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IAEA On Fukushima Plutonium

Tyler Durden's picture


It appears the plutonium discovered earlier, which according to some Japanese reports was so safe it was borderline edible, may not be all that safe. Per the IAEA:

After taking soil samples at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese authorities today confirmed finding traces of plutonium that most likely resulted from the nuclear accident there. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told the IAEA that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had found concentrations of plutonium in two of five soil samples.

Traces of plutonium are not uncommon in soil because they were deposited worldwide during the atmospheric nuclear testing era. However, the isotopic composition of the plutonium found at Fukushima Daiichi suggests the material came from the reactor site, according to TEPCO officials. Still, the quantity of plutonium found does not exceed background levels tracked by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the past 30 years.

Which update however must have come some hours ago, when the Plutonium was still concidered safe. The latest update from TEPCO, via Bloomberg, tells a slightly different story:


We only have one question: how can the situation be serious if the Plutonium is so safe Kan is preparing to eat it for breakfast with a side of three eyed tuna tomorrow on national TV.

Ironically refuting the IAEA optimism this time around is Japan itself:

But Japan's own nuclear safety agency was concerned at the plutonium samples, whose levels of radioactive decay ranged from 0.18 to 0.54 becquerels per kg.

"While it's not the level harmful to human health, I am not optimistic. This means the containment mechanism is being breached so I think the situation is worrisome," agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama was quoted as saying by Jiji news agency.

Workers at Fukushima are resigned to a struggle of weeks or months to re-start cooling systems vital to control the reactors and avert disaster. Their conditions are extremely dangerous, earning them sympathy and admiration round the world.

On Monday, highly contaminated water was found in concrete tunnels extending beyond one reactor, while at the weekend radiation hit 100,000 times over normal in water inside another.

That poses a major dilemma for TEPCO which wants to douse the reactors to cool them, but not worsen the radiation spread.

Fires, blasts, smoke and steam have posed other hazards.

Japan says a partial meltdown of fuel rods inside reactor No. 2 has contributed to the radiation levels.

The crisis, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986, has contaminated vegetables and milk from the area, as well as the surrounding sea. U.S. experts said groundwater, reservoirs and the sea all faced "significant contamination."

With towns on the northeast coast reduced to apocalyptic landscapes of mud and debris, more than a quarter of a million people are homeless. The event may be the world's costliest natural disaster, with estimates of damage topping $300 billion.

The environmental group Greenpeace said its experts had confirmed dangerous radiation of up to 10 microsieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the plant.

It called for the extension of a 20-km (12-mile) evacuation zone. "It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women," Greenpeace said, urging Japan to "stop choosing politics over science".

In most countries the maximum permissible annual dose for radiation workers is 50 millisieverts, or 50,000 microsieverts, according to the World Nuclear Association Industry body.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from a 20-km (12 mile) radius around the plant. Those within a further 10-km radius have been told by the government to stay indoors or, better still, leave too.

Beyond the evacuation zone, traces of radiation have been found in tap water in Tokyo and as far away as Iceland.

Japanese officials and international experts have generally said the levels away from the plant were not dangerous for human beings, who in any case face higher radiation doses on a daily basis from natural sources, X-rays or flying.

In downtown Tokyo, a Reuters reading on Tuesday showed 0.20-0.22 microsieverts per hour, within the global average of natural ambient radiation of 0.17-0.39 microsieverts per hour given by the World Nuclear Association.

And while we are enjoying the Plut-On, Plut-Off show, here is Kyodo with the latest update on US radioactivity.

Trace amounts of radioactive material believed to have come from Japan's quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been detected in the atmosphere in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida, Reuters news service reported Monday, citing officials.

There is no current threat to public safety, the report said, quoting Drew Elliot, a spokesman for the power generation and distribution company Progress Energy Inc., which operates some of the power plants in the southern states.

Monitors at several nuclear plants in the three states picked up low levels of radioactive iodine-131, the report said.

''If there were radiation coming from one of our own sites, we would be seeing other types of radiation than iodine-131,'' Elliot was quoted as saying.

In the United States, radioactive materials believed to have come from the Fukushima nuclear plant have also been detected in several other states, including Hawaii, California, Nevada and Massachusetts.


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Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:24 | 1111294 Number 156
Number 156's picture

Ill take mine with Fries and a coke.

Im still trying to figure out how this was on par with three mile island in terms of severity.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:26 | 1111304 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture


We can super size that for you.  Just order a #3 special.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:30 | 1111322 Number 156
Number 156's picture

Yeah, I will take the supersievert size please.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:46 | 1111370 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture


OK.  Special orders don't upset us.

You will have to sign this release form though.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 04:57 | 1111901 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'Traces of plutonium are not uncommon in soil because they were deposited worldwide during the atmospheric nuclear testing era.'

Oh. well that's all right then...

Must be safe...


