Geraldo Fuentes for viewzone (2012)
UPDATE MAY 2012: Wow. Things got even worse!
I suppose there are still some people who have not heard about the catastrophe happening at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan. But that is going to change abruptly.
When the body of this story was written a couple of months ago, we were hearing from TEPCO, the company who own and manage the facility, that there had been three meltdowns! Just one would have been a matter deserving of grave concern... but three! It seemed that the worst had happened. But it hadn't... or actually it had happened already but was not talked about.
The explosion in reactor building number four [above] turned the reinforced concrete and steel walls into broken chunks that crumbled and fell. This exposed a large part of the inner works of the building, including the huge swimmingpool of coolant that was keeping 1,500 fuel rods -- some new and some with plutonium -- from self-igniting and exploding.
In the explosion that followed the earthquake, the pool itself was cracked and has been leaking water to the basement of the building, where it is pumped back up to the pool. The water levels have been low and the temperatures are climbing. And while this is going on, the structural integrity of the supports for the heavy storage pool (which also has a crushed crane resting on it) have been downgraded to zero. Anything could collapse the pool, at any time. The results of this event could eventually result in a mass extinctions in the Northern Hemisphere.
This is not science fiction or efforts to make people afraid. This problem is being attacked right now... or rather, it's NOT being attacked. No one is doing anything about it. They can't. It's too radioactive to even get near the site for even a short time. The coolant water not only keeps the radioactive fuel rods below their melting point but it also shields the rods from spewing lethal radiation.
Unlike the cinema, no one has yet even proposed assembling a team of experts, starring Bruce Willis and "Mister T", to save the planet. Short of Godzilla swimming up and eating the number four fuel storage pool, we're stuck with this looming danger for the next decade, perhaps even beyond. That is, of cource, if there's anyone still around.
You might expect that the US, whose West coast will be the first location (outside of Japan) to suffer from the collapse of the storage pool and subsequent radioactive fire, would be deeply concerned. The fact that they do not even talk about this problem openly is reason to suspect something bad looms in the conversations in secured rooms among those that should know.
Using my own brain, I figured that since the heavy pool is hanging up by a thread and there is no way for anyone to get close enough to repair it, it's going to eventually fall. This will ignite the uncooled rods and cause a burn. Highly radioactive material will be reduced to fine particles and drift in to the atmosphere and be carried by the winds, spreading mutations and death by cancer. Just one microscopic particle inside your body can do this. That is why it is so toxic.
A report released in February by the Independent Investigation Commission on the nuclear accident called this pool "the weakest link" at Fukushima. Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser at the US department of energy said: "If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain it could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident."
[...] Mitsuhei Murata, 74, a professor emeritus at Tokaigakuen University who once served as Japan's ambassador to Switzerland, said, "The existence of the No. 4 reactor has become a major national security issue for the entire world that does not take a back seat even to North Korea's missile issue."
He had called for a halt to operations at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant even before the Great East Japan Earthquake struck last year, leading to the nuclear crisis.
"If an accident should occur at the No. 4 reactor, it could be called the start of the ultimate catastrophe for the world," Murata said as a witness at an Upper House Budget Committee hearing in March. [...]
But these things take time to manifest. The most constructive activity is to prepare for the hours or days immediately after the pool collapses. This is when the fire will rage and spread radioactive smoke into the jet stream. If you live near the coast, you will want to be hold up in a sealed room, preferably in a basement or cellar, and careful not to let any dust get inside this room. You will need enough water and food for a couple of days, or longer.
Or, if you are one of the special folks, you can be driven to your underground lodge.
It's no joke and we are not exaggerating. Keep an eye on the news and special web sites and get prepared. We need the A-Team more than ever.
Anyway, go back to the relatively quiet times when there were just three total core nuclear meltdowns...
Three Meltdowns: Confirmed
Remember the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan? I know, it was many months ago. It was in the news briefly back in March and April (2011) when it first happened. But then it faded away until you hardly even think about it.
