View Full Version : Fukushima....

13th Sep 2013, 19:04
I have been aware of worsening conditions at the Dai-Ichi plant in Japan in the last weeks and it seems to be getting more complicated, perhaps even out of control. Almost nothing in the mainstream press, which is worrying in itself as the consequences of any disaster will be far reaching. Any thoughts from the panel ?


13th Sep 2013, 19:21
I've been following via the wires, but I'm sure Yamagata Ken will be far clued in than me.

There was this on Reuters today
Japan must get ready to release Fukushima water into the sea: U.S. adviser | Reuters (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/13/us-japan-fukushima-adviser-idUKBRE98C0GB20130913)

which is a pretty good resume, although when I read he would let his grandkids eat glowing fish I can only but think of John Gummer force-feeding his daughter a mad cow burger!

Edited to add the plant is owned by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) - they don't come much bigger and they have lost huge face over this. Their PR and handling of events has been a complete disaster from Day One.

13th Sep 2013, 19:21

They (we) are doomed
All participants and spectators of the Olympic Games in Japan will have to done anti nuclear protection gear !!

13th Sep 2013, 19:30
TEPCO have been struggling and the situation is just barely under control...

The Japanese government has vacillated and dithered as irradiated ground water continues to wash into the Pacific.

An international response should be made to this unfolding crisis.... and the Japanese government should have the humility to accept this help...

What Is Going On At Fukushima Daiichi Right Now | SimplyInfo (http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=11405)


13th Sep 2013, 19:31
Any thoughts from the panel ?

I would summarise thus :

Asian culture of face saving

i.e. it is highly probable "they" knew exactly how bad it was when the big bang happened.

What ensued has been severe media management, carefully releasing information only when they had to, and only enlisting external help when they had to.

Sure its not Chernobyl, but its not particularly pretty either. A lot more mitigation work could have probably been done a long time ago had the culture been put to one side for the good of the country, its people and marine life.

13th Sep 2013, 19:33

So I just withdraw into my shell and amuse myself with how CNN continually mispronounce Fukushima. Just as they called Chernobyl 'CHAIR-NOBL' rather than its really quiet soothing 'Sher-no-beel.'

Let me know when it's safe to come out again... :(

13th Sep 2013, 19:36
Sure its not Chernobyl, but its not particularly pretty either.

In the light of its position on the coast and given the on-going long term problems and clean up that will be required over decades it could be argued that the Fukushima problem is far more intractable than Chernobyl's and potentially far worse in the long run.


13th Sep 2013, 19:37

Let me know when it's safe to come out again...I'm afraid that there will be no one to tell you :}

13th Sep 2013, 19:57
Allegedly there have been reports of tuna/swordfish/marlin having tested positive for atomic elements such as cesium and thorium in the Pacific. Who knows if that's widespread or just localised, but none the less scary.

Loss of face..........loss of race (hopefully not)


13th Sep 2013, 20:06
and thorium

More likely cesium and strontium-90 SpringHeeledJack.

Fukushima Fallout Not Affecting U.S.-Caught Fish ? News Watch (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/11/fukushima-fallout-not-affecting-u-s-caught-fish/)


13th Sep 2013, 20:18
Cumbria still affected by fire at Windscale nuclear reactor 49 years on - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1516596/Cumbria-still-affected-by-fire-at-Windscale-nuclear-reactor-49-years-on.html)

13th Sep 2013, 22:26

Dated 25 April 2006 :rolleyes:

In most of the west of Cumbria, where levels are highest, caesium-137 from the Chernobyl accident dominates.

"From our studies in Cumbria it could be another 10 years before all the farms are clear - though even now very few sheep are in excess of the limit above which they cannot enter the human food chain," said Dr Smith.

The older sources of caesium-137 in the environment are now contributing to the need for continued restrictions in west Cumbria but the county is still less radioactive than Cornwall, where there are much higher natural levels because of radon gas from granitic rocks.

El Grifo
14th Sep 2013, 09:25
Fear not, there is no connection between Nuclear accidents and cancers.

