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Following The Earlier TEPCO Reporting Flap, Here Is A Simple Way To Resolve The True Radioactivity At Reactor 2

Tyler Durden's picture


Here is a simple way to clear up the flap over the earlier "false" reporting on whether or not TEPCO screwed up by releasing the figure of 1 sievert of radiation as emanating from the water pool at Reactor 2. From the IAEA: "As previously reported, three workers at the Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant were exposed on 24 March to elevated levels of
radiation. The IAEA has received additional information on the incident
from the Japanese authorities. For two of the three workers, significant skin contamination over
their legs was confirmed. The Japanese authorities have stated that
during medical examinations carried out at the National Institute of
Radiological Sciences in the Chiba Prefecture, the level of local
exposure to the workers’ legs was estimated to be between 2 and 6
While the patients did not require medical treatment, doctors decided to
keep them in hospital and monitor their progress over coming days." All that needs to be disclosed now is how long these workers were in the contaminated water for. If it was between 2 and 6 hours, and the cumulative exposure was 2 - 6 sieverts, it would be rather consistent with the reported record exposure of 1 sievert/hour. If it was shorter, and the upper estimate is correct, the exposure could be as high as 6 sieverts/hour, a figure, based on the prior methodology, about 60 million times higher than permitted.

And another tidbit that all the naysayers may have missed: per AP, while attempting to refute the earlier emissions reading,"officials acknowledged there was radioactive water in all four of the
Fukushima Dai-ichi complex's most troubled reactors, and that airborne
radiation in Unit 2 measured 1,000 millisieverts per hour, four times
the limit deemed safe by the government.
" The revised reading is now only 100,000 times normal, so it is safe for everyone to get back in the pool. So let's see: the radioactivity in the water may not be 1 sievert/hour, but even per the amended release, the airborne radioactivity is 1 sievert.h-1? And this is supposed to be an improvement? Luckily, for now the winds are still blowing mostly away from the land. However, per meteorological forecasts, this will soon change. What happens when radiation in Tokyo spikes once again on Monday morning and how much longer can citizens in the capital exist based purely on the vagaries of wind direction?

Lastly, we can't wait for NISA to refute its own findings, as reported in the Japan Times:

Radiation readings Saturday surpassed 1,000 millisieverts per hour on the surface of a puddle in the basement of the turbine building in reactor No. 2, according to data released Sunday by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

"The level of radiation is greater than 1,000 millisieverts. It is certain that it comes from atomic fission," NISA's Hidehiko Nishiyama told a news conference in the morning. "But we are not sure how it came from the reactor."


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Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:44 | 1105629 Bullfrog
Bullfrog's picture

There is no truth available anymore.  It is more precious than gold, even at $1400/oz

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:39 | 1105861 richard in norway
richard in norway's picture

that reminds me of the dwaves in terry prattchetts the fifth elephant

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:39 | 1106102 What does it al...
What does it all mean's picture

I don't know what is worse, that it is only supposedly 100,000 times above the limit or that they still don't know?

The truth is that there is no known way to get rid of these waste permanently, even under pristine conditions.  So, right now, we are really at the frontier of the human understanding for Nuclear sciences.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:46 | 1106317 bingaling
bingaling's picture

I was wrong

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:49 | 1106332 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

As far as I can see with their revision their issue was 10 million times. This could be the difference conversion between micro and millisieverts thus the 100,000 but still putting off about 1 siviert in any case.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:23 | 1106428 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Early in the debate about nuclear waste, there were those who wanted to put it in rockets, and fire it into the sun.  It's not easy to argue with genius like that;)

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:33 | 1106453 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Good solution, if you can be certain that the rocket won't break apart at any point within earth's gravitational pull.  Don't think I want to take that chance.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 20:55 | 1107086 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Kind of like waste trains to a central repository; after a while the odds stack up against you.  Thousands of trains....

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:41 | 1105871 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

They only allude to the truth: dead people don't need medical attention. 

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:53 | 1105904 Raincheck
Raincheck's picture

Where's trav777 with the latest "Actual" news?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:58 | 1106347 trav7777
trav7777's picture

right here...u want my autograph?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:01 | 1105940 SayTabserb
SayTabserb's picture

Speaking of truth, is it safe to say at this point that Operation Extension Cord pulled a male connection to a nonexistent female receptacle? Just checking in. This all seems to have gotten lost somehow in the general confusion. Judging from the photos of Reactors 1-4 (and especially 3&4), it never looked like there was anything left to connect to (or: to which to connect, now that we're conducting English usage classes here). TEPCO keeps talking about "cooling" the reactors, but you know, is it just going to be the garden hose for the next few months until the melting slag allows for a proper burial?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:06 | 1105953 Savings and Loa...
Savings and Loan Bailout's picture

I apologize about jumping the thread, but I feel that there is something glaring here.  Am I missing something here?  Doesn't 1,000 millisieverts = 1 sievert?  If they changed the press release to go from 1 sievert to 1,000 millisieverts, are we not talking about the exact same measurement?

