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Monday Update

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continued searching Monday for sources of contaminated water leaking from the site into the ocean.
Attempts to seal a crack in a concrete enclosure for cabling in reactor 2 are ongoing after initial efforts failed. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) injected a color tracer into the enclosure in an effort to track the flow of water. That test confirmed the radioactive water is from multiple sources. TEPCO is planning to install underwater silt barriers near the intake for reactor 2 to help contain the contaminated water.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and Nuclear Safety Commission both said it will take several months to restore permanent core cooling for the damaged reactors. NISA said it will take that amount of time to remove contaminated water from the turbine buildings and restore damaged plant equipment.
To free up storage space for highly radioactive water in a waste disposal tank, TEPCO is seeking approval to discharge 11,500 tons of low-level radioactive water into the ocean. The utility said the radiation level in the water to be discharged is very low. TEPCO estimated that someone eating fish and seaweed from the adjacent water every day for a year would receive a total exposure of 60 millirem, less than a quarter of the average annual exposure from natural radiation.
Workers continue to inject cooling water into reactors 1, 2 and 3. In addition, spent fuel pools for reactors 1-4 are sprayed with fresh water as needed to keep them cool.
Radiation dose rates at the Daiichi site continue to fall. Recent readings showed 12.4 millirem per hour at the main gate, 7.4 millirem per hour at the west gate and 78 millirem per hour on the side of the administration building facing the reactors.

Majority of Americans Think Nuclear Power Is Safe, Poll Shows
A Gallup survey shows that most Americans believe nuclear power is safe. In a poll conducted March 25-27, 58 percent of Americans said they think nuclear power plants in the United States are safe; 36 percent said they are not.
A Harris poll conducted March 23-25 found that 29 percent of Americans consider nuclear power plants “very safe,” with another 34 percent saying they are “somewhat safe.”


gunter said…
Howdy folks,

My apologies for neglecting to post in the past three weeks... perhaps you thought I had might have gone away.

I have to recall the many dialogues on this blog about the MARK 1 pressure suppression containment system now demonstrated to have failed at Fukushima Dai-Ichi---given the turbine halls are filled with highly radioactive water. Anybody here remember Dr.Stephen Hanauer (AEC) or Harold Denton (NRC) remarks on their confidence in the Mark I containment integrity?

Where do you get the idea that TEPCO was seeking approval to flush the 11,500 tons of contaminated water into the ocean.
They just did it and who was going to stop them? Who do you think is running the show over there, anyways? At least until they get nationalized?

Furthermore, given that dumping the radioactive water is the most obvious trade off for losing closed cycle reactor cooling and ruptured containments, the continued cooling operation constitutes an ongoing flushing of reactor contents into the groundwater and ocean.

Given that TEPCO's managerial integrity has melted down along with the reactors, its equally hard to believe that they can be trusted to say that the discharge is "low level" radioactive water.
Given that the cable trench from Unit 2 is also leaking into the sea with readings as high as 100 rem/hr, TEPCOs extrapolation that anybody eating fish and seaweed at the discharge outlet would get a trivial radiation dose is rather ludicrous... wouldn't you agree?

I wont belabor the point in any follow on postings but Dai-Ichi radiation readings, can be expected to spike and fall, spike and fall for who knows how long?

I'll check back in, later.
Brian Mays said…
Gunter: "I'll check back in, later."

Please do, Mr. Gunter. Meanwhile, it's good to know that the deaths of over 20,000 Japanese from the tsunami haven't got you down. In fact, you sound downright chipper.

It's a shame that not everyone can be as happy as you about Japan's recent misfortune. But I guess it takes a special kind of guy to do what you do.

I tell you what, I'll keep my fingers cross for you, hoping that the situation in Japan turns worse so that you'll have yet another talking point.

Good luck and have a nice day!
jimwg said…
From an old NOVA show, I recall mention that the radioactivity levels of rain-runoff at some quarries wouldn't be tolerated as a health issue at nuclear plant sites. Wish we can grab that PBS archive!

James Greenidge
gunter said…
Thanks Brian and James. I knew I would find understanding on the NEI blog.

And while I have your attention, as well as your compassion for the earthquake and tsunami victims, the NEI bloggers neglected to include how this so-called trival amount of radiation has defeated to date---more than three weeks after the nuclear earthquake disaster---any and all attempts at search and rescue operations for earthquake and tsunami victims within the current 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima Dai-Ichi.

You neglect to include that this same so-called trival amount of radiation has imposed an even wider 30km exclusion zone for relief efforts (including water, food and the assisted evacuation of pregnant women, lactating mothers and children)for the thousands of Japanese people that remain under shelter-in-place orders by Japanese authorities in the 20km to 30km band of earthquake and tsunami devestation around Fukushima Daiichi.

You further neglect to include that the same so-called trival amounts of radiation has impacted those who are spontaneously evacuating this imposed shelter-in-place zone who are being refused medical attention and other necessities if they cannot present certification that they have been decomtaminated or not exposed to radiation.

No question that there is a terrible global neglect of attention and compassion for the tragic loss of life and tremendous suffering of the earthquake and tsunami victims. But it is clear that a significant part is a direct consequence imposed by inherent dangers of uncontrolled releases of radiation from that nuclear power plant accident.

It is the Japanese who coined the phrase, "gempatsu shinsai" (nuclear-earthquake disaster).

As far as my talking points, you can't say that I have been inconsistent.

It was Casandra's gift to predict the future and her curse to not be listened to. I have many colleagues and friends in Japan that remain foremost in my thoughts for many many more days and nights to come.

So, blog on. It is my sincere hope as much as yours that this won't still be topical months and years from now. Worse still, by yet another name.

Anonymous said…
Howdy, Buckeroos,

Yep, I'm sure people like Gunter will be dancing in the streets over this misfortune. Going on 17,000 dead from the real disaster (not the nucelar plants), 20,000 still missing, and its not enough blood for him and his friends. He still seems to be pulling for the worst for the power plants. After all, they haven't killed or really harmed anyone yet. So they've got a ways to go. I have heard of people who seem to take pleasure in the misfortune of others simply to prove a political point, but whenever you see it, it is still sad, and despicable. As far as being Cassandra, you're more like Uri Geller. Any industrial facility that can survive five times the stress it was designed for is doing pretty well, on balance.
Anonymous said…
I'm sure people like Gunter will be dancing in the streets over this misfortune. Going on 17,000 dead from the real disaster (not the nucelar plants), 20,000 still missing, and its not enough blood for him and his friends.

This is slander and nonsense.

Play fair, why don't you? No one accused NEI and the nuclear industry of being gleeful about last year's major coal mine disasters. It's shameful that some feel compelled here to ascribe false attitudes to those with whom they disagree.
Anonymous said…
OK, I'll take your comment to heart. I hereby retract my earlier comment and apologize to Gunter and NEI for that inappropriate remark, and will refrain from posting in the future. It was an emotional reaction and inappropriate for this forum.

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