The High Court says so :ugh:

Seascale (http://www.corecumbria.co.uk/tour/seascale.htm)

14th Sep 2013, 09:33
Fear not, there is no connection between Nuclear accidents and cancers.

When this on-going disaster occurred there was a nincompoop here on JB, who by dint of his previous experience of changing light bulbs or fixing pop corn machines or something at nuclear plants, who claimed that Fukushima was overblown and all would be right in a month or two and that besides a light dose of radioactivity might even be good for you....

I note he doesn't appear to post here any more. I trust that his complacence has not bitten him on the backside... :\


14th Sep 2013, 09:51
Seems like it has become Fukurestoftheworld


Yamagata ken
14th Sep 2013, 10:15
Ah ha. Fame at last. I'm paying no attention to it. Funnily, the night the Chernobyl rain cloud blew in and irradiated the UK, I was out on my motorbike having a midnight blast. I wasn't wearing wet weather kit and got absolutely soaked. Open-face helmet too.

El Grifo
14th Sep 2013, 10:21
I was out on my motorbike having a midnight blast.

Child of the 60's then kenny ? :eek:

El G.

14th Sep 2013, 10:24
Funnily, the night the Chernobyl rain cloud blew in and irradiated the UK, I was out on my motorbike having a midnight blast. I wasn't wearing wet weather kit and got absolutely soaked. Open-face helmet too.

Ah well, least ways if you had come off that night you would have died wet but happy... (and ever so slightly irradiated) :ok:


Yamagata ken
14th Sep 2013, 11:11
Child of the 60's? Very much so. I was/am a slow learner/late starter. I started uni at age 29, and gave up the weed at that time. It interfered with my concentration. Caco: I'm going to donate my body to science. Two kippers and a pickle.

14th Sep 2013, 11:12
At one time, radioactivity was alleged to be good for you...

Surprise! Radioactive Water Jugs Not as Healthy as Advertised (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100118-radiation-toxic-water-revigator/)

14th Sep 2013, 11:45

My close encounter with the fabulous shoe-fitting machine - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/9366921/My-close-encounter-with-the-fabulous-shoe-fitting-machine.html)

glad rag
14th Sep 2013, 11:53
BBC News - Fukushima leak is 'much worse than we were led to believe' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23779561)

The storage problems are compounded by the ingress of ground water, running down from the surrounding hills. It mixes with radioactive water leaking out of the basements of the reactors and then some of it leaches into the sea, despite the best efforts of Tepco to stem the flow.
Some of the radioactive elements like caesium that are contained in the water can be filtered by the earth. Others are managing to get through and this worries watching experts.
"Our biggest concern right now is if some of the other isotopes such as strontium 90 which tend to be more mobile, get through these sediments in the ground water," said Dr Buesseler.
"They are entering the oceans at levels that then will accumulate in seafood and will cause new health concerns.BBC News - Fukushima nuclear chief Masao Yoshida dies (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23251102)

Masao Yoshida, the Fukushima nuclear chief who led efforts to stabilise the crippled plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has died at the age of 58.
Mr Yoshida died on Tuesday in a Tokyo hospital, a spokesman for plant operator Tepco said.
He had been suffering from oesophagal cancer, which Tepco said was not linked to his work at the plant.

And just to crown it off, from ten days ago..

BBC News - Radiation levels hit new high near Fukushima water tanks (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23945612)

Radiation levels around tanks storing contaminated water at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have risen by a fifth to a new high, officials say.

Ground readings near one set of tanks stood at 2,200 millisieverts (mSv) on Tuesday, the plant operator and Japan's nuclear authority said.

Saturday's reading was 1,800 mSv.

Latest info.

Japan's Nuclear Migraine: A Never-Ending Disaster at Fukushima - ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/International/japans-nuclear-migraine-ending-disaster-fukushima/story?id=20226885)

14th Sep 2013, 11:59

I remember those machines Clarks shop in Southampton always had to put my feet in them when mom was buying me a new pair of shoes, but I also had to have one of my shoes " built up" to stop me walking round in circles much to the amusement of my older sister.

