World Info Hub - We Are All Connected - The Whole World is Watching - It Is Bigger Than Us - Be the Change


Exercising the Right to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication

--- If you would like to post front page articles on register here

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bury The Plant

"Chernobyl solution" may be last resort for Japan reactors

18 Mar 2011 12:31
Source: Reuters // Reuters
(Repeats to additional subscribers)
By Elaine Lies
TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) - A "Chernobyl solution" may be the last resort for dealing with Japan's stricken nuclear plant, but burying it in sand and concrete is a messy fix that might leave part of the country as an off-limits radioactive sore for decades.
Japanese authorities say it is still too early to talk about long-term measures while cooling the plant's six reactors and associated fuel-storage pools, comes first.
"It's just not that easy," Murray Jennex, a professor at San Diego State University in California, said when asked about the so-called Chernobyl option for dealing with damaged reactors, named after the Ukrainian nuclear plant that exploded in 1986.
"They (reactors) are kind of like a coffee maker. If you leave it on the heat, they boil dry and then they crack," he said.
"Putting concrete on that wouldn't help keep your coffee maker safe. But eventually, yes, you could build a concrete shield and be done with it."
Experts say the cores at the six battered reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, are likely to be safely contained, but worry about the cooling pools for spent fuel, one of which contains plutonium.
So far, authorities have failed to cool the pools, where normally water circulates continuously, keeping racks of spent nuclear fuel rods at a benign temperature.
Helicopters and water cannon trucks have dumped tonnes of water on the reactors, but still the water in the pools is evaporating and the rods are heating up. It is also feared that the quake has smashed the rods into each other, which could cause a nuclear reaction.
"It is not impossible to encase the reactors in concrete, but our priority right now is to try and cool them down first," a Tokyo Electric Power official told a briefing on Friday.
At Chernobyl, an army of workers conscripted by the then Soviet government buried the reactor in tonnes of sand, then threw together a concrete container known as the "sarcophagus" within months of the fire and explosion there.
It failed to set properly and it cracked, leaking radiation into the atmosphere and water. Partly supported by the damaged walls of the reactor building, it has had to be reinforced.
Under a new plan for Chernobyl, a massive structure will be assembled away from the reactor at a cost of billions of dollars, then slid into place over the existing sarcophagus.
Chernobyl-style methods would be even more difficult at Fukushima Daiichi, given the number of reactors involved.
As Japanese officials have said, cooling is still the top priority. Pouring sand onto hot fuel could theoretically produce glass, and that same heat would prevent working on a durable concrete shell.
That means the stricken complex is likely to become an open sore, leaking radioactive particles into the atmosphere, for weeks and possibly months before the Chernobyl solution could even be implemented.
Authorities say radiation outside the Japanese plant is not high enough to cause harm. Still, the 20 km (12 mile) exclusion zone around the plant may end up as a permanent no-man's land, a major problem for small, populous country.
A 30 km (19 mile) exclusion zone remains around Chernobyl.
Tokyo, though, is likely to remain largely unscathed no matter what happens because of its distance from the reactors, no matter how nervous its citizens may be.
It is not accidental that the nuclear plant was built so far away from Japan's biggest city, said Yuki Karakawa, international coordinator at the International Association of Emergency Managers, an extension of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"Those reactors in Fukushima are there for Tokyo's power and Tokyo's benefit, not for Fukushima's," he added. "After all, Tokyo is more than 200 kilometres away." (Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Mark Bendeich and Daniel Magnowski)

The Amount of Radioactive Fuel at Fukushima DWARFS Chernobyl, 24X More Radiactive Material at Fukushima

Washington’s Blog

March 19, 2011

Science Insider noted yesterday:

The Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan … had a total of 1760 metric tons of fresh and used nuclear fuel on site last year, according to a presentation by its owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The most damaged Daiichi reactor, number 3, contains about 90 tons of fuel, and the storage pool above reactor 4, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) Gregory Jaczko reported yesterday had lost its cooling water, contains 135 tons of spent fuel. The amount of fuel lost in the core melt at Three Mile Island in 1979 was about 30 tons; the Chernobyl reactors had about 180 tons when the accident occurred in 1986.