Forgive my ignorance, if I am wrong.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:17 | 1105996 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

1000 millis = 1

ergo: you are correct.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:26 | 1106040 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

So you mean it's a 1000 times less bad?


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:20 | 1106240 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

I though you were joking at first. lol... then I realized how you could get that idea. The answer is no.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:53 | 1106342 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I was joking ;)

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:23 | 1106035 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Zero Hedge does the heavy lifting that no other media/academic/professional source bothers with/cares about/is honest about....

....yet again.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:11 | 1106391 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I think gold at 6k has a bit more truthyness to it myself.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:48 | 1105640 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Any minute now trav will be over here to take a dump and smell up the place.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:54 | 1105682 tmosley
tmosley's picture

He'd be in agreement with the "doomsayers" if the place was run by black people.  Guaranteed.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:00 | 1105701 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


In the other thread I think one of his postings got so many junks it got deleted.

I've never see that before.


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:23 | 1106031 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

It used to happen all the time when the expurgation threshold was much lower than it is now (I believe it was 20 junks and you're out).

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:58 | 1106162 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


I believe that back when you and I were both little infant ZHer's playing in the soon to be radioactive pools of water here on ZH that the junk threshold for a comment to be dumped and entombed in concrete was 10, then raised to 20, then 50 in rapid succession when Israel went full retard and attacked unarmed relief boats on the high seas.

Of course I reserve the right to be wrong at any time without prior notice. :>)

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:49 | 1106328 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I don't understand why there even is a junk button since it doesn't generate page views.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:53 | 1106503 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Tyler's experiment in anonymous credibility I suspect. A way for people to express their outrage at outrageous behaviour? Sadly it has devolved into just another method to disagree with an alternative view.

Ah, the good old days on Zero Hedge when junks were a very rare commodity and nearly everyone, including the unregistered, respected the venue.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:41 | 1106617 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

trav is awesum!  i'm wondering if maybe when he got up from passing out on the floor, he junked himself 50-60 times and maybe e'd the "abuse" address, here, too, begging for mercy!

abuse [ at ] zerohedge [ dot ] org - Abuse / Infringement Issues


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:48 | 1106645 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

once, in my early daze @ ZH, while hallucinating extraordinaly, i thought i made a whole page disappear!  later, when i could feel my hands, again, i re-checked, and i was right! 

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:42 | 1106623 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Ah, the good old days on Zero Hedge when junks were a very rare commodity and nearly everyone, including the unregistered, respected the venue."

The price for going big time?  Here come the ho-dads!

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:10 | 1105746 reading
reading's picture

Too many logical facts here for him.


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:54 | 1105912 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

I suspect he may have been moderated.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:49 | 1106139 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Suicide is sometimes the best option.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:02 | 1106180 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I don't think so. His ID still reads as active. I suspect he left his bat cave and went down to Lowe's to sharpen his rapier wit. Unfortunately the salesman couldn't find anything to sharpen.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:54 | 1106340 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Glad to see that you were all waiting in suspense for me to show up.

I'm usually fashionably late...and because I am far cooler and more glamorous than you, the party doesn't start till I get here.

No wonder this thread had so few comments.

Fret not, my admirers, I have arrived!

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:02 | 1106522 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

We await as one who waits for the black death to arrive.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:45 | 1106637 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Yeah, whatever.  Nuclear power is dead.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 18:44 | 1106810 malikai
malikai's picture

Are you volunteering to turn the lights off?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 20:31 | 1107028 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Just speculating on the reaction world-wide, if Tokyo gets evacuated or empties voluntarily.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:42 | 1105848 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

No !  He is busy doing RADNET queries like I told him too. !

By the way, if anyone else would like to do RADNET queries (past readings history) the link is below. Pay special attention to Wichita KS on the 25th of March 2011.

Here is the one that popped out at me. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fixed Monitor Location: KS: WICHITA
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/25/2011 08:06:52 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/25/2011 09:07:00 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 447
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1862
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1117
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 330
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 177
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 113
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 142
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 95
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 33
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 49

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:02 | 1105948 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

It is time to start correlating high/low pressure and precipitation with the Beta readings.  Where I live, they have gone up noticeably on the two times it rained.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:17 | 1105995 seek
seek's picture

The rain absorbs radioactive gasses created in the high atmosphere via cosmic rays (it's where carbon-14 comes from, for example.)

I noticed the same thing on the radiation monitors I have sitting next to me, and actually went so far as to collect rainwater and test it directly. So without knowing the energy profiles it's impossible to say with any certainty if it's from the fallout, it can be from naturally occuring isotopes.

Now, non-rain readings are a different matter. I've seen two peaks, both on Saturday over the past two weeks. Undetectable without doing mathematical analysis, but better than million-to-one odds against them happening naturally. Other folks with similar equipment on the west coast are seeing much stronger levels, though far below anything dangerous.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:25 | 1106037 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Thanks for the input.  Would the levels elevate to multiples of "normal" atmospheric?  I was referring to levels of beta in 3-400 CPM range.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:59 | 1106520 seek
seek's picture

Low multiples, yes, but 300-400 CPM would likely be radioactive particulates of some type. Could be Japan or native (there are spots in here in Arizona where you can see that level from dust, though it's not common.) 300-400 CPM for a typical counter is actually pretty hot, around 2.5 uSv, or about 16X background. Unless it's a pancake-type geiger tube, in which case those counts wouldn't be too wierd (and would be close to background but you'd have background counts that are pretty high as well.)

