TV: Officials say “extremely high radiation levels” to be pouring out at Fukushima… “Problem can’t be fundamentally solved” — Gundersen: Plutonium leaking into groundwater, “essentially pieces of nuclear fuel”… “Parts of plant overflowing” after typhoons… “Not a problem that’s going away” (VIDEO)

Published: October 29th, 2014 at 2:00 am ET


Japan broadcaster NHK, Oct. 27, 2014 (emphasis added): TEPCO says the levels of radioactive cesium in [Fukushima Daiichi’s] groundwater… fluctuated greatly last week… TEPCO says these [groundwater] wells are connected underground with other wells that are highly contaminated [and] believes cesium poured into them with this month’s heavy rains and then flowed out with the underground water. [TEPCO] says this problem cannot be fundamentally solved because the area around the wells thought to be the source of the contamination has extremely high radiation levels and cannot be decontaminated.. The 2 wells are among those from which tainted groundwater is pumped and discharged into the sea after being decontaminated. But TEPCO has suspended the operation and is considering whether to resume the work.

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen interviewed by Alex Smith, Oct. 27, 2014 (4:00 in): These typhoons come along and dump 10″ of rain… in a very short time. In addition to the 300 tons [a day] that’s normally leaking, now there’s a lot more. All of the trenches that connect different parts of the plant are now overflowing and leaking into the ground… The plant is continuing to bleed directly into the Pacific, day in and day out. Whenever you get an excessive rainfall, essentially it pops an artery and flows even more 100s of tons into the Pacific. It’s not a problem that’s going to go away… Fukushima is so radioactive; no one has gotten near [the reactor cores] yet. We don’t even know where the nuclear reactor core is — let alone try and stop it leaking into the groundwater. It’s a real mess…. It’s not just cesium, cesium is bad enough… but because the nuclear cores melted down, what we’ve got now is strontium, which is a really bad chemical — it’s a bone seeker that causes all sorts of cancers — but also plutonium. The nuclear reactor has breached and we’re getting plutonium in the groundwater… essentially pieces of the nuclear fuel… the reactor has been breached and the reactor containment has been breached. Most of that breach is in the form of liquid radiation leaking out…

Thom Hartmann interviews Paul Gunter, director of reactor oversight project at Beyond Nuclear, Oct. 21, 2014 (7:00 in): [The typhoons caused] a huge overflow… saturated the area… increased the amount of radioactivity washing off that site into the Pacific Ocean… This wave of groundwater continues to carry the radioactivity from these melted cores on into the ocean.

See also: Fukushima Cs137 at 100,000% previous record — Officials don’t know why, typhoon?

And: Record Radiation at Fukushima after typhoons, levels continue rising by ocean — Officials: We can’t do anything more to stop it, depth & scope of contamination flowing out unknown

Watch the Gunter interview hereInterview with Gundersen here

Published: October 29th, 2014 at 2:00 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan TV: It gets worse every minute at Fukushima plant, groundwater mixing with melted fuel — Gundersen: There’s no end in sight because the nuclear core is in contact with groundwater (VIDEO) January 17, 2014
  2. Mayor: Impossible to stop groundwater entering Fukushima plant — Abandoning melted fuel means contamination will always be flowing out — “I’m truly afraid… a tremendous problem… very, very serious” (VIDEO) September 6, 2013
  3. NHK: Groundwater levels continue rising at Fukushima plant — Gov’t warns Tepco about typhoons — “We can’t do anything” if rainfall overwhelms pump — Contaminated water could overflow and move “extremely fast” into Pacific (VIDEO) August 13, 2013
  4. Gundersen: Major problem inside pool at Fukushima Unit 3 — Pieces of nuclear fuel rods were blown out during criticality explosion — Building could ‘shatter’ if another big quake hits (VIDEO) October 5, 2013
  5. Expert: Billions of pieces Fukushima nuclear fuel have spread pretty much everywhere — “It’s truly frightening… wherever there’s cesium, there’s plutonium” — Atomic bomb had one pound of uranium… Fukushima had hundreds of tons — TV: “Abundant quantities” of plutonium are being found (VIDEO) May 19, 2016

144 comments to TV: Officials say “extremely high radiation levels” to be pouring out at Fukushima… “Problem can’t be fundamentally solved” — Gundersen: Plutonium leaking into groundwater, “essentially pieces of nuclear fuel”… “Parts of plant overflowing” after typhoons… “Not a problem that’s going away” (VIDEO)

  • We Not They Finally

    So TEPCO is now saying, we give up, but you have to keep paying us anyway?

