CNNI at 4.36 am reported from their field reporter in Tokyo – Stan? maybe – that there have been traces of Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 have been found in the water – but, “it is still safe to drink.”
Those are the by-products of nuclear reactors from inside of them . . .
They don’t occur naturally just floating around in the air and then ending up in the drinking water.
Found an article that describes it better –
The big worries on the reported releases of radioactive material in Japan center on radioactive iodine and cesium.
“They imply some kind of core problem,” said Thomas B. Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington.
The active core of a nuclear reactor splits atoms in two to produce bursts of energy and, as a byproduct, large masses of highly radioactive particles. The many safety mechanisms of a nuclear plant focus mainly on keeping these so-called fission products out of the environment.
Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days and is quite dangerous to human health. (etc. – go read this one – definitely – by the way, the plant no longer looks like that photo of it.)
About the cesium 137 –
Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”
It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor. In 1986, the plant suffered what is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history.
Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk. After entering, cesium gets widely distributed, its concentrations said to be higher in muscle tissues and lower in bones.
I’m looking at the video from CNNI that has come from NHK world as they are speaking with someone – spokesman for Japan’s Prime Minister, Noriyuki Shikata – and as they focused in on the plant, despite air temperatures in the area being pretty cold, there are heat waves like I’ve seen off in the desert in the distance and on roadways in the summer – but there those waves are at this nuclear power plant just beyond the containment buildings that have exploded and above the roofs of whatever is just behind them between there and the ocean where it sits. There are obviously high enough heat temps to be created that in the complex visible even in the video they just showed.
(4.57 am EDT)
So, how high does the temperature have to be for the waves to be visible coming off these buildings or a road surface in the summertime or in the desert during the summer? I thought the air temp there was particularly cold, too. And, is the fire out or not out? I thought it was put out. Maybe not.
Radiation measurements have started – “don’t pose direct threat to human body.” Chief Cabinet Secretary just now. He did say, according to the anchor that if people were to stay there within 20km of the Fukushima plant every day twenty-four hours a day for a year it could be a problem. Hmm…….
That just isn’t right.
Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 are found in the core of a nuclear reactor – they aren’t supposed to be ingested, not in water, not breathing it, not getting it on hands and then into eyes, nose or mouth – etc., etc., etc.,
They keep saying it is all okay – well, tell me this – why would they do that? Isn’t it time to figure out a way to get people out of harm’s way? Why do they keep dicking around with it as if telling people that there is no ill effects will somehow make it okay? In the amount of time they have right now – they could do something to get people somewhere safe – but if they wait, that won’t even be a possibility. They’ve had four days – almost five, in fact – and in that time the nuclear plant has exploded a number of times, other plants nearby have had cooling problems, they haven’t been able to contain releases of radioactive materials into the surrounding area. This isn’t some normal type of radiation like they are suggesting.
This is just wrong.
Is this what we can expect from any government and international decision makers at the point when everything is getting more dangerous by the minute? Is this what they will do in the US – what the IAEA will do, what the experts will do for us? To keep us confused, to keep downplaying the danger so people won’t get up and leave to somewhere else – until the damage is done? Please tell me how this makes any sense.
From Zero to Impossible very, very rapidly is how nuclear disasters happen. This one has had some time for choices to be made and still – part of the danger is in how it is being handled, or not handled well. And, the insistence on pretended that there is no danger to the public even as known carcinogenic, dangerous, health impacting specific isotopes that have come from the core of the nuclear reactors are floating around into people’s lives.
This is just wrong.
How could all the safety measures taken ahead of time, promises of being truthful and timely with information, transparency and doing what is protecting of the public good first and foremost – go out the window as soon as a disaster starts unfolding?
We have ambassadors that say there has been no explosion at a nuclear plant when there already had been. We have had “experts” say there was no way to know what kinds of things may come from a nuclear reactor facility explosion. We have had people paraded across the news to tell us that there is no danger to the people in Japan from the explosions and fuel rod meltdowns and exposure of the fuel rods to the air for hours and fires at the nuclear plant, and containment vessel compromises that are known. I just don’t get why that would be happening over the last four days.
