one that woke many of us up to the coziness between the NRC and the nuclear industry + nuclear lobbyists:

    "April 1st, 2011 — Air sample and standing water sample results protected by NEI" (NEI = Nuclear Energy Institute)

    • Mack Mack

      Here's another good one:


      A notice is put out for staff to go to Fukushima.

      —> "Mike" responds:

      "I’m a PWR person, so this leaves me out"

      —> To which, SB responds:

      "That Is no excuse, Mike. 'W' and 'R' make up two-thirds of what they need… or may, be even more…"

      To which, "Mike" responds:

      "It is true the 'W' and 'R' are the same for both generic designs. However, there are 13 letters in the alphabet between 'B' and 'P', which leaves a lot of room for totally different acronyms."



    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Kind of strange considering the NRC didn't want the NEI to have NARAC numbers. NARAC is part of the National Nuclear Safety Administration – the guys that nun-proof nuclear installations. The Homeland Security borg has since assimilated NARAC (from what little I understand) into the DHS Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC).

      Taxpayer-funded IMAAC, part of Lawrence Livermore Nuke Lab, arguably has the most powerful and sophisticated atmospheric modeling capabilities on the planet. Great for us, right? Uh, no… taxpayers are not allowed to see the models or access the data. That privilege is reserved for your masters in 'the federal family' who will let you know if you have anything to be worried about.

      Since the federal family does no like it when the stupid, knuckle-dragging taxpayers worry, they will never tell them anything 'bad'. Problem solved.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Sorry… here's a link to the $2.2B taxpayer-funded IMAAC capabilities whose results are censored from said taxpayers or their I-131 absorbing children.

      It would be nice to see a 300-node computing cluster for fake EPA RADnet information, but taxpayer money will never be spent on that hand-cranker detection network. Well, maybe if the former Deputary Undersecretary of Defense's contracting company gets a huge piece of it. They already rake in $5M a year for maintenance (and occasionally flipping the big switch) so why bother?

      • Mack Mack

        Thanks paveway. You're like a 'walking' encyclopedia lol. Do you mind if I ask what your background is?

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Sure. My background was mostly Archie. I think Lycos came next, then Google. Nowadays, I just make random stuff up. It eventually links back to itself – who is gonna know?

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Here's one of my old posts from the FOIA disclosure era. The thread it's in is a classic, and makes Enenews regulars look like a pretty savvy bunch. Unfortunately, not much has changed – being right is just the first step.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      So almost two years later, we know:

      Right after the meltdowns, the DOE had dispersion models predicting dangerous cumulative Iodine doses to California children during the next year, but conspired to keep that medical information from the California Residents and the American public.

      The NRC thought that the DOE's multiple-Rem dose model for California children wasn't acceptable and had Sandia create a new model for them. This model used an assumption of a single spent-fuel inventory release and no core meltdowns. The NRC was aware that two and possibly three core meltdowns had occurred by then, a SPF explosion had scattered fuel pellets around the plant, and that they suspected a zircalloy fire in SPF3. The NRC intentionally kept this medical information from the public and sought to mimimize it with 'models'.

      At the time, the NRC supressed efforts by the DOE to send staff to Fukushima because then the NRC would have to provide 'wranglers' for them. The NRC power trumps the DOE any day and DOE chumps need NRC spies.

      At the same time, the NRC conspired to keep information from the President of the United States because of adverse impact on future NRC/industry schemes.

      In the end, no information was provided to California parents that March. In fact, the EPA intentionally took RADnet down so no peon citizens could even detect the Iodine plume over California.

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    April 10th, 2011 Human embryos in US likely bioaccumulating radioactive iodine, cesium, and strontium says physician who taught at Harvard Med School.

    Radiation from Japan is now detectable in the atmosphere, rain water and food chain in North America. Fukushima reactors are still out of control and hold 10 times more nuclear fuel than there was at Chernobyl, thousands of times more than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    Cesium levels spiked in child’s urine between May and July tests

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    October 7th, 2011 Tokyo: Cesium at triple gov’t limit in radioactive compost made by elementary school children

    The compost, made from fallen leaves at the school, had radioactive cesium of 1,488 becquerels per kilogram, higher than the 400 becquerels set by the government […]

    Five kindergartens and 20 elementary and junior high schools in the ward have been making compost

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    June, 20, 2011 Environment correspondent Sandi Keane provides detailed up-to-date analysis on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, including an exclusive interview with Dr Helen Caldicott. Experts raise the grim possibility of nuclear explosion at the disintegrating plant.

    The WSJ is high profile, just like Ichiro Osawa. Known as Japan’s “Shadow Shogun”, Osawa is no Chicken Little. He was a major reforming force in Japanese politics as president of Japan’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, from 2006 until May 2009. In an interview with Osawa on May 26, 2011, Osawa echoes Dr Caldicott’s fears that Japan may indeed become uninhabitable.

    Osawa slams the Kan administration for putting together a team made up exclusively of people who depend on nuclear power to make a living, referred to as “members of the nuclear mafia”.

    “Did you see all those scholars saying “the crisis is not so terrible,” “won’t harm the health at all” on TV? What they say is meaningless because they depend on nuclear power for their livelihood.”

    “..the government doesn’t tell the truth…”

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    Fukushima Radiation NOT SAFE! View the studies by clicking See more under the video

  • razzz razzz

    I am not seeing the difference between the Japanese government and the US government, it's save the nuclear industry and ignore our children's health.

    Death by nuclear fallout is preferable to panic and lawsuits.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Accurate observation – there *is* little difference. Take that a step further though and consider the equally small difference between Japanese citizens and U.S. citizens.