    And where is the big however-phony apology along with this? Clear down to the ground, and please stay there forever.

  • rogerthat


    Rocky Flats, the nation's Cold War nuclear weapons plant just off Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder, no longer stands. But many of the former workers who believe they became ill because of exposure to radiation and toxic materials at the site are still struggling to receive federal benefits.

    The challenge is that the federal government requires workers to document their own exposures, an often impossible task because records don't always exist. More than 4,600 Rocky Flats workers or their survivors have applied to a federal compensation and health coverage program. Fewer than half have been approved.

    "It's been nine years since Rocky Flats closed, and many workers are still waiting," said Terrie Barrie, who leads the Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups.

    • rogerthat

      … See the new documentary "Colorado's Cold War" on Colorado Experience on Rocky Mountain PBS.


      The U.S. Department of Energy's description of what it took to tear down the Rocky Flats Plant, says much about the incredibly dangerous mess that it had become.

      "Due to historical releases of hazardous substances, including plutonium, depleted uranium, organic substances and hazardous waste constituents . . . the cleanup required the decommissioning, decontamination and demolition of more than 800 structures; removal of more than 500,000 cubic meters of low-level radioactive waste; and remediation of more than 360 contaminated and potentially contaminated environmental sites."

      And that isn't all. While the plant itself is gone, the land that it covered, the so-called "central operable unit," remains under DOE control because hazardous substance contamination remains. Weapons grade plutonium, after all, can remain in the environment for thousands of years….

      • We Not They Finally

        Where did the "500,000 cubic meters of [so-called] low-level radioactive waste" wind up? WIPP? If Rocky Flats was only dismantled (well, partially — NEVER can dismantle that grade of contamination) nine years ago, the poisons went to WIPP. And even news of WIPP seems to have dried up. But the [so-called] "low level" story goes on and on and on….

        • We Not They Finally

          Incidentally (don't know if it's in that documentary,) apparently Colorado has the highest (or nearly so) rate of multiple sclerosis in the nation. The short explanation for that is probably just "Rocky Flats."

  • rogerthat

    … A 1969 fire at the plant, still so secret that the blaze received only two paragraphs in the Rocky Mountain News, was later considered to be "the most costly industrial accident in United States history," according to the state's summary.

    Things became so bad at Rocky Flats, by then managed by differing government contractors, that agents from the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency raided the plant on June 6, 1989 to investigate allegations of environmental crimes.

    That was the beginning of the end.

    In October 2005, the DOE and its contractor completed an accelerated 10-year, $7 billion demolition and cleanup effort, leaving Rocky Flats as it is today, a still contaminated industrial site surrounded by a buffer zone that has become a national wildlife refuge.

  • rogerthat

    Lawsuit: Quake standards altered at California nuclear plant
    By David R. Baker
    Oct 29
    Federal regulators secretly and illegally revised the license for California’s last nuclear power facility — PG&E’s Diablo Canyon — to mask the aging plant’s vulnerability to earthquakes, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by environmentalists.

    The suit claims that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. last year changed a key element of the plant’s license related to seismic safety without allowing public input as required by law — or even notifying the public at all. The changes concern the strength of earthquakes that the plant, perched on a stretch of the Central California coast riddled with fault lines, can withstand…

    The organization filed its suit in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a court that reviews decisions from federal agencies. The group wants the court to overturn the changes, order the commission to conduct public hearings on amending Diablo Canyon’s license and shut down the plant until the amendment process concludes….

    • rogerthat

      … Friends of the Earth filed a motion with the commission in August arguing that in order to continue running Diablo, PG&E should be required to seek an amendment to its operating license. The plant’s existing license requires that Diablo be able to safely shut down after an earthquake producing ground movement as intense as 0.4 times the force of gravity. The recently identified fault lines, the group argued, can produce far more intense shaking than that.
      After filing the motion, however, the group learned that the plant’s final safety analysis report, a document required by the plant’s license, had been changed last year, altering the methodology for measuring seismic safety and stating that the plant can withstand shaking up to .75 times the force of gravity. Such a fundamental change, the group argues, requires amending the operating license itself, a process in which the commission must give the public the opportunity to comment.
      Report not public
      Instead, the revised safety analysis report wasn’t available to the public on the commission’s website. When Friends of the Earth requested a copy, they received a redacted version….

