Deadly 9.4 sieverts detected outside Fukushima reactor 2 containment vessel; checks stop

JIJI

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday that radiation levels of up to 9.4 sieverts per hour have been detected near a reactor containment vessel at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Sept. 4-25 checks found the extremely high radiation levels in a small building containing a pipe that is connected to the reactor 2 containment vessel at the plant, which was devastated in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Tepco said.

Exposure to such a dosage for some 45 minutes would result in death. Tepco said it expects decontamination work at the site to take at least one month.

Although details surrounding the high radiation levels remain scarce, the highest contamination was detected near the floor of the building, according to the company.

Tepco had planned to begin checking the inside of the containment vessel in August by using a remote-controlled robot, but high radiation levels have stalled the examination.

Extremely high radiation levels and the inability to grasp the details about melted nuclear fuel make it impossible for the utility to chart the course of its planned decommissioning of the reactors at the plant.


Correction, Nov. 1, 2015:

This article has been edited for clarity.

  • Ron Lane

    This makes absolutely no sense. Radiation levels are such that 45 minutes’ exposure results in death. Remote-controlled robot inspection was stopped in August due to the extraordinary radiation levels.

    So neither humans nor robots can get anywhere near the reactor, yet,Tepco assures us that decontamination is expected to take one month.

    Huh?

    • Paul Johnny Lynn

      Why on earth would they stop robot inspection? They won’t die, just send in another. The scent of B.S. is on the air.

      • lokay5

        Robots DO indeed “die” .Microcircuits are susceptible to radiation.

      • edwardrynearson

        and then they become nuclear waste

      • Starviking

        I think it’s because they have to build a support structure to get the robot up to the point where it enters the building. That would have to be done by workers, so for now it’s back to the drawing board.

      • lokay5

        It seems like there’s been an awful lot of drawing board time spent on the Fukushima melt-out. Another strike against nuclear generated electricity.

      • Brian Donovan

        It’s a jumbled mess in there. When the robot’s die, they make it even worse to get around.

    • J S

      but their explanation makes the public feel good, so at least we have that…/s

  • http://aamjanata.com vidyut

    This is a long standing scam by the nuclear lobby. Safe shut down my foot. What safe shutdown when the fuel status is known?

  • mokopit

    They can’t stop it . Can you say extinction level event. Teach that to the children. Explain to them there future is crap any way you look at it but because of Fukushima it’s going to really suck

    • lokay5

      This is absolutely an ELE. Sea life on the U.S. West Coast is virtually gone.

      • Starviking

        And yet sea life on the Pacific Coast of Tohoku is fine…

      • SykeWar

        “fine” is a relative term. And in a world where wrong is right, bad is good, down is up, “fine” means absolutely nothing. Thanks for playing though.

      • SykeWar

        “fine” is a relative term. And in a world where wrong is right, bad is good, down is up, “fine” means absolutely nothing. Thanks for playing though.

      • SykeWar

        “fine” is a relative term. And in a world where wrong is right, bad is good, down is up, “fine” means absolutely nothing. Thanks for playing though.

      • greenthinker2012

        That’s curious because I live on the west coast and scuba dive regularly.
        There has been no change whatsoever on the sea life. This is to be expected because Fukushima added less than 1/10,000ths extra radiation to the natural amounts already found in the waters.
        Where do you get your information?

      • Dan parkison

        You must have missed the 1000 Newspaper stories about die-offs of everything from Starfish, sardines, seals, whales, seabirds, and a dozen other animals….Just because you don’t see it happening in the area that you live in….does not mean it is not happening. Kinda like global warming….Keep watching Fox News….and stay stupid.

      • greenthinker2012

        Yes indeed, in an ocean that covers a third of our planet there are many animals dying. Some are dying from the water warming up due to climate change, some are dying because of poisonous algae blooms caused by warming and fertilizer run off, some are dying from viral and bacterial disease outbreaks.
        None are dying from radiation.
        The scientists agree with me.
        Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is a good place to learn what scientists are saying.
        They have some well written articles that explain the insignificant effects from Fukushima.