      You can expect both populations to do the same thing *after* an accident like Fukushima: Complain. Complain about all the inevitable consequences they ignored, allowed to happen or simply didn't care about BEFORE the accident.

      America's Fukushima will be sad, but Americans can't honestly claim surprise when their government and utilities act exactly like TEPCO.

      Yeah…I know: no nukes. You're watching your masters build a guillotine eventually meant for you, and you're trying to convince uninterested people to help tell your masters that it's wrong to kill people and they shouldn't build guillotines. "If we only get enough people to sign this petition…"

      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        The last comment wasn't directed at you, razzz. General frustration with the FOIA documents (again). I just need a good triple-tazing and riot-gassing after an hour of reading the play-by-play of how our NRC masters 'wrangled' us last March.

  • Jebus Jebus

    It's worse than any other nuclear accident in the brief history of nuclear power. 3 concurrent reactor meltdowns, 3 concurrent reactor explosions, 3 concurrent containment breaches, 3 concurrent massive releases of radionuclides into the environment. Plus, at least one, spent fuel pool fire, releasing tremendous amounts of radionuclides directly into the atmosphere.
    And all they did, was send in the clowns…

    'Melt-through' at Fukushima? / Govt report to IAEA suggests situation worse than meltdown

    Nuclear fuel has melted through base of Fukushima plant

    This is gonna be the longest thread on ENENews…

  • Jebus Jebus

    Remember the plan to check all cargo containers coming into the US?
    Where do a vast majority come from?
    Yep, our pacific trading "partners".
    They spent $1.2bn on it. What could possibly go wrong?

    Well, how do you find Waldo, in a sea of Waldo's?

    DHS scraps nukes-in-cargo-containers scan plan
    July 2011

    It's ok folks, we don't need no stinkin terrorists to nuke the US, they're amateurs, were doing just fine without them…

    The nuclear industry, is pickin up the slack…

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    “Other reactors are all in considerably severe condition” — 14 total

    Therefore, there may be many people with the impression that Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor 1 to 4 are in the most severe difficulties, but actually, other reactors are all in considerably severe condition with the external power, or emergency power devices.

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Oct 12 (Reuters) – Japan Atomic Power said on Wednesday that repairing its quake-hit Tokai Daini nuclear reactor will take until August next year, about nine
      months longer than originally planned, as the facility's turbines need extra work.

      In the table below, capacities are shown in megawatts. "P" represents a planned
      regular inspection shutdown and "U" an unplanned shutdown.

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    November 1st, 2011 U.S. topsoil with up to 8,000 pCi/kg of cesium from Fukushima — Over 10,000% higher than highest levels found by UC Berkeley

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      MH – Is there some purpose to reposting that claim? I doubt it was intended as such, but it is obviously inaccurate. 8000 pCi/kg is too high.

      • Jebus Jebus

        Did you read the article…

        quote from the article

        “Isolated US soil samples contained up to 8 nanoCuries per Kg of radiocesium, while control samples showed no detectable radiocesium.”

        The highest cesium levels of any topsoil measurements by UC Berkeley since the crisis began was 2.737 becquerels/kg in Sacramento. This is is equal to 73.9 picocuries/kg. (Conversion: 27 picocuries = 1 becquerel)

        According to Kaltofen, the highest cesium levels detected in U.S. “surface soil” were up to 8 nanoCuries per Kg of radiocesium. This is equal to 8,000 picocuries/kg. (Conversion: 1 nanocurie = 1,000 picocuries)

        Kaltofen’s highest findings were up to 108 times greater than the highest findings by UC Berkeley.

        Before Kaltofen’s finding, the highest cesium content in US topsoil post-Fukushima was 700 picocuries/kg near Reno at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains by a person affiliated with the University of Nevada. However, this was only preliminary and appears to not have been confirmed. See: 700 pCi/kg of Cesium-137 found in soil from base of Sierra Nevada mountains according to preliminary data


        Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Evidence? Er… well, yes. I'm not questioning some conclusion MaidenHeaven came to – I'm questioning the statement in the original ENENews article.

          I assumed someone would question and correct it, hence my confusion with MH's repost. Nobody has by the looks of it and I would imagine MH doesn't know either.

          Kaltofen's presentation as posted on Fairewinds:

          mentions 2.9 nCi/ft2 in surface sample hot spots in Japan (p17). There's reference to cesium detected in two isolated samples but no additional details (p19).

          I think you may misunderstand why this caught my attention. It is inappropriate to measure surface contamination in anything but square units. Kaltofen consistently uses the proper unit.

          The Dept. of Nuclear Engineering from the University of Berkley, on the other hand, is expected to minimize, obscure or confuse the average person as much as possible. They exist to train future engineers for DOE labs. They will never cough up anything negative about radiation levels. Expressing 'topsoil' measurements in Ci or Bq per kg conveniently hides any Fukushima fallout (maybe the top .5mm of soil) by mixing it with quantities of deeper, irrelevant soil. I can't imagine they would report 8 nCi/kg for any U.S. soil even if they had a gun to their head.

  • Jebus Jebus

    On 3/10/2011 everything was rosey at the NRC, business "as usual".
    It can never happen again, it's all good.
    It's a Nuclear Renaissance!

    Then, tomorrow came, 3/11/2011…
    See how the NRC puts the PR machine into spin mode…
    Download it, read it, and save it, cause they care about your nuclear safety…

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Has anyone got links to the audio files for the FOIA documents (not the written transcriptions)? I'm finding lots of mentions of them, but no actual links other than a single file that Cataclysmic and I were talking about yesterday.

    Please post links if you find them. Time for some amateur sleuthing?

    I'm motivated by a cheery line from one of the NRC FOIA pdf files, page 184, line 13:

    "TONY ULSES: there's not much more we can do about it."