Radioactivity Detected 60 Miles From Fukushima Power Plant

Tyler Durden's picture

The latest in an endless escalation of bad news comes from Seattle Times: "Pentagon officials reported Sunday that helicopters flying 60 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant picked up small amounts of radioactive particulates — still being analyzed, but presumed to include cesium-137 and iodine-121 — suggesting widening environmental contamination. The detection of the highly radioactive elements heralds the beginning of an ecological and human tragedy. The two radioactive isotopes can mean only one thing: One or more of the reactor cores is badly damaged and at least partially melted down." If true, this also means that the Japanese government is blatantly lying to its people and the world, in its relentless determination to prevent panic and to pursue the party line that after two massive blasts the cores are still stable. And judging by the time stamp, this was announced before last night's second blast: if radioactivity had spread then, how about now? And who can blame Americans and people around the world who are concerned that radiation may be coming their way if nobody is to be trusted.

More Seattle Times:

Japanese reactor operators now have little choice but to periodically release radioactive steam until the radioactive elements in the fuel of the stricken reactors stop generating intense heat, a process that can continue for a year or more even after fission has stopped.

In the best case, operators will pump enough seawater and other coolants to squelch overheating. Such a success would prevent further releases of radiation beyond the unknown amount spewed into the air by controlled venting and the explosion of a reactor containment building.

In such a scenario, the only casualties would probably be the handful of plant workers reported Sunday to be suffering from acute radiation sickness.

If the last-ditch efforts to cool the reactors fail, the heavy cylindrical cores — each containing tons of radioactive fuel — could flare to hotter than 4,000 degrees and melt through the layers of steel and cement engineered to contain them.

Such a meltdown may be under way, said Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer at the consulting firm Fairewinds Associates. Gundersen helps oversee the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, whose reactors are the same vintage and design as those of the stricken Japanese reactor.

If a full meltdown occurs, a huge molten lump of radioactive material would burn through all containment, destroy the building and fall to the ground, exposed. A toxic stew of exotic radioactive particles would then spread on the wind and rain.

And keeping the news going is the update from NHK that at least 11 people have died in the second blast reported earlier:

At least eleven people died in a second explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant in north-eastern Japan on Monday, NHK TV said.

The build-up of hydrogen caused reactor no. 3 to explode at around 02:00 GMT but the government's top spokesman, Yukio Edano, said its core was still intact. He said there was a "low possibility" of a rise in radiation levels near the damaged plant.

A blast occurred in the plant's reactor no. 1 on Saturday.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., told the TV station that the cooling system at reactor no. 2 has failed.

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virgule's picture

Read something similar a few hours ago, reported by US navy chopers flying back to their aircraft carriers. Confusion reigns.

Ethics Gradient's picture

The carriers are leaving because they detected a small amount of radiation 100 miles to sea.

Small meaning 'big enough to warrant us clearing off immediately and leaving a humanitarian crisis devlop unaided'.

The reason for Japans govt lies is that if 50 million people decide to leave Tokyo, the human casualties will be enormous. Not to mention the chances of Japan being able to service it's debt when it's capital is a ghost town is, err, unlikely. Then all the world needs to do is absorb a $10 trillion default.

Quintus's picture

Maybe they are leaving because they don't want to run the risk of being washed halfway up Mt Fuji by another Tsunami? 

Much safer to be in open ocean right now, I'd have thought.

Confused's picture

Out of curiosity, is there potential for another Tsunami? 

Quintus's picture

Absolutely.  Any of the aftershocks Japan is currently experiencing could set off another Tsunami.

Confused's picture

Didn't want to come off as being sarcastic. Thanks for the response. 

Ethics Gradient's picture

Sorry, should have posted a link:


Japanese officials are playing down any health risk, but the US said it had moved one of its aircraft carriers from the area after detecting low-level radiation 100 miles (160km) offshore.

Commander Cody's picture

You are correct in that if the direction of the wind changes 180 degrees, then Tokyo will be a ghost town.

Sudden Debt's picture

It's not confusion.

The reason why they keep the lid on it is simple: If it all would be as bad as thought, it would meen the TOTAL EVACUATION OF JAPAN!!

This is a impossible task and would turn the economy and the stock market to ZERO!







bingaling's picture

Uss george washington was 100 miles off coast where it detected radiation . 