On December 16, 2011, the Japanese government announced that the crisis was "officially ended", despite not knowing where the fuel of the reactors has gone! Scientific criticism was immediate and harsh for both the Japanese government and TEPCO, who have been accused of giving misleading reports of the crisis since the explosions and melt-downs in three of their reactors. The statement was meant to placate the suffering population surrounding the coastal region of Fukushima, but to the outside world, it is total BS.
While we have been distracted by our own financial woes and the bewildering OCCUPY phenomenon, a mixture of uranium and plutonium -- not all from nuclear fuel [see The Bad Fruit] -- has been melting its way through the containment chambers and is now down in the earth. The situation is so bad it's the stuff of science fiction movies and goes by the name "The China Syndrome."
So what? The China Syndrome is an on-going process where the molten fuel melts its way through terra firma until it hits the natural water table, at which point it explodes as water expands to steam -- all of it highly radioactive -- and erupts like a toxic volcano, spreading plutonium and uranium particles everywhere.
And did I mention that there is not just one China Syndrome -- there are three!
When even one of these explosions rips open the earth in Japan, the entire Northern Hemisphere (to begin with) will be contaminated. Yes, it will get you and I for sure.
From the Harou's Mouth
Architect of Fukushima Daiichi's Reactor No. 3, Uehara Haruo [right], the former president of Saga University, admitted that Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s explanation of nuclear events does not make sense and that the China Syndrome is inevitable.
"Considering... months have passed since March 11th  without any improvement, it is inevitable that melted fuel went out of the container vessel and sank underground, which is called the China syndrome.
If fuel has reached an underground water vein, it will cause contamination of underground water, as well as soil contamination and sea contamination. Moreover, if the underground water vein continues to be heated for long time, a massive hydrovolcanic explosion can be caused." -- Harou
Harou is also warning that there is significant and substantial radioactive debris -- some with long-lasting and high energetics -- that has been entering the Pacific Ocean. This actually poses a greater long-term problem as it will enter the marine food chain on a global scale.
TEPCO is hiding the truth
TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) announced in November 2011 that there was the possibility that criticality, a sustained nuclear chain reaction, had occurred "temporarily" and "locally" in the No. 2 reactor. It detected radioactive xenon-133 and xenon-135, products of uranium or plutonium fission, in gases collected from the reactor. Because the half-life of xenon-133 is 5.25 days and that of xeon-135 is 9.14 hours, criticality is very likely to have occurred just before the gases were analyzed. [*].
Meanwhile, Reactor 3 is metered at 1600 millisievert per hour [*] -- the highest reading to date for Reactor No. 3.
The bad news changes almost daily, but one thing is constant: the lethal danger of global contamination has not been diminished and, in fact, is building up to an explosion with each passing day. TEPCO has not been transparent with the Japanese people and many suspect this is for two reasons:
First, it is very probable that the nuclear contamination already experienced was, in part, the result of storing plutonium rods and uranium "pit" warheads at the facility, in the fuel storage pools. This is in violation of International regulations. But even more significant, nuclear weapons are strictly against the Japanese Constitution (Article 9) [below].
Secondly, TEPCO is part of a larger group of nuclear energy corporations that feel deeply threatened by any disclosure about the safety -- or lack of it -- with existing and future nuclear power plants. The energy sector is powerful and has tentacles that reach many other industries, both military and civilian. Although Fukushima will undoubtedly end any appeal that nuclear energy may have had to some people, the industry will not go down without a fight. So far, they have used their economic weight to censor news stories and create distractions from the disaster to come.
Suffer the little children...
While the rest of the Northern Hemisphere waits for the China Syndrome, the citizens of Japan are made to endure this tragedy with little sympathy from anyone. Many are homeless, living in shelters, unable to return to their radioactive homes and personal belongings. Many lost family or friends in the tsunami, ever more are committing suicide as the reality of what's left of their lives slips away.
While the radiation has made many adults sick, the worst hit are the children.
Japanese local newspapers are finally reporting that children, over 32 miles from ground zero, are suffering fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds -- the three most common radiation sickness signs.