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 07:31 | 1112008 Thomas
Thomas's picture

And then there was probably some here...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 09:26 | 1112304 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Maybe it's just too early for predictions.  I wonder how things will look after this melodrama has played out over several months.  There'll be some shifts in wind patterns.  "Stuff" will accumulate in inconvenient and suprising places.  Rain will help distribute the stuff as well.  As we all learn the minutae of radioactivity and its dangers, we may find we end up concluding what we strongly suspected in the first place.  This is the greatest man-made disaster in the history of the planet, Japan is toast and everybody gets to share.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:29 | 1111317 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

meanwhile Walmart is busy reopening the stores that were affected by the quake and Tsunami

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:17 | 1111481 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

Did anybody read this Goldman story ? Bankers asked to stay put in Tokyo !

Apparently, GS, JPM & BAC bankers staying put - pity the banker's families and children (on the human side) but call it poetic justice on what they have done to the world in general.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:37 | 1111726 macholatte
macholatte's picture

Sounds like Lloyd has decided those folks are expendable one way or the other. Stay and risk serious illness or leave and be fired.  Sweet!

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:19 | 1111784 SMG
SMG's picture

Do not sell your soul to the eyeball triangle, do not listen to his lies.   The world can be a better place if we can reject Lucifer.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:05 | 1111905 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

The price suppression mechanism as I understand it consists of the US, UK, France and Japan and others to a lesser degree. It is Japan that enable the US to manipulate derivatives positions before the market opens in New York.

You will remember Hank Paulson's nasty little habit of announcing market moving news before Japan opened on a Sunday night so as to manufacture a short squeeze in various markets before the US and Europe opened. It is very important that Tokyo does not shut down.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:09 | 1111707 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

I would like mine with a side of iPad.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:06 | 1111906 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

it tastes of chicken...

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:25 | 1111302 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

thi sis going to be months tyler, and it's only going to be more of the same. these articles are getting boring. overposting updates of the same thing. 

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:30 | 1111321 Mae Kadoodie
Mae Kadoodie's picture

Yeah Tyler when do we get the good stuff... like blood spewing from every orifice?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:48 | 1111387 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Try the new Sparticus series.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:33 | 1111519 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

this is todays' flyover video, called

FUKU 28th March latest video - smoke from every gaping orifice

if slewie gets radiation poisoning it will be from his computer monitor...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:08 | 1111953 Golden monkey
Golden monkey's picture

You should be OK if you don't drink tap water from Iceland...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 09:29 | 1112319 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

C'mon, Tyler, "Everybody gets lung cancer 20 years from now" won't cut it.  If it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead.

Mae Kadoodie, Is that good enough for you?



Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:42 | 1111345 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Then don't read the articles, troll.

Some of us appreciate having a resource, out of thousands of useless ones, that provides outstanding information with a critical eye to peel away the bullshit and get to the truth that other media outlets are too ignorant/incompetent/corrupt to do.

I suppose that's why many ZeroHedge articles get in excess of 300, 500 and even 1000 comments in response to their content - something that The New York Slimes rarely achieves.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:04 | 1111594 old naughty
old naughty's picture

"Then don't read the articles..."


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:45 | 1111365 YouBetYourLife
YouBetYourLife's picture

To break up the boredom:

Plutonium, Iodine, Tellurium, Xenon, Cesium, etc.   Throwing around the names of these elements reminded me of an amazing song by legendary satirist Tom Lehrer, from the 60's, called The Element Song.

If you've never heard this, prepare to have your jaw drop (at least a little).  Definitely worth 1:25 or so of your time, and might generate a few chuckles: 

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:51 | 1111397 Nobody special
Nobody special's picture

Thanks... +1.  You were right.  Very worth the 1:25.  Not much light breaking the intensity these days.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:14 | 1111471 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

+1 VG


Now for the one-upsmanship:


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:34 | 1111511 YouBetYourLife
YouBetYourLife's picture

Very good, and it illustrates Lehrer's brilliance - he actually included every damn one of 'em!

From his greatest hits, here's Lehrer's song about nuclear one-upmanship ("Who's Next?"):



Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:41 | 1111533 Nobody special
Nobody special's picture

He has a few really good ones.  Here are two worth watching...  <-- strictly entertainment   <-- a fitting farewell


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:58 | 1111583 Glass Steagall
Glass Steagall's picture

Had to junk just for being too jewie.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:39 | 1111931 Chumbadumba
Chumbadumba's picture

Thanks Jackie Puppet *haw haw haw!!*


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:36 | 1111530 trav7777
trav7777's picture

that dude was en geek appeal, love it

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:51 | 1111369 Number 156
Number 156's picture

Oy vey...

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:48 | 1111376 Number 156
Number 156's picture

thi sis going to be months tyler, and it's only going to be more of the same. these articles are getting boring. overposting updates of the same thing.

I disagree.

Besides, in certain circles it is hoped that there will be more people who will become bored of the story, and go back to a life of gleefull ignorance watching worthless daytime television (CNBC).

"The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded" -Obi wan kenobi.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:08 | 1111597 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Mandy and Erin on Squawk on the street 'till thursday. Erin is not comfortable 'cause Mandy is the new girl in town, but she should not be. She is equally cute in her own way.

