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New Fukushima radioactive leak 'serious': West Coast of No. America to Be Hit Hard by Radiation

Discussion in 'The News Wire' started by Samstwitch, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Samstwitch

    Samstwitch Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    5,038
    This is serious! Radiation is coming to the shores of America (read my Post #2 below), but it's not in the Mainstream News, because it will decrease the surplus population.

    New Fukushima radioactive leak 'serious'

    More than two years after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused a nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the embattled operator is stuck in damage-control mode.

    Japan’s watchdog Nuclear Regulation Authority announced Wednesday that a radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant was magnitudes more severe than previously thought, further eroding faith in the capacity of the plant owners and government to deal with safety breaches in the aftermath of a disaster there two years ago.

    The NRA increased the severity level of the crisis – which began when a leak was discovered in a storage tank Monday – from a level 1 “anomaly” to a level 3 “serious incident” on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. Each number on the scale represents a 10-fold increase in severity, with a level 3 event signaling exposure that exceeds ten times the limit for workers, according to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

    "I don't know if describing it this way is appropriate, but [Fukushima] is like a haunted house and, as I've said, mishaps keep happening one after the other," NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said to reporters, according to Reuters. "We have to look into how we can reduce the risks and how to prevent it from becoming a fatal or serious incident."
    The announcement came as workers at the plant frantically hauled sandbags to the site of the leak to stem the flow of contaminated water. But Tokyo Electric Power, or Tepco, which runs the hobbled plant, acknowledged to The New York Times that much of the leaked water had already found its way into the surrounding soil, and could eventually reach the ocean.

    This is the latest in a series of major crises that have befallen Fukushima since March 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami caused a nuclear meltdown at the plant – the worst disaster of its kind since the 1986 incident at Chernobyl.

    Last month, the NRA declared an emergency at the plant after it was discovered that hundreds of tons of radioactive groundwater were leaking into the ocean from the plant each day. And last week, the plant announced that 10 workers had been unwittingly sprayed with a mist – used to cool parts of the building – that had high levels of radiation.

    Tepco has been repeatedly criticized for its bungled handling of these crises, and many observers worry the latest leak is a harbinger of further disasters to come. As the Times reports,

    Tepco had assumed the tanks would last at least five years. But the tank that leaked could have been in place no more than two, and workers previously found smaller leaks from similar tanks at least four times. And Hiroshi Miyano, an expert in nuclear system design at Hosei University in Tokyo, said that the tanks would be vulnerable to earthquake or tsunami, with the potential for a huge spill.

    Meanwhile, the company has not yet identified the precise source of Monday’s leak, which was uncovered when workers found large puddles near a 1,000 ton tank. By the time they identified the problem, some 300 tons of water had already spilled out.

    As Fox News reports, the spill will contribute to a cleanup effort that is already projected to take decades, and that has left the area around the plant devastated.


    The Japanese government recently allowed international media to travel inside the uninhabited zone around the plant, on the nation's northeastern coast. Villages appear frozen in time, deserted, with everything left as it was when residents were evacuated. The crippled nuclear plant, whose reactors have still not cooled, is situated on a hill overlooking what were once beautiful beaches now littered with vehicles and debris from the tsunami.

    Former residents are allowed to visit sometimes their former homes, but can't stay long and face a vigorous radiation checking procedure every time they leave. The sea, was once famous across Japan for the fish it provided, is bereft of fishing boats.

    Recent tests of water from wells in the area show that radioactivity is still hundreds of times above safe drinking levels.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
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  2. Samstwitch

    Samstwitch Senior Member

    Joined:
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    West Coast of North America to Be Hit Hard by Fukushima Radiation

    Washington’s Blog
    August 21, 2013

    An ocean current called the
    North Pacific Gyre is bringing Japanese radiation to the West Coast of North America:

    Fukishima 3.jpg

    While many people assume that the ocean will dilute the Fukushima radiation, a previously-secret 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents, and there could be “pockets” and “streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.

    The University of Hawaii’s
    International Pacific Research Center created a graphic showing the projected dispersion of debris from Japan:

    Last year, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and 3 scientists from the GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences showed that radiation on the West Coast of North America could end up being 10 times higher than in Japan:

    After 10 years the concentrations become nearly homogeneous over the whole Pacific, with higher values in the east, extending along the North American coast with a maximum (~1 × 10−4) off Baja California.

    ***

    With caution given to the various idealizations (unknown actual oceanic state during release, unknown release area, no biological effects included, see section 3.4), the following conclusions may be drawn. (i) Dilution due to swift horizontal and vertical dispersion in the vicinity of the energetic Kuroshio regime leads to a rapid decrease of radioactivity levels during the first 2 years, with a decline of near-surface peak concentrations to values around 10 Bq m−3 (based on a total input of 10 PBq). The strong lateral dispersion, related to the vigorous eddy fields in the mid-latitude western Pacific, appears significantly under-estimated in the non-eddying (0.5°) model version. (ii) The subsequent pace of dilution is strongly reduced, owing to the eastward advection of the main tracer cloud towards the much less energetic areas of the central and eastern North Pacific. (iii) The magnitude of additional peak radioactivity should drop to values comparable to the pre-Fukushima levels after 6–9 years (i.e. total peak concentrations would then have declined below twice pre-Fukushima levels). (iv) By then the tracer cloud will span almost the entire North Pacific, with peak concentrations off the North American coast an order-of-magnitude higher than in the western Pacific.