If it's Japan fallout, though, you should be seeing an increase in background levels without rain as well, regardless of counter tube type.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 20:54 | 1107082 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Thanks again.  The highest of the numbers came from the RadNet (EPA) Site.  My own geiger readings were in line with what the EPA #'s reported, ie.. midway between the reading to the West and East of me.  The only days they have been elevated above the baseline have been when it rained. 

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:28 | 1106047 malikai
malikai's picture

I've been monitoring gamma. I've not noticed any deviations from norm here in London.

We get between 5-20uSv/h here. The highest I've seen since last Sunday has been 18uSv/h.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:21 | 1106023 Larry Darrell
Larry Darrell's picture

You mean all of the radioactive Xenon is not staying safely in the upper atmosphere until it's 5.5 day half life exhausts?  It comes down in the rain?


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:37 | 1106464 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Rain doesn't come from the upper atmosphere.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:26 | 1106042 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

You know, I was playing around with the radiation monitoring map the other day and noticed readings that, from my limited study, indicated elevated levels of radiation being detected.  Not anything serious but some readings were in the hundreds.  I don't think I saw any as high as 447, though.

This is starting to get alarming.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:15 | 1106407 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Any minute now trav will be over here to take a dump and smell up the place

No, bob, don't worry, I am not going to crack your or tmosely's head open

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:56 | 1106677 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

trav, i can see from yer post below that even 7777 has not cracked tyler's "Sunday Koan and Conundrum" offering.  or anyone else, unless i missed a post or three.

tyler, you shitheaded asswipe, you've done it, again!  awesum, dude or dudette, whoever is publishing "behind the T.D. mask", today.

uhhh,.....please consider that that the radiation emanating FROM the water may not be the same as the radiation IN the water. 

any questions?  prob'ly not, eh? 

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:45 | 1105641 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

At least they'll have time to say a proper goodbye to their families...

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:49 | 1105662 kinetik
kinetik's picture

Some consolation. They have less than 50-50 chance of surviving and even then it will be at a shocking loss to their personal health.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:30 | 1106056 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:49 | 1106134 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

The data on mortality is skewed, because of the way radiation sickness is classified.  Death must come either immediately, or as a result of symptoms that appear immediately.  So, most likely, the will be kept alive for as long as possible, through chemo, skin-graphs, bone marrow transplants.  So, when they die of kidney failure or leukemia 4 or 5 years later, they can argue it cannot be proven to be a result of this specific incident.

However, the really nasty part of radiation sickness is that unless there is a vey high dose, there are immediate effects (skin burns, nose bleeds etc) then a latency period of up to a month, then the symptoms come back with avengeance, hemorrhaging, blood blisters, skin sloughing off the body, failure of immune system - the body just falls to pieces fast.  The accounts of the nurses who cared for the Soviet helicopter pilots after Chernobyl are very sad - the pilots would seem to get better and think they were through the worst of it, but they knew it was merely a brief pause.  Those that do survive without developing the second stage will have medical complications for the rest of their shortened lives, but of course these will not be part of the statistics.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:32 | 1106443 trav7777
trav7777's picture

standing in water may not have been a whole-body dose, ok?

The Gray figure MUST be multiplied by a qualitative factor depending upon the type of organ or tissue.

I will bet money that this 2-6 Sv doseage is read with a dosimeter and would ASSUME a whole body dose.  Go to the sievert wiki and look at the Q and N coefficients, please.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:47 | 1106491 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

"The Japanese authorities have stated that during medical examinations carried out at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in the Chiba Prefecture, the level of local exposure to the workers’ legs was estimated to be between 2 and 6 sieverts."

So, you are saying they used a dosimeter and accidentally assumed this intensity of radiation covered the whole body, thereby accidentally overstating the dose by say 20 times?  Sounds a little absurd to me...

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 20:41 | 1107056 trav7777
trav7777's picture

it wasn't a full-body dose.  To accurately get Sv dosage you have to multiply by qualitative factors...the tissue affected.

this is why they really ought to use grays, which are a measure of pure energy absorbed.  Once you go to sieverts, you start talking about human tissue and the sievert ratings you see are for the REM on a whole-body assumption.

In a high-rad field, it would be ok to assume whole-body.  Stepping in radioactive water, not so...

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:49 | 1106648 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

So the workers are only going to lose their feet?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 18:53 | 1106822 malikai
malikai's picture

Depending on the dose, probably just the skin on their feet/legs. But it could be grafted back as would be done on any burn victom.

The real risk comes from any iodine or caesium in the water which are also gamma emittors. I read that they received beta burns, but the only beta sources identified thus far are iodine/cs/sr. This implies a dose of gamma. Again, the dosimeters will tell the story. If they have ARS, that will also be known eventually as well as the outcome. But not until more misinformation comes out.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 22:08 | 1107235 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

"But it could be grafted back as would be done on any burn victom."