"Japan is dangerously contaminated by radioactivity over a far larger area than previously reported by TEPCO and the central government according to new reports from multiple sources... The prefectural government of Iwate released new data that shows radioactive contamination of grass exceeds safety standards at a distance of 90 to 125 miles from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plants." -- Japanese Daily Kos
Dr. Tatsuhiko Kodama is head of the University of Tokyo's Radioisotope Center Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology in Meguro-ku. He warns:
"Radiation has a high risk to embryos in pregnant women, juveniles, and highly proliferative cells of people of growing ages. Even for adults, highly proliferative cells, such as hairs, blood, and intestinal epithelium cells, are sensitive to radiation."
Already, a study conducted by the RPHP (Radiation and Public Health Project) shows rising infant deaths in areas hardest hit by Japanese fallout. And we're not just talking about Japan. Using CDC data, the researchers found a 35% rise in the Pacific Northwest and a 48% rise in Philadelphia!
Even in the best of times, children and nuclear energy don't mix well. A study published in the International Journal of Health Services found that childhood cancer is linked with normal nuclear reactor operations. Cancer cases in children living near the Oyster Creek nuclear reactor in New Jersey, for example, rose after increased levels of radiation entered their bodies. Study results were obtained by comparing trends in Ocean and Monmouth County (NJ) cancer incidence rates of children under age 10 with radioactive Strontium-90 found in baby teeth of children.
"These findings document a link between reactor emissions entering the human body and increased cancer incidence. It also reaffirms the well-established principle that there can be a short period between radiation exposure to the fetus and infant and the appearance of cancer." [*]
Food is a big problem
There have already been stories leaked to the press about contaminated rice, tea and meat from the Fukushima region. Fears of Japanese exports are just one more economic tragedy effecting Japan. Checking for the country of origin is standard practice in many West Coast grocery and fish markets. Actually, getting a particle of plutonium or its byproducts inside your body is many magnitudes more lethal than contact with your skin. Geiger counters were a hot item on many 2011 Christmas lists in the US and Europe.
Once aain, it is the very young that are the highest risk.
"When children have the same menu as adults, they get up to five times higher (radiation) dose burdens from locally produced foodstuffs because of their lower weight and more active processes of metabolism. Data from Chernobyl, which exploded 25 years ago, clearly shows increased numbers of sick and weak newborns and increased numbers of deaths in the unborn and newborns, especially soon after the meltdown. These occurred in Europe as well as the former Soviet Union. Similar findings are also seen in wildlife living in areas with increased radioactive fallout levels." [*]
RPHP analyzed official EPA data on Japan's radiation that drifts to the U.S. and found it is 20 times above normal in the air and precipitation. Levels in Idaho are about 100 times above normal. This suggests that Americans born later in 2011 will have higher rates of infant deaths, low-weight births, cancer, and other conditions, which is what occurred after the Chernobyl plume drifted over the U.S. in 1986.
"Low-birth-weight babies, born too soon and too small, face a lifetime of health problems, including cerebral palsy and behavioral and learning problems, placing an enormous physical, emotional and economic burdens on society as a whole and on those caring for them..." -- RPHP
Throw-away heroes work for TEPCO
According to a reporter for The Economist, the workers at Fukushima often "keel over" while cleaning up the radioactive rubble around the damaged plant. Sometimes they are taken away by ambulance, but eventually they are returned to work.
Workers being monitored following exposure to radiation at Fukushima.
The task is virtually suicidal. Workers are being conscripted from the ranks of the unemployed, poor and even homeless. Those on the site often remark that the workers appear to be the "least of humanity" with missing teeth and visible signs of depravation.
Interviews with the workers are difficult because part of their training (if one can call it that) specifically prohibits talking to the media. The air of secrecy is obvious when you try to approach a worker. Many are not salaried Tepco staff but low-paid contract workers lodged in Iwaki, just south of the exclusion zone. It's just sad all around.
"It is easy to spot them, in their nylon tracksuits -- they seem to have been recruited from the poorest corners of society"
Those that did speak to reporters told of just 30 minutes of safety training -- consisting of a video. Further questioning revealed that they did not fully understand the lethal dangers of their work.