        The only place one hears the scare stories you reference is on conspiracy websites and in the tabloid newspapers that seem to want to link everything negative happening to Fukushima.

      • SykeWar

        Science is now a religion; perhaps it always was.

      • greenthinker2012

        What a dumb statement.
        You don’t understand science.

      • SykeWar

        Science is now a religion; perhaps it always was.

      • SykeWar

        You live on the west coast and you dive regularly. Prove it.

      • greenthinker2012

        How could I prove such a thing?
        How about you come out to the west coast and take a look for yourself?

      • SykeWar

        Post a picture of yourself. I don’t have to come to the west coast – technology!

      • Ike Bottema

        @SykeWar:disqus so greenthinker2012 “proves it” with a picture. Will you then ask him to prove that the picture was taken somewhere on the west coast, that he was in fact in the water, that the picture was taken recently, that he didn’t photoshop the picture, and that he hasn’t been under a doctor’s care since the picture was taken? What will it take to convince you that there is no problem on the west coast of North America … never mind anywhere in the Pacific Ocean?

      • greenthinker2012

        How could I prove such a thing?
        How about you come out to the west coast and take a look for yourself?

      • SykeWar

        You live on the west coast and you dive regularly. Prove it.

    • Starviking

      Gosh, really? And there’s me fine, living less than 70 miles from Dai-ichi.

      • mokopit

        Good luck.

      • Starviking

        Don’t need it.

      • edwardrynearson

        luck has no impact on accumulating radiation

      • SykeWar

        Prove it.

      • Starviking

        You can see a bag of yummy Fukushima Tomatoes in my Disqus Icon – おいしいです。

      • SykeWar

        You’re childish patronizing tone with no supporting evidence proves you are a liar. Noted.

      • ESteer

        Do you enjoy being a douchebag? Do you even live here in Japan? I do, about 100 km away from the incident location as well. Perfectly safe here, just ate some Fukushima peaches a few weeks ago. Haven’t sprouted another limb!

      • ESteer

        Do you enjoy being a douchebag? Do you even live here in Japan? I do, about 100 km away from the incident location as well. Perfectly safe here, just ate some Fukushima peaches a few weeks ago. Haven’t sprouted another limb!

      • Starviking

        So, you asked me for proof I lived in Tohoku, and when I give you pretty good proof, you dismiss it because of my “tone”. Who’s childish?

      • SykeWar

        You’re childish patronizing tone with no supporting evidence proves you are a liar. Noted.

      • Sam Gilman

        What’s so weird about someone living 70 miles from Fukushima dai-ichi? People do. Did you not know this?

      • SykeWar

        Prove it.

      • https://twitter.com/atomikrabbit atomikrabbit

        Did you see this classic rant by Leslie Corrice? I just stumbled across it the other day: hiroshimasyndrome(dot)com/fukushima-fud/the-most-blatant-fukushima-fud-to-date.html

      • Starviking

        Wow, FUD to the power of FUD! Kudos to Leslie for wading through it all.

      • Ike Bottema

        “FUD to the power of FUD”
        Now that’s a lot of FUD! … and Hunziker’s What’s Really Going on at Fukushima/Is Fukushima Godzilla ?/Why 38 million Tokyo residents are at risk article fits the characterization you give it! Great dissection by Corrice.

      • lokay5

        Japan Times (Hotline to Nagatacho — Brian Victoria, Kyoto), Nov 4, 2015: [F]ormer Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata, recently proposed… for Japan to stage an “honorable retreat” from hosting the 2020 Olympics… [I]n the September issue of Gekkan Nippon, Murata… noted the danger still posed by large numbers of spent fuel rods suspended in spent fuel pools in reactors 1, 2 and 3 [which] can’t be removed from the damaged reactor buildings due to the high levels of radioactivity surrounding these reactors… Murata’s gravest concern is a number of troubling indications of recurring criticality [ i.e. uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions] in one or more of the reactors at Fukushima No. 1. For example, he notes that in December 2014, both radioactive iodine-131 and tellurium-132 were reported as having been detected in Takasaki city, Gunma Prefecture [~130 miles SW of Fukushima Daiichi]. Given the short half-lives of these radioactive particles, their presence could not be the result of the original meltdowns at Fukushima.

