Radiation At Fukushima Water Jumps To Over 1 Sievert, 10 Million Times Higher Than "Normal", Plutonium Tests Ordered For The First Time

Tyler Durden's picture

And the hits just keep on coming. Earlier today, TEPCO announced that the radiation in the water pool of reactor #2 had been measured at 1,000 millisieverts/h (1 sievert/h) - the highest reading so far recorded since the Fukushima disaster started. As a reminder, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a single dose of 1,000 millisieverts is enough to cause haemorrhaging, which a ten hour exposure to this dose is enough to result in death. "The situation is serious. They have to pump away this water on the floor, get rid of it to lower the radiation," said Robert Finck, radiation protection specialist at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, speaking before the operator expressed doubt about the high reading. "It's virtually impossible to work, you can only be there for a few minutes. It's impossible to say how long it will take before they can gradually take control." From Kyodo: "Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the concentration of radioactive substances of the puddle was 10 million times higher than that seen usually in water in a reactor core, but later decided to reanalyze the data because it found some errors." And keep in mind this is the idiocy that is resulting after last week the brilliant geniuses at TECPO came up with the plan to water each and every reactor: now it's time to remove the water, but the water just happens to be so radioactive, nobody can remove it. In the meantime the leak into the ocean keeps getting worse: "Radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,850.5 times the legal limit was detected in a seawater sample taken around 330 meters south of the plant, near a drainage outlet of the four troubled reactors, compared with 1,250.8 times the limit found Friday, the agency said." And while Zero Hedge has long believed that the only possible outcome here is the Plan Z concrete entombment, which will guarantee an 80 km non-inhabitable radius around Fukushima in perpetuity, finally the "experts" are warming up to this idea: per Reuters: "Experts say there is still too much heat in the reactor cores and spent fuel at the Fukushima plant for a similar last-ditch solution to be considered yet."

More from Reuters:


The latest scare came as engineers were trying to pump radioactive water out of a turbine unit after it was found in buildings housing three of the reactors.

Officials at first said the water in No. 2 was found to contain 10 million times the amount of radioactive iodine that is normal in the reactor, but noted the substance had a half-life of under an hour, meaning it would disappear within a day.

Later they said the element that gave the reading may have been cobalt 56, which has a half life of 77 days, and if this was the case the level of radioactivity would have been far lower.

Radiation levels in the sea off the plant rose on Sunday to 1,850 times normal, from 1,250 on Saturday, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

"Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles and so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior agency official.


The elevated radiation detected on Sunday was confined to the reactor, and radioactivity in the air beyond the evacuation zone around the plant remained in normal ranges.

In downtown Tokyo, a Reuters reading on Sunday afternoon showed ambient radiation of 0.16 microsieverts per hour, below the global average of naturally occurring background radiation of 0.17-0.39 microsieverts per hour.

Several countries have banned produce and milk from Japan's nuclear crisis zone and are monitoring Japanese seafood because of fears of radioactive contamination.

Kyodo news agency said Japan would call on World Trade Organisation members at a meeting this week not to overreact to the radiation scare and abide by rules that ban import restrictions not based on scientific grounds.

The accident has also triggered concern around the globe about the safety of nuclear power generation. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was time to reassess the international atomic safety regime.

The crisis looked set to claim its first, and unlikely, political casualty. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's party faced defeat in a key state on Sunday, largely because of her U-turn on nuclear power.


The drama at the plant has overshadowed a relief and recovery effort from the magnitude 9.0 quake and the huge tsunami it triggered that left more than 27,100 people dead or missing in northeast Japan.

In Otsu, 70 km (42 miles) south of the stricken nuclear facility, the townsfolk are faced with livelihoods derailed by the natural disaster and now the fear of radiation in the air.

Ninety-three-year-old Kou Murata sat cross-legged on the floor of a school classroom, her home for the past fortnight. Surrounded by piles of quilts and blankets, she fretted over what was to become of her in the twilight of her life.

"I am afraid because people are leaving, and we are alone," she said, looking small and frail in a jacket decorated with snowmen.

Murata's daughter, Hisae, said the government had not helped them.

"I want to go back home, but the situation is impossible," she said. "I applied to the government to get a temporary house, but we need a certificate to say the house was destroyed. Now all the temporary houses have been taken. We thought the government would come to us, but we need to go to them."

The first opinion poll to be taken since the disaster showed the approval rating for Prime Minister Naoto Kan had edged higher, to 28.3 percent, but more than half disapproved of how the nuclear crisis had been handled.