And see this.

That means that Fukushima has nearly 10 times more nuclear fuel than Chernobyl.

It also means that a single spent fuel pool – at reactor 4, which has lost all of its water and thus faces a release of its radioactive material - has 75% as much nuclear fuel as at all of Chernobyl.

However, the real numbers are even worse.

Specifically, Tepco very recently transferred many more radioactive spent fuel rods into the storage pools. According to Associated Press, there were – at the time of the earthquake and tsunami – 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools plus 877 tons of active fuel in the cores of the reactors.

That totals 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel at Fukushima.

Which means that there is almost 24 times more nuclear fuel at Fukushima than Chernobyl

Mainstream media halts accurate reporting on Japan’s worsening nuclear catastrophe; disinfo campaign now underway

Mike Adams

Natural News

March 19, 2011

Almost as if on cue, the mainstream media today halted nearly all accurate reporting of the worsening situation in Japan, writing off the whole thing as a “non issue.” This all happened in a seeming coordinate effort following President Obama’s speech on Wednesday that urged Americans to NOT prepare for anything. The American people, Obama insisted, should simply watch television to “stay informed.” Shortly after, mainstream television news returned to its regularly-scheduled sports and entertainment programming, barely touching on the reality of the worsening situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

Nuclear experts that were on mainstream news channels two days are now nowhere to be found today. Scary (but accurate) news stories about Fukushima have now been all but completely banned from the MSM. The word from the top is clearly that media outlets should start downplaying this nuclear accident, which even now ranks as the second worst nuclear accident in the history of human civilization (right after Chernobyl).

The Asian media, for its part, simply started fabricating completely fictitious news. The press in China and Taiwan, for example, reported last night that grid power had been restored to the Fukushima reactor #2 and that the entire disaster had now been completely averted. This was a total fabrication: The truth is that power plant workers were pulled out of the area before they could even connect grid power, due to rising levels of extremely dangerous radiation near the plant.

Even if grid power were restored to reactor #2, that would not help reactors #3 and #4, where the really dangerous plutonium MOX fuel is stored. It’s 2,000,000 times more toxic than enriched uranium.

And even if they could restore power to all the reactors, there’s no guarantee that the cooling pumps will even work there. They were very likely damaged in the explosions and may not be functioning at all.

Time to start lying to the people

What to do in such a crisis? If you’re the government, the important action is to just lie to the people as much as possible, telling them everything’s fine. Even Japan’s own political leaders are fed up with it. One Mayor of a Japanese province says his own government abandoned his people and lied to everyone .

In the United States, the nuclear power industry is now in total spin mode, trying to make sure people don’t question the future of nuclear power. General Electric, which manufactured the reactors in the Fukushima power plant, experienced huge stock losses over the last few days. Now, it seems the orders from the top are to tell people nuclear power is “still safe.” GE, of course, is a huge asset holder in NBC , one of the major media players in this whole charade. I very much doubt NBC openly discloses to its viewers that its news reporting may be entirely biased because it is largely owned by the very same corporate conglomerate that earns money from the construction of nuclear power plants.

Even the radiation reporting from U.S. authorities appears to be a whitewash, as detectors in the U.S. are only reporting radiation leaked days ago out of Japan, not the new radiation headed our way.

We are now witnessing the complete transition of this entire story from the “honest reporting” phase to the new “disinformation” phase which seeks to ensure that the people of the world have no real clue what’s going on in Fukushima. Don’t prepare. Don’t worry. Don’t think for yourself. Just do whatever the government tells you to do… which is right now nothing.

It’s an amazing plan, eh? Sadly, pretending that Fukushima is not a problem does not reverse the laws of nuclear physics at work there. If a massive cloud of radiation bursts into the atmosphere in the coming days, will they also pretend nothing happened? Will the American people be given no warning as a massive radiation cloud approaches?

We must now seriously begin to question the agenda of the Japanese and American governments in all this. Are they actually trying to get more people killed? If not, then why aren’t the people being advised to take prudent precautionary measures?

