Thursday, March 31, 2011

Radioactivity 10,000 times the limit found from groundwater: TEPCO

URGENT: Radioactivity 10,000 times the limit found from groundwater: TEPCO
TOKYO, April 1, Kyodo
A radioactive substance about 10,000 times the limit was detected from groundwater around the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday.
A Tokyo Electric official said the radiation level is ''extremely high.''
The cooling system is not online, pumps are not working, and as much as forty-five tons of sea-salt has accumulated as a result of the desperate decision to flood the reactors with sea-water in the hopes of avoiding a worst-case scenario. The salts are crystallizing at hot-spots and forming a layer of insulation. There are also 3,450 still-fervid spent fuel rods sitting in half-empty pools and therefore exposed to the air. Compounding the issue, the wind changed on Friday...
There are 77,000 people in ad hoc emergency shelters. Another 62,000 live within the 30-kilometer zone. The United States Regulatory Agency (NRC) had advised extending the evacuation zone to 80 kilometers, which would require relocating 2 million.
There are more than 2,500 tons of uranium and plutonium in Fukushima. And Japanese emergency release valves for radioactive steam generated for active fuel rods do not have filters like plants in Germany and the United States. The Japanese, due to radiation levels, have not released the steam in a week, but that can't go on forever.
"This is not an exaggeration," German nuclear expert Helmut Hirsch says. "There is a gigantic radioactive inventory at Fukushima. At least 20 times as much as there was at Chernobyl."
Ministry spokesman Taku Ohara says the cesium was found in a cow slaughtered March 15 more than 70 kilometres from the plant. People within a 20-kilometre radius have been evacuated...
A spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday that radioactive contamination in groundwater 15 metres under one of six reactors there had been measured at 10,000 times the government standard.
beta radiation spike in California today - see
Water Sources
Surface water (including dam, river and lake) consists 72% of total annual intake, and ground water (including river-bed, shallow and deep well) consists 26% (2006). Therefore, most of the water supply sources can be easily influenced by pollutions such as eutrophication, oil spill accidents, etc....
 “Professor Christopher Busby, of the European Committee on Radiation Risks, says that what we are witnessing in Japan is even worse than Chernobyl and [will] probably be an end to nuclear industry worldwide. ‘I have said right from the beginning that this was a Chernobyl-level disaster,’ he said. ‘I would hope that it means that the nuclear industry is finished… But then I thought about Chernobyl and what happened there –there was a massive international cover-up by the nuclear lobby of all the health effects of the Chernobyl accident, which is only coming out now.’ “