Also, if you are asked for interviews during this week and don't hold the Keynesian position, try to schedule thursday and after. Santelli and Leisman have promised to provide enough "in house" conflict to keep us happy.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:10 | 1111607 old naughty
old naughty's picture

OB 1 +56.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:34 | 1111525 New Survivalist
New Survivalist's picture

Stick to raping the poor then, douchebag.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:27 | 1111303 Prof Gulliver
Prof Gulliver's picture

C'mon, how dangerous can it be? Just think of its namesake Pluto. What a cute little doggie!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:27 | 1111307 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

You know, Rachel Ray was just on the Food Network saying a little Plutonium 238 is a great way to wake up your burgers. It also keeps them warm in your picnic basket!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:36 | 1111349 Glass Steagall
Glass Steagall's picture

Little cancer induced weight loss and she actually be cute again.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:30 | 1111313 InfinityZero
InfinityZero's picture

Don't panic, a towel will solve this!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:35 | 1111532 tmosley
Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:55 | 1111685 WSMassiv
WSMassiv's picture

around minute mark... i thought u met this towel.... =]

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:06 | 1111704 Glass Steagall
Glass Steagall's picture

Anybody wanna get their dick sucked by a towel?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:30 | 1111314 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

Does anyone know if the Shibuyaeggman reactor is safe?


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:32 | 1111326 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

You would have to ask Mr. Soros


mediamatters  lol

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:39 | 1111354 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Did the bag come off and I didn't see?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:36 | 1111348 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

It's fine, but the Meshugganeh reactor is acting a little kooky.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:01 | 1111663 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

Oh Marcy, Media Matters? Really? Do you honestly think that many at ZH give a flying fuck as to Fox take on any subject?

Now go slither back to the collectivist circle jerk from whence you came.

Bye bye.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:45 | 1111735 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

I know this might be slightly off topic, but let's talk about your mother:

Your mother is so fat, she has smaller fat people orbiting her. 




Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:45 | 1111673 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

Oh and it's been a couple of days.

Eat shit and die socialist pig.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:09 | 1111739 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

Your mother is so ugly, when she was born, the doctor said, "What the fuck?  Let's drop it.  If it falls, it's a rat.  If it flies, it's a bat."

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 09:45 | 1112383 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

I enjoy our banter.

Isn't the internet grand.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:55 | 1111679 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

Dup pst

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:54 | 1111682 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

OMG it must have been a skocking earthquake. Fox has Sendai 400 miles south of where is really is.

FOX News - Always first with the wrong news

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:11 | 1111910 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

now that's what I call continental shift...

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:34 | 1111332 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

3 eye'd chicken of the seas, bitchez. Oh brother! The hits keep coming.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:51 | 1111399 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Fukushima Dai Ichi-Ban:

Chicken, Shrimp and Vegetable.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:11 | 1111619 old naughty
old naughty's picture

You left out the milk...

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:33 | 1111334 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

plutonium oxide - it's all the rage! now available in convenient facecreams to give you that young, glowful, appearance!

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:12 | 1111913 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

and especially after dark...

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:43 | 1111339 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

I sure would like to know the locations of the five soil samplings.  Were they from the potted plants in the gift shop, visitor's center and front gate guard station?  Maybe pocket lint from the night watchman's pants.  Why just five samples?  Why not 20 to 30 samples to get a statistically relevant sample size that may give some idea as to extent and level of contaminant dispersion.  It's almost as if they don't want to know.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:54 | 1111404 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It's almost as if they don't want to know.

Silly CM.

Of course they don't want to know. Why would they look for something they don't want to find. Nope, no Pu over here. I can't see you over there either. That's most certainly not Pu hiding behind those bushes.

This is on par with the game I used to play with my then very young son over two decades ago. He would pretend to hide and I would pretend to seek. Only in this case the Pu isn't trying to hide in the least, but TEPCO is still pretending to seek.

Come out, come out, come out wherever you are Pu........not.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:28 | 1111512 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture



Just having a difficult time trying to remain impartial and patient with TEPCO's reticence masquerading as cautiousness -- not with the overt examples of obscuration and recklessness.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:18 | 1111633 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Heard they are going to nationalize it, rename it GMEPCO (great many element pu company).

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:15 | 1111625 zzyzx
zzyzx's picture

Wouldn't an IR cam provide interesting viewing?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:13 | 1111915 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

If IR means Internal Revenue, then I for one am all for it...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 04:08 | 1111883 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

5? Becuase the five areas were the only places where samplers did not burn their feet off from radiation . Duh!!

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 04:51 | 1111895 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

@Convolved Man,

Since you ask, this is the TEPCO answer to your query, first - the nightwatchman's pockets they normally look in:

And now the 'new' places that they've been looking in (presumably it took a week to find a line that had escaped blowover):

Make of it what you will -- frankly, I wouldn't believe a femtogram of it...

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:36 | 1111342 Gimp
Gimp's picture

Japananese Authorities need to hire "Baghdad Bob" as their PR spokeperson. Anything they say is viewed suspciously!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:39 | 1111353 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


If you were conditioning mice to take more and more pain with less and less of a reward this is how you would do it.

