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Page added on February 7, 2017

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New Radiation Level at Fukushima Dwarfs the Highest Peak at Chernobyl

Enviroment

The Fukushima Disaster

We noted a few days after the Japanese earthquake that the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs that at Chernobyl … and that the cesium fallout from Fukushima already rivaled Chernobyl (we also noted that Fukushima radiation could end up on the West Coast of North America. And see this.).

The next month, we pointed out that Tepco admitted that the radiation from Fukushima could exceed that from Chernobyl.

And that Fukushima’s reactors had actually suffered something much worse than a total meltdown: nuclear melt-throughs, where the nuclear fuel melted through the containment vessels and into the ground.   A few months later, we reported that radiation will pollute the area around Chernobyl for 5 to 10 times longer than models predicted – between 180 and 320 years.

The following year, we pointed out that the operator of the Fukushima plant admitted that they couldn’t find the  melted fuel from Fukushima reactor number 2 … and that the technology doesn’t yet even exist to clean up Fukushima.

Highest Radiation Level At Fukushima Now Dwarfs That At Chernobyl

The highest radiation levels ever measured at Chernobyl were 300 sieverts per hour … an incomprehensibly high dose which can kill a man almost instantly.

To put this in perspective, radiation is usually measured in thousandths of a sievert, called millisieverts. For example, most people receive around 2.4 millisieverts per year from background radiation, or only 0.0002739726 per hour.

But a radiation level of 530 sieverts per hour has just been measured at Fukushima’s number 2 reactor.

This new record at Fukushima is 70% higher than that of Chernobyl. (The highest level previously measured at Fukushima was 73 sieverts per hour, in March 2012.)

Postscript: For background on how this could have happened, see this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Washington’s Blog



32 Comments on "New Radiation Level at Fukushima Dwarfs the Highest Peak at Chernobyl"

  1. makati1 on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 5:56 pm 

    The gift that keeps on giving…

  2. sunweb on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 5:59 pm 

    Given the state of so much going on in the world, so many converging interacting parts on edge or near to it, the information below is not reassuring.
    Nuclear Energy Around the World. As of July 2015, 30 countries worldwide are operating 438 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 67 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries. Nuclear power plants provided 10.9 percent of the world’s electricity production in 2012.
    World Statistics – Nuclear Energy Institute
    http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/World-Statistics

  3. Ghung on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 6:07 pm 

    Yeah, Sun. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Nuclear power is, by its nature, a long-term commitment requiring a lot of things to continue to go well; a huge assumption. It’s sort of like birthing a child that takes hundreds/thousands of years to wean.

    Abandon that child and it will eat you alive.

  4. Hubert on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 6:24 pm 

    Someone should just nuke Japan and put that country out of it’s misery.

  5. Apneaman on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 7:39 pm 

    So much trouble.

    Those poor bastards in Sydney went from brutal heat wave to rain bombs.

    SYDNEY FLOODS: Apocalyptic storms causes collapsed houses across city

    “Huge downpours caused flash flooding across the city as a month’s worth of rain hit.

    Around 48mm of rain was dumped in an hour, more than all of January, with another 50mm expected tonight.

    Roads turned to rivers and motorists were warned not to drive as firefighters rescued people from the floods.”

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/764113/sydney-floods-rain-houses-collapse-buildings-evacuated

    https://youtu.be/KMxsI7uszyM?t=611

  6. Apneaman on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 7:46 pm 

    70s in February: Record high temperatures surge in the Eastern U.S.

    “Spring has already arrived in the Southeast and forecast highs are in the 70s as far north as Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, breaking records at dozens of climate-monitoring stations.”

    “Records broken on Tuesday

    Records that have already been broken or tied are crossed off. Temperatures will continue to rise through 3 or 4 p.m.