El Grifo
14th Sep 2013, 12:03
Well,well G-CPTN. If that ainīt a blast from the past, then what is !!

Totally forgot about that bit of kit !

Maybe thatīs why I have small feet and you know what they say about guys with small feet :8

El G

14th Sep 2013, 12:26
In addition to the exposure to X-rays in the Pedoscope, I had extensive X-rays during an intensive period of examination during the very early 1990s (MRI scans as well as numerous conventional chest X-rays) before my thoracotomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracotomy)
and pulmonary segmentectomy/lobectomy.

As far as I can tell, there have been no lasting effects (from the X-rays).

The residual effects of the thoracotomy persisted for at least a decade. :ugh:

15th Sep 2013, 06:27
I am not sure why anyone is surprised. They had two complete meltdowns with tons of water sprayed on it and turned to radioactive steam and an overheated storage pool. Melted fuel is all over the place. The building are torn to shreds. Too radioactive to send people in.

Bad stuff.

They need to cover it all - presumably with concrete. I don't think there is a great solution for the groundwater, except maybe for putting a French drain around the whole plant.

16th Sep 2013, 10:37
What I find most surprising and disappointing is that more than 2 years after the original accident they still have not not even come up with a long term plan to deal with the problem, let alone begun to implement it.

The Russians designed the concrete sarcophagus for Chernobyl within a month of their accident and built it in 6 months. In Fukushima TEPCO are still pumping fresh water over a ruined reactor core and then storing the highly radio-active waste water in large tanks which are being filled as fast as they can make them.

16th Sep 2013, 14:58
Could fix it easy if they take a leaf out of our book - rename Fukushima to 'Rose Cottage' or something and all is well http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif

Well, it worked for Windscale, didn't it?

ADent, is a French drain anything like a French letter? If so I guess it might work....:cool:

19th Sep 2013, 18:38
It would seem that the area close to Fukushima has experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in the last hours :uhoh:

5.3-magnitude earthquake hits Japan's Fukushima (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/09/19/japan-fukushima-nuclear-plant/2835493/)

It seems that all is well, however it can't be good for anyone around the plant at the moment.



19th Sep 2013, 18:44
What I find most surprising and disappointing is that more than 2 years after the original accident they still have not not even come up with a long term plan to deal with the problem, let alone begun to implement it.

Building concrete around the reactor is not a long term plan. As far as I remember, Chernobyl's concrete dome is already in need of replacement, because it just covered up the problem rather than solved it.

A long-term plan requires an actual solution. Like cooling the radioactive material down and getting it out of there to safe storage.

20th Sep 2013, 00:38
What I find most surprising and disappointing is that more than 2 years after the original accident they still have not not even come up with a long term plan to deal with the problem, let alone begun to implement it.
During an evening of boredom I read the report that TEPCO submitted to the IAEA for remediation of the site.
It read like fiction, every step along the way R & D will have to used to design any and everything that will be used for the process as no such equipment exists.
The only process they had a handle was the disposal of the material in the reactor that they used TMI as a model.

It appears from the article it may be another 5 to 10 years just to get damaged structure out of the way to even start dealing with the reactors.
The problem they have is the radiation damages elastomers which is one of the main issues with the elastomers used to seal the seams on the bolt together holding tanks.

Any equipment will have to be concerned with gaskets, shaft seals and hydraulic lines that are exposed to radiation.

This will be a 40 year project.
There may be some engineers that their entire life's work will be at the Fukushima plant.


20th Sep 2013, 00:47
This will be a 40 year project.

A very perceptive post, written (I suspect) by an engineer...

As for futuristic unproven technology you have to dig the ice wall... on a scale never attempted before and with the risk, if it works, that it will back up the ground water and completely undermine the remains of the reactor buildings...

Fukushima Ice-Wall | Japan?s Fukushima Ice Wall and Other Crazy Measures to Fight Disasters | TIME.com (http://world.time.com/2013/09/06/five-environmental-disasters-and-the-desperate-measures-to-fix-them/)

What me worry?


