Fukushima Nuclear Crisis – Update April 20, 2011

2016 NOTICE:  In the below left-as-was blogpost from April 20, 2016, I refer to Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gunderson as a credible source for insights on what was really happening.  Due to widespread ignorance on the topic, my own included, it was not clear to me and many others, until many years later, that Mr. Gunderson was in fact a participant in a vast conspiracy to deceive the public, with his role being one of ‘controlled opposition’, a sane-sounding expert voice for so-called alternative media to clarify that things are far worse than what officials were claiming, but steering the audience away from the most important issues.

See also Hatrick Penry’s exposé, “About Arnie Gundersen and the NRC FOIA documents

—– —– —–original blog post: —– —– —–

After this intro-paragraph follows an OVERVIEW of  the situation @ Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP + something on Earthquakes  to counter my recent slacking (all is relative) on keeping up with developments…   Since I’ve been posting at a rate that many posts get burried rather quickly, first my roundup of recent weeks:   Most recently, I’ve been enjoying myself with creating art to energetically shift the momentum of disasters (SeeAbode of Peace rises from Fukushima Rubble’ / See also prayers: The Japanese are held in loving prayers. along this positive vein), I’ve been listening to music (See 25 Shuffle-chosen songs from my iPod atThis Blog’s Soundtrack’), spilling my informed opinion about paying taxes to a warring mafia-like government (See ‘I donated money to a Terrorist Organization’), digressing into the wacky land of earthquake-conspiracies (SeeEarthquake Machine Terrorizing the World? – re. HAARP –, and more also @ HAARP 1.2, both oddly popular); as well as a little time here and there spent on compiling links for the flying-drone-building electronics enthusiast (See my popular blogpost ‘Build your own Air Force of Radiation-Monitoring Mini-Helicopter Drones’, and the hit: a damn good list on where to buy radiation measuring equipment like Geiger Counters, food and soil testers (See the new page Geiger Counters, etc. (LIST)’.   The pages that launched this site: global Current Radiation Levels and the helpful Radiation Units page, as well as the specific handy pages for that @ NewsJapan, USA and Europe remain at the top of weekly views.    I have various “topic diversifications” (total digressions! :-) ) in mind to post in the near future, but first:

Overview on where things are at regarding this ongoing nuclear disaster, 5 weeks in:

  • 1. The situation with the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP reactors.
  • 2. Japan’s ongoing Earthquakes – Unusual?

1. The situation with the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP reactors.

As with pretty much any post of mine about this, you can figure it all out by simply going through my list on my *NEWS* page.  This gist is:

  • Fairewinds Associates’ Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen:  

– TEPCO’s plan of having the crisis under control in about 6 to 9 months is “really optimistic” …”a severe aftershock could really set them back or, more importantly, release a lot of radiation
Radiation is leaking every day now, both liquid into the ocean and also airborne. When you see those clouds of smoke coming out of the unit, that’s not steam, that’s radioactive steam. So, they’re releasing radioactivity as a airborne, and also, probably more important right now is Unit 2, the reactor has a hole in it, and the containment has a hole in it. So they’re pouring water in the top, and it’s running out the bottom. And it’s what’s causing all of this enormous amount of high-level radioactive waste.”  See interview of Arnie Gundersen by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! Apr 19, 2011.

See his latest video update with helpful explanations at http://www.fairewinds.com/ where    Gundersen’s April 18 assessment goes into the pressure and temperatures of Units 1, 2 and 3. My understanding is that, of the most troubled reactors, Unit 2 is not being cooled; containment is leaking; is the biggest concernUnit 3 appears to be en route to getting “out of the woods”.  Unit 1 somewhere in between.  After that he states that, as far as Unit 4 goes, either it has or has had fission happening in its spent fuel pool too (likely), or: the fallout from Units 1-2-3 was many times higher than so far believed.  CLICK IMAGES to WATCH. 

Unit 2 (no yellow line): pressure same as atmosphere (containment breached).

  • DR. MICHIO KAKU, on Democracy Now on April 13, 2011:   “… This accident has already released something on the order of 50,000 trillion becquerels of radiation. You do the math. That puts it right smack in the middle of a level 7 nuclear accident.  Still, less than Chernobyl.  However, radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors.  The situation is not stable at all.  So, you’re looking at basically a ticking time bomb. It appears stable, but the slightest disturbance—a secondary earthquake, a pipe break, evacuation of the crew at Fukushima—could set off a full-scale meltdown at three nuclear power stations, far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl….

See that? –> Nuclear Fuel Damage “Suspected” by JAIF    um… Confirmed is more like it, but that would be too factual… or something.  The Nuclear Industry, of which all these “regulatory” agencies (NRC, JAIP, IAEA,…) are part and parcel, prefer not to dabble in reality; apparently preferring vagueness whenever possible.

  • Anyhow, See also this IAEA, which in this case clearly exposes he JAIF for understating what they know on fuel damage in Unit 2: Summary of reactor unit status
     – 19 April 2011



In Short:  Extremely little progress has been made, and the situation remains just about as precarious as it was weeks ago…  ;-/

2. Japan’s ongoing earthquakes – Unusual?

  • This Japan Times article, “Why so many aftershocks? Why so large?” (April 14, 2011http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110414a5.html) explains it well:  “The magnitude of the largest aftershocks tend to be about 1.0 magnitude lower than the main quake, which was 9.0” and that  “…How much longer will aftershocks last?  Who knows? “The Great East Japan Earthquake was so huge that we cannot make reasonable predictions from past quakes,” Ota said. Some experts say they could last at least a year.  Will other parts of Japan experience aftershocks?  Maybe. The aftershocks registering an upper 5 shindo or higher have so far occurred in three places that are not normally considered part of the likely aftershock area: northern Nagano Prefecture, eastern Shizuoka Prefecture and inland Akita Prefecture. The main quake may have caused stress in fault lines outside the coastal areas of northeast Japan, Ota said. …”  [Shindo vs. Richter explain on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Meteorological_Agency_seismic_intensity_scale]
  • The USGS Earthquake Statistics website, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/eqstats.php, shows the unusualness of a 9.0 quake (somewhere on the planet once a year on average), but also that statistically what’s occurring is simply part of what happens on this tectonically active planet, a.k.a. geologically normal.  That, of course, says nothing about societal impacts in a world increasingly populated, industrialized and economically intertwined.   (Sorry, HAARP conspiracy  enthusiasts, I see the possibility, even high likelihood for the technological capability having been developed, but no ‘signature’ in the actual data that stands out from the ‘noise/static’ or any other true proof YET).
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