This is behavior shaping on a societal scale.

What are the win cycles on a slot machine?  Yeah, like that, just reverse it.

Cycles and waves of "everything is under control" to "oops" to "there is a slight problem" to "partial melt-down" to "two workers confirmed dead" then "firehoses will cool the reactors" to "two workers burned feet in water but will be fine" - then - "no containment breach" then "everything is under control" two weeks after the partial melt-down.

Squeek, squeek.


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:24 | 1111646 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Oy vey, I am going to have to repeat that again? "Always feel like we are lab rats..."

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:52 | 1111974 hamurobby
hamurobby's picture

<sar> But everything is under control, operation extension cord was a huge success. I watched Slewie's vid from today and you can clearly see they just about have the mess cleaned up, the buildings are fixed, the debris cleared and they must have a hundred machines and a thousand people right on it. At least thats the way the tv media makes it sound. Yes we are under control.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:39 | 1111355 Arch Duke Ferdinand
Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:45 | 1111553 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

I thought that started in the 80's

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:43 | 1111360 overbet
overbet's picture

Informative comment from user Henry from AP article:


There are six reactors in the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant complex with a total of 877 tons of nuclear fuel in five reactor core vessels (thankfully in November Unit #4 was “shut down for maintenance” due to a recently revealed cover-up of a manufacturing defect in the containment vessel). And there are another 3,400 tons of ‘spent fuel’ cooling off in seven pools.

Uranium-235 is burning in four of the active reactor core vessels. But in Unit #3, the reactor core burns a unique mix of uranium-235 and plutonium-239 in six percent of the fuel rods. This reprocessed mixed-oxide fuel, known as MOX, runs hotter so its use is considered a way to “hot rod” (sorry for the pun) a reactor. Plutonium is nasty stuff because it is particularly damaging to lungs and kidneys. It is said that a single milligram of MOX is as deadly as 2,000,000 milligrams of normal enriched uranium. Plutonium is also less stable than uranium and can more easily spark a dangerous nuclear chain reaction.

It is disconcerting to think that the half-life (meaning it takes that long to lose half of its radioactive potency) of Uranium-235 is 700 million years, and hardly reassuring that Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years.

The situation in Unit #3 has been worsening and therefore now raised to Level 6 (Chernobyl in 1986 was a Level 7). For instance, the water that three workers stepped in while laying cable in the basement of the turbine building in Unit #3 had 10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for that locale.

Say your prayers…



Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:16 | 1111629 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Not too informative, unfortunately.

Spent fuel rods have plutonium in them, too, it is a byproduct of the fission process, at the end of their life the plutonium is giving most of the heat.  The plutonium in those mox rods isn't all that much higher in percentage than in all those spent fuel rods soaking in the saunas.

So if you want to hyperventilate about plutonium, worry about the spent fuel rods.  In the broken pools.

Also, it is revealing when people equate a long half-life with instability or danger.  It relates to neither, and in fact it's elements with a short half-life that are more unstable.  By definition.  And the danger has as much to do with how you process it as anything else.  So it reveals ignorance when someone tries to alarm others with impressively long half-life figures.  Guess what the half-life of a stable isotope is?  Some of them are millions and millions of years!!!!!

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:18 | 1111916 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

so does that make uranium -235 a better investment than plutonium-239?

Just wondering 'cos I wouldn't want my next investment to disappear from under me... if you know what I mean... It has to last me at least until retirement.

A bit like a US T bill...

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:44 | 1111964 BigJim
BigJim's picture

It is said that a single milligram of MOX is as deadly as 2,000,000 milligrams of normal enriched uranium.

'It is said', huh? By whom? And why? Why is one single milligram of MOX as dangerous as 2kg of enriched Uranium? To what? Humans?  Steel reactor containment vessels? Cabbage Whites?

Plutonium is also less stable than uranium and can more easily spark a dangerous nuclear chain reaction.

In the quantities and purities found in a reactor? WTF are you talking about?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:41 | 1111361 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

I'm sorry to break up this clusterfuck,but can we come up with a plan to deal with this clusterfuck?And by some stroke of unimaginable luck,avert a really really big clusterfuck?....Thank's for the help

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:56 | 1111412 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Paging designers of emission-free radwaste cooling facilities....

1. Big pool of water with reinforced barriers, berms, polders what have you around the units...have to circulate for cooling to some extent so that'd need to be solved

2.  Big frame building with air capture over the top

3.  Close off existing lagoon, push mess in, pray for no more big waves

4.  Entomb/bury in neutron dampers (moderators) mixed with concrete, sand etc...but can this be done while hot? 

Not hearing any big engineering talk out of the Japanese, the US, the IAEA or anyone else in charge.  So they are, therefore, having super secret meetings about it, at which a few people will devise a suboptimal solution because there isn't a robust public debate.

Why the hell doesn't Bill Gates or the Google Guys or Zuckerman sponsor a competition on this already?  We could be done by now and waiting on paperwork/logistics.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:56 | 1111579 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

'Entomb/bury in neutron dampers (moderators) mixed with concrete, sand etc...but can this be done while hot?'