  • rogerthat

    States Challenge NRC’s Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Rule
    By Sonal Patel
    Oct 29

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) final rule governing long-term spent nuclear fuel storage onsite at U.S. power plants is illegal and should be overturned, the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont claim in a legal challenge filed on Monday.

    In a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the attorneys general allege that the NRC “acted arbitrarily, abused its discretion, and violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Administrative Procedure Act, the Atomic Energy Act, the Commission’s policies and regulations, the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations, and other applicable laws and regulations in promulgating the Continued Storage Rule” and supporting documents.

    The lawsuit asks the court to vacate the rule and send it back to the NRC for a more complete environmental analysis…

    According to Vermont’s Attorney General William Sorrel, the 2012 decision should have led the NRC to perform a full and detailed assessment of the risks involved and the environmental impacts of long-term fuel storage. “But it did not, so we are going back to court to ensure that the NRC complies with its legal obligations,” he said in a statement on Monday…

    • rogerthat

      … New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday said that the NRC “has turned its responsibilities on their head—focusing on issues that are unrelated to the risks posed to the environment, public health, and safety. The NRC’s approach is wrong and illegal, and I will continue to fight to ensure that our communities receive the full and detailed accounting of the risks of long-term, on-site nuclear waste storage that they deserve.”

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Nuclear Regulatory Commission, LLC

  • rogerthat

    Nuclear power is not a wise or viable energy option
    Oct 29
    By Dr Ronald McCoy
    The Bernama report that the United States has offered to help Malaysia build a nuclear power plant has caught the attention of Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility, who have been seriously working to convince the Malaysian government that such a project is not a wise or viable energy option, since it carries inherent risks and is not affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound.

    The government's nuclear power proposal in 2009 was based on the myth that nuclear power is cheap, clean and safe. Disinformation about nuclear energy has been disseminated by vested interests in the nuclear industry ever since its false claim that nuclear power is “too cheap to meter”.

    There is conclusive evidence that the cost of electricity generated by a nuclear power plant is far higher than electricity from fossil fuels or renewable energy. The ratings and risk firm, Moody’s Corporate Finances, recently estimated that the capital cost of nuclear power per kilowatt is 275 percent higher than that of wind power and 150 percent higher than solar power….

    • rogerthat

      … The Malaysian government and vested interests must answer some serious questions. Where is the evidence that nuclear power is cheap, clean and safe? Where is the community support? Where is the process of genuine dialogue, open debate and proper consultation with the people of Malaysia? Can the government feel confident that our safety and maintenance culture will prevent a Chernobyl or a Fukushima catastrophe?

      Most critically, how is the government going to manage the safe and permanent disposal of long-lived radioactive waste? Lastly, is there no ethical and moral responsibility for the health, safety and well-being of future generations?

      Most governments have seen the writing on the nuclear wall and are phasing out nuclear power in favour of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Malaysian government must not ignore sensible and responsible global trends and proceed to build a nuclear power plant which could be potentially catastrophic, nation-crippling, and a radioactive time bomb for future generations of Malaysians.

      DR RONALD McCOY is a former president of the Malaysian Medical Association and is now international councillor for the Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility.

  • rogerthat

    NRC OKs change in Kewaunee Power Station emergency plan
    By Richard Ryman, Press-Gazette Media October 28

    CARLTON — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow Dominion Resources Inc. to alter emergency planning for Kewaunee Power Station.

    Dominion will be exempted from maintaining off-site radiological emergency preparedness plans or a 10-mile emergency planning zone. …

    Kewaunee Power Station was permanently shut down on May 7, 2013…

  • rogerthat

    Beyond Nuclear to challenge Davis-Besse containment cracking at NRC HQ on Nov. 12th

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLB) overseeing FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) application proceeding for a 20-year license extension at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor in Oak Harbor, OH on the Lake Erie shore has announced oral argument pre-hearings will be held at NRC HQ in Rockville on Wed., Nov. 12th, beginning at 9am Eastern.

    The hearing will focus on the environmental coalition's latest concrete containment cracking contention, motivated by recent revelations of "ice-wedging crack propagation," despite earlier assurances by FENOC — backed by NRC staff — that the already severe cracking could not possibly get worse.

    Supporters are encouraged to listen-in by phone, or, if in the DC area, to attend in person…

  • rogerthat

    Oct. 29, 2014

    Report: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dominates Undisclosed Spending in Congressional Races

    The Chamber Has Spent Almost as Much as the Next Two Dark Money Groups Combined, Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch Program Finds

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is both the largest overall spender in the 2014 congressional elections among outside groups that do not disclose their contributors and the largest such spender in 28 of the 35 races in which it has gotten involved, Public Citizen reported today.