These experts and doctors and people from the nuclear industry getting on the tv news as experts have got to know that Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 comes out of the nuclear reactor core when explosions happen there. They would have to know the steam could have tritium in it possibly, or nitrogen 16 that degrades quickly and they would have to have known that from the point at which the readings in the control room of the plant were over a thousand times the normal levels – that there was a major, major life-threatening problem that had occurred. If these “experts” and members of the nuclear regulatory community don’t know that – then they don’t need to be working in that field.
And, they sure as hell don’t need to be on the tv news giving their opinions about it – if these facts are not included in their educated opinions and advice about what is happening and the dangers involved.
Speaking of which, I sure don’t want to be at the mercy of their information when it happens in the US ever. I don’t even want to see their decisions being used on these situations where we will have to live with the results. If these “experts” don’t think there is a problem – especially at this point, then they need to go work in some other field where they can’t do any harm with their decision making opportunities.
nytimes The New York Times
Japan Says 2nd Reactor May Have Ruptured With Radioactive Release http://nyti.ms/esqc00
5.26 am right now – that was six minutes ago
What would happen if we just found a way to boil water using the same turbines – and systems but using geothermal sources, including volcanoes?
What would happen if we all just plain agree for a change that other ways could be found without drawbacks and demand that together we find those?
Why couldn’t we do that?
It wouldn’t take any more money than the kind of money it takes to run these impossibly dangerous nuclear plants. I had always thought the conversion to electricity from nuclear fuel rods was direct – but they’ve done nothing but use it to boil water to turn a big turbine. Even the power of ocean currents can do that. Steam from geothermal sources can do that consistently and massively better than this mess. This is obscene.
And, once this has finished being whatever level of disaster it becomes – will we look across those populations that have been affected with a greater sense of shame and a never-ending disaster in their futures from it – and in ours?
What for? Why would we do that?
You know what is worse than moving 34 million people out of harm’s way? Letting them be in harm’s way and watching it happen – that will be worse. I hope that is not what happens, but if it does – the time in which to act is passing right now and they aren’t going to do any one thing differently than the way they are handling it right now.
When I was watching them bring bags of water hanging from a helicopter to dump on the plant – I knew that it was wrong simply by virtue of the smallness of the action in comparison to the greatness of the need.
And, it sure looks like the most brilliant minds of physicists and engineers who might have answers or possibilities of designing answers that will work quickly aren’t even involved in doing so where they can be heard. This is ridiculously wrong in every way.
They obviously didn’t manage it. We are seeing that already. It is obvious that it didn’t get resolved. That we’ve seen, too. It is obvious that they are following a game plan that never intended to deal with the worst case scenario in the “what will we do, if” category of pages. That means there have to be new answers developed quickly to use of the massive damage increases exponentially – and can happen at any instant across several different reactors and several plant complexes. They are unstable. This is not something that can stay unstable. It doesn’t work that way. It gets worse fast.
3.57 pm EDT – 03-16-11
AP The Associated Press
BreakingNews Breaking News
Chief of U.N. nuclear agency says he will travel to Japan within a day – Canadian Press http://bit.ly/gOntdo
NRC: No Water in Spent Fuel Pool of Japan Plant
US nuclear agency chief says no more water in spent fuel pool at troubled Japan plant
WASHINGTON March 16, 2011 (AP)
The chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says all the water is gone from one of the spent fuel pools at Japan’s most troubled nuclear plant. This means there’s nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down.
The outer shell of the rods could also ignite with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area. (etc.)
Right now –
CNN just said that the Matthew Chance reporting – IAEA says it can only do what its member states ask it to do – now that can’t be right . . . Yes, they probably said that – no, that can’t be the way they are operating generally.
If they are doing it that way – it has to be changed. This is a big deal that affects the entire populations nearby and eventually around the world – that is why the IAEA was created in the first place as a regulatory body. They can’t now say – it is none of their business unless asked . .
80,000 rescuers mobilized in Japan in search of survivors http://bit.ly/gSISq8
cnnbrk CNN Breaking News
“Extremely high” radiation levels at Fukushima Daiichi plant, U.S. NRC says http://on.cnn.com/hlXLSp
nytimesscience NYTimes Science
U.S. Calls Radiation ‘Extremely High’ and Urges Deeper Caution in Japan http://nyti.ms/hXAENA
Reuters_Science Reuters Science News
U.S. shows growing alarm over Japan nuclear “crisis” http://dlvr.it/KVZmj
guardian_world Guardian World
BloombergNews Bloomberg News
nytimes The New York Times
2 minutes ago