20th Sep 2013, 01:11
My concern is

1. It is so close to the water and the potential for something to leak
BEFORE they get even a temporary solution in place.
2. And as stated above by someone, what about a long term
solution of removal to another site.

20th Sep 2013, 02:35
Building concrete around the reactor is not a long term plan.

Its not ideal but its lasted for 25 years. And its vastly more long term than constantly pouring clean water over a highly radioactive core then storing that contaminated water in large buckets.

A A Gruntpuddock
20th Sep 2013, 02:43
Hope the people working on the solution are not the same bright sparks who decided to build nuclear reactors in an area likely to be hit by a tsunami.

15th Oct 2013, 12:40
Has the radiation got to their brains? (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/10379946/Fukushima-Industries-unveils-its-new-mascot-Fukuppy.html)



15th Oct 2013, 18:41
That mascot about sums up the power plant close by.....:hmm: What's the latest on the hardly talked about nuclear disaster ? Anyone know ?


16th Oct 2013, 05:16
The latest news is here
NHK WORLD English (http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/japan.html)
We get info on the happenings at Fuk every day (almost)
If you guys think it's gone silent, covert, or 'saving face' then I suggest you pull your heads outta your arses and watch real news and not puff-piece networks about movie stars and football player's new cars.
As far as cover-ups go though, I have to admit that TEPCO, like most private enterprises, are not as forthcoming with info as we'd like. It's still a mess, and we are still paying for it!

16th Oct 2013, 07:36
Saying nuclear energy is dangerous energy is like saying airline flying is dangerous transportation. Nonsense. People are not always afraid of what is going to kill them for real, and get all hysterical for some evasive threat drinking their wine, eating their sugar saturated cake and their junk food while switching on their light feeded by highly polluted deadly energy power plant (but not nuclear thanks god! :ugh: ).
Meanwhile how many thousands people the tsunami and earthquake killed in Fukushima directly? But who cares hey?

Let's get reasonable for a minute, life is not always about scary fear entertainment for bored people.

16th Oct 2013, 08:01
KAG A voice of reason but who will agree?

16th Oct 2013, 09:41
Saying nuclear energy is dangerous energy is like saying airline flying is dangerous transportation.

KAG what your simplistic simile misses is the degrees of risk associated with and likely impact of failure in the technologies you quote. There is a risk associated in flying but it is statistically very small these days and in cases where a new aviation technology is shown to have minor faults, the intense safety culture surrounding the industry mandates that such faults are rectified (vide. the grounding of 787 pending investigation and rectification of the battery problem).

The errors and faults in design and operation that facilitated the Fukushima nuclear disaster (and it is an on-going disaster) were know about for decades prior to the tsunami that precipitated the current crisis but due to hubris and insufficient attention to the risk profile and potential on-going impact to the population from a failure of the risky technology they were ignored. This is a scandal and it is also a tragedy for the tens of thousands people who will be unable to return to their homes in the foreseeable future as well as for the TEPCO workers who now risk their long term health in attempting to contain the situation and 'clean up' the site. It is also an environmental disaster that could have world wide implications if it is not managed correctly.

Also, to so glibly and inappropriately dismiss the nuclear disaster because the tsunami killed more people is to miss the point and is a weak argument that does your powers of reasoning no credit at all.


16th Oct 2013, 09:59
How many deaths in aviation accidents, how many in nuclear, compared with how many rely on aviation and electricity respectively?

16th Oct 2013, 10:27

You are comparing apples with oranges and your question is almost statistically meaningless. You could have just as well asked how many people have died from heart disease over the last 50 years in comparison to those killed by nuclear technology and deduced from your answer that life is far more dangerous than nuclear energy...

A specious answer to the incorrect kind of logical question methinks... ;)


16th Oct 2013, 10:27
You have to remember that what drives societal risk is the fear of the unknown. We are happy to drive our cars everywhere and in the process kill a number of people per year on the roads. Mostly these deaths are singular and spread out over a period of time and geographical location. Unless it's a slow news day or a very good local news reporting, the chances are you won't get more than a couple of lines or a minute long sound bite.

