Plutonium Found In Fukushima, TEPCO Executive Says "Radioactive Substance Shouldn’t Have Any Impact On Human Health"

Tyler Durden's picture

Shit just got real. The spin? It is not harmful to human health. Oh really? We can't wait for Kan to eat some plutonium on national TV to confirm this. In the meantime we await the retraction from TEPCO claiming they made a mistake and they really meant platinum not plutonium.

From Kyodo:

Plutonium has been detected in soil at five locations at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.

The operator of the nuclear complex said that the plutonium is believed to have been discharged from nuclear fuel at the plant, which was damaged by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

While noting that the concentration level does not pose a risk to human health, the utility firm said it will strengthen monitoring on the environment in and around the nuclear plant.

Meanwhile, high levels of radiation exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour have been detected in water in a trench outside the No. 2 reactor's building at the nuclear plant, with the contaminated water suspected to have come from the reactor's core, where fuel rods have partially melted, authorities said Monday.

The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the electric power company, known as TEPCO, is expected to pump out similarly highly contaminated water that has been building up in the basement of the No. 2 reactor's turbine building, which is connected to the trench, to eventually remove the water.

The company said the high radiation level in water in the trench connected to the No. 2 complex was detected Sunday, adding that the radiation level in the air in the trench stood at 100 to 300 millisieverts.

At a radiation level of 1,000 millisieverts per hour, people could suffer a decrease in the number of lymphocytes -- a type of white blood cell -- in just 30 minutes, and half could die within 30 days by remaining in such conditions for four hours.

TEPCO also found Sunday afternoon that the radiation level at the surface of the trench water adjacent to the No. 1 complex was 0.4 millisievert per hour. But it could not measure the level at the gutter linked to the No. 3 unit as rubble prevented the firm from checking it, the company added.

Although it remains unknown whether the contaminated water has flowed into the sea from the trenches that are 55 to 70 meters away from the shore, TEPCO suspects the high concentration of radioactive substances found in seawater near the plant reactors' drainage outlets may be linked to the trench water.

Earlier in the day, the nuclear agency said radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,150 times the maximum allowable level was detected Sunday in a seawater sample taken around 1.5 kilometers north of the drainage outlets of the troubled No. 1-4 reactors.

Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, told reporters he is ''very worried'' about the high-level radiation detected in water in the trenches, which is outside the radiation-controlled area set by TEPCO.

Reuters confirms that this was merely yet another cover up:

Plutonium has been found in soil at various points within Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex but does not present a risk to human health, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co <9501.T> (TEPCO) said on Monday.

TEPCO vice-president Sakae Muto told journalists at the company's latest briefing that test results showing the plutonium came from samples taken a week ago.

It was the latest bad news from the plant, where evidence of radiation has been mounting and engineers face a protracted battle to control reactors damaged by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

From Bloomberg:

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. found plutonium contamination in soil near the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant that was tested, Sakae Muto, vice president at plant operator, said at a press conference shown on a webcast today.

The plutonium probably came after the accident at the reactors following Japan’s strongest earthquake and tsunami, he said. The radioactive substance shouldn’t have any impact on human health, he said.

Fear not: TEPCO will bravely continue to sacrifice its workers even after this discovery. Per Reuters:

The discovery of plutonium at five places within
Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex will not cause work
there to be suspended, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on

Attached is a report from the ANS on why this discovery means that Reactor 3 is compromised.

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Cdad's picture what is the bullish thesis...anyone...Beuller....Beuller....?

umop episdn's picture

If the Pu is on the ground, then it can't be in the reactor! We're saved!

Cdad's picture

Nice...right.  Because plutonium in a broken reactor is bad, bad mojo.  But that is only half of the bullish case.  

Plutonium on the ground is better...because...ummm...because...???

Thomas's picture

I think we will start seeing stories about its nutritional value.

What does it all mean's picture

Because it is already priced in... ;-)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Waiting patiently for some official to suggest we should just push this entire stinking mess into the sea and let the fish deal with it. After all, it's such a small nuclear plant and such a big ocean.

Somewhere over the neutron beam rainbow

Way up high

There's a land that I heard of that's free of plutonium

Once in a lullaby.

carbonmutant's picture

I'm waiting for "glow in the dark" (GITD) sushi to become a Japanese consumer fad...