        And yet you’re “fine”.

      • Starviking

        Yes, despite the non-expert prognostications of Doctor of Religious Studies, Brian Victoria, and ex-ambassador Murata, I’m fine.

        A quick review of the comments on Brian Victoria’s fear-mongering piece will tell you why.

      • Sam Gilman

        Starviking is right. You should read the comments.

        It turns out Murata’s “gravest concern” is actually based on a data entry error in a report from the Takasaki radiation observatory that was subsequently corrected. The correction went up in April, several months before Murata’s Gekkan Nippon article.

        It seems that Murata never bothered to check with the observatory or with anyone else involved in radiation monitoring what was going on, or indeed any subsequent reports from the observatory. He just decided to go public all by himself with his “gravest concern”. And Brian Victoria did the same, also not bothering to check the source. One has to ask if these people are interested in the truth, or in peddling stories.

    • rupertmja

      No worries … the people are about to return to their homes. Just give them a month and they will ‘no doubt’ sort it all out.

      • mokopit

        A month. It’s been over 4 years. Just enough time to let the Pacific Ocean show everyone their future.

  • http://SalaryNet30.com Marilyn Ewing

    My Uncle Evan got a new yellow Chevrolet Camaro Z28 only from working parttime off a macbook air.original site on my` prof1Ie`

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  • Patrick Boo

    The only way out to prevent more death cause by this nuclear plant is to Entomb it, but the Japanese have no fund to do it or no guts to do so. The Japanese never invented any thing as the second ‘richest’ and the second most advance BUT no one is able to repair NUCLEAR Plant, not even the Americans.

    • greenthinker2012

      No deaths have occurred due to Fukushima radiation and the WHO and UNSCEAR both have released scientific reports that say they expect no fatalities in the future.

      • edwardrynearson

        i feel better … thanks

      • greenthinker2012

        If you are being sincere then I am glad to hear it.
        Cheers

      • greenthinker2012

        If you are being sincere then I am glad to hear it.
        Cheers

      • SykeWar

        Unfortunately, JT won’t let me link several reports, studies, etc. that would change your mind – permanently. How does that make you feel?

      • SykeWar

        Unfortunately, JT won’t let me link several reports, studies, etc. that would change your mind – permanently. How does that make you feel?

      • Sam Gilman

        Just put “dot” instead of . and you’ll be fine. We can see how well you assess the quality of your sources.

      • SykeWar

        Point out the sources and the issues.

      • Sam Gilman

        You need to post your sources first. That was pretty much the point of the post you replied to.

      • SykeWar

        Unfortunately, JT won’t let me link several reports, studies, etc. that would change your mind – permanently. How does that make you feel?

      • SykeWar

        Let me clarify that for you; no deaths “officially” reported. To be clear, people did die but nobody is saying from what. Even if was cancer, then they would say it wasn’t from radiation. If I was in control of the narrative, I too would say, nobody is going to die from any nuclear disaster ever. Therefore, such statements are specious on their face. History is full of such BS. Regardless, there’s worse things than death.

      • greenthinker2012

        If there were radiation deaths we would have heard about it.
        Everyone is hypervigilant and the anti-nuke zealots would seize upon any such death and trumpet it from every roof top and media outlet.

      • Sam Gilman

        “If I was in control of the narrative, I too would say, nobody is going to die from any nuclear disaster ever.”

        So you’re openly admitting that you’re a liar. Ironically, that’s very honest of you.

        On the other hand, we have the institutions of scientific discourse to evaluate evidence and check for liars, frauds, cheats and the incompetent.

        Greenthinker isn’t quite correct to say that the WHO says that there will be no shortened lives at all. It’s that there will likely be so few (only a handful), that if you were given the data without any dates attached, you would be unable to pick out that there had been any kind of radiological disaster at all. It’s statistically indistinguishable from zero.

