Radiation Leaks from Japan's Nuclear Plants Spreads Panic

 

MIT has a Nuclear Information Hub here that has clear updates on the situation in Japan.


Radiation levels are rising after third explosion.  4 times as high as before. Al Jazeera has the film here.

Radiation at levels that can impact human health. CNN has story here.

In sign of growing international concern about radiation, China is strengthening monitoring and Air China has canceled flights to Tokyo   and several embassies have advised staff to leave area  says Reuters.

Incredible story about the unsung heroes working in the Nuclear plants.  Men and women who are being bombarded with large doses of radiation as they try desperately to stop the leaks.

Nikkei plummets as news about radiation grows here.

Radiation levels rising slowly detected by a US Naval Carrier 175 miles from Fukushima. See here.

Reporters pulling out of areas near nuclear plants because of radiation fears.  Some companies leaving Japan here.

To get an idea of how much radiation is bad for you, go here.  Easy to understand graphic  (though most in Japanese) here.

Tom Sebourn has a post here.

What I think is a very overblown but frightening blog is catching a lot of attention both here in Humboldt and on twitter. I put it here but I don’t believe we need to flee to Florida like the video suggests. Here is a good response to this at the Weather Blog.

NOTE:  iodine pill shortages as folk make run on radiation protection.  Has anyone noticed a shortage of Miso Soup and Himalayan salt?

And new video of tsunami. Folk flee as the tsunami swallows everything behind them.  This is riveting!  Must see video.  Watch the lower left of the screen.

GOOD NEWS ALERT:In the catagory of  In every Radioactive cloud there is a silver lining.

How to Help:  Redcross and Salvation Army

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Top Photo from this site. Soup from here.

Hat tip to Mikal from One Good Year for the Weather Blog Link

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13 comments

  • “It is likely that the level of radiation increased sharply due to a fire at Unit 4,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. “Now we are talking about levels that can damage human health”…the warning to residents within the 19-mile radius was dire. “Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes airtight. Don’t turn on ventilators. Please hang your laundry indoors,” he said. “These are figures that potentially affect health. There is no mistake about that.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/japan-earthquake-radiation-leaking-fukushima-nuclear-plant-explodes/story?id=13131123

  • Just listening to a press conference by a Japanese Gov’t official on Al Jazeera’s English service. Currently they’re saying that the #1 and #3 reactors are “relatevely stable,” meaning that the seawater pumping seems to be succeeding in keeping the temperature and pressure in those reactor vessels down, hopefully enough to avert a full-scale meltdown.

    He was much more cautious (evasive, even?) about the status in reactor 3, but it sounds like they’re still having trouble keeping enough seawater in the reactor vessel to prevent the fuel rods from being exposed. Earlier, there were reports that in the reactor # 3, the reactor vessel itself may have been damaged during the hydrogen explosion, and is leaking (radioactive) sea water as fast or faster than they can inject it, leaving fuel rods still partially exposed and probably continuing to melt.

    So at the moment, it looks like #3 is the biggest problem, the one most likely to go into a full-scale meltdown. The problem is, if that happened, workers would have to evacuate all of the reactors there, and without the workers to keep the seawater-pumping operation going, #1 and #3 would likely end up with full-scale meltdowns. And I suppose the spent-fuel fire problem at #4, and maybe the other off-line units, might recur.

    It sounds like there’s still a chance that they can avert the worst-case scenario, though a happy ending seems to be getting less likely as new problems keep cropping up. Meanwhile, the aftershocks aren’t over, and a whole new quake could be on the way. What a nightmare.

  • Just listening to a press conference by a Japanese Gov’t official on Al Jazeera’s English service. Currently they’re saying that the #1 and #3 reactors are “relatevely stable,” meaning that the seawater pumping seems to be succeeding in keeping the temperature and pressure in those reactor vessels down, hopefully enough to avert a full-scale meltdown.

    He was much more cautious (evasive, even?) about the status in reactor 3, but it sounds like they’re still having trouble keeping enough seawater in the reactor vessel to prevent the fuel rods from being exposed. Earlier, there were reports that in the reactor # 3, the reactor vessel itself may have been damaged during the hydrogen explosion, and is leaking (radioactive) sea water as fast or faster than they can inject it, leaving fuel rods still partially exposed and probably continuing to melt.

    So at the moment, it looks like #3 is the biggest problem, the one most likely to go into a full-scale meltdown. The problem is, if that happened, workers would have to evacuate all of the reactors there, and without the workers to keep the seawater-pumping operation going, #1 and #3 would likely end up with full-scale meltdowns. And I suppose the spent-fuel fire problem at #4, and maybe the other off-line units, might recur.

    It sounds like there’s still a chance that they can avert the worst-case scenario, though a happy ending seems to be getting less likely as new problems keep cropping up. Meanwhile, the aftershocks aren’t over, and a whole new quake could be on the way. What a nightmare.

  • I’ve seen a few posts and comments about people locally scrambling to get idodine tablets, wondering if they should be fleeing to Florida, heading to a fallout shelter, that sort of thing.

    From what I have been able to gather, it seems that even in the worst-case scenario (even if all three reactors went into a full-on meltdown, and even if all three had total failures of both the reactor vessel and the containment structure and massive Chernobyl-style releases of radioactive materials do occur) nobody here in North America is likely to end up with any significant dose of radiation from those melt-downs.

    It’s true that the jet stream could carry airborne radioactive particles in our direction, but the vast majority of these particles would “precipitate out” over the ocean long before it reached us. Not an ideal situation, but also not a reason for anyone here to panic.

