Quantum Pranx

ECONOMICS AND ESOTERICA FOR A NEW PARADIGM

Posts Tagged ‘Japan disaster

Fukushima radiation spreads worldwide

leave a comment »

by Arnie Gundersen
Posted August 24th, 2011

New data supports previous Fairewinds analysis, as contamination spreads in Japan and worldwide

NEWLY RELEASED NEUTRON DATA FROM THREE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA San Diego scientists confirms Fairewinds’ April analysis that the nuclear core at Fukushima Daiichi turned on and off after TEPCO claimed its reactors had been shutdown. This periodic nuclear chain reaction (inadvertent criticality) continued to contaminate the surrounding environment and upper atmosphere with large doses of radioactivity.

In a second area of concern, Fairewinds disagrees with the NRC’s latest report claiming that all Fukushima spent fuel pools had no problems following the earthquake. In a new revelation, the NRC claims that the plutonium found more than one mile offsite actually came from inside the nuclear reactors. If such a statement were true, it indicates that the nuclear power plant containments failed and were breached with debris landing far from the power plants themselves. Such a failure of the containment system certainly necessitates a complete review of all US reactor containment design and industry assurances that containments will hold in radioactivity in the event of a nuclear accident. The evidence Fairewinds reviewed to date continues to support its April analysis that the detonation in the Unit 3 Spent Fuel pool was the cause of plutonium found off site.

Third, the burning of radioactive materials (building materials, trees, lawn grass, rice straw) by the Japanese government will cause radioactive Cesium to spread even further into areas within Japan that have been previously clean, and across the Pacific Ocean to North America.

And finally, the Japanese government has yet to grasp the severity of the contamination within Japan, and therefore has not developed a coherent plan mitigate the accident and remediate the environment. Without a cohesive plan to deal with this ongoing problem of large scale radioactive contamination, the radioactivity will continue to spread throughout Japan and around the globe further exacerbating the problem and raising costs astronomically.

http://www.fairewinds.com/content/new-data-supports-previous-fairewinds-analy

US Government makes Strategic Decision to DOWNPLAY Fukushima (Arnie Gundersen) 8/14/11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqmgLOzeKiM

Agenda 21, Read it.
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/english/Agenda21.pdf

*Note: Single radiation dose of 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) and above causes serious illness.

Fukushima: It’s much worse than you think

leave a comment »

by Dahr Jamail
Posted on al Jazeera on 16 Jun 2011

Scientific experts believe Japan’s nuclear disaster to be far worse than governments are revealing to the public

“FUKUSHIMA IS THE BIGGEST INDUSTRIAL CATASTROPHE in the history of mankind,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera. Japan’s 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed. “Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed,” he said, “You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively.”

TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water – as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of. “The problem is how to keep it cool,” says Gundersen. “They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?”

Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling. “The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor,” Gundersen added. “TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water.”

Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive “hot spots” around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting. “We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl,” said Gundersen. “The data I’m seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man’s-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can’t clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl.”

Read the rest of this entry »

India halts all food imports from Japan after Fukushima fish found with excess radioactivity

with one comment

by Tyler Durden
Posted Zero Hedge, April 5, 2011

After dumping thousands of tons of radioactive water in the sea, Japan appears to have been stunned to find that the radioactive content of various fish has surged and is now above just imposed radiation safety thresholds.

From Kyodo: “Japan hastily set a legal limit Tuesday for the permitted level of radioactive iodine in seafood as safety concerns spread overseas in the wake of continuing leaks contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The limit of 2,000 bequerels per kilogram set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for radioactive iodine in marine products such as fish and shellfish is the same as that already adopted for vegetables, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a press conference.

The imposition of the limit followed the detection by Japanese authorities 4,080 bequerels per kilogram of radioactive iodine in young sand lance caught Friday off Kitaibaraki in Ibaraki Prefecture, which prompted the health ministry to consider setting a limit for fish and clams.

Different young sand lance, also caught near Kitaibaraki, were found to be contaminated with 526 bequerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, exceeding the legal limit of 500 bequerels already set by Japan.” And now that Japan has another crisis scenario fall out to deal with, other countries no longer have faith that Japan has any control over the situation and are imposing complete bans on Japanese food imports: first India, and soon everyone else. Expect sushi prices to surge momentarily.