People understand cars, they understand and accept that people will be killed by cars. People also understand aircraft, but when a significant number of people perish in a plane crash all of sudden we have a lot of dead people in one place. This is concerning to joe public, but not that much as it has happened before so we are becoming more understanding of it.

However we in general do not like things that we don't understand that might kill us. We don't like chemical or biological weapons, because we've only ever seen them used in films where the whole world dies. We can't control them because we can't see them, so we have a real dread of anything that could be a chemical or biological weapon.

The same could be said of nuclear power. Joe public thinks of mushroom clouds and Chernobyl, and the fact that we can't see radiation therefore we don't know when we are exposed to it until out bones crumble and our teeth fall out. Big societal dread, therefore big noise to eradicate anything to do with this killer in our midst.

But no thought about how they are going to charge their iPod if they shut all the nuclear power stations....

16th Oct 2013, 10:35
Wrong, Caco. We make decisions based on assessment of cost and benefit, whether that's for travel, power, diet, alcohol or whatever. You introduced the risks of flying in a thread on Fukushima; don't be surprised if people respond.

Life kills 100%, nuclear power considerably fewer, btw.

16th Oct 2013, 10:38

I challenge you to answer your own question in a statistically meaningful way with respect to the risk analysis that would underpin your cost benefit analysis. I look forward to seeing it... :p


16th Oct 2013, 10:41
Pointless exercise for me, Caco. Pro-nuclear and happy to fly. Life's going to kill me eventually, I'd be as well to enjoy it while I can. :ok:

16th Oct 2013, 10:41
You introduced the risks of flying in a thread on Fukushima; don't be surprised if people respond.

Er no Kag did and I responded to say that his opinion was flawed.

Edited to say...

Life's going to kill me eventually, I'd be as well to enjoy it while I can. http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif

Now we are definitely in accord... :ok:

16th Oct 2013, 10:44
Caco, KAG made a throwaway comment, and you pounced on it to introduce statistical risks and mitigation.

16th Oct 2013, 11:45
Caco: Coal power plants pollute more and put in the atmosphere more radiation and radioactivity than nuclear power plants (google it). Coal power plants are much more deadly and contribute more to the growing cancer rate than nuclear power plants. However we are afraid of nuclear, not coal power plants.

This is why I bring up the airline comparison: cars are much more deadly than airlines, but we are afraid to take the airplane...

Human fears...

Besides, yes a lot of people died in Fukushima, but the vast majority (99 pc?)died because of the Tsunami, and because of that we have NO INTEREST IN THEM. They didn't die because of the nuclear accident, so who cares? That's cynical.

I hope I am clearer.
Obviously I agree with you when you said mistakes have been done. It doesn't change what I say above.

16th Oct 2013, 12:43
and you pounced on it to introduce statistical risks and mitigation

Would anybody 'pounce' on an ex-paratrooper...? I think not... ;)

I was just pointing out that KAG's initial comparison was somewhat spurious and seemed to underestimate the seriousness of what is happening at Fukushima...

If my tone appeared a tad harsh I apologise to KAG whose comments I always enjoy (even if I am in disagreement).

Edited to say that I not anti-nuclear per se, just that we need some more serious thinking about the way we are and will use this technology in the future.


16th Oct 2013, 12:54
That was not harsh at all Caco. And I didn't say you didn't have a point.
Producing our energy is a health hazard, this is true. And I am not saying nuclear is the best option. Thing is that not only nuclear energy is dangerous, but basically all kind of (non-green) energy production. We just fear nuclear energy more than what it kills in reality.
Poor us human beings, having to choose between economical growth or pollution...