      • SykeWar

        Golf clap…. The circuitous routes you shills take to twist meaning to fit some cleaver illogical meaning to one didn’t say, is worthy of a psychological examination. I of course didn’t admit to lying as I am not in charge of the narrative, nor am part of the agendas to push a failed technology and “scientific” ideology down the throats of people who will suffer the most.

        It’s all about risk assessment as you’ve pointed out. The risks have become too great. But of course, that’s for the people making the money from such disasters, to determine, right?

        The “institutions of scientific discourse” is hopelessly flawed. When will these idiot savants be removing the coria from fuku?

      • Sam Gilman

        If the institutions of scientific discourse are hopelessly flawed, where do you get your information from that you’re convinced by? If what you say about science is true, then you cannot know anything for certain at all about this topic. Yet you appear very certain.

      • SykeWar

        Let me clarify that for you; no deaths “officially” reported. To be clear, people did die but nobody is saying from what. Even if was cancer, then they would say it wasn’t from radiation. If I was in control of the narrative, I too would say, nobody is going to die from any nuclear disaster ever. Therefore, such statements are specious on their face. History is full of such BS. Regardless, there’s worse things than death.

    • edwardrynearson

      we need James Cameron to put the team together

  • rupertmja

    The Japanese are pathetic in this case. In 1986 the Russians sacrificed themselves to sort out Chernobyl and sort it out they did. Not perfect by any means, but they did their best. The Japanese have done practically nothing, except to make a law that forbids its citizens talking about it. Wonder why? Docs are not allowed to report on who dies and why etc. Sooner or later, someone will leak something. They should have got those tunnelling machines and re-routed underwater flows around the nuke plant. Even, they could have dug under the reactors to catch the cores falling through their encasements in some kind of concrete train / vessel. They could do anything if they put their mind to it, but, the Japanese have no free thinking brains. That idea to freeze the waters surrounding the plant – year right – how stupid. You gonna freeze the surrounding waters for 500,000 years? They need to get the coriums into some vessel and chuck them into the deepest volcano.

    • rupertmja

      They have even deleted the original article. Check on the link above. The reporter probably got fired.

    • https://twitter.com/atomikrabbit atomikrabbit

      After 5-10 years, because of the rapidly diminishing nature of radioactive decay, these damaged cores will no longer need to be water cooled, but will remain in thermal equilibrium by ambient heat losses alone. Have you ever heard of dry cask storage? After about 5 years under water, with active cooling via heat exchangers, used fuel assemblies can be moved into shielded casks that are cooled by natural air circulation alone.

      The Fukushima core material is identical in composition to the dry cask contents, but has lost some of its zirconium cladding, allowing the fission products which were produced at power to be gradually released. As the soluble ones are leached out, the releases will diminish because, since 3/11/11, there are no more being produced.

      Unlike the dry casks however, the damaged cores are sitting in random lumps and masses such that cooling of their interior is not as optimal as for the original engineered assemblies. Nevertheless, when decay heat production diminishes to match ambient losses, as it currently has with the combination of water injection and groundwater intrusion, thermodynamics dictates a situation of thermal stability. In a few years hear generation will have fallen to the point that water cooling is not necessary.

      The heavily damaged core at TMI, which occurred in March 1979, was fully recovered and disposed of by 1990. The difference is that TMI was a PWR (not BWR like F-D), and the reactor vessel and containment were intact – probably not the case at F-D. Obviously, F-D also has three units to deal with.

      On the other hand, we have also had a three-decade improvement in technology and technique since then. A good overview of the similarities and differences between TMI and F-D is here: irid(dot)or(dot)jp/_pdf/Sympo_Barret_E.pdf

      • rupertmja

        Very interesting – thanks.

    • Sam Gilman

      “The Japanese have done practically nothing, except to make a law that forbids its citizens talking about it.”