    The Chamber has gotten involved in 16 of the 20 races that have seen the most outside spending, and it has spent an average of $908,000 per race, according to the new analysis, “The Dark Side of Citizens United,” conducted by Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch program. Citizens United is the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that permitted corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums to influence elections.

    “When large corporations decide they want to get their own candidates into office but they don’t want to be seen doing it, they call the U.S. Chamber,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, which houses U.S. Chamber Watch. “These politicians then push for anti-environmental, anti-consumer, and anti-health policies and priorities that hurt everyday Americans.”

  • rogerthat

    Within 2 years, Deutsche Bank says, rooftop solar will be the cheaper option for everyone

    Deutsche Bank has released a new report predicting that rooftop solar will reach “grid parity” in all 50 states of the U.S. in just two years–by the end of 2016. “Grid parity” means that the cost of obtaining electricity from rooftop solar–including installation–is equal to or less than the cost of obtaining electricity from traditional utilities operating in the state.

    This startling conclusion came in an analysis by the Bank’s Vishal Shah, considered a leading solar analyst, of the prospects of Vivint Solar. Vivint is the second largest installer of rooftop solar systems in the U.S. although it currently operates in just seven states. While Deutsche Bank is more bullish on solar prospects that some other investment analysts, as we have been reporting all year just above every major investment firm has released at least one study touting solar’s rapid growth and warning utilities to prepare.

    Just a year ago, a Deutsche Bank analysis said 10 U.S. states already have achieved grid parity, and predicted that 36 states would do so by 2016 if the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar is dropped to 10%, as current law states. If the ITC were renewed at the 30% rate it now enjoys–and as the solar industry says it will fight for–the bank at that time predicted that 47 states would reach parity by 2016…

  • rogerthat

    … its projection is “based on a continued fall in installation costs of solar, the cheaper cost of finance as new financial models attract more mainstream funding, and assuming that the attempts by utilities to curtail the proliferation of solar are resisted.”

    This last factor is critical–and it is the one where activists everywhere can help ensure a clean energy future. Instead of reducing or eliminating renewable energy standards, or replacing them with phony “clean energy” standards that include nuclear power, activists can and should press for expanding such standards and keeping nuclear far away from them.

    The issue will also arise as states act to implement the EPA’s Clean Power Plan beginning sometime next year. In many states these will be huge battles, with a lot of money and misinformation flowing.

    Activists will need to fight back with accurate information and numbers–in this case numbers means people: the vast majority of Americans support renewable energy and solar power in particular. They want solar to succeed; it’s a matter of reaching out and mobilizing them. That’s what we’re good at. That’s our expertise. Let’s do it.

    Michael Mariotte

    October 28, 2014

  • rogerthat

    EDITORIAL: Restarting reactors not an issue for host city alone
    October 29

  • rogerthat

    Previously unseen pictures of two storage ponds containing hundreds of highly radioactive fuel rods at the Sellafield nuclear plant show cracked concrete, seagulls bathing in the water and weeds growing around derelict machinery. But a spokesman for owners Sellafield Ltd said the 60-year-old ponds will not be cleaned up for decades, despite concern that they are in a dangerous state and could cause a large release of radioactive material if they are allowed to deteriorate further.

    “The concrete is in dreadful condition, degraded and fractured, and if the ponds drain, the Magnox fuel will ignite and that would lead to a massive release of radioactive material,” nuclear safety expert John Large told the Ecologist magazine…

    Gordon Thompson, executive director of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is an expert at assessing radiological risk, said: “[Sellafield] contains large inventories of radioactive material that could be released to the environment in a variety of ways. The site’s overall radiological risk has never been properly assessed by the responsible authorities. [The] photos, showing disgracefully degraded open-air ponds at Sellafield, indicate that a thorough assessment of risk is overdue.”…

  • rogerthat

    Prairie Island joins nuclear waste legal challenge

    By Elizabeth Baier Oct 29
    Red Wing, Minn. — The Prairie Island Indian Community has joined a lawsuit filed by three states against the federal government's final rule on the storage of nuclear waste

    In August, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a rule that allows for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more. It took effect Oct. 20.

    The tribe joined New York, Connecticut and Vermont in filing the lawsuit against the commission. The nuclear power plant near Red Wing is about 600 yards from the tribal community.