What does it all mean's picture

Shorting some now, short some later...  BUT!

Note that this coincides exactly with the OSE raising their margin almost 4 times... 

(Directly from IBKR.) 

Careful guys, time to manage your margins carefully.  Good luck!


To OSE.JPN,TSEJ traders:

Mon Mar 28 03:02:42 2011 EST


Further to our bulletin sent last week, please note that N225 contracts on Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE.JPN) will have margin significantly increased with SPAN margin parameters increased from JPY 270,000 / contract to JPY 990,000 / contract. TOPX contracts on Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSEJ) will have SPAN margin parameters increased from JPY195,000 / contract to JPY690,000/contract. The changes are expected to be effective in customer accounts from tomorrow's open (29 Mar 11). As such please manage your positions accordingly. For details regarding the increase, please refer to the following links from OSE.JPN and Japan Securities Clearing Corporation (JSCC) website: 


malikai's picture

I'm just going to jump in here with a little tidbit from the wikipedia. This information can also be validated on FAS.

The result was that in the Fat Man bomb, about 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of the 6.2 kilograms (14 lb) of plutonium in the pit (about 17%) fissioned

This means that from that detonation alone, 4kg(8.8lbs) of plutonium were NOT fissioned and were released into the atmosphere. Should we all run for the hills because of this OMFG PLUTONIUM?!@?@E! from 65 years ago?

BigJim's picture

So how many kilograms of the stuff are there at Fukushima, I wonder? 40 years of spent fuel rods, some new(ish) MOX fuel at Reactor 3... Obviously, not all the stuff at Fukushima is in harms way. But it looks like none of the spent fuel pools in reactors 1 to 4 are doing their job and keeping their rods chilled.

I'm not sure I'd advocate running to the hills anyway - last I heard, that wouldn't protect you from plutonium.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The beast, the beast, the beast from Fukushima.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

When this finally ends months from now that is how they'll end it.  It will all go into the sea.  Maybe they'll spray a little corexit on it just to be safe.

patience...'s picture

Months doubtful, years probably

franzpick's picture

Won't rain wash that soil contamination out to sea? However, tuna and other fish with any 'Pu' smell should be discarded.

dogismyth's picture

its a nutritional building block for the degradation of DNA and ultimate reversion back to reptilian DNA.  yes...we are all cold-blooded lizards!!

TruthInSunshine's picture

Shit just got real is correct. May I suggest a cocktail?



  Ice Cubes
Tumbler   4  cl  Gin (Gordon) 3  cl  Zitronensaft (Pulco) 1  cl  Curaçao Blue (BOLS) 6  cl  Maracujasaft (Granini) 2  cl  Apricot Brandy (BOLS) 2  cl  Wodka (Smirrnoff)


Gin-Cocktail für Gin-Liebhaber. Danke FALK !!!

Alle Zutaten mit Eiswürfeln nacheinander in das Mixgals füllen, kurz shaken und in das Gästeglas abseihen. Fertig

Dekoration : Zitronenscheibe

Vorsicht: explosiv und süchtig machend

Dieses Rezept wurde eingegeben vom Community-Member whitewolion.






Mixed Drink Recipe For: Plutonium

1oz Rasberry Vodka
.5oz Triple Sec
1oz Apple Pucker
Pineapple Juice
Orange Peel,or Lemon Peel

Mix vodka, triple sec, apple pucker, and pineapple to a martini shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with a splash of 7up, and garnish with an orange or lemon twist.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i liked the "Wodka"!  +W.

the second version seems pretty sweet.

i like first one.  sent it to batmanke and if he puts in in the "punchbowl" there will be no dips for a week!

TruthInSunshine's picture

That's kickin' it old skool, with sauerbraten and wienerschnitzel.

Byte Me's picture

First recipe

but add a couple of drops of fluoroceine -- and drink under a blacklight?

Natasha Fatale's picture

Schmeckts gut! Aber ohne Eis für mich :)

whatsinaname's picture

Is Plutonium worse than Cesium ? Was it Plutonium that made things worse at Chernobyl ? Anybody here know ?

tmosley's picture

Plutonium is the most deadly material known to man, with an LD 50 (ie the dose at which half of the afflicted subjects die) at 10 NANOGRAMS/kilogram.  Yes, a single, nigh microscopic spec of this stuff will kill you if you inhale it.