Here at NaturalNews, we urge everyone to get prepared, just in case. Have a preparedness kit. Have a plan. Get informed. Fuel up your vehicles. Boost your iodine intake. Be calm and prepared, folks, so that you don’t panic and become part of the problem when things go wrong.

Why can’t Obama utter those words, I wonder? Why is the only real leadership on this whole issue coming from the alternative media and not the elected “leaders” of our nation?

Radioactive iodine beyond limit detected in tap water in Fukushima

TOKYO, March 20, Kyodo

Radioactive iodine beyond Japan's regulated standard was detected in tap water in a town in Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday, apparently due to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the government said Saturday.

The health ministry said levels on Friday and Saturday in the town of Kawamata were below the limit but milk there has been found to contain radioactive iodine above the country's standard, raising concern about radioactive contamination in the region.

Kawamata is located around 45 kilometers northwest of the nuclear power plant.

Meanwhile, slight amounts of radioactive iodine have been detected in tap water in Tokyo, its vicinity and most prefectures neighboring Fukushima, the government said the same day.

While the substance was found in Tochigi, Gunma, Niigata, Chiba and Saitama prefectures as well as Tokyo, traces of cesium have been also found in tap water in Tochigi and Gunma, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said, adding the levels would not affect human health even if ingested.

Tochigi, Gunma and Niigata prefectures border Fukushima Prefecture.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry notified local governments that if levels of radioactive materials in tap water rise above regulated standards, people should refrain from drinking tap water, but added there is no problem at the moment with using it as usual and there is no danger to human health.

The education ministry said 77 becquerels of iodine was found per kilogram of water in Tochigi, 2.5 becquerels in Gunma, 0.62 becquerels in Saitama, 0.79 becquerels in Chiba, 1.5 becquerels in Tokyo and 0.27 becquerels in Niigata, against an intake limit of 300 becquerels.

The amount of cesium per kilogram of water was 1.6 becquerels in Tochigi and 0.22 in Gunma, against the limit of 200 becquerels set by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.

The Gunma prefectural government said it had detected the substances for the first time since it began testing tap water for radioactive materials in 1990.

The education ministry plans to compile data on levels of radioactive materials in tap water from all prefectures once a day in principle. In addition, the ministry will start to announce levels in atmospheric fallout such as rain and dust.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan storage pools big worry -U.S. nuclear expert

Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:20pm GMT
* Open-air pools for spent fuel could release radiation
* Many U.S. nuclear power plants have similar design
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) - Dangerous radiation has the potential of spewing uncontrollably from open-air pools storing spent nuclear fuel at Japan's crippled Fukushima power plant, according to a U.S. expert.
About one-third of U.S. nuclear facilities are designed in the same way, said Robert Alvarez, a senior U.S. Department of Energy official during the Clinton administration.
"If you look at the photos" of the Fukushima Daiichi facility in northeastern Japan, "you see at least two pools are exposed to the open sky," Alvarez said.
One of the immediate problems facing Japan is the cooling water in the pools may already have drained partially or completely. When spent fuel rods are exposed to the air they can easily catch fire, raising a deadly mix of radiation into the atmosphere.
One week ago, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, followed by a powerful tsunami that swept ashore, killing thousands and displacing nearly 500,000 people.
The back-to-back disasters severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi plant and so far, attempts to secure the facility have failed.
The spent fuel was moved from the plant's reactors to storage pools only a year ago, "which means relative to its radioactive decay it's still what we call fresh fuel and gives off quite a bit of heat as it decays," said Alvarez, now a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.
He spoke to reporters at a news conference sponsored by the institute, Friends of the Earth and Physicians for Social Responsibility, which have advocated for more use of sustainable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.
Alvarez said the storage pools, elevated several stories above ground and not in a containment dome like the nuclear reactors themselves, have the potential of putting "significant amounts of cesium 137," a byproduct of nuclear fission, into the open air.
Cancer-causing Cesium 137, he added, "is the really bad actor in this" with its ability to emit penetrating radiation over long periods.
Of 104 nuclear reactors in the United States, Alvarez said, 34 are of the same design -- open-air, elevated storage pools -- as the Fukushima plant.
But the U.S. pools are storing much more spent fuel than the ones in Fukushima and "are currently holding, on the average, four times more than their design intended," he said.
That's because the United States has been unable to settle on long-term sites for storing waste from nuclear power plants.
Nearly a decade ago, Alvarez said, he began warning the United States about the need to pay more attention to risks at the open-air storage pools.
Peter Bradford, a former commissioner at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said questions have been raised for years about whether spent fuel is being safely stored at U.S. power plants.
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission pretty bluntly shunted those questions aside," Bradford told Reuters Insider TV. Bradford said the commission even tried to prevent the publication of a study of the issue completed by the National Academy of Sciences.
"That kind of complacency, the sense that everything is good enough already, is very unlikely to persist in the wake of these events" in Japan, said Bradford, who is now an adjunct professor at the Vermont Law School.
He served on the NRC during the 1979 partial core meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. "In terms of severity, this accident (in Japan) left Three Mile Island in the rear-view mirror several days ago," Bradford said at the news conference with Alvarez.
Bradford speculated that the disaster in Japan will make efforts to expand nuclear energy in the United States "dead for now." (Additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