    Washington D.C. — 64 degrees (1887)
    Dulles Airport — 65 degrees (2009)
    BWI Airport — 64 degrees (1904)
    Paducah, Ky. — 66 degrees (1999)
    Memphis, Tenn. — 72 degrees (1937)
    Jacksonville, Fla. — 80 degrees (1904)
    Houston — 80 degrees (1957)
    Corpus Christi, Tex. — 83 degrees (2000)
    Austin — 84 degrees (2013)
    Brownsville, Tex. — 85 degrees (2013)”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/02/07/70s-in-february-record-high-temperatures-surge-in-the-eastern-u-s/

    Texas Weather: Temperatures Hit Record Highs
    Mother Nature didn’t get the memo it’s still winter, bringing record-breaking temps of 87 degrees on Tuesday and 86 degrees on Thursday.

    “According to the National Weather Service, forecasters predict the high today to reach 87 degrees at the gauge in Camp Mabrey. That’s two degrees higher than the record high of 85 degrees reached in 2013, forecasters noted.

    Those who enjoy this aberrant weather over what is known as “wintertime” elsewhere in the country will be able to luxuriate in balmy temps on Wednesday, when a peak of 86 degrees is forecast. That’s another record-breaker, besting the all-time high of 85 degrees set way back in 1962.”

    http://patch.com/texas/downtownaustin/record-high-temperatures-expected-throughout-central-texas-week

  7. Apneaman on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 7:55 pm 

    The heat is on
    Arctic heatwave: People in Longyearbyen woke up Monday morning to 20 °C warmer than average for February.

    “It is a very, very different Svalbard than people are used to. Longyearbyen airport measured 5.2 °C Monday morning. Average February temperature since the station was established in 1964 is -16 °C, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.”

    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2017/02/heat

  8. Apneaman on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 8:11 pm 

    They needed to do a big study to tell y’all what I been saying for years.

    Risk of ‘megafires’ to increase as climate warms

    “The research, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, uses satellite data to identify the 500 most extreme wildfires in recent years. Almost a third of these megafires caused deaths, burned down homes, or were declared a disaster by a national government.”

    “Nearly all – 96% – of these disastrous megafires occurred during periods of unusually hot and/or dry weather, the researchers say.

    Making ‘a bad situation worse’
    Recent research shows that the number of days wildfires are likely to burn each year is increasing as global temperatures rise. And the new study finds that extreme wildfires are likely to become more widespread in future, Bowman says:”

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/risk-megafires-increase-climate-warms

  9. Midnight Oil on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 8:41 pm 

    BUT the DATA at the NOAA was manipulate so claimed a whistleblower…so all is suspect!
    No need to be concerned about global warming.
    Short says we will banging rocks together by
    2023…that don’t add much to CO2…problem solved…thank God…NEXT

  10. dave thompson on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 10:03 pm 

    There is a great tune out there it goes…..safe ,clean, to cheap to meter.

  11. joe on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 12:16 am 

    To be fair to TEPCO it took a massive earthquake and tsunami to cause this, but thats kinda the point. Fukushima is one plant. What happens say if Israel blows up Irans fully functioning nuclear facilities and poisons half of the Middle East, or another earthquake hits some other place. We don’t even need nuclear, these are prestige projects. Oh well….

  12. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 12:56 am 

    BLOW IT UP.
    Like this:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_MdaqR7iI5pU/S-rvJE5YE8I/AAAAAAAAASk/wKoaYMLAQB4/s1600/hydrogen_bomb_.jpg

    I think you people just don’t know how to party.

    Trixie says ‘hi’.
    http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/1700000/Speed-Racer-screencaps-christina-ricci-1713477-1280-720.jpg

  13. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 12:58 am 

    See thats the whole problem.

    Nuclear power plants are designed to NOT explode like an atomic bomb.

    So we’re gonna fix that mistake.

  14. dave thompson on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 1:12 am 

    To be fair the idiots that designed the place put the back up emergency generators for cooling power IN THE BASEMENT. Next to an earth quake prone ocean zone. Did it not occur to the designers that basements flood and usually during a disaster?

  15. makati1 on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 1:57 am 

    joe, the Fukushima complex is FOUR nuclear plants. not just one. And, they were designed and built by GE. You know, the American corporation that makes a lot of stuff that never lasts long. It was a massive case of stupidity.