      No, they haven’t. You’re commenting on the website of a Japanese newspaper. It’s in English, but it’s Japanese owned and largely Japanese staffed. Here’s a google search on Fukushima Daichi nuclear accident on google news. You can also search Twitter to see Japanese talking about it. There is no such law that stops people talking about Fukushima. Instead, there’s a new law forbidding the discussion of state military secrets, which doesn’t include Fukushima. It’s not a good law in the way it is written, but it’s not about Fukushima.

      I don’t know how this myth manages to survive. It’s so easy to disprove.

  • ESteer

    Two of your sources are Fox news and a WORDPRESS SITE… ahahahaha you make me laugh so much right now XD

  • Sam Gilman

    Thanks for those links.

    First off, you haven’t actually linked to anything to do with Fukushima or doses received because of Fukushima. You seem to be trying to say that radiation can cause cancer. No one disputes this. The issue is whether the releases from Fukushima are as dangerous in that respect as you want people to believe.

    Your first two links refer to the same study, Richardson et al 2015. We can safely ignore the wordpress summary of it as the person writing it makes several errors. For example, it claims that the study “controlled for smoking” by excluding lung cancer. First off, that’s not how you control for smoking. The study did not formally control for smoking, which is where you look at how many workers smoked, which is data they didn’t have. Excluding lung cancer is a way of getting round the inability to control for smoking. Secondly, if you apply all the fixes for smoking that the study does, the ERR per Gray drops from 0.5 to 0.37, yet the blog writer continues to use the 0.5 number. Clearly the person is all at sea reading these articles. I’d stay clear of blogs as formal evidence.

    Your third link is to an article about scientists producing poor research. It’s not related to anything to do with research on radiation in particular. It could equally apply to the Richardson study. After all, there have been problems with their analyses in the past. These multi-country studies are fraught with problems, as any reading on the topic will show you. They don’t control for smoking, or for exposure to other known carcinogens such as benzene. Given that safety cultures have tended improve over time (and smoking has fallen) we need to have reservations.

    But going back to Richardson et al 2015, what would that 0.37 figure mean? It’s the ERR for death from cancer at 1 Gray dose. At 100mGrays that would be 0.037. 22.83% of deaths are from cancer. So the difference among people exposed to 100mSv would be 1.037 * 22.83 = 23.67. That’s 0.8 people in 100 of those exposed to 100mSv would die of cancer when they otherwise wouldn’t.

    How many people have received a 100mSv dose from Fukushima? In the general public, vanishingly few as far as we know. Some of the workers in the plant have received more than this.

    Your fourth link is to an English version of the so-called KiKK studies suggesting that there may be a link between civilian nuclear power and leukaemia clusters, based on data from Germany. This has been superseded by subsequent reanalyses and other evidence showing that the radiation hypothesis for leukaemia clusters isn’t plausible. These clusters appear to be caused by sudden population mixing in rural areas where there was previously little mixing – so you get clusters around many kinds of large scale construction in rural areas. Here’s a link from the journal Nature (you cited this journal yourself, so I hope it’s acceptable to you) entitled “Nuclear power plants cleared of leukaemia link”.

    Your final link has nothing to do with civiilian nuclear power.

    To return to your third link: you appear to be falling foul of a classic cognitive issue of motivated reasoning. You have decided on your conclusion and tried to get evidence to fit it – hence you posting links that are not about Fukushima, including those that have been superseded, and links which have no connection at all. You’re trying to assemble a case to support a prejudice rather than look at the evidence first. For those of us living in Japan, especially with young children, we couldn’t afford to do that. We had to find out what the truth was, rather than make a case this way or that.

  • paraducks

    Ironic that Hiroshima and Nagasaki may end up mere footnotes in history compared with what they have done to themselves. Poor attention to detail (tsunami’s and ground level back up generators) is so, not like, the Japanese culture and ethic.

  • paraducks

    Ironic that Hiroshima and Nagasaki may end up mere footnotes in history compared with what they have done to themselves. Poor attention to detail (tsunami’s and ground level back up generators) is so, not like, the Japanese culture and ethic.

  • Sam Gilman

    Err…

    You want to distract and control the issue by focusing on the minutia and sound superior by spouting arithmetic non-sense which could be debated endlessly. Yes, thumbs up for that.