Making things much worse is that, apparently for the first time, TEPCO has ordered tests for highly toxic and extremely lethal plutonium on the site:

As the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl entered its third week, the government said soil near the Fukushima plant would be tested for plutonium contamination. The radioactive metal was used in one of the reactors and its presence outside the plant would suggest the fuel rods were damaged.

 “I’ve said the situation won’t immediately improve, and high radiation water is one of the unexpected things that I had said might occur,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a briefing in Tokyo today. “We want to continue cooling, and establish a direction toward ending the situation.”

Soil samples have been taken and will be tested for plutonium, Edano told reporters.

Radiation leaks have contaminated vegetables in regions around the plant and sparked scares over tap water in Tokyo, 227 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Dai-Ichi power station.

Which of course means that up until now nobody had been measuring for plutonium fall out. Brilliant.

And while nobody really knows anything that is happening at the plant, one thing we can be sure of is that the latest surge in radiation by 10E6, will cause Joe LaVorgna to hike his GDP forecast for Japan by a comparable amount.

Update: Now we get this hilariously farcical interlude:

The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said on Monday a very high radiation reading that had sent workers fleeing the No. 2 reactor was erroneous.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) vice-president Sakae Muto apologised for Sunday's error, which added to alarm inside and outside Japan over the impact of contamination from the complex which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

In other news, radiation burns suffered by three TEPCO workers while puddling along reactor 2 was just due to unfortunate combination of too much sun and little to no tanning lotion. We are confident repair on Reactor 2 will proceed immediately...by mutant 3 eyed ill-tempered seabass. Or was the seawater radioactivity count faulty too?

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bob_dabolina's picture

What are the true levels?

If you don't know (which you don't) then shut your stupid fucking whore mouth.

All you do is shit out of your mouth

Harlequin001's picture

should I don my shit proof pants now?

Stormdancer's picture

Only if your derriere is somewhere in the vicinity of Trav's mouth.

If not you will probably be ok just keeping the pants close by for the moment.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It looks like the very first post at the top of this thread by Trav7777 is well on it's way to junk heaven. So I'm reproducing it here for those who will come later and wonder what the hell is going on since Trav7777's post with be where the sun don't shine.


by trav7777
on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 11:24


"10 million" claim later retracted as error.

Tighten up the BS, Tyler

reply flag as junk (22)

TaxSlave's picture



I don't know if you returned to see my apology for my ill-considered response to one of your comments the other day.  If not, it was my mistake, sorry bout that.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm not sweating it in the least so you should not as well. I am most certainly guilty of opening my mouth and inserting my foot far more often than my ego would care to admit. But thank you for so honorably apologizing. It wasn't needed, but it is most certainly a class act. :>)

long-shorty's picture

how many junks does it take for a post to go to junk heaven on ZH? just curious.

RichardP's picture

I read earlier today in a different thread that it used to be 10, but was later increased to 50.

jhalmos's picture

I also read a retraction on the number. Is 10 million even possible without Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda showing up?

Blankman's picture


I think Trav just saw his chance to be the first poster on the thread and jumped on it.  Trav I enjoy reading what you have to say sometimes but shit man, for you to believe the revision numbers coming out of Japan.  I think you have your head up your ass this lovely Sunday morn.  Do you really not think the gov of Japan would not revise these #'s to their favor?  Come on.


trav7777's picture

I have insufficient facts upon which to base a statement.  Therefore I do not make one.

I know this concept must seem revolutionary to all the talking asshats on ZH, but it is what it is.

My original post was intended to do no more than state a fact.  If you choose to only believe bad news, that's your prerogative.  Why should I believe initial numbers and not revisions?  Why are the first less credible or more credible, when as I am told, TEPCO and the gov't does nothing but lie ALL the time?

Perhaps the initial number and the revision were both lies.  I find no basis to believe that one is any more or less credible than the other, but the facts are that the initial number was retracted as error.  If we are going to quote TEPCO we must quote them in their entirety, not just cherrypick the statements we like and then rush off to ZH for group affirmation.

Blankman's picture

My alarm bells inside my head have been ringing on this one since it happened.  Sure the facts are not all completely in but my gut is telling me this reactor is fucked.  What is being done now is being done only as a mortician puts lipstick on a dead guy before the funeral.

What does it all mean's picture

+1, I agree with you, I replied to Trav7777, but I doubt that he cares.  

Then again, I don't care that he doesn't care.

chumbawamba's picture

That's actually a good point.

I think you're just misunderstood.

I am Chumbawamba.

What does it all mean's picture

In that case, you better be a theoretical mathematician.  Because everything else requires hypothesis, conjectures and educated guesses!