TeamAmerica's picture

Correct.  A microscopic speck.  Not "one atom".

redpill's picture

Keep looking for pubic hairs to split, dickface.

TeamAmerica's picture

You really are a complete idiot, aren't you?   Not an ordinary half-assed idiot, but one who has mastered the full depth and breath of idiocy.  Kudos, idiot.  :-)

trav7777's picture

not even CLOSE to correct.

The LD50 that cliff claven cites is derived from a zero-dimensional model where someone takes the total rad count from a chunk of Pu in terms of becquerels/gram and then puts that on a chart of whole-body REM dosage and sees where the LD50 is, as if every single becquerel of radiation from every single atom of Pu is absorbed in a whole-body manner.

It isn't even vaguely close to correct. 

chumbawamba's picture

Ok, both of you need to produce some sources to back up your claims.


I am Chumbawamba.

chumbawamba's picture


I should've known better.

I am Chumbawamba.

trav7777's picture

I already advised people to google Plutonium.

Wiki has a toxicity section...there's another link downthread.

If you'd like, you may go to

And read about how the 10 ng/kg LD50 was "concocted"

Producing sources is for people who make outrageous claims, not for people like me who state shit so ubiquitous that you have to be intentionally obtuse not to see it.

Seriously, man, suppose I didn't know what Pu's toxicity was and I wanted to verify Cliff's claim for myself (as you suggest you wish to do).  Is it really that hard to use that google toolbar, type plutonium, and press enter and see where it leads me?

If you just do that, check facts for yourself (teach a man to fish), you will pretty quickly realize that what I speak is the truth. 

Pu is nasty, sure...but the other byproducts are far worse in terms of their impact to humans and their dispersion and uptake characteristics.  Your body LIKES I131 and Cs137, Pu it doesn't really.


thedrickster's picture

"Pu is nasty, sure...but the other byproducts are far worse in terms of their impact to humans and their dispersion and uptake characteristics.  Your body LIKES I131 and Cs137, Pu it doesn't really."

Yes, this is the contribution that you COULD be making to this discussion. That while Pu is agreeably nasty, Cs poses a greater threat to humans offsite due to its bioavailability and the potential for dispersion over a much wider area. So far as this layman can see, to date this accident lacks the large vertical lift component that would be required to see widespread dispersal of Pu. 

I am unclear as to the potential for seaborne dispersion of Pu, perhaps you have a thought on this possibility?

The thought of Cs137 entering the world's food supply in a substantial way due to this CF is much more concerning to me than the Pu deposited on site.

malikai's picture

This is the contribution I have been making since day 1 of OMFG PLUTONIUM GTFO RUN FOR THE HILLS!@#

Trav has been saying practically the same shit.


Therefore, we get junked for speaking the truth.

thedrickster's picture

I think the signal to noise level was likely too low.

tmosley's picture

He gets junked for yelling and insulting anyone and everyone he talks to.  He calls people stupid for posting numbers that exist in the literature, rather than simply calmly explaining the problem with them.

But all this back and forth over the toxicity of Pu misses the main point- AT LEAST ONE REACTOR HAS A HOLE IN IT.

If that doesn't say head for the hills (those in Japan), I don't know what does.

malikai's picture

But all this back and forth over the toxicity of Pu misses the main point- AT LEAST ONE REACTOR HAS A HOLE IN IT.

Exactly. If we are to be concerned with this matter at all, we should be sifting through the red herrings, disinformation, and noise. We should be finding facts which matter, not arguing, orgying in fear, or seeking affirmation of our end of the world bias.

Mankind survived through all the atmospheric nuclear testing in the 40s-60s, Chernobyl, and all the undisclosed military radiological accidents (some of which are arguably worse than Chernobyl). We will survive through this, too.

tmosley's picture

I have noticed a pattern.  You run around screaming that people are wrong, and then you fail to provide the correct numbers.

This is the behavior of a douchebag.  Perhaps you should provide some numbers of your own, eh?

trav7777's picture

use teh google, Cliff.

BTW, it was your claim.  You didn't fact check it.

Even when asked for a cite, you provided a google which spits out results that REFUTE your claim.

You didn't even bother to read your own citations; we in the debate industry use a technical term for people like you:  "asshat."