Take it from a guy who has been through it.  I'd DAMN NEAR rather eat a bullet than go through it again.

I feel sorry for these poor sons of bitches, and I TRULY feel for everyone in Japan.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:49 | 1105659 FranSix
FranSix's picture

The usual shift time of nuclear plant workers is two hours.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:54 | 1105676 CR Bill
CR Bill's picture

standing in water?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:21 | 1105789 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Evidently they were subcontractors and were unaware of the risk.  If they were even slightly informed, when they saw the water they would have turned around, went back and gotten boots to wear while working.


The estimates of exposure on the skin are guesses.  In a few weeks, a more accurate determination can be made based on whether the exposed skin becomes necrotic and begins sloughing off.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:00 | 1105700 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Oh, aren't you a ray of sunshine.  Fortunately, nothing is usual here, but thanks for your input.  Knowing is better than flailing around in the dark.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:29 | 1105819 FranSix
FranSix's picture

I imagine it would have been intensely difficult, if not impossible to look after one's safety in the immediate aftermath of the plant failure with no power and water being sprayed over absolutely  everything.

When does monsoon season start again?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:21 | 1106419 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

About half past the evacuation of Tokyo, I think, but I'm an arb.  What the hell would I know about forecasting?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:05 | 1105725 Clockwork Orange
Clockwork Orange's picture

That's twice as long as US government workers.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:35 | 1105844 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

I see you have made the mistake in defining what US government personnel do as work.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:52 | 1105665 Bleeping Fed
Bleeping Fed's picture

I keep thinking about the Chernobyl "liquidator" interview in which she recounted a worker stepping in a radioactive puddle and having his skin burned off of his foot.  How many sieverts does that take?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:51 | 1105666 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

When the workers were first reported injured, the article said they were in the water for 40 minutes, as I recall.

Anyone got a link to the first report?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:50 | 1106303 bingaling
bingaling's picture


Is this why you thought 40 minutes ? the article says the workers were in water weeks ago for 40 minutes

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:55 | 1106343 bingaling
bingaling's picture

Here is the correct article they were in ankle deep water for 40-50 minutes

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:53 | 1105667 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

These workers have bigger cajones than I.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:03 | 1105708 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

They may not have them anymore.

I know. I know.

It's not funny.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:13 | 1105974 Brother can you...
Brother can you spare a dime's picture

Sometimes you just have to find something funny. The situation is so out of control over there that black comedy (not the wayans brothers) may be the only thing getting people through it. That's why I love Banzai's photo shops.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:25 | 1105803 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Lack of boots while working in water indicates beyond any reasonable doubt that the workers were unwitting dupes.  Unwilling heroes.  The danger of irradiated water was kept from them by those on the scene who most definitely did know better.  Never trust Authority.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:19 | 1106012 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

It may not be that bad. A story or comment I read somewhere yesterday said that some ofthe workers had boots that kept their feet dry, and that the workers who gotwet were wearing boots that weren't as high as those workers' boots, so they got overflowed.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:36 | 1106087 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

They weren't wearing boots, they had on shoes..

Two workers hospitalized for radiation exposure were wearing ordinary work shoes in liquid containing radioactivity 10,000 times the normal level of reactor-cooling water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, officials said Friday.

Three workers were in the ankle-deep water Thursday and were carrying dosemeters. But they ignored the high-radiation warnings of the devices and continue repair work in the soaked basement of the No. 3 reactor's turbine building, officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, said.

The water was about 15 centimeters deep, officials said.

"I thought (the dosemeter) was out of order," one of the workers was quoted as saying. The radioactivity level had been low in the basement before.

TEPCO has come under fire for failing to properly ensure the safety of the workers trying to bring the nuclear crisis under control. The company has acknowledged that its safety measures were inadequate.

Two of the workers were rushed to a hospital in Fukushima city Thursday. They were taken Friday to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba for examinations and treatment for possible beta ray radiation burns below their knees.

The third worker wearing long boots was unharmed.

TEPCO said the water was likely contaminated with radioactive substances leaked from damaged nuclear fuel rods inside a reactor core or a cooling pool for spent fuel rods.

"Perhaps the fuel was damaged to a certain degree, and a certain amount may have been released," Takeshi Takahashi, a TEPCO official, told a news conference.

The company was trying to determine where the water came from.

According to TEPCO and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), the water was found with 3.9 million becquerels of radioactive substances per cubic centimeter, about 10,000 times the level of water used to cool reactor cores.

Cobalt-60, iodine-131, cesium-137 and other substances, which do not normally exist in cooling water, were detected, the officials said.

The workers' dosemeters showed radiation amounts totaling 173 to 180 millisieverts, less than the maximum of 250 millisieverts per year allowed for an emergency situation.

But the level at the water's surface was later found to be 400 millisieverts per hour.

The workers wore three layers of protective clothing, masks, helmets and gloves. But TEPCO gave them no instructions about their footwear because there were no deep water puddles the previous day.