It is shown in "Battle of Chernobyl" that they dropped a mix of sand, boron and dolomite on the molten core until it fused, and then dropped lead on that when it cracked.

They then drained water from the basement and undermined the basement to pump a new pad under it.

Then they built the sarcophogus.

This is estimated to have cost around 40,000 lives in total.

That film is amazing. Highly recommend. It's on Youtube.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:01 | 1111429 Number 156
Number 156's picture

Ive got an idea.

Concrete doped with sintered lead and beryllium.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:15 | 1111472 trav7777
trav7777's picture

You mean boron or cadmium right?

Be is a known neutron emitter and is transparent to gamma.  They use Be to moderate nuclear reactions and to enhance implosion fission.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:32 | 1111523 Number 156
Number 156's picture

Cadmium would work too, but I thought beryllium was a good reflector of neutrons, no? Either way, we need to save the cadmium to kill Godzilla when he re-awakens.


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:54 | 1111724 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Beryllium is an excellent neutron reflector.Surrounding a sub critical mass with it can make it critical.I thought you were joking!

  Historical factoid:beryllium was used in the early implosion bombs in the "urchin" which was the initiator.An Isotope of polonium was in the device as the alpha radiation it emitted was transformed by the Be into neutrons.It shot out the neutrons when it was crushed at the center of the Pu core.A combination of mechanical/physics action.Pretty cool.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 04:57 | 1111899 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

If the Berylium is vapourised it becomes a respiritory toxin.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:25 | 1112594 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 It is a savage toxin...the dust should be avoided like the plague.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:13 | 1111463 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Conventional wisdom is to restart the circulating pumps to cool the reactors and accessory pumps to fill up the spent fuel pools. This hasn't been working very well, for three reasons: (1) electrical systems are kaput, (2) debris from explosions and building collapse limit access to SFPs, and (3) highly radioactive water is leaking everywhere. Doesn't seem likely that TEPCO will be able to restart circulating pumps. Pumps might not work anyway (quake damage, corrosion, etc) and access for repair is complicated by highly radioactive water in the turbine hall basement.

It may be time to do something radical.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:21 | 1111919 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'I'm sorry to break up this clusterfuck,but can we come up with a plan to deal with this clusterfuck?And by some stroke of unimaginable luck,avert a really really big clusterfuck?.'



Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:28 | 1111959 Golden monkey
Golden monkey's picture

Do you mean she said No most of the time?

Or is it your grandpa,  who died in 1983, that got the sudden hability to lift his cement tombstone?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:42 | 1111362 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Not to minimize things, but it would be pretty unusual not to see Plutonium actinides in the environment after venting the cores, or in a core leak scenario, even in the non-MOX units. Plutonium production is a part of the typical nuclear fuel cycle in a reactor. Plutonium is a strong Alpha emitter, but since alpha rays cannot readily penetrate the skin, is mainly dangerous via ingestion or inhalation. In the 1940's, 25 workers from Los Alamos inhaled a large amount of plutonium dust, and the calculations at that time gave them all a 99.5% chance of dying of lung cancer, so far, none of them have developed it, although some of them have died from other (considered to be) non-related reasons. I am pointing this out not to underestimate the dangers of Plutonium, but to emphasize that even the experts are not sure of plutonium's real health effects, and may have overestimated them. Unfortunately, that is one of the problems associated with nuclear power...if it is not controlled, nobody really has a handle on the ultimate health impact.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:04 | 1111440 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I referenced the Alamos inhalation in the other plutonium thread along with the potential disease vectors. 

Keep your head down, sooner or later they will claim you are my sockpuppet or psyop cohort or a shill for TEPCO.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:18 | 1111484 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Jeez. Try to contribute ideas and lay off the ad hom.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:39 | 1111539 tmosley
tmosley's picture

No-one ever accused him of any such thing, because he was both informative and respectful.  Unlike you, twat.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:31 | 1111656 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Yeah, if I was a shill for the nuc bund, I think they would have fired me already!

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:32 | 1111799 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I told you the same thing he just did, yesterday, the day before, the day before, and the day before.

You didn't listen.  You responded with crap.  So you get the hose.

There are people on this thread asking questions and having discussions and I am not abusing them.  I abuse YOU, cliff, not because you are stupid but because you are a stupid asshole and a pretentious cunt.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 08:47 | 1112165 tmosley
tmosley's picture

NO, you shit, you abuse EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU TALK TO.  Not just me.  Go back and look at your posts.

You are a poor communicator.  Also, a failure at life.  Why don't you whine some more about how nobody pays any attention to what you say?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:44 | 1111552 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Travv, I am not any kind of expert on health physics, my knowledge comes form just working in the environment and studying it. Per plutonium, I was involved in the plutonium cleanup on Johnston Atoll.....and I made it a point to learn everything I could about that particular substance, since I did not trust the powers-that-be to give me the true gen on what I though necessary to protect my miserable ass.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:31 | 1111962 Golden monkey
Golden monkey's picture

Take it easy : the powers-that-be can't protect their own ass. Some of them even got chicks who are mad as hell... 