So, your rebuttal is itself pointless.  I get it.  So, it is not a very good point.

Lord Welligton's picture

This might be a better option.


You may need to change if the news gets worse.

franzpick's picture

Overheating, radioactive, toxic, yellow junk in the road ahead.  Step over it.

Sudden Debt's picture

Don't worry they'll clean it up...







trav7777's picture

the true levels are somewhere north of your IQ, but slightly south of room temperature

LeBalance's picture

Trav, give a link or just keep spewing.

You have not come to the table as anything other than a child.

Bring it or we will put the diaper on you.

trav7777's picture

link already posted.  I think in response to YOU.

As if YOU were incapable of verifying for yourself...wtf.

reading's picture

Do you seriously believe them when they say, "those readings aren't accuarate," but fail to give an alternative reading?  

avonaltendorf's picture

Shut up Trav.

Dr. Michio Kaku: "I have suggested on TV that the leadership of the crisis management be replaced. The utility should be kept on as a consultant, but a top flight international team of nuclear scientists and engineers should take over, aided by access to the Japanese military. The utility is simply overwhelmed by the crisis. Only the mililtary, guided by an international team of top scientists and engineers, can tame this monster."

trav7777's picture

do you think I disagree with Dr. Michio?  I think I recall suggesting the same thing over a week ago.

I also went out on a limb and said that I thought the US was calling the shots as of the time of the helo water drop.

RichardP's picture

Only the mililtary, guided by an international team of top scientists and engineers, can tame this monster.

For the time being, can this military/science group do anything other than what is currently being done - spray water to keep things from igniting?  Serious question.

trav7777's picture

no, probably not.

The only issue I took was with the timeliness of their initial actions. I thought it incomprehensible that they didn't airlift generation capacity and then vent the buildings and I said so at the time.

It appears after 3 of them blew, they vented the 4th.  And after days of failure, they resorted to firespraying the areas.

At this point, if they can prevent fire, they will avert total hellbreakloose.  But they will have to deal with a lot of radiological contamination for some time.

Lost in the hysteria over the 10 million vs 10,000 was the fact that workers are ACTUALLY INSIDE THE PLANT COMPLEX, which is itself a lost piece of GOOD news.  That we were treated to video of workers actually walking in the plant complex and not dropping immediately dead is evidence that the worst-case of fuel rods and reactor core all over the facility was simply not true.

RichardP's picture

Thanks Trav.  I was actually responding to avon, who was insisting that the military take over with scientific and engineering  guidance - as tho they could do something different than what is being done now.

bob_dabolina's picture


Someone call up the TEPCO burn unit cause trav just scorched me with one of his thousand millisievert  zingers.

franzpick's picture

Water off your back Bob:  'An insult a person makes about someone else says everything about the declarer, and nothing about the intended recipient.'

Plus, think of how all the 1000s of women named Millie Sievert are feeling when they see the reactions they get when they show their credit card, write a check, sign their tax return, fill out the doctor's office form, make a phone purchase ? 

malikai's picture

I'll bet miss Millie Sievert is a "hot" chick.

chumbawamba's picture

She is truly radiant.  But don't be around when she's on her period because she usually goes into a meltdown.

I am Chumbawamba.

TerraHertz's picture

So 'Millie Sieverts per hour' is really a measure of manly stamina?

VyseLegendaire's picture

Your mission to apologize for the incompetent has been a resounding success. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I love it how often Trav7777 claims he's attacked by really nasty bad guys and gals using ad hominem techniques when he is cornered. But he has no problem using these techniques himself when it suites his purpose or just for the pure unadulterated pleasure of abusing everyone and anyone who doesn't agree with the only person on Earth that holds and is allowed to dispense the real honest to God "truth". That is of course our abuse and truth spreader Trac7777 the almighty.

Subject to revision and manipulation by Trav7777 of course because.....well, he's Trav7777. You do not question the omnipotent Trav7777 or you will suffer his wrath. But remember.......he loves you and only wants to help you understand the truth.

trav7777's picture

cornered?  ROTFL...my good man, there is but one in a thousand here capable of making me break a sweat in an argument.  And they are all on my side.

I'm sorry you find me so threatening, dude...work on that with your therapist.

bob_dabolina's picture

Whose on your side cock breath?

Your diarrhea is really starting to splash around the place. By the looks of things there are a thousand people here calling you an idiot.

trav7777's picture

let's see here...who's on my side?  Every single person with any knowledge or expertise on the topic, as usual.