American Official Warns That Qaddafi May Lash Out With New Terrorist Attacks

American Official Warns That Qaddafi May Lash Out With New Terrorist Attacks

The United States is bracing for possible Libyan-backed terrorist attacks, President Obama’s top counterterrorism official said on Friday.
1 of 5
The Libyan Rebellion
Interactive map of the major clashes in Libya, day by day.


    The official, John O. Brennan, said that the military attacks on civilians ordered in recent days by Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, coupled with his track record as a sponsor of terrorism, had heightened worries within the administration as an international coalition threatens military action against Libya.
    Asked if American officials feared whether Colonel Qaddafi could open a new terrorism front, Mr. Brennan said: “Qaddafi has the penchant to do things of a very concerning nature. We have to anticipate and be prepared for things he might try to do to flout the will of the international community.”
    Among the threats the United States is focusing on is Libya’s stockpile of deadly mustard gas, he said.
    Mr. Brennan spoke to reporters after addressing theBrennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School in Manhattan. The center is named for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., who died in 1997 and was no relation to Mr. Brennan.
    After renouncing its nascent nuclear weapons program in 2003, and enjoying a brief interlude as Washington’s partner in combating Al Qaeda’s branch in North Africa, Libya has reverted to its status as a pariah government whose intelligence operatives blew up Pan Am Flight 103 above Scotland in 1988.
    Mr. Brennan acknowledged that the political turmoil in the Middle East in the past three months had breached or weakened counterterrorism cooperation among some Arab countries. But he added that the United States had taken unspecified steps in recent months to offset its losses in that area. Among those steps may be more electronic eavesdropping, spy satellite coverage and more informants on the ground, independent intelligence specialists said.
    “We’ve been able to weather some of these storms, but clearly there have been effects,” he said. “We need to work hard to ensure that the cooperation that existed before with certain countries continues.”
    Mr. Brennan declined to provide details of what the United States was doing or which countries it was focusing on, but it is no secret that American spy agencies have worked closely with counterparts in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.
    “When politics change, frequently security and intelligence services that are dedicated to thwarting transnational terrorist groups, they remain largely unaffected because their focus is on those elements that are trying to undermine the security and stability of the country,” Mr. Brennan said.
    He said American spy services and law enforcement agencies had worked with some Arab counterparts in recent weeks to disrupt terrorist plots that allied officials had been tracking even before the political tumult in the region boiled over. He said a number of jailed terrorism suspects or sympathizers in those countries who had been released or escaped in the recent chaos had been “rounded up and brought back.”
    But not all. Egypt’s governing military council released the younger brother of Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s second in command, from prison on Thursday after holding him for a decade on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government.
    Asked about the release of this prominent prisoner, Mr. Brennan barely disguised his frustration with Egyptian military officials. “I’m concerned if any individual who is involved in terrorism is released either intentionally or as a result of the lack of security,” he said.
    Any terrorism threat from Colonel Qaddafi would join a regional roster that includes affiliates of Al Qaeda in Yemen and North Africa, which may seek to carve out a safe haven in Libya’s south. “Al Qaeda has a demonstrated track record of trying to exploit political vacuums, political change or uncertainty in a number of countries,” Mr. Brennan said. “The situation in Libya now will be no exception.”