  16. makati1 on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 2:14 am 

    dave, how many Nukes are on the US West Coast near the biggest fault line in the world? Last count, two operational in Cali on the fault line or so close, it will not matter. And prevailing winds will carry any fallout across the entire US. Also, one of the old, decommissioned locations there is still full of spent fuel needing cooling and care for a long tome to come. Not too smart, right? But then earthquakes never happen in the exceptional nation, do they? Not to mention the dozens of nukes along the East Coast in hurricane country. lol

  17. peakyeast on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 4:19 am 

    GSR is right. I see it now. Blow it up with a hydrogen bomb – so the material can spread nicely and as evenly as possible around the entire earth.

    Its a tried and true method.

    We use similar methods with poisoned groundwater – mix it up with clean water until the poisons are under some set level. Then its ok for people to be biological filters.

    It would be silly not to take advantage of peoples desire to do good around the world. This way everybody gets to give a contribution to the Fukushima problem.

  18. dave thompson on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 4:33 am 

    You got it makati1.

  19. Anonymous on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 4:50 am 

    But GE, brings good things to life.

    Except of course, when they don’t. How does that work in the exclusion zone I wonder..

    Maybe they could update their marketing slogan to this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZPCICxQ3D0

    3:45

  20. Davy on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 5:23 am 

    Peak, I will do one better than speeder. Let’s just bomb ourselves we are more dangerous than plutonium to the planet.

  21. Antius on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 7:42 am 

    This article is one of the poorest pieces of journalism that I have ever seen and clearly not written by a scientist. A few points:

    ‘We noted a few days after the Japanese earthquake that the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs that at Chernobyl … and that the cesium fallout from Fukushima already rivaled Chernobyl (we also noted that Fukushima radiation could end up on the West Coast of North America. And see this.).’

    Radiation did end up on the North Coast of America. But so what? The North Coast of America is already radioactive. The soil, the air we breathe, even our own bodies are naturally radioactive. If a tiny amount of caesium arrived at the US coast, then it is a tiny problem. You can only gauge the scale of the problem by talking quantities. Otherwise it is just scaremongering babble.

    Fukushima has 6 units with a number of spent fuel ponds, so one would expect there to be more caesium at the site than one would find at Chernobyl. Again, having the fuel at the site isn’t the issue; if it can melt and spread caesium across northern Japan then it’s a big problem. But how much decay heat is left six years after the accident?
    When say caesium fallout, are they talking total Becquerels released into the atmosphere and dispersed around Japan or released into containment?

    ‘And that Fukushima’s reactors had actually suffered something much worse than a total meltdown: nuclear melt-throughs, where the nuclear fuel melted through the containment vessels and into the ground. A few months later, we reported that radiation will pollute the area around Chernobyl for 5 to 10 times longer than models predicted – between 180 and 320 years.’

    The radioactive contaminants will be around forever in small amounts, but half of it decays with each half life. You could conceivably go and live in the contaminated areas right now, but you would be taking an extra health risk from the pollutants in the soil. Not so different to living on a street with air pollution, you would gradually accumulate a higher risk of cancer and heart disease. The question is how low does it need to go before the risk becomes tolerable to you? Whatever you do in life you have to live with certain risks and none of us will live forever anyway.

    ‘But a radiation level of 530 sieverts per hour has just been measured at Fukushima’s number 2 reactor.’

    So what? Put a Geiger counter into a nuclear reactor pressure vessel and you will measure thousands of Sieverts per hour. That’s just the way they are. It’s only a problem if people are exposed to it. In any event, this is a local problem that will cost a lot of money to clean up, but not something that can realistically threaten a large part of Japan.

  22. Randy Bramstedt on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 7:55 am 

    The Fukushima accident has been considered the worst in nuclear accident in history for a while now. National Geographic ranked it as the worst nuclear accident in 2014, surpassing Chernobyl.

    Even this article gets it wrong in regard to dangerous Cesium isotopes like Cesium 137. Fukushima has released more Cesium than Chernobyl. The U.S. media still intentionally downplays the severity of the Fukushima nuclear disaster probably because General Electric made the failed reactors and also owns NBC. U.S. media still falsely calls Fukushima the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. U.S. mainstream media has become almost entirely filled with propaganda or “fake news.” Except for sports, I never consider the mainstream media as a credible source of information these days.