    "What the NRC has done is effectively side-stepped that mandate because they just simply assume that the waste will never be exposed to the environment," Prairie Island General Counsel Phil Mahowald said.

    Mahowald said the commission failed to do a complete analysis of the risks associated with on-site storage of nuclear waste. He said that was a requirement in a 2012 Court of Appeals decision.

    "The tribe wants there to be a realistic assessment of the long-term environmental, the long-term health impacts that would be associated with indefinite on-site storage," he said.

  • rogerthat

    Taipei Times

    FDA proposes radiation tests for Japanese snacks
    By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter
    Oct 29

    Starting next year, Japanese companies intending to import teas, candies or cookies may have to submit a radiation detection report issued by a local authority, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday.

    “The administration on Tuesday published a draft regulation requiring importers of tea products, snacks, cookies and grain beverages to provide not only a country of origin certificate, but also a radiation assessment report issued by the Japanese government,” agency interim Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said.

    Chiang said public opinion on the proposal will be sought over the next 60 days and the measure is expected to be implemented early next year if no objections are raised.

    At present, only vegetable, fruit, aquatic products, baby formula, dairy products and water imported from Japan require a radiation detection report, with the exception of all food products from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures, which have been banned since the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster in March 2011…

  • rogerthat

    Ruling on nuclear waste throws storage scenarios into dangerous doubt

    By Clint Wolfe, Ph.D.
    Guest Columnist
    Oct. 25
    …The NRC’s determination tips the playing field to a more favorable position for nuclear advocates in that the anti-nuclear forces have long had the benefit of arguing that we don’t know what to do about nuclear waste, so therefore we should not use the technology. The action of the NRC, although not addressing all potential impacts, is effectively saying, “So what?” and “There are no significant environmental impacts from indefinite storage of used fuel.” This means that, not only is used fuel storage safe, but any sense of urgency to resurrect Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, or to find an alternative such as New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, is diminished…

    (The writer is executive director for Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness in Aiken, S.C.)

  • rogerthat

    NRC Hedges Its Bets On Decommissioning Plan For San Onofre
    Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    By Alison St John
    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission met Monday night in Carlsbad, just south of the plant. It was the first time the public could question the agency that regulates the nuclear industry about how it plans to oversee the decommissioning of the plant. About 400 people showed up at the Omni Hotel to hear about the plan and the NRC’s role.

    The biggest issue to emerge was the storage of the spent nuclear fuel on site…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Tepco gave up pumping up contaminated water beside 4 crippled reactors to discharge to the sea

    • melting mermaid melting mermaid

      Please someone remind me why the fate of life on earth is still in their hands. Every military and scientist should be doing something, not waiting for Tepco to grow a conscience. It's just not going to happen. Send in the marines, the navy, the governments of the world, the red cross, the X men, the pro nuke lobbyists, the environmentalists, the hippies, the potheads, the neocons, the rabble, the slaves, the plutocrats anyone, but Tepco. Where is our international consortium of nerds and do gooders? Is there nothing we can do? It's so frustrating. Must be what a deer in headlights must feel like. Stupid nuclear!

      • rogerthat

        Fukushima Unit 1 Fuel Removal Delayed
        Oct 30

        TEPCO announced they would delay the removal of both spent fuel from the pool and from the reactor vessel at unit 1, Fukushima Daiichi. What is not clear is exactly why…

        …This new schedule puts spent fuel removal at 2019 and melted fuel removal at 2025.

      • Christ TEPCO cannot save them. Only by faith and good works is man saved. The evil ones gnash their teeth with those words.

        "Mommy TEPCO save our gutless wonder Babcorp for being exposed as destroyers of worlds. Mommy I dropped my ball bearings, can someone else pick them up for me?"

        Thus exposed a parable of the destroyer.


        Gutless wonder Babcorp.
        Man's sacrifice TEPCO the skapegoat.
        The evil ones that protect & shelter Babcorp.

        The End.

      • We Not They Finally

        mm, as you undoubtedly already know, both the military and the international science community is corrupted, thus has no appetite to save us even from global destruction. Am totally on your side, but only massive public pressure would let that view be heard. Unclear what that will take.

  • Cash to Clinton Foundation triggers positive nuclear deal for INdia

  • Did they sign the non proliferation agreement before they got these nukes, as required to by international law?


    So Clinton broke international law to give INdia nukes, in exchange for CASH.

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