Reactor 2 is obviously next to explode -

and to the right from ran sqwauk- 

Fuel rods are entirely exposed at Fukushima, no.2 reactor


What the hell does that mean ?

sushi's picture

Exposed fuel rods means zero cooling which means increasing temps until the zirconium cladding on the fuel bundles oxidizes and releases H2. The increasing pressure must be vented to outside the reactor vessel at which point the H2 comes in contact with atmospheric oxygen (there is no oxygen within the reactor vessel) at which point there is a 3rd explosion, the personnel inside the reactor signal all is well, the government communicates that things are going as planned and Don't Worry, Be Happy or the Nipponese equivalent.

Sudden Debt's picture

that soon it won't only be the firefly's that will glow at night....



Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The Japanese must save face. What the average Westerner doesn't always fully understand is that in Japanese society even the victims will help the liar/abuser/oppressor save face. It not really the same thing as the abuser/abused connection or even Stockholm Syndrome we see in America and in European countries, at least not by Western standards.

In Japan if the liar can't save face, it is considered that all of society loses face. This belief isn't quite as strong as it was say 50 years ago but nearly so. The herd protects even the butcher.

disabledvet's picture

but why does the West uncritically repeat the lies?  we truly do live in an insane asylum.

DaveyJones's picture

they save face, we borrow it, then we lift it

Bubbles...bubbles everywhere's picture

Fuck their face...we want the TRUTH! Who cares about their silly little customs.

sushi's picture

Up to this point the wind has been to the NE or offshore. It is forecast to blow towards Tokyo or onshore.

With an offshore wind you can lie through your teeth (unless there is a CVN out there). When the wind is onshore you can still lie but the fact of your population suffering radiation sickness begins to reveal the truth.

A Man without Qualities's picture

I worked on a deal with a large Japanese Corporation a few years ago, dealing with their head office in Tokyo.  We were putting together a financing structure, and a very complex one at that.  Making errors was easy and understandable (sometimes you didn't know it was an error until you checked with lawyers in a third country), so the agreement was to send documents to be checked.  If we sent anything back with a request for a change, it would take days before there would be a reply and then it would come from someone else.  It seems that they took any changes as signs of failure, leading to profuse apologies and replacement on the project.  It was a fucking nightmare, made everything take weeks longer, far more mistakes.  When I watch the unfolding disaster, I can't help but think of this experience...

IslandMan's picture

And of course this is entirely different from the Wall Street / American / European system, where lies are ubiquitous to make sure none of the political or economic elite lose face or money.  Millions evacuated by foreclosure or unemployment, no problem.

Broomer's picture

Save face, indeed. You don't have idea of how far the Japanese can go to do so.

Here is a story from Japanese immigrants in Brazil.

Shindo Renmei - (???? "League of the Subjects' Path" in Japanese) was a terrorist organization composed of Japanese immigrants in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, active in the 1940s. Refusing to believe the news of Japan's surrender in the end of World War 2, some of its most fanatic members used violence against those who did. Shindo Renmei killed at least 23 people and wounded 147 others, all of them Japanese-Brazilians.

Confuchius's picture

An interesting link, CD, true facts plus cutaway drawings and a detailed description of the design and construction of the GE power plants in Japan. This is a link from


Tulli's picture

And what strikes me as beyond belief is that European equities appear numb. Actually, EuroStoxx 50 is positive as I write this. 

Do any humans, at all, trade equities any more?

Or did someone just change the correlation to Asian Equities to 0.0 and WOPR is trading accordingly?

Edit: Of course that what is happening is a monumental human catastrophe. I just hope that it ends up not being as bad as it appears, and that the Japanese can get back on their feet ASAP.

What a strange market...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It's no longer a "market" at least by the definition I was taught 25 years ago. It's now a crime scene that is still active and not policed.

John McCloy's picture

Straight up unending crime in progress. RICO trials are necessary just like with Cosa Nostra complete with corrupt politicians. Truly no different except the numbers are considerably larger with the Wall Street crime syndicate.

snowball777's picture

Far less loyalty than your average mob capo though...they'd be rolling over and 'cutting deals' like it was M&A season.