According to a book recently published by Tomohiko Suzuki, a freelance journalist who went undercover as a laborer at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for two months this year, people who were unable to repay loans from yakuza gangs were forced to work at the site as a means of repaying their debts. Tokyo Electric issued a refutal, calling the claim that organized crime would be allowed to influence the recruitment process "groundless".
With the assistance of a particular organization, Suzuki was able to get employment at Fukushima Daiichi during July and August of this year, until his identity was discovered. In the book detailing that time, he writes,
"The yakuza has a huge influence on the running of the nuclear power plant. About one in ten laborers is aligned with the criminal organizations in some way."
In their published denial, Tokyo Electric's PR department stated, "Our company denies any influence from these antisocial organizations, and it is clear that staffing agencies used to recruit laborers have complied with all laws and acted appropriately."
Calm before the storm?
Now that you have been reminded of the impending China Syndromes (multiple) at Fukushima, you can move on to other concerns. It's not like you can do anything about it anyway. That seems to be the common attitude about this and many other global problems. It sure would be reassuring to know that someone is working hard to save us all from a nasty demise. Instead, our responsible leaders are currently promoting their own method of spreading radioacivity around the planet -- an attack on Iran and WWIII.
For now, enjoy the present. As bad as things are today, these could very well be remembered as the "good ol' days".
BREAKING NEWS: REMOVAL OF FUEL RODS FROM SPENT POOL #4
As of July 2012, workers began removing fuel rods from the reserve pool in unit #4. The procedure has been described by TEPCO and is illustrated above. The fuel is transferred to a special container while submerged in the radiation inhibiting water. The sealed container is then raised and lowered to a truck where it is repacked and stored at some site.
The chart on the left seems to indicate the number of fuel rods -- both new and so-called 'depleted' rods -- in each of the stricken reactor buildings. The estimated time to remove the rods and secure the site, at this rate, is years to a decades.
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It's easy see the way 'the powers that be' are taking all of us. They are going to allow the world to be saturated with radiation. At least the northern hemisphere. They are already allowing contaminated rice, and other commodities to be exported. If I heard a report that The UN's World Health Organization was buying up most of it to be distributed to the poor, it wouldn't surprise me.
These people have came right out and said they are going to depopulate the earth. It's even written in stone on that monstrosity they built in Texas. We are being hemmed in at every turn slowly but surely. And the UN's Agenda 21 assures us that the only help that we can expect when things get tough will be from our Father in Heavens. Of course thinking that they are the only god's that matter, they will try to discourage us from even doing that. And of course they never stop telling us that we should be afraid, or they push us to get angry. Anyone who has played sports knows that one of the best ways to disarm an opponent is from the inside out.
So we'll be forced to keep giving ground but if we use our heads, and plan wisely where we're going to retreat to, we can end up in a place where it's more trouble to come after us, than it's worth. Hopefully you will have planned well, and will be able to sustain yourself wherever you decide to go. In the meantime I suggest we keep smiling even if we have to grit our teeth.
And don't worry too much about dying. Except for Divine Intervention I think we are all going to eventually do that anyway. Plus history shows that they are never as successful at eliminating populations, as they think they are going to be. So a little wit, and wisdom could cause you to see your great great grand children. In spite of what they would have you believe with their rhetoric.
Maybe the reason no other news is covering the fukushima thing is that people don't want to read that kind of stuff. it is too depressing. and like you said we can do nothing to stop it.
When this first happened and we knew how bad it was I expected the resources of the world's military and technology would immediately rush to fix it. But then it became obvious that all their might and expensive techno stuff was only designed to do one thing -- kill us.
Look, the people who control us know its the endgame. The silence on CNN, for one, of any story -- not even humanitarial disaster going on -- anything about the nuclear disaster... this speaks loudly about how freaking bad it is.
More and more services are picking up stories about the nuclear warheads and connection to Israel. This should be a big deal. Why is there no mention of this in news reports.
I was troubled by this story until I got to the end where you recommend to live like these are the "good old days". That is excellent advice. I felt better and it is the only solution. Happiness with just a touch of melancholy.