    ***


    Fukishima 1.JPG


    (“Order-of-magnitude” is a scientific term which means 10 times higher. The “Western Pacific” means Japan’s East Coast.)

    And a team of top Chinese scientists has just published a study in the Science China Earth Sciences journal showing that Fukushima nuclear pollution is becoming
    more concentrated as it approaches the West Coast of the United States, that the plume crosses the ocean in a nearly straight line toward North America, and that it appears to stay together with little dispersion:

    On March 30, 2011, the Japan Central News Agency reported the monitored radioactive pollutions that were 4000 times higher than the standard level. Whether or not these nuclear pollutants will be transported to the Pacific-neighboring countries through oceanic circulations becomes a world-wide concern.

    ***

    The time scale of the nuclear pollutants reaching the west coast of America is 3.2 years if it is estimated using the surface drifting buoys and 3.9 years if it is estimated using the nuclear pollutant particulate tracers.

    ***


    Fuku1.jpg


    The half life of cesium-137 is so long that it produces more damage to human. Figure 4 gives the examples of the distribution of the impact strength of Cesium-137 at year 1.5 (panel (a)), year 3.5 (panel (b)), and year 4 (panel (c)).

    ***

    It is worth noting that due to the current near the shore cannot be well reconstructed by the global ocean reanalysis, some nuclear pollutant particulate tracers may come to rest in near shore area, which may result in additional uncertainty in the estimation of the impact strength.

    ***

    Since the major transport mechanism of nuclear pollutants for the west coast of America is the Kuroshio-extension currents, after four years, the impact strength of Cesium-137 in the west coast area of America is as high as 4%.

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  3. Samstwitch

    Samstwitch Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
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    This is really frightening, and nothing will be done about it! :(

    Radioactive Groundwater at Fukushima Nears Pacific


    Deep beneath Fukushima's crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant's reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the Pacific.


    Now, 2 1/2 years later, experts fear it is about to reach the ocean and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.


    The looming crisis is potentially far greater than the discovery earlier this week of a leak from a tank that stores contaminated water used to cool the reactor cores. That 300-ton (80,000-gallon) leak is the fifth and most serious from a tank since the March 2011 disaster, when three of the plant's reactors melted down after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant's power and cooling functions.


    But experts believe the underground seepage from the reactor and turbine building area is much bigger and possibly more radioactive, confronting the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an invisible, chronic problem and few viable solutions. Many also believe it is another example of how TEPCO has repeatedly failed to acknowledge problems that it could almost certainly have foreseen — and taken action to mitigate before they got out of control.


    It remains unclear what the impact of the contamination on the environment will be because the radioactivity will be diluted as it spreads farther into the sea. Most fishing in the area is already banned, but fishermen in nearby Iwaki City had been hoping to resume test catches next month following favorable sampling results. Those plans have been scrapped after news of the latest tank leak.


    "Nobody knows when this is going to end," said Masakazu Yabuki, a veteran fisherman in Iwaki, just south of the plant, where scientists say contaminants are carried by the current. "We've suspected (leaks into the ocean) from the beginning. ... TEPCO is making it very difficult for us to trust them."


    To keep the melted nuclear fuel from overheating, TEPCO has rigged a makeshift system of pipes and hoses to funnel water into the broken reactors. The radioactive water is then treated and stored in the aboveground tanks that have now developed leaks. But far more leaks into the reactor basements during the cooling process — then through cracks into the surrounding earth and groundwater.


    About 1,000 tons of underground water from the mountains flows into the plant compound each day, of which 400 tons seep into the reactor and turbine basements and get contaminated. The remaining 600 avoids that area, but at least half of it is believed to eventually come in contact with contamination elsewhere before entering the sea, according to an estimate by Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.


    Scientists, pointing to stubbornly high radioactive cesium levels in bottom-dwelling fish since the disaster, had for some time suspected the plant was leaking radioactive water into the ocean. TEPCO repeatedly denied that until last month, when it acknowledged contaminated water has been leaking into the ocean from early in the crisis. Even so, the company insists the seepage is coming from part of a network of maintenance tunnels, called trenches, near the coast, rather than underground water coming out of the reactor and turbine area. (Continued)


    CLICK ME to read Full Article
     
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  4. opmmur

    opmmur Senior Member

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    Jun 11, 2004
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    The US has about 215 nuclear Power Generators and all need water for cooling.
    We have 215 likely Fukushima events that could happen.
     
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