The workers in ordinary work shoes were in the contaminated water for 40 to 50 minutes, and the tainted water had soaked through their clothes to their skin, according to officials.

Under an internal TEPCO rule, an official to gauge radioactivity levels is required to accompany workers and give instructions, but none did so for the three.

TEPCO officials admitted rules and guidelines were breached in some cases. NISA officials said they instructed the utility to correct its lax safety management.

Industry minister Banri Kaieda criticized TEPCO for the absence of the official in charge of measuring radiation levels.

"It was a mistake in the very basics of work," he said.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:52 | 1106147 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Ah. This is the report I was talking about up thread. Thank you.

So this means then that the two workers received 2-6 sieverts in 50-50 minues of exposure.

"...The workers in ordinary work shoes were in the contaminated water for 40 to 50 minutes..."

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:51 | 1105668 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Good thing the doctors pointed out it was only the legs.  Imagine how bad off they would be if that radioactivity somehow managed to circulate through their whole bodies.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:51 | 1105672 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Good grief, a guy goes to Mass and comes home to a bar fight on ZH.  Sweet!

Listen, I don't need no stinking water readings from reactor #2 to understand the situation on the ground there.  The first pictures were enough.  Progressively, the headlines confirm the story of a widening crisis.

They have clearly lost control.  The only story to watch for now is the arrival of concrete.  That's it.  They will not be regaining control.  They will not be cooling anything.  They will be entombing this mess.  Every day that they do not is another day that TEPCO risks the lives of more Japanese people, up to and including the residents of Tokyo.  

Cue up pissed off Trav!

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:59 | 1105699 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

I share your feelings about the thing, but entombment cannot begin until they have gotten everything cooled.

They must first get control of cooling before they can do anything.

Hell of a mess...

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:15 | 1105761 Highrev
Highrev's picture

At the risk of sounding very stupid (and when it comes to nuclear anything, that is exactly what I am), WHY NOT NUKE THE PLACE?

Wouldn't that ultimately be the lowest radiation release in the long term vaporizing the "mess" in the process?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:25 | 1105791's picture

Please don't recommend such a Keynesian remedy for this crisis. Attempting to cure debt with more debt is bad enough but having the Bernanke and his helicopter drop nukes on nukes is going too far.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:39 | 1105866 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Funny, but there is one small difference: instead of trying to make us believe that it would be a fix (ala the Bernank), the overtly stated desired result in this case would be to definitively destroy the "toxic waste".

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:52 | 1105901 Boop
Boop's picture

It would "definitively destroy" the toxic waste by hefting it into the atmosphere so we could all breathe it? Along with the massive damage a bomb would do?  Fantastico.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:34 | 1105851 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

I cannot answer your question, personally.

However, when the idea was mentioned in an earlier thread it was roundly scoffed at by folks who actually do know a lot about nukes, namely Aristarchan et al.

Beyond that, I would speculate that the idea is politically and socially impossible as well.

This is Japan, remember?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:49 | 1105891 Highrev
Highrev's picture

It ultimately comes down to cost analysis. In this case the "cost" being radioactive fallout.

What would be politically and socially possible would revolve around that cost analysis I would think.

What would the radioactive fallout be if the site were nuked? What would it be if left to "smolder"?

I know, this brings the concept of damage control to new heights, but what else is there? (Long term containment strategies by everyone’s admission are very tenuous to say the least, and again, coming back to the costs . . . )


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:57 | 1105917 Highrev
Highrev's picture

One "cost" not mentioned above would be the psychological blow to the nuclear industry.

It would be without a doubt the end of nuclear power.

That "cost" most certainly would bring a very powerful predisposition to the table when debating this "option". Indeed, it most likely would be the overriding "reason" why it would be discarded out of hand as "unthinkable" and as such, "not even an option to be considered".


I think I've answered my own question (even if that psychological blow is going to be delivered regardless).




Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:18 | 1106000 flattrader
flattrader's picture

The costs at this point are yet to be determined. The bill is still being calculated.

And if the wind shifts the wrong way...which apparently is just a matter of time...there will be no containing "costs".

This is a very slow-motion human and environmental train wreck which could take weeks to play out.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:40 | 1106101 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Points well taken, however:

I am beginning to think that the end of this thing is possibly going to be the end of further nuclear development anyway, and possibly the decomissioning of more than one or two existing plants, unless perhaps the Thorium idea bears real fruit.

Chart the evolution of the Fukushima disaster from day one and the trend line clearly indicates disaster of even greater proportions is coming.

I don't care what argument anyone offers, it is an undeniable fact that news reports have grown consistently more ominous, and every revealed fact indicates worsening conditions.

Nuclear power as we have known it may well be already dead.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:00 | 1106362 Big Sky
Big Sky's picture

We had a thread a few days ago discussing the ramping up of nuclear power plants in China, perhaps 30-40 plants in various stages of development. I don't see the events in Japan dissuading the Chinese from continuing.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 22:04 | 1107230 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"I don't see the events in Japan dissuading the Chinese from continuing."