    If the significant details don’t support your case, it means there’s something wrong with the general picture you’re trying to paint. You say I “spouted arithmetic non-sense”. However, you forgot to point out where the mistake in my arithmetic was. I’d like to know what it was, so I look forward to you explaining in your next post. In general “controlling the issue” by looking carefully at evidence and what it means is how I like to roll.

    For some reason you’ve decided that I’m lying about living in Japan (hey, thanks for that) and that I am a shill, ie, being paid to type by unnamed persons to talk to you on the Internet. At the same time you complain that I am too focused on the situation in Fukushima and not on what you want to discuss, which is mainly on the situation in the US. I don’t follow the logic there.

    As for humans having anything to do with the nuclear fuel cycle, when you add up all the numbers, I’d rather that than runaway global warming by a very long way. You may be too old to care about global warming. Your grandchildren won’t be.

  • Sam Gilman

    Err…

    You want to distract and control the issue by focusing on the minutia and sound superior by spouting arithmetic non-sense which could be debated endlessly. Yes, thumbs up for that.

    If the significant details don’t support your case, it means there’s something wrong with the general picture you’re trying to paint. You say I “spouted arithmetic non-sense”. However, you forgot to point out where the mistake in my arithmetic was. I’d like to know what it was, so I look forward to you explaining in your next post. In general “controlling the issue” by looking carefully at evidence and what it means is how I like to roll.

    For some reason you’ve decided that I’m lying about living in Japan (hey, thanks for that) and that I am a shill, ie, being paid to type by unnamed persons to talk to you on the Internet. At the same time you complain that I am too focused on the situation in Fukushima and not on what you want to discuss, which is mainly on the situation in the US. I don’t follow the logic there.

    As for humans having anything to do with the nuclear fuel cycle, when you add up all the numbers, I’d rather that than runaway global warming by a very long way. You may be too old to care about global warming. Your grandchildren won’t be.

  • Sam Gilman

    Err…

    You want to distract and control the issue by focusing on the minutia and sound superior by spouting arithmetic non-sense which could be debated endlessly. Yes, thumbs up for that.

    If the significant details don’t support your case, it means there’s something wrong with the general picture you’re trying to paint. You say I “spouted arithmetic non-sense”. However, you forgot to point out where the mistake in my arithmetic was. I’d like to know what it was, so I look forward to you explaining in your next post. In general “controlling the issue” by looking carefully at evidence and what it means is how I like to roll.

    For some reason you’ve decided that I’m lying about living in Japan (hey, thanks for that) and that I am a shill, ie, being paid to type by unnamed persons to talk to you on the Internet. At the same time you complain that I am too focused on the situation in Fukushima and not on what you want to discuss, which is mainly on the situation in the US. I don’t follow the logic there.

    As for humans having anything to do with the nuclear fuel cycle, when you add up all the numbers, I’d rather that than runaway global warming by a very long way. You may be too old to care about global warming. Your grandchildren won’t be.

  • Sam Gilman

    Err…

    You want to distract and control the issue by focusing on the minutia and sound superior by spouting arithmetic non-sense which could be debated endlessly. Yes, thumbs up for that.

    If the significant details don’t support your case, it means there’s something wrong with the general picture you’re trying to paint. You say I “spouted arithmetic non-sense”. However, you forgot to point out where the mistake in my arithmetic was. I’d like to know what it was, so I look forward to you explaining in your next post. In general “controlling the issue” by looking carefully at evidence and what it means is how I like to roll.

    For some reason you’ve decided that I’m lying about living in Japan (hey, thanks for that) and that I am a shill, ie, being paid to type by unnamed persons to talk to you on the Internet. At the same time you complain that I am too focused on the situation in Fukushima and not on what you want to discuss, which is mainly on the situation in the US. I don’t follow the logic there.

    As for humans having anything to do with the nuclear fuel cycle, when you add up all the numbers, I’d rather that than runaway global warming by a very long way. You may be too old to care about global warming. Your grandchildren won’t be.