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:43 | 1111538 Number 156
Number 156's picture

..but to emphasize that even the experts are not sure of plutonium's real health effects, and may have overestimated them.

This is probably true.

Personally, I think Nuclear power is the best, most efficient way to generate power. But the problem isnt in the source, the problem is who ends up budgeting, planning, building, and running said nuclear power plant. I'm am convinced that the world is run by mostly by idiots, and chances that some idiot will be participating in one of the phases of either the budgeting, planning, building, and running the reactor are pretty good.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:44 | 1111734 dugorama
dugorama's picture

I think the problem is not nec what you state, or even that we still have no plan for waste dispossal.  Rather, it is that these are 40 to 50 year investments.  And no one has a clue what the political, military, economic, etc environment will be like in 2 or 3 years, let along 40.  Image Germany, thought to have perhaps the safest nukes.  Just 20 yrs ago there were 400,000 soviets in tanks spoiling for a shoot-out with the 300,000 US troops in copters.  Imagine a shooting war in between some nukes!

Or China.  That's a marvelous place to have a bunch of nukes - a communist secretive paranoid govt trying to control unhappy native populations in occupied Tibet and Mongolian, facing off the Taiwanese, the Koreans, etc.  Perfect environment for long term breeder reactor operations.  Or India, next door to their buddies the Pakistanis.  The list goes on forever.  You shouldn't build nukes cause you have no idea what things will be likein a few decades.  You can just turn off a natl gas plant, coal, whatever.  But a nuke is the gift that keeps on giving.  

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 06:49 | 1111971 BigJim
BigJim's picture


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:43 | 1111366 truont
truont's picture

It appears the plutonium discovered earlier, which according to some Japanese reports was so safe it was borderline edible, may not be all that safe.

[munch munch munch].

Well, now you tell me, dammitall!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:48 | 1111378 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

No amount of plutonium that can be detected by scintillation is reasonably safe for consumption. They probably should have come up with a better lullaby than that one.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:44 | 1111368 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Plutonium is safe as long as not rolled in a blunt with heroin.

-Charlie Sheen


Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:53 | 1111401 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Plutonium blunt's!-disclaimer-heroine is not good for ya

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 22:48 | 1111380 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I thought Americans were sheep, but sadly, Japanese have them beat.

I do not mean this to cast aspersions on the Japanese, but to express my wonderment that a people could so completely bow down before known pathological liars, who happen to be lying to them consistently and always, about such a fantastically dangerous event with such high stakes consequences to basic human health.

TEPCO and the Japanese Government should cut the bullshit and make all information available in real time, fully and completely, so that people can at least try and implement plans that they feel are best for them under the circumstances.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:01 | 1111432 trav7777
trav7777's picture

You're being self-dishonest.

You in your 2nd paragraph claim they are pathological liars but then demand they make all information available.

This is very clearly a logically untenable position.  Even if they did release information at T+1 minute, you'd claim it was bullshit and demand they release the REAL information.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:13 | 1111461 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

That's untrue.

My issue with TEPCO & the Japanese Government is that they've lied from the inception of this crisis, consistently, and nearly without exception.

Few would deny that fundamental observation at this point.

So now, because they've done so, everything they say is viewed with skepticism.

They could still decide to start with a clean slate and rebuld their credibility, and more importantly, give people the information that has or will affect their families' lives.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:21 | 1111488 trav7777
trav7777's picture

that's complete bullshit.

Where have they lied?  The lies have been coming from Tyler Durden, where he reports the news and then imputes things to TEPCO or Japan that they never said.  Durden has REPEATEDLY tabloidized the headlines on this subject.

Mix in some Ann Coulter and you have what you have here.

I'm not saying Japan has been totally forthcoming with the news as it becomes available, although I find if you watch NHK frequently, you see and hear quite a bit as they can make it available.  But LIES?  That's a pretty severe accusation and I cannot find much evidence for it.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:23 | 1111495 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

LOL so you are a TEPCO shill - good to know. 

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:33 | 1111510 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

He is the most horrible type of human being that exists.

He apparently has the knowledge but is unwilling to admit (publicly) that MILLIONS of people are going to die.

Keeping the masses orderly is more imortant than telling them the truth.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:40 | 1111542 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Gonna hold you to that prediction, bob...MILLIONS.

You wanna go out on a limb and provide a timeframe?

Be like your best bud Claven-Mosely who has till 1344 EDT on Apr 2 "tops" for all of Tokyo to be dead or evacuated.  If you're gonna go, man, GO WITH GUSTO

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:54 | 1111563 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

How can I provide a timeframe asshole?

Are the 5 reactors still fucked up, how much?

Are there MOX rods, ure rods, blown all over that area? How many?

How many radioactive lava pools do we have right now?

How many spfs have melted completely?

How much plutnonium is in the air?

Why don't you give me some info and I'll give you a time frame's not a question of "if" millions will's a question of when at this time.