21st Oct 2013, 08:43
Radioactive water leaks at Fukushima as operator underestimates rainfall | Reuters (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/21/uk-japan-fukushima-strontium-idUKBRE99K01E20131021)

AFP: Storm caused radioactive leaks at Fukushima: operator (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jm6lVqQcsZrTfPM5Hj2s8StYFYxA?docId=a0cfa333-953c-421c-a65e-86713585e9bb)

Flying Serpent
25th Oct 2013, 07:05
http://www.rt.com/news/fukushima-operation-spent-fuel-618/ (/)

Sensationalist rubbish or under reported news?


25th Oct 2013, 09:23
Maybe we should look at the statistics instead of fear mongering.

The body is just a biological machine, where every thing we interact with changes the probability of whether we get cancer or not.

25th Oct 2013, 09:30
every thing we interact with changes the probability of whether we get cancer or not.
not just. Everything one's parents interact with, too.

25th Oct 2013, 10:30
Fukushima readies for dangerous operation to remove 400 tons of spent fuel ? RT News (http://rt.com/news/fukushima-operation-spent-fuel-618/)

This link works :ok:

25th Oct 2013, 12:10
That RT article... just wow!

We all kind of knew this, but to have it spelt out so graphically and to know it is right around the corner, and that our friendly bumbling TEPCO is going to be in charge of this... words fail. :uhoh:

25th Oct 2013, 13:15
I read somewhere in the last week that Cesium was detected in the waters approx 1km offshore from the Dai-Ichi plant and in amounts that although not critical, were causing concern that they were detected so far away from the contaminated area.


25th Oct 2013, 14:05
so, that much about 'cheap' nuclear power.

The operation will be just one installment in the decommissioning process for the plant, and is forecast to take about 40 years and cost $11 billion.

TEPCO, responsible for the clean-up, is struggling to cope with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, but with the crisis over radiation-contaminated water at the plant, it has been criticized for its ad hoc response to the disaster. In August TEPCO pleaded for overseas help to contain the radioactive fallout, after 18 months of trying to control it internally.

Three of the Fukushima plant’s nuclear reactors were damaged by an earthquake-triggered tsunami on March 11, 2011, which led to a nuclear disaster. The plant has been accumulating radioactive water ever since. The government imposed a 20-kilometer ‘no-go’ zone around the plant area.

well, hydro-power has proved not to be so 'clean' after all - sediment building up due to dams and fish-life disturbed -, wind generators are noisy and it's not 'green' to build them... what next?

Dak Man
25th Oct 2013, 19:59
Reports on the wires about another earth quake in the Fukishima area, another Tsunami expected.......:sad:

7.3-Magnitude Quake Rocks Japan; No Damage Reports - ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/73-magnitude-quake-rocks-japan-20683990)

glad rag
28th Oct 2013, 22:35
China syndrome right here right now.


As Charlton Heston once said in film.... Damn you, Damn you to Hell.

29th Oct 2013, 06:51
"After 160 days"... That RT clip was two years ago? :confused:

Although much of what they were saying is basically right, RT again seems to have a vested interest in exaggerating problems in the 'western' world.

tony draper
29th Oct 2013, 08:49
Started watching RT when it first appeared on Freeview,didn't seem that bad at first,it's a joke now.

29th Oct 2013, 09:59
On the horrors of the radioactive water from Fukushima (http://timworstall.com/2011/04/16/on-the-horrors-of-the-radioactive-water-from-fukushima/)

The latest disaster at Fukushima (http://timworstall.com/2013/10/03/the-latest-disaster-at-fukushima/)

29th Oct 2013, 10:14
Here is a slightly more useful assessment of the water issues at the plant.



31st Oct 2013, 10:24
Either way, they got the green light and it's November from tomorrow.

Here's a US West Coast view of the situation:

Risky repair of Fukushima could spill 15,000x radiation of Hiroshima (http://americablog.com/2013/09/risky-repair-fukushima-spill-15000x-radiation-hiroshima-85x-chernobyl.html)

31st Oct 2013, 11:53
Either way, they got the green light and it's November from tomorrow.

Either way neither TEPCO, nor the Japanese government fill me with much confidence. This operation should be undertaken under the control of world experts in this field (thus including Americans, Russians and the French)...

We might still come to judge this disaster as far worse than Chernobyl...