From Kyodo:

India said Tuesday it will suspend food imports from Japan for about three months to prevent food contaminated with radioactive substances leaked from the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant from entering the country, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Specific food items subject to the suspension were not immediately disclosed, but marine products and fresh fruits are expected to be among them. India’s health ministry said the import suspension will last until it can obtain reliable data proving that the levels of leaked radioactive substances are safe, according to PTI.

Not to be outdone, Japan once again has proven it is completely clueless, and is dealing with the catastrophe in the only way it knows – denial:

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano dismissed the need for an immediate ban on shipments of marine products from the affected areas, but he pledged to toughen inspections to ensure that contaminated products do not reach markets.

The government will make further efforts to provide sufficient information to other countries through diplomatic channels regarding its efforts to contain the leak of radioactive substances from the plant, the top government spokesman added.

Given that radioactive substances exceeding safety limits have only been found in a small number of samples so far, Edano said, ”We want to proceed by monitoring (contamination) closely and grasping the broader situation rather than immediately regulating” shipments.

And while the diplomatic wrangling over who is right and who is wrong is about to spike in earnest, Japan can kiss its fishing industry goodbye, as well as scrap food exports for the indefinite future.

What they’re covering up at Fukushima

leave a comment »

by Hirose Takashi
Posted originally March 22, 2011
http://www.counterpunch.org/

Introduced by Douglas Lummis

HIROSE TAKASHI HAS WRITTEN A WHOLE SHELF FULL OF BOOKS, MOSTLY ON THE NUCLEAR POWER industry and the military-industrial complex. Probably his best known book is Nuclear Power Plants for Tokyo in which he took the logic of the nuke promoters to its logical conclusion: if you are so sure that they’re safe, why not build them in the center of the city, instead of hundreds of miles away where you lose half the electricity in the wires?

He did the TV interview that is partly translated below somewhat against his present impulses. I talked to him on the telephone today (March 22 , 2011) and he told me that while it made sense to oppose nuclear power back then, now that the disaster has begun he would just as soon remain silent, but the lies they are telling on the radio and TV are so gross that he cannot remain silent.

I have translated only about the first third of the interview (you can see the whole thing in Japanese on YouTube), the part that pertains particularly to what is happening at the Fukushima plants. In the latter part he talked about how dangerous radiation is in general, and also about the continuing danger of earthquakes.

After reading his account, you will wonder, why do they keep on sprinkling water on the reactors, rather than accept the sarcophagus solution  [ie., entombing the reactors in concrete. Editors.] I think there are a couple of answers. One, those reactors were expensive, and they just can’t bear the idea of that huge a financial loss. But more importantly, accepting the sarcophagus solution means admitting that they were wrong, and that they couldn’t fix the things. On the one hand that’s too much guilt for a human being to bear. On the other, it means the defeat of the nuclear energy idea, an idea they hold to with almost religious devotion. And it means not just the loss of those six (or ten) reactors, it means shutting down all the others as well, a financial catastrophe. If they can only get them cooled down and running again they can say, See, nuclear power isn’t so dangerous after all. Fukushima is a drama with the whole world watching, that can end in the defeat or (in their frail, I think groundless, hope) victory for the nuclear industry. Hirose’s account can help us to understand what the drama is about. –Douglas Lummis

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“You get 3,500,000 times the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this? None!”

Hirose Takashi: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and the State of the Media
Broadcast by Asahi NewStar, 17 March, 20:00

Interviewers: Yoh Sen’ei and Maeda Mari

Yoh: Today many people saw water being sprayed on the reactors from the air and from the ground, but is this effective?

Hirose: If you want to cool a reactor down with water, you have to circulate the water inside and carry the heat away, otherwise it has no meaning. So the only solution is to reconnect the electricity. Otherwise it’s like pouring water on lava.

Yoh: Reconnect the electricity – that’s to restart the cooling system?

Hirose:  Yes.  The accident was caused by the fact that the tsunami flooded the emergency generators and carried away their fuel tanks.  If that isn’t fixed, there’s no way to recover from this accident.

Yoh: Tepco [Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner/operator of the nuclear plants] says they expect to bring in a high voltage line this evening.