  23. Antius on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 8:14 am 

    Here is a link to a contamination map of Japan:
    http://fukushimavoice-eng.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/position-statement-what-is-currently.html

    Some 730km2 of land is contaminated with caesium to a level >1MBq/m2. At 1MBq/m2, dose rate is 2.2μSv/hour. Constant exposure would result in 19mSv/yr accumulated dose – equivalent to NPP worker annual dose limits. Live in that small area for 30 years and your chance of getting fatal cancer later in life increases from 20% to 22.9%, all else being equal and assuming no shielding from structures or topography. Radiation levels will drop by one half every 30 years. The heavily contaminated area is 0.19% of Japan’s land area.

    I’m not saying that accident wasn’t severe or expensive. But this is being put forward as some sort on existential threat to Japan. It simply isn’t.

  24. dissident on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 8:20 am 

    The anti-nuclear wankfest continues.

    @makati

    GE has nothing to do with it. It is the retarded Japanese management of TEPCO that decided to put the backup generators in the basement in a tsunami flood zone. Epic retardation considering there was a 135 foot high hill just behind the plant that could have easily accommodated the generators. The flooding of the generator room is the sole reason for the meltdowns. The physical damage from the earthquake and the tsunami flooding was a total non issue, i.e. the reactor buildings did their job.

  25. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 10:41 am 

    But Makita, I think there are 6 reactors at Fukushima,
    not 4 ?

    I think they added a couple more, somewhere in time.

    This is why we actually might want to use 6 atomic bombs, synchronized, one next to each reactor building.

    Possibly a 7th, funds permitting, out in that
    water tank farm. The parking lot full of tanks of
    radioactive water. Clear that off too.
    bye bye, all goes away.

    Do we need an 8th synchronized warhead?
    Sure. The last one goes in the men’s room.

    I always got a laugh out of somebody
    blowing up a toilet.

  26. Davy on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 11:41 am 

    speeder Im rollin

  27. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 12:17 pm 

    (O; This 8 warhead Fukushima clean up plan,
    is endorsed by the Trump Administration.
    (O;

  28. Kenz300 on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 12:25 pm 

    What will happen to all the nuclear waste when there is the next huge earth quake and tsunami?

  29. Ghung on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 1:21 pm 

    dissident said; “GE has nothing to do with it. It is the retarded Japanese management of TEPCO that decided to put the backup generators in the basement in a tsunami flood zone.”

    Actually, GE did specify that the generators be placed in the basement. That was when the plan called for the reactors to be at about 35 meters above sea level. Tepco, et al, lowered the level of the reactors to around 10 meters to get to better ground rock to improve earthquake resistance and make the seawater pumps cheaper to operate. Some of their engineers wanted to relocate the generators to a higher level, but Tepco elected to stick with GE’s original plan.

    So it goes.

  30. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 4:52 pm 

    Well Kenz, with the upcoming 8 warhead
    Atomic blast, all that crap will be
    long gone by the next Tsunami.

    Will have sprinkled it far away as Pluto.
    Not even their underground freezer will
    be there anymore.

    Just a blue lagoon with speedboats
    hamburger stands and bikini babes.

  31. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 8th Feb 2017 4:57 pm 

    That is very good info, Ghung. Thanks.

    I like how at all moments in time,
    all there is,
    Is total absolute mentally retarded
    bureaucrat incompetency. Cause when
    they melted the reactors and poisoned
    all the countryside, they all got to keep
    their paychecks. Change that, and take their
    paychecks back. And then the papers
    pushing bureaucrats would
    not be so accepting of their brilliant plan
    for underwater Diesel generators.

  32. Rick on Fri, 10th Feb 2017 4:38 pm 

    Stupidity is not a badge of honor. Deceptive ‘relative risk’ is the mindless patter of scoundrels and fools. The value of life is downplayed, ridiculed. Death looms. Silence follows. Failure.

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