I'm not god but the eventuality doesn't take a deity to figure out.


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:31 | 1111720 trav7777
trav7777's picture

4 of them.

None.  No evidence of rods blown anywhere.  Available Pu data suggests no rods.

None.  No evidence yet of containment breach via meltdown.

Irrelevant.  No evidence yet of SPF escape.

No evidence of Pu in the air.  It would end up on the ground.


Now give me the timeframe for when MILLIONS will die.  Moron.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:48 | 1111731 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 50 years.Research how many Chernobyl killed.I think he is spot on.

   Quote the USSR numbers to your shame....

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:56 | 1111831 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Chernobyl data is unreliable.  Greenpeace claims 1M, which simply isn't credible.  The Soviets claimed a few thousand which isn't credible either.

So either I must accept one of these flawed claims or the other?  This is a false dilemma.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 09:58 | 1112437 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

You want to see deaths?  Wait until they actually try to contain this thing.  So far they have run an extension cord out there and they are spraying it with a garden hose.  Do you think the current program is going to solve this problem?

This thing may spew radioactivity for months and no one knows what the upshot of that may be.  Certainly not TEPCO.  If the GOM is any indication there will be a great effort to hide as much of the unpleasant truths as possible.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:52 | 1111565 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

You've got to be kidding?  Did our resident Cliff Clavin really make that prediction?



Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:57 | 1111580 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Yes, unless clean water is restored or major bottled water shipments are made.  Trav is constantly lying by omission about said prediction from the "Tokyo Runs Out of Bottled Water" thread.

Also, fuck you.  ABSOLUTELY no one wants you here, save perhaps for Trav, who can use support from any corner he can get it, even from a gun toting thief such as yourself.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:04 | 1111588 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

Trav doesn't need anyone's support, especially when debating you in any subject*


*except those subjects involving the postal service or how to deal with a dog attack. 



Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:10 | 1111610 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You aren't even making any sense.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:37 | 1111725 trav7777
trav7777's picture

don't try to weasel out now, Cliff...

what you said was pretty clear, that absent a Berlin airdrop of water to Tokyo, in "one week tops" that "everybody will be dead or evacuated."

I timestamped that at 1344 EDT on the 26th.  The posts aren't going to vanish into the ether, much as you'd like them to.

This is but one of the legion of stupid shit you've said as you've embarrassed yourself shamelessly and unabatedly on these topics.

The problem is that you're NOT an expert.  With rubes around, you can sure appear to be one, but you've always been a dilettante and pretender.  Once someone with real expertise shows up, you forget that you are a rank amateur and not particularly knowledgeable and your ego and bluster get the better of you and you just won't shut up.  Consequently, you get made a fool of over and over and over again.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:09 | 1111763 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 The last paragraph you wrote applies to you. unfortunate.

 Regale us all again with how Pu 240 will make atomic bombs go off.


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:52 | 1111815 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Regale you again?  Ok, douchebag.

good case in point for the group to see...abuse returned in kind, not initiated.

I said nothing abusive to you, Cistercian.  And you are mocking me here?  On Pu 240 no less?


Read down the page on Pu240; hell, I will quote for you:

"For weapons designers, Pu-240 is a bad thing. If spontaneously fissioning Pu-240 is mixed with Pu-239, neutrons from the Pu-240, will start to trigger the fission of the Pu-239. If enough Pu-239 is precent, this can trigger a nuclear explosion, although one which might be of far less power than would be expected in an plutonium based nuclear weapon. In nuclear weapons the timing of the beginning of the nuclear explosion is very important. If the trigger goes off too soon, the explosion can lose most of its potential power.

If Pu-240 is present in a plutonium based bomb, its neutrons will trigger a premature explosion of a Plutonium based weapon, compromising its military effectiveness."

Every other link you might find on "Pu 240 atomic bomb" will tell you the SAME THING.  Here's another, more scholarly one:

Pu240 spontaneously fissions and generates neutrons from the fission that will cause fission in other fissile materials.  Consequently, the presence of significant quantities of it (>>1%) in a nuclear pit is a detonation risk.

Am I being clear here?  Are you sufficiently regaled?  Or is this the "projection" part where I don't know shit but I talk a lot?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 08:50 | 1112178 tmosley
tmosley's picture

NOT returned.  YOU initiated abuse against someone else.  Go cool off somewhere for a few weeks before you have a heart attack, for fucks sake.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:41 | 1112653 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 He directs to web info.He is a fake.240 causes low yield duds.It is also a giant heat source...which is bad for the explosives.His complete inability to explain, in his own words,the stages required to detonate a fission bomb proves to me that he is Mr. Google search...and has no particular expertise.

  Anyone who actually knew about the bomb could easily explain the difference between critical and supercritical.The 240 ,in high enough amounts,makes achieving supercritcality difficult to impossible.

 He is a fraud.


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 12:41 | 1113200 trav7777
trav7777's picture


Look when I explain in my own words I get bitched at for not providing cites.  When I provide cites I get bitched at for not explaining in my own words.