    Nuclear plant boss breaks down crying, admits radiation levels deadly

    •  The Alex Jones ChannelAlex Jones Show podcastPrison Planet TwitterAlex Jones' FacebookInfowars store
    Mail Online
    March 18, 2011
    The boss of the company behind the devastated Japanese nuclear reactor today broke down in tears – as his country finally acknowledged the radiation spewing from the over-heating reactors and fuel rods was enough to kill some citizens
    Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted that the disaster was a level 5, which is classified as a crisis causing ‘several radiation deaths’ by the UN International Atomic Energy.
    Officials said the rating was raised after they realized the full extent of the radiation leaking from the plant. They also said that 3 per cent of the fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima plant had been severely damaged, suggesting those reactor cores have partially melted down.

    Massive Japanese Nuclear Storm Headed for U.S. West Coast

    •  The Alex Jones ChannelAlex Jones Show podcastPrison Planet TwitterAlex Jones' FacebookInfowars store
    March 18, 2011
    Based on radar over the Pacific from The Weather Channel, a massive storm is headed directly for the U.S. and Canadian West Coast, which broke off from a larger formation (shown below) that was more than 2000 miles wide on March 17, 2011. The formation passed over Japan during its nuclear plant’s meltdown, and may well match predictions that radiation could reach the West Coast.
    This screenshot taken at 5:39 PM EDT, March 18, 2011 shows a massive storm in the Pacific Ocean headed directly for the West Coast. Obviously, the radar image loop is continuously updated– check here for most recent activity.

    Live Doppler 4:00 pm pacific

    1500 km
    1500 km
    Massive storm in Pacific headed for U.S. West Coast, March 18, 2011

    The Weather Channel, Timestamp 18 March 2001 21:29 GMT / 5:29 PM EDT

    Click here for live update of Pacific Satellite animation at Intellicast.
    Pacific Satellite, Intellicast, timestamp 21:30 18-MAR-2011

    A similar radar image from Intellicast’s Pacific Satellite, Timestamp 21:30 18-MAR-2011

    Activist Post featured a video taken yesterday, March 17, 2011, featuring a massive storm some 2000 miles or greater in diameter. That storm has now changed formation, but is still quite large and vectoring towards the West Coast.
    March 17, 2011 – MEGA STORM forms in the Pacific
    MEANWHILE… Prevailing winds threaten radiation for Tokyo
    Zero Hedge
    March 18, 2011
    Absent further deterioration at the Fukushima plant over the weekend, the next big shoe to drop will be public reaction when the radioactive fallout hits Tokyo (and other major populated areas). And juging by the latest data available from Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) in Austria, Tokyo, which so far has been spared by friendly winds, may get its first dose of radiation by the weekend. Below we present the latest animated color-coded data for both Japan and the world, which extrapolates both fallout strength and direction.
    As ZAMG explains the fallout is, “currently in a critical region, dominated by a westerly flow. On the ground, the wind is relatively weak. There is no precipitation. Soon the wind will blow from the south-east and intensify. On Sunday rain front will arrive from the southwest to the crisis area and lead to some strong precipitation (radioactive rain). Behind the front, northerly winds are forecast, so the situation for the Tokyo area may again be critical. The dispersion calculations show fallout is now mainly transported to the sea. Currently cloud have a southeast direction, which will change to northeast tomorrow (see illustrations). Subsequently, more areas in Japan will be covered by fallout.”
    Japan fallout tracker:

    Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima/permanente Freisetzung/Jod-131
    And more importantly for everyone not in Japan, the global fallout tracker:

    Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima/permanente Freisetzung/Cs-137 (globales Bild)
    And as the forecast, map cuts off mid day on March 20, this is how the wind pattern will look on that day.