In opposition are moonbats who can't even keep a single thought straight...IOW, people just like you

Bay of Pigs's picture

Junk button says you're wrong on that Trav. Not taking sides, just reading the material like most folks, and praying Japan doesn't a become a radioactive wasteland. 

trav7777's picture

you think a junk button on a website such as ZH is a statement of veracity?

This site's junk feature is a popularity contest and nothing more.

Dude, I've gotten half a dozen junks posting a link to a DOE publication about a study of zircaloy fuel cladding fire risk from an emptied SFP.

There are orders of magnitude more moonbats here than there are people with real expertise on any topic.

chumbawamba's picture

Not to defend the Trav--he does a fine enough job of that himself--but when has the junk feature ever been the arbiter of truth around here?

But instead of sitting here wringing your collective hands over the issue (I'm speaking to the broader community here) why aren't you out preparing for the worst case scenario?  Chattering away on the internet will not a garden dig.

I am Chumbawamba.

ColonelCooper's picture

There's still two feet of frost in the ground, and I haven't crunched my second dose (handful) of KI yet today. 

chumbawamba's picture

Take it as a good opportunity to set up an indoor grow room.  Comes with the added benefit of being able to raise some wacky tobbacky without nosy neighbors peering over the fenceline.

I am Chumbawamba.

Crumbles's picture

GREENHOUSE, dude, think greenhouse and hot frame and grow-your-own from seeds.  Mother Earth, Organic Gardening magazines/websites.  Low tech, solar powered, and good tasting too.

and BTFD!

Lord Welligton's picture

"10 million times higher than that seen usually in water in a reactor core"

What is the usual amount in water in a reactor core (not storage pool).

What if it were a mere 100,00 times?

Would that be acceptable?

majia's picture

Trav7777 if  you disagree so profoundly why do you bother to read the articles AND comments here?

Most people stop reading sites they regard as unreliable--that is, most educated people stop reading because they do not have enough time to waste on misinformation and propaganda.

Surely you must have a hidden agenda? Since your use of language is not designed to persuade, I must conclude that agenda is to defame.

However, since you lack strong argumentative skills, all you have managed to do is earn the disgust of what appears to be the vast majority of the commentators.

My suggestion is that you learn how to argue more persuasively and acquire the skills of reasoned debate so as not to continue wasting comment space...

trav7777's picture

get the fuck outta here, majia...

persuasion on ZH is infeasible because the most vociferous posters are intractably stupid.

If you want proof, take a look at the evolution of "Flakmeister," who is a goddamned physicist who worked at CERN of all places, who went from reasoned and deliberate recitation of facts and morphed into "just STFU" all while I goaded him with Star Wars Emperor quotes, because he did what you suggest and it failed miserably to penetrate the thickness of some of the regulars here.

In fact, when I first came here I did the same thing as he did.  WTF is the point?  I have posted research papers on this topic here; nobody read them, nobody replied.  People come here for group affirmation and I just mock them.

I continue to try to debate with cretins such as "bob dabolina," where he makes a claim and I ask for facts upon which he has based his claim and then he responds by asking me if I will move my children to Fukushima.  In the face of that, I respond by pointing out his non sequitur and reiterating my request for factual bases to support his initial claim.  And then he says I am a pussy.

So where exactly the fuck is there ROOM in these types of exchanges for "persuasive argument"?  There is room for nothing other than defamation and it is warranted.

Lord Welligton's picture

"10 million times higher than that seen usually in water in a reactor core"

What is the usual amount in water in a reactor core (not storage pool).

What if it were a mere 100,00 times?

Would that be acceptable?

majia's picture

I've looked at your reports and citations--I've been reading zerohedge since it was a blog spot.

Your more reasoned posts do add to the conversation.

However, many links to academic reports have been like the one by the researcher at Santa Barbara, who work at the nuclear lab Lawrence Livermore in CA and received grant money from interested parties (I think it was the nuclear regulatory commission).

I'm not saying you were the one to link this report. My point is that readers probably have become skeptical of "authorities" who have conflicted interests.

I think posters at zerohedge are right to be skeptical of such reports. As an academic I can attest to the fact that academics who receive grants often are bought off by industry and/or are blinded by their models.

The poster who linked Nassim Taleb's comments about experts' inability to deal with low probability events is right on when it comes to even the most neutral and objective of expert analyses.

The issue is that official and expert declarations too often are deceptive, omit key details, or are simply propaganda.

Zerohedge readers are mostly united by their recognition of this fact...

Bicycle Repairman's picture

+1 insightful.

"Nassim Taleb's comments about experts' inability to deal with low probability events"