    The major damage and immediate loss of life will be in the region immediately around (and downwind from) the melted-down nuke plants, with long-lasting effects on the environment and human health in a wider area, again depending on where the wind carries the fallout, but probably not amounting to much over here in the Americas.

    Of course I’ll be monitoring what the experts are saying about this issue, but at this point I’m not planning to flee the area, head for a fallout shelter, or anything like that.

  • I’ve seen a few posts and comments about people locally scrambling to get idodine tablets, wondering if they should be fleeing to Florida, heading to a fallout shelter, that sort of thing.

    From what I have been able to gather, it seems that even in the worst-case scenario (even if all three reactors went into a full-on meltdown, and even if all three had total failures of both the reactor vessel and the containment structure and massive Chernobyl-style releases of radioactive materials do occur) nobody here in North America is likely to end up with any significant dose of radiation from those melt-downs.

    It’s true that the jet stream could carry airborne radioactive particles in our direction, but the vast majority of these particles would “precipitate out” over the ocean long before it reached us. Not an ideal situation, but also not a reason for anyone here to panic.

    The major damage and immediate loss of life will be in the region immediately around (and downwind from) the melted-down nuke plants, with long-lasting effects on the environment and human health in a wider area, again depending on where the wind carries the fallout, but probably not amounting to much over here in the Americas.

    Of course I’ll be monitoring what the experts are saying about this issue, but at this point I’m not planning to flee the area, head for a fallout shelter, or anything like that.

  • In the link above – the Weather Blog. They confirm your points about worse case scenario. (Thank God)

  • In the link above – the Weather Blog. They confirm your points about worse case scenario. (Thank God)

  • Kym, you’ve been up late and working hard providing information. Thank you.

    Times-Standard’s Mighty Thadeus Greenson in his article, “State, Feds: No Current Nuclear Risk from Japan; California Hotline Set up to Field Questions” reports today:

    “As the risk of a nuclear meltdown increases in Japan, numerous media outlets reported that winds in the island nation are carrying any radioactive material being released east into the Pacific Ocean…there is no need for alarm, according to state and federal agencies. ”Given the thousands of miles between the two countries… the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” stated a release from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    …Robert Lima, owner of Lima’s Pharmacy, said a customer actually started screaming at one of his store’s pharmacists Saturday when it was discovered the tablets Lima’s had on its shelf were expired. ”We’ve got several calls,” Lima said Monday. “We are trying to get some more in.”

    …U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Mary Simms said in an e-mail to the Times-Standard that the agency has testing stations set up throughout the West Coast and throughout California that would pick up any radioactive particles in the air. There’s a station in Eureka, according to the EPA’s website.

    “…At this time, there is no indication that materials from the incidents in Japan have the potential to have any significant radiological effect on the U.S.,” the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) list states. …The California Department of Public Health has set up a hotline to field questions, which can be reached by calling:
    916-341-3947 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

  • Kym, you’ve been up late and working hard providing information. Thank you.

    Times-Standard’s Mighty Thadeus Greenson in his article, “State, Feds: No Current Nuclear Risk from Japan; California Hotline Set up to Field Questions” reports today:

    “As the risk of a nuclear meltdown increases in Japan, numerous media outlets reported that winds in the island nation are carrying any radioactive material being released east into the Pacific Ocean…there is no need for alarm, according to state and federal agencies. ”Given the thousands of miles between the two countries… the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” stated a release from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    …Robert Lima, owner of Lima’s Pharmacy, said a customer actually started screaming at one of his store’s pharmacists Saturday when it was discovered the tablets Lima’s had on its shelf were expired. ”We’ve got several calls,” Lima said Monday. “We are trying to get some more in.”

    …U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Mary Simms said in an e-mail to the Times-Standard that the agency has testing stations set up throughout the West Coast and throughout California that would pick up any radioactive particles in the air. There’s a station in Eureka, according to the EPA’s website.

    “…At this time, there is no indication that materials from the incidents in Japan have the potential to have any significant radiological effect on the U.S.,” the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) list states. …The California Department of Public Health has set up a hotline to field questions, which can be reached by calling:
    916-341-3947 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

  • We used up our stash of miso, which was ancient. We live in Gold Beach now and find that it’s not sold in either local supermarket. I ordered a stash from Amazon. It should be here tomorrow. In the meantime, we’re having seaweed as an ingredient in much of our food and that’s an ingredient in abundance.

    Oh, and Morton Lite Salt has potassium iodide.

  • We used up our stash of miso, which was ancient. We live in Gold Beach now and find that it’s not sold in either local supermarket. I ordered a stash from Amazon. It should be here tomorrow. In the meantime, we’re having seaweed as an ingredient in much of our food and that’s an ingredient in abundance.

    Oh, and Morton Lite Salt has potassium iodide.

  • Ruh-roh.

    The beleagured crew at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had to abandon the control room Tuesday night because of high radiation levels, Kyodo News reported, citing plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company. They were monitoring data from a remote site, Kyodo reported.

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/15/japan-quake-live-blog-fire-erupts-in-fourth-reactor-radiation-warning-issued/?hpt=T1

  • Ruh-roh.

    The beleagured crew at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had to abandon the control room Tuesday night because of high radiation levels, Kyodo News reported, citing plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company. They were monitoring data from a remote site, Kyodo reported.

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/15/japan-quake-live-blog-fire-erupts-in-fourth-reactor-radiation-warning-issued/?hpt=T1

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