A "low yield dud" is a nuclear explosion.  Sufficient amounts of Pu240 with Pu239 will cause criticality.  That's a fact. 

You never asked me to explain the stages necessary to detonate a fission bomb.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 14:07 | 1113526 malikai
malikai's picture

lol.. Man you knew that was coming :)

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:00 | 1111765 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

oops dp

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 08:49 | 1112175 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Yes, but you keep leaving out the water delivery part.

You lying shit.  Go beat your children some more.  I'm sure they've done something to deserve it.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:49 | 1111559 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

LOL sorry you lost me on that one. Is the govt most likely lying or seriously distorting the facts to reduce panic - probably. Will millions die - I have a hard time conceptualizing how that would even be possible. This is an unfortunate disaster that will have serious environmental repercussions but doubtful that it will cause many fatalities beyond the dedicated people trying to contain the situation.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:21 | 1111628 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

"I have a hard time conceptualizing how that would even be possible"

I'm sorry about your misconception. It is very unfortunate.

When sickness starts sweeping all of may become more real for you.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:33 | 1111661 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Cancer rates will rise.Considering the population density in the affected area....I will go with Bob on this one.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:03 | 1112457 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The thing about cancer is that it takes years to emerge.  By then Trav and his fellow bots will be saying the cancer was due to sunspot activity or a genetic proclivity among Japanese or a multi-generational effect fron Hiroshima.  And he'll have plenty of "house" scientists to quote.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:50 | 1112710 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 You are right about that...sadly.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 14:47 | 1113701 malikai
malikai's picture

Actually, considering Japan is the only country to experience nuclear attack due to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their cancer rates by that fact alone should be higher.

Yet, the numbers do not add up.

Those waters will be muddy as well.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:27 | 1111509 Filthy Rotter
Filthy Rotter's picture

You don't think there has been some lying by omissions going on?

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:35 | 1111531 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

LOL depends who writes your paycheck I guess - only a disingenuous asshole would claim that the Japanese govt and TEPCO have been honest and provided information in a timely and undistorted manner. The USN was fleeing the area while they were telling everyone that everything was under control.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:42 | 1111543 trav7777
trav7777's picture

...except I didn't just say that.  If you want to know what I said, re-read the effing post not more than a few lines up.  Use that scrollbar over there ------------>

They never said everything was fine or under control and I was watching them on NHK daily for hours.

They sure as shit never said the things that Durden has lately attributed to them (obviously in jest but he clearly knows his audience)

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:54 | 1111576 Filthy Rotter
Filthy Rotter's picture

trav7777...purveyor of truth!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:59 | 1111585 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

"Where have they lied?"  someone as bright as you surely knows that you are either honest or dishonest.


Pure BS for you to claim that they never said at a few different times was it announced that things were under control or the hundred other adjectives used to descibe the situation as improving when the exact opposite was happening. Funny how you have yet to deny bing a TEPCO shill.


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:37 | 1111727 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Do i really need to deny every single absurd accusation?

Is this the best you can do, when you can't answer the points, you start calling people shills?

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 03:25 | 1111859 RichardP
RichardP's picture



Seriously trav, its getting to the point where I can almost write your posts for you when you respond to the insults offered by your stalkers.  After the 23rd time of you being attacked and you responding, I've almost got your responses memorized.  Try this for a few days and see if it makes any difference.  Instead of writing 3 or 4 paragraphs in response, just write what I said before.  We all know what that is.

You are really getting a co-dependency thing going here.  They are obviously saying fear-mongering things in a bid for attention, and you are giving it to them in spades.  Perhaps they would grow tired of fear-mongering for attention if you ignored them until this is over.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:25 | 1111921 malikai
malikai's picture


This is a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

The sensationalists want their FUD. The likes of Trav and other subject matter educated are trying to provide fact, but it is unacceptable to the sensationalists.

Reminds me of the kid pointing his finger inches from your face saying "I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you".

None of it matters. There's nothing any of the speculators here can do about the situation other than feed on each other's "OMFG RUN FOR THE HILLS". They want to be scared. Fact does not matter; only the circle-jerk of FUD or hatred of the messenger for countering the FUD.

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 23:43 | 1111548 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I still can't see why you stick around here.  If you hate Tyler so much, you should go somewhere else.

I, for one, don't stick around for weeks where I am not wanted, dispensing abuse to anyone and everyone who dares to stand up to me.  

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 00:37 | 1111659 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

@ Trav,

Calling TD a "liar" is it for me. That's beyond a cheap shot. I would imagine nobody around here will respect anything you say from now on. 




Tue, 03/29/2011 - 01:40 | 1111728 trav7777
trav7777's picture

when I see him attribute statements to people that they did not make, I call that lying.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 03:57 | 1111880 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Sure thing. It's all ZH lies. Only you have the facts straight.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, in another press briefing, described the situation at Fukushima as "very grave".


Tue, 03/29/2011 - 05:37 | 1111930 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Well Bay of Pigs, all I can say is that if it wasn't for the contrarians, and we all know who they are, this site would be boring...

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