Hirose: Yes, there’s a little bit of hope there. But what’s worrisome is that a nuclear reactor is not like what the schematic pictures show (shows a graphic picture of a reactor, like those used on TV).  This is just a cartoon.  Here’s what it looks like underneath a reactor container (shows a photograph). This is the butt end of the reactor. Take a look. It’s a forest of switch levers and wires and pipes. On television these pseudo-scholars come on and give us simple explanations, but they know nothing, those college professors. Only the engineers know. This is where water has been poured in. This maze of pipes is enough to make you dizzy. Its structure is too wildly complex for us to understand. For a week now they have been pouring water through there. And it’s salt water, right?  You pour salt water on a hot kiln and what do you think happens? You get salt. The salt will get into all these valves and cause them to freeze. They won’t move. This will be happening everywhere.  So I can’t believe that it’s just a simple matter of you reconnecting the electricity and the water will begin to circulate. I think any engineer with a little imagination can understand this. You take a system as unbelievably complex as this and then actually dump water on it from a helicopter – maybe they have some idea of how this could work, but I can’t understand it.

Yoh: It will take 1300 tons of water to fill the pools that contain the spent fuel rods in reactors 3 and 4. This morning 30 tons. Then the Self Defense Forces are to hose in another 30 tons from five trucks. That’s nowhere near enough, they have to keep it up. Is this squirting of water from hoses going to change the situation?

Read the rest of this entry »

Japan considers extending evacuation radius after IAEA finds excessive radiation 40 km away from Fukushima

leave a comment »

by Tyler Durden
Posted originally Zero Hedge, March 30, 2011

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is quickly outstaying its Japanese welcome by disclosing actual facts about the radioactive fallout around the power plant, has just announced that it has found excessive radioactivity in a village 40 km from Fukushima.

While the news will not be a surprise to anyone watching the grand lie unfold over the past three weeks, it may hopefully force the Japanese government to finally relent and extend the evacuation perimeter from the existing 20 km, thereby actually preventing the needless loss of life in the long run.

From Reuters:
“Radiation measured at a village 40 km from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant exceeded a criterion for evacuation”, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday, the latest sign of widening consequences from the crisis. Criticized for weak leadership during Japan’s worst crisis since World War Two, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said he is considering enlarging the evacuation area to force 130,000 people to move, in addition to 70,000 already displaced.

“The first assessment indicates that one of the IAEA operational criteria for evacuation is exceeded in Iitate village,” Denis Flory, a deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said. “We have advised (Japan) to carefully assess the situation and they have indicated that it is already under assessment,” he told a news conference.” Hopefully our Japanese readers who have been following our coverage of this tragedy, which many have at times called “hysteric” even if always based on facts, have already evacuated long ago.

Ultimately, it is one thing for the government to lie with just the Russell 2000’s closing level being at stake. It is something totally different when people’s mutagenic skills and/or life expectancy is at stake. When this is all said and done, Kan will likely be forced into exile for his tragic botching of an operation whose only downside to disclosing the truth would have been a few hundred points in the Nikkei/S&P. Well, those losses will still come eventually, but at least thousands of lives would not have been put needlessly at risk in the meantime.

More from Reuters:
Greenpeace this week said it had confirmed radiation levels in this village northwest of the plant high enough to evacuate. But Japan’s nuclear safety agency on Monday rebuffed a call by the environmental group to widen the evacuation zone. The IAEA also said it had been told by Singapore that some cabbages imported from Japan contained radioactive iodine above the levels recommended for international trade. “Some samples were over the Codex Alimentarius values recommended for international trade,” said Flory.

David Byron, a U.N. food agency official seconded to the IAEA, said the recommended level was 100 becquerels per kg and that one of the samples in Singapore was up to nine times above that. “Other samples were also over that level,” he said, although not as much. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the situation at the Fukushima plant remained very serious despite increased efforts by authorities to get it under control.

Read the rest of this entry »

Has Wall Street no decency?

with 2 comments

by Rick Ackerman
Posted originally March 28, 2011

Watching the Dow Industrial Average cavort in the thin air above 12000 while the world goes to hell, we’re reminded of the famous exchange between Senator Joseph McCarthy and U.S. Army counsel Joseph Welch during the Army-McCarthy hearings:  “Have you no decency, sir?” asked Welch after the Commie-baiting McCarthy had smeared a junior lawyer from Welch’s firm with a ruinous accusation.