Rats, that means I'll have to move there if I want to work in the same field.  I'm too old to learn Mandarin or Cantonese.  Maybe they'll all know Spanish or Engrish?

I guess I could retire and then go back to driving a truck.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:47 | 1106493 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Nuclear power as we have known it may well be already dead.

Largest recorded earthquake in Japan and the power plant survived (they say it was the tsunami that did the damage).  That seems to me like an argument in support of nuclear power, not against it.  And I'm anti-nuke until we get the waste problem figured out.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:52 | 1105900 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Nukes do not turn everyting they touch into brilliant light that shines away into space.  They make everything very hot, break things up a lot, and throw them into the atmosphere.

The fireball from a 10 or 20 kiloton weapon is maybe a hundred meters across, so the entire site wouldn't even be enclosed within the fireball.

The temperatures inside the fireball would be something like a couple million degrees.  That temperature does not just make atoms disappear.  It only pisses them off.  When you say "vaporize", that's not the same as "hurl out of existence."

A nuclear weapon detonation would indeed vaporize a large amount of the nuclear fuel at the site.  It would reduce it to atoms or very small particles and hurl it high into the stratosphere, where it really might indeed circle the globe, slowly raining out.  A single 10 kt weapon would end up having more radiation damage effects than the entire human nuclear arsenal.

No offence -- really -- but this would be the worst idea in the long history of bad ideas.


Fed delenda est.  ( but not by nuking the planet, please. )

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:21 | 1106025 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Agreed. Just google Strontium 90--baby teeth--

Then do the same and add Florida

and then Ventura County.

You won't like what you read.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:32 | 1106068 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I actually suggested that over a week ago but I wasn't dumb enough to think that it was anything more than a bad joke.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:50 | 1106138 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Unfortunately the "bad joke" is on us all and that's why I seriously mention it.


At this point, I don't think there's anything that can be discarded out of hand, especially seeing over the last 2 weeks that practically nobody has a fucking clue (and if anyone does, then they’re not being too awfully forthright with solutions). Again, bringing out extreme possibilities is also a serious way to try and flush out reasonable solutions, but as Tyler has pointed out ad nauseam, without reasonable data to go on . . . and once again I’m back to the “no fucking clue” in this oh so sophisticated and intelligent world we live in.



Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:05 | 1106192 tmosley
tmosley's picture

If the nuke destroys the containment vessels, then all of Japan, parts of Korea, China, and Russia, and possibly Hawaii, Alaska, and maybe even Canada and the US West coast will be contaminated to a point where they will become wastelands.  That is literally the worst thing you can do here.  The "vapor" remains radioactive.  This is not like a chemical or biological threat where it can be neutralized by heat.  Heat only makes this shit worse.  The only way to fix it is to keep it cool, and bury it far away from any water table.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:36 | 1106594 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Since the only stupid question is the question left unasked, allow me just one more question for perspective's sake.

What would be the difference between simply dropping a 10 kt nuke on an atoll, and dropping a 10 kt nuke on Fukushima?

Many thanks to all for participating in this worst of all worlds analysis.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 20:45 | 1107061 trav7777
trav7777's picture

because of all the debris that is would all be blown hither tither.

Nukes don't dematerialize things, ok? 

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:33 | 1106455 trav7777
trav7777's picture

if you admit to being stupid, why are you offering suggestions?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:54 | 1106663 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Aw c'mon trav! Don't you know imitation is the highest form of flattery?


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 18:54 | 1106830 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Way to fuck with a guy for asking a question.  Here's a question:  Are you just an internet tough guy, or do you talk to people like that in the real world?  If so, do you still have any of your own teeth?

Maybe the problem isn't your message, Trav, it's the messenger. 

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:00 | 1105703 malikai
malikai's picture

They cannot entomb it yet. The fuel is still concentrated in too close of a location and if they throw sand/concrete on it the stuff will heat up, melt, and they will have in addition to all this mess a criticality accident. If this stuff goes critical, particularly the stuff in the spent fuel pools, the game is over for all of Japan and the Pacific.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:10 | 1105733 Blankman
Blankman's picture

Do you know what type of mix needs to be placed over the reactor?  Regular concrete or special aggregates and cement?  I was also questioning whther or not Japan has the proper resouces to produce the type of concrete they need to encase the reactors.  Perhaps they are waiting for a cargo ship load of special aggregate and cement before they can proceed.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:09 | 1105961 malikai
malikai's picture

I don't know. But judging from what they did at Chernobyl, it seems like they just throw whatever they can get their hands on to do the job. Their they used boron, sand, concrete and I believe lead as well. This is not an option. The spent fuel pools contain much more fuel than the core does, and if it goes critical, the only real option left is to dump loads of boric acid and run for the hills. Either way, the accident will then be on the scale of multiples of Chernobyl.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:14 | 1105742 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Repeating what I said last night:

Airdrop bomblets to take the roof [of Reactor 2] apart, second airdrop shredded tin and boron, third airdrop more of the same in water solution, fourth airdrop more of the same. Start closing in the breakwater like this:

On second thought, the fast way to close up the sea is to start sinking barges loaded with cement and scrap metal on top of each other.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:59 | 1105925 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Roofs are already busted up halfway.  Bomblets don't just shred roof -- many fall into reactor innards and shred that further. 