John McCloy's picture

   I despise when people decide amongst themselves what information is acceptable for the public. Nobody has any right to withhold information from you that compromises your safety for your supposed "own good". If thousands die because they did not wish to cause panic then inevitably isn't the supposed benefit moot of keeping quiet? 

disabledvet's picture

the markets in the US will respond--negatively.  No matter the now hilarious lies that only reveal the ignorance of the media Mediocraty causes money to flee for it's life.  The fact that the clutches of the incompetent still maintain a grip on "organized" finance only makes the losses that much more staggering and "the clutchees" that much more "retarded"--with deference to "the retarded" since "having been queried why i like those people" have found that "God reserved them a genius simply lacking in the above average ignorant American phuck head" et al.  Now back to work...slave.

ZapBranigan's picture

"the markets in the US will respond--negatively"


Not so fast DV...the markets have been full-retard for a couple of months now.  No telling what the markets will do as they have been extremely unpredictable.  Logic no longer applies...we'll find out in a couple of minutes.

TheGreatPonzi's picture

"If true, this also means that the Japanese government is blatantly lying to its people and the world"

A government, lying? Impossible. They are as white as fresh snow. 

RIP for the 11 workers -- earlier reports said that the Reactor 3 Blast was inoffensive and/or normal.

CNBC even said it was needed and healthy to evacuate pressure. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Even by my cynical standards I was amazed how the networks joined nearly in lock step to repeat this blatant propaganda.

Since we were warned in advance that there could be an explosion at unit three because of the buildup of bad explosive hydrogen gas and that this explosion has now taken place, which has dissipated the gas, the Japanese government is essentially saying the meltdown is progressing according to plan and schedule.

Now hurry up and switch back to large piles of debris and emotionally wrenching stories of tsunami heroes and survivors.

robertocarlos's picture

The workers at number two reactor will show up for work today.

sushi's picture

They are in the reactor as we speak.

robertocarlos's picture

+1 You are making fun of my post from yesterday, :)

Jim in MN's picture

Just check the parking lot...need a live feed of the parking lot

sushi's picture

It was funny yesterday. Today it almost reeks of the truth. Whatever that is.


Sudden Debt's picture

they better not scratch where it itches or it will come off....



Confused's picture

"If true, this also means that the Japanese government is blatantly lying to its people and the people of the world."


There I fixed it. Can't imagine anyone in a position of power, in the US or elsewhere, aren't hip to the methods used to keep people calm. 

Sudden Debt's picture






Mentaliusanything's picture

Well thats the only way to disprove the lie. Same thing in Chernobyl the scandinavians came to work and the alarms went red

Not surprising really. But give them (the Japanese) a nod they fought like Hell and now they own it.

TheGreatPonzi's picture

In France, the government hid the truth about the nuclear cloud (which stopped in the Alpes, and was actually supposed to stop at the frontier). It caused quite a stir in the 1990s, after the alpine population saw a big increase in cancer cases and Geiger counters were detecting anormal radioactivity in water.

Oh regional Indian's picture

hmmmm.... pentamom picked up this stuff. Of course, the Pentamom is to be trusted as much as the Japanese gobbermint, yes? Perhaps next we'll have the CIA telling us that it was nothing. Just a top hat being blown away by a big edamame fart.

We are probably now in full disifo mode, keeping everyone confused till the last possible minute.

The GOM minute is now coming to one year. 

The 9/11 minute is coming up to 10 years this year.

This could be a bloody long minute.


disabledvet's picture

"silence spoken out loud" i believe.  hard to tell.  still..."there is method to it."

goldfish1's picture

wtf did I just read?

Same reaction here.

dipdude's picture

Fuel rods at No. 2 reactor of Fukushima No. 1 nuke plant fully exposed.

Source -

Lord Welligton's picture

Oh dear.

Not good.

Better link.

"Fuel rods at the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were fully exposed Monday, following Friday's deadly earthquake, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The plant operator said water levels fell as fuel for pumps that are used for seawater injection operations ran out.

Tokyo Electric earlier said the cooling functions of the reactor had been lost and began injecting seawater into the reactor to cool it down.


disabledvet's picture

of course there's the interesting question as to "whether the sea water being injected was part of any plan."  my understanding is "the sea water is entering without recourse to an alternative."  that does not strike me "as a plan" but "yet again an act of nature."  and of course "this sea water heats up and then causes a so called hydrogen explosion."  and "you are see thousand pound chunks of concrete be blown out a country mile."  so..."you gonna believe me or your lying eyes?"

Lord Welligton's picture

I agree entirely.

Sea water was never part of a "plan".

It's use is an act of utter desperation.