You are quite lucky ZH isn't populated with other rationals...another forum I frequent had a guy who used to do exactly what you do, make claims, get refuted, post a google with cites he never read.  He was eventually pilloried by everybody as a fool, a trait you two share.

On ZH you can get away with "BUY PMs LOOK OVER THERE" and nobody seems to notice.

WaterWings's picture

Yes, we know Trav. There is no problem. No reason to panic. Everyone is safe. Go back inside and watch teevee. All ZHers don't back their claims. All is well.

tmosley's picture

Uhh, you sidestepped the request for numbers.  Remember how you yelled at me for doing that?  Now yell at yourself in the same manner, hypocrite.

Also, nothing in that Google search refuted anything I said.  Unless you are taking the comments of two random wiki contributors in a talk page as fact.

trav7777's picture

You do understand that you need to SUPPORT a claim, right?

Nobody knows the real LD50 for Pu because it hasn't been studied.  However, it is clearly far higher than 10ng which was sourced via the manner I said it was.  And teh google you pulled demonstrated that, if you had read it.

There are some updated estimates posted downthread from some of the places I suggested you look.

So, you've fallen on your face again; aren't you getting tired of that?

tmosley's picture

You, like Red Neck, don't know what that last sentence of yours means.

The real meaning is found in the situation where you thought that 500 milligrams was the same as 500 grams.

d_senti's picture

But Trav, you didn't support your claim. You just tell people to google it.

You do contribute to this board, and I'm not one of those who wants you to go away. But if you presented your claims rationally and calmly, with sources, I guarantee most people would listen to what you had to say. Instead you just absolutely lose it and scream insults like you're frothing from the mouth.

Seriously, you're gonna give yourself a coronary. That whole shouting match debacle yesterday (or whenever it was) between you and tmosley etc. would have been easily avoided if you had begun with a nice, calm, rational assessment, instead of insulting TD on his own blog.

Same thing here. If you had just started by saying: "Actually, the lethality of Pu is debatable, and the dangers presented by Ce-137 (and so on) are much more serious, since the body mistakes them for beneficial elements. See this: (link)." ...had you done that, people would've been downright appreciative. I would've been.

But instead you had to be a dick. That's not to say people aren't dicks to you too, obviously, but if you'd just be the bigger man instead of acting like a demeaning egomaniacal cockgobbler, then peace and harmony would rule the land, and many more people would listen to you. It's not about trying to be popular - it's about getting your point across, and about basic human decency.

TeamAmerica's picture

I was agreeing to the "speck" as opposed to "one atom".     As for the LD50, I've always associated that with chemical toxicity rather than radiological effect.   I suspect any citation of LD50 for Plutonium in humans would be conjectural.   Perhaps the bad old Soviet did controlled experiments, but I doubt it.

pods's picture

Saw that LD50 before tmosley, terrible stuff. Worst I have seen (previous) was Oxymetazoline HCl, which was 0.68 mg per kg.  Pu is really terrible stuff.

Let's just hope that the Pu that was found was from the spent rods, and not from a continuing fission reaction within the core, or even worse, a restarted one in the spent fuel pools.


trav7777's picture

no, plutonium is NOT the most deadly material known to man.

I would also like a CITE for your LD50 of 10 nanograms/kg.

You are a fucking fool, there ANYTHING which you actually KNOW?  Fucking Cliff Claven

Attitude_Check's picture

Recent research with one of the least radioactive isotopes of plutonium (plutonium-242, which has a half-life of 376,000 years) indicates that plutonium in the body may contribute to the development of tumors. In general, however, plutonium isotopic mixtures that are commonly encountered in the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear weapons programs, or thermoelectric generator applications exhibit much higher radiological toxicity than chemical toxicity.




The risk and toxicity of NATURALLY OCCURING Plutonium oxide, is small - plutonium isotopes from "thermo-electric generator applications" (like Fukushima) have additional risks.  In my Nuclear Physics class (many years ago) it was the CHEMICAL toxicity of Plutonium (not Plutonium oxide) that was off the chart, the radiation problems were minor compared to it.

tmosley's picture

Defensive much?  I thought all was well, and that there would be no contamination, and that this certainly was no Chernobyl?

I guess holes in the reactor don't count unless you say they do.

Get the fuck out of here before you embarrass yourself some more you racist shit.