Spent fuel ponds are above reactors and may be dry.  Bomblets fall into spent storage pools and shatter rods that have not already shattered, kick some fuel high into air and spread it around site.  And downwind.  Including p-p-p-plutonium.


Fed delenda est.  ( but not by spreading oh-my-God-Plutonium on the winds, please. )

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:45 | 1106123 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Get Reactor #2 roof off for airdrops. Burn it off, blow it off, stat.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:01 | 1106169 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Yeah, also seems like a generally acknowleged principle of blowing shit up is that it makes shit go everywhere. sort of the opposite of containment, right?

just sayin....

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:10 | 1106213 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Blow #2 roof off, crack it open, set it on fire, doesn't matter. Need airdrops of lead boron tin water stat.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:47 | 1105895 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

My question would be, when did they refuel that #3 reactor ???  Do we have fresh rods or do we have almost spent rods. This would make the picture much clearer for cooling this and entombing it.

I know there is a punchline in there somewhere.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:02 | 1105935 malikai
malikai's picture

I don't know. If this information were available for all reactors it would be useful for deducing the cooling requirements.

There is good anciliary information on the status last known to wikipedia.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:12 | 1105970 davepowers
davepowers's picture

interesting question.

4-6 were undergoing inspection at the time, with 4's fuel completely removed and 5-6 about 1/3 removed (per reports early on).

if they were inspecting sequentially, then perhaps 1-3 recently finished their inspections.

would that mean a full refueling? Replacement of just rods that weren't up to snuff or spent? 


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:28 | 1106052 flattrader
flattrader's picture

From everything I've read, it can take 4-6 or more years to cool fuel rods, depending on the size of the rods and the type of fuel, under ideal circumstances.

IOW these rods are NOT cooling off in a few weeks, months or years.

So, waiting for them to cool may not be the wisest thing.

What are possible alternatives.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 19:05 | 1106486 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture


As at August 10th, 2010, this report indicated that the MOX was going to be loaded in reactor 3 by August 21st, and begin producing electricity by September, 2010.


I recall reading somewhere since this fiasco began that the loading wasn't actually completed until November but I have no link and wouldn't swear my memory is accurate either.


In either case the MOX is pretty fresh....

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 20:45 | 1107067 trav7777
trav7777's picture

no real material difference between recently spent rods and new ones except the presence of some shorter-lived isotopes.

Rods when spent are still 95% original

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:42 | 1106110 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

It's not a bad idea, but it would still take weeks.  But, in lieu of a better suggestion, you'll probably be right, so they may as well start making plans now.

I didn't realize tin was a neutron absorber.  The price of tin and lead will probably start going up on the spot market.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:31 | 1106436 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:09 | 1105712 FranSix
FranSix's picture

One thing ppl might remember is that somewhere in these reactor buildings, either inside the cores or in the sub-basement is a huge dollop of sub-critical meltdown lava.  Its not as straightforward as pouring concrete over it.

You have to mix it with a moderator somehow, which is nigh impossible.  The Soviets were just plain lucky that the sand in the reactor walls mixed with the meltdown after the explosion destroyed the reactor building.  Dumping tons and tons of lead using helicopters and sacrificing a whole generation of pilots was the coup de grace there.

It could be that the meltdown lava has already mixed with the steel of the core and the concrete of the building, thus buying some time.  They are obviously following the exact same steps as Chernobyl, by attempting to remove basement water.

Keep watching to see if more of the same steps are followed.  Next, breaking into the concrete basement.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:13 | 1105750 Cdad
Cdad's picture

They are obviously following the exact same steps, by attempting to remove basement water.

This is exactly my point about TEPCO cooling anything.  Spraying seawater on the ruins of the buildings MUST STOP.  You cannot have a failed core falling into a pool of seawater in the basement.  

Whether it cools on its own, or by some other means, TEPCO's actions seem [to me] to be increasing the risks to a widening section of the country.  Anything else...sand, lead, whatever...would be better than dousing the building and struggling to turn the f'n lights on in the ruins of the control room.

This thing went totally FUBAR weeks ago...and they still treat it like a PR situation.  Who are they kidding?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:16 | 1105773 FranSix
FranSix's picture

I think they get the water part, just the newsreels about it keep repeating, so do the fantasy stories about about nuclear heroes.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:41 | 1105869 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

The water we are talking about is in the basement of the Turbine Buildings - across the road.

NOT in the reactor buildings as far as anyone knows, though it seems a logical speculation as well.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:01 | 1105944 FranSix
FranSix's picture

The water, though would come out of the reactor cores into the turbines and not returned to the core.  Water would also have pooled in the damaged reactor buildings because they spent so much time literally pouring water all over the damage.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:03 | 1105715 Blankman
Blankman's picture

Cdad - I agree.  Dump the concrete already and wipe the slate clean.  Stop wasting the lives of these poor Japanese who are working on the plant.  It is done.  When we first saw the explosions the msm told us that it was ok because what blew off the reactors was just a thin candy coated shell around the top of the plant.  Since that point more photos have come out that have shown the explosions blew holes in a continuosly reinforced concrete wall that was at least 1' thick if not thicker.  These walls were meant to contain and they did not perform their job.  That is one of my worries on the plant.  That is why I say encase these things before it gets worse.    