We might ask the same question of the decision makers who in recent weeks have been driving stocks higher no matter how grave the news or world-shaking the event: Have you, the Masters of the Universe, no decency? Apparently not — at least none capable of registering even a mote of doubt or concern about what is going on in the real world. Granted, there was a fleeting loss of confidence in the literal wake of March 11’s epic earthquake and tsunami. Some investors wondered how global manufacturers would fare with their most important supplier of just-in-time parts out of commission. Others grew nervous that Japan’s very financial stability was in jeopardy. But it didn’t take long before such anxious speculation gave way to the sunny notion that it would take vast quantities of capital investment to rebuild Japan. Ka-ching!

That was more than a week ago. Since then, Japan’s predicament has grown increasingly menacing. Radioactive waste is spilling into the sea, a reactor containment vessel appears to have cracked, and there is no longer even a timetable for fixing the problem. Will Geiger counters in L.A. have to go crazy for Wall Street to at least act as though all of this matters?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Middle East is lost as gold, silver, oil rocket higher

leave a comment »

by Roger Wiegand
Editor, Trader Tracks Newsletter
Originally posted Mar 23 2011

Since origination of our Federal Reserve in 1913, banker-controlled dollar devaluation has been ruinous.

When a long list of really bad stuff piles-up over several years the ending is beyond ugly. We suspect the crack-up-boom ending is near as this fundamental list has grown way too long and those allegedly in charge are way beyond stupid as to potential outcome. Geopolitics was so mishandled it appears deliberate.

Since the Napoleonic Wars when the Rothchild’s lent cash to both sides, crooked bankers have been busy planning the final solution for a one world government power using one currency. While this nefarious plan has worked so far, we have to wonder how it ends in America with millions of guns, super angry citizens and global banks holding treasury paper as valuable as potty tissue. How lovely that their own toxic paper takes them down.

The bond-credit-currency-confidence-games end when confidence leaves town.
We think it went away earlier this year.

Where’s the Money? Money is the real stuff made from commodities, commodities themselves, and hard asset manufactured goods. Play money is all the fiat currencies and bonds produced from and backed by nothing. Even some stock markets are play money.

As we’ve written several times lately in Trader Tracks, the list of naughty stuff is a mile long and growing. Some of the more critical problems are:

Credit:

In our view government credit for nations, states, municipalities, and that of most private, commercial, and citizens, has been severely damaged and in many cases irreparably damaged. The QE2 continuation digs the hole deeper and we think the end is in sight when former buyers of USA paper quit buying. In many cases buying has already either slowed or stopped. Bond markets are damaged and being further damaged by the printing binge of Bernanke and Geithner. We are not alone. Other nations are doing the same thing in varying amounts. Budgets are shattered and in most cases there is little hope of full repayment. No bonds; no system. As we write today, Portugal is on the brink.

Food:

There has been no major improvement in food growing, crops or farm management in the past decade. Yet, over one billion new mouths were born and must be fed. Next, Asia that formerly existed on a modest diet, is demanding up-grades in most all food groups because they can afford it. This imbalance appears to hit the world food system this year as weather is not cooperating and grain supplies are way too low. One US grain analyst said we had better have a big corn crop this year along with wheat or, we are into major problems with prospects of rationing. With USA corn reserves at a 37 year low, I suspect rationing is inevitable with higher prices; either in 2011 or 2012.

Energy:

Energy production and demand has been fractured with nuclear problems in Japan, disruptions in the Middle East and lack of a coherent energy policy in America. Crude oil is now firmly supported at $104 per barrel and our forecast for 2011 is much higher on forthcoming shortages and new inflation. USA refineries are shrinking in number as it costs $6 Billion to build a new one, and operators can’t get permits to build them, and refinery profit margins are too small to match investments. Consequently, the US is purchasing about 35% of its refined unleaded gasoline demand from imports, with fuel arriving on ships daily. In our view, big global producers prefer to buy out wildcatters and not take drilling risks. Next, they also prefer to tap foreign oil sources, first leaving domestic reserves in the ground for later production. This creates a higher risk for America, being dependent on others; particularly geopolitically unstable others.

Read the rest of this entry »