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:08 | 1105726 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

I agree, and have been telling my peer-group the same thing for days now...  to blank stares.

I think that folks hate being told that the end-game is already a foregone conclusion and there are basically no options.  It just doesn't sit well who have believed that technology and innovation can cure anything - if we just believe...  But just like the Titanic, where the process was inevitable once the critical number of bulkheads were compromised, the destruction of the reactor complex's subsystems are so complete that any contingency is just a means to buy time for a solution that isn't being publicised or implemented.

Unfortunately, I don't think that encasing this mess in concrete is an option at this point either.  It's just too damn hot.  Nature is going to need to take its course on this first and we'll be stuck with a huge quarantine area, elevated health effects for decades, and a giant spike driven in the global economy's coffin.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:12 | 1105751 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

James Howard Kunstler calls it 'Techno-triumphalism'. The belief that one day we'll just flip the big switch over to some big alternative energy source and continue to run things exactly the same as before. He talked once about going to one of these big environmental summits, and all they could talk about was how technology would save them.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:28 | 1105821 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Technology does not improve under the urging of a whip and gun.  That's the basic logical fallacy of the command-and-control eco-idiots.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:36 | 1105855 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

I think that folks hate being told that the end-game is already a foregone conclusion and there are basically no options.

This applies to so much in  the world today.  Sadly.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:35 | 1106085 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Agreed. Yes, this is the Titanic and the MSM is the band.

I disagree with the waiting for it to cool. It takes 4-6 years for fuel rods to cool under ideal circumstances [stored in cooling pool with treated and circulating water.]

I have to wonder if anyone is speculating re: alternatives?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:10 | 1105740 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Who will do the concrete job? Probably not Kellogg Brown & Root... to much actual work needed instead of the usual graft, corruption and unexplained cost overruns.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:53 | 1106657 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

C'mon CDad.  Do you think the workers were wearing boots or sneakers?  This is important!



Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:54 | 1105680 Dingleberry Jones
Dingleberry Jones's picture

Appropriate, if not completely tasteless.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:57 | 1105685 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Nice bit of Sherlocking.  Is that a word?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:15 | 1105758 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

It is now. ZH has been sherlocking the shit out a this thing.

; /

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:19 | 1105786 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

sherlocking the shylocking.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:56 | 1105686 pvzh
pvzh's picture

2-6 Sv? Holy shit! Look at the table in wiki article

That means 5-50% mortality with medical care.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:28 | 1105693 sunkeye
sunkeye's picture



Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:03 | 1105695 connda
connda's picture

8 sieverts is fatal.  2 sieverts makes you sick and can kill you.  6 sieverts, you've got serious problems.  So what is this nonsense that they didn't require medical attention?  If they're talking millisieverts, OK.  But sieverts?  These people are seriously f**ked up.  Hey, just raise the safe level up to the fatal level and no one will be the wiser.

This is a lot different than the financial fiasco where the government, the Fed, and the Banks all lie to you and maybe you lose your life savings. 

In Japan, the government and TEPCO lie to you and maybe you lose your life.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:19 | 1105783 rbarreira
rbarreira's picture

According to the New York Times article, the reason that the workers may not be in huge trouble from 2-6 sieverts is that the radiation may have only affected their skin and not the whole body.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:31 | 1105823 connda
connda's picture

I'd believe the New York Times for what reason?  MSM?  I'm just assuming they either minimize the problem or propagate the lies.  2-6 sieverts these poor people are cooked.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:55 | 1106672 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"may have only affected their skin"

So maybe, maybe, they've only been skinned alive?  Phew, I thought this was serious.


Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:38 | 1105862 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Maybe by "no medical attention" they meant the workers were only receiving palliative care.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 13:05 | 1105724 props2009
props2009's picture

Jordan first protest death. Next wave of protests to begin ?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 14:29 | 1106057 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Why do you NEVER post a relevant comment in any thread?

Are you a bot, borg or botulism?

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:12 | 1106220 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I actually appreciate the update as it's big news and will just add some more spice to the calamity soup presently simmering up to a boil.

It's all connected now, folks.

I am Chumbawamba.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:58 | 1106676 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

It's a bot.

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 18:45 | 1106805 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

nah, more likely an 11-year-old chick doing "news-botting" relevant to ZH themes, to the current thread, no matter what.  i went completely ape-shit off-topic, for hours, when she put up another one-liner on bruce's last offering, earlier, today.  for a 6th grader, she's at the heada the class, and will be an ivy league or little three student upon matricultion from jr. high, if her parents aren't paying attention to what she's up to. or, to that to which she is up.  or, to that up to which she is?  yoda---can i get some help, here?  not you, gollum, yoda!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!