Radiation Levels Skyrocket at Fukushima

George Washington's picture

Painting by Jonathan Raddatz


Record high levels of radioactive tritium have been observed in the harbor at Fukushima.

Japan Times notes:

The density of radioactive tritium in samples of seawater from near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant doubled over 10 days to hit a record 1,100 becquerels per liter, possibly indicating contaminated groundwater is seeping into the Pacific, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.




Tepco said late Monday it was still analyzing the water for strontium-90, which would pose a greater danger than tritium to human health if absorbed via the food chain. The level of cesium did not show any significant change between the two sample dates, according to the embattled utility.


On June 19, Tepco revealed that a groundwater sample taken from a nearby monitoring well was contaminated with both tritium and strontium-90.




During a news conference Monday in Tokyo, Masayuki Ono, a Tepco executive and spokesman, this time did not deny the possibility of leakage into the sea, while he said Tepco is still trying to determine the cause of the spike.

Kyoto reports:

A sample collected Friday contained around 1,100 becquerels of tritium per liter, the highest level detected in seawater since the nuclear crisis at the plant started in March 2011, the utility said Monday.




The latest announcement was made after Tepco detected high levels of radioactive tritium and strontium in groundwater from an observation well at the plant.

Indeed, the amount of radioactive strontium has skyrocketed over the last couple of months at Fukushima.

The New York Times writes:

Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima, said Wednesday that it had detected high levels of radioactive strontium in groundwater at the plant, raising concerns that its storage tanks are leaking contaminated water, possibly into the ocean.




The company has struggled to store growing amounts of contaminated runoff at the plant, but had previously denied that the site’s groundwater was highly toxic….

Xinhua reports:

Very high radioactivity levels were detected in groundwater from an observation well at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Wednesday.




The observation well was set up on the Pacific side of the plant’s No. 2 reactor turbine building last December to find out the reasons why radioactivity levels in seawater near the plant remained high. The company said the sampled water could be from the contaminated water that seeped into the ground.

Reuters points out:

Testing of groundwater showed the reading for strontium-90 increased from 8.6 becquerels to 1,000 becquerels per litre between Dec. 8, 2012 and May 24.

BBC notes:

High levels of a toxic radioactive isotope have been found in groundwater at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator says.




Strontium-90 is formed as a by-product of nuclear fission. Tests showed that levels of strontium in groundwater at the Fukushima plant had increased 100-fold since the end of last year, Toshihiko Fukuda, a Tepco official, told media.

Other types of radioactive materials will continue to pose a hazard for decades.  As nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen explains:

The radiation exposures are going up. What you’re seeing is a lot of this stuff is getting revolitalized. It’s in the first couple of inches of dust, and when the wind blows it moves into areas that have been previously cleaned.




This will go on for decades, as the cesium goes down in to the soil, the roots bring it back up and into the plant structures and the leaves fall on the ground and the cycle continues.

(Some portion of this radiation will hit the West Coast of North America … which may end up with even higher radioactive cesium levels than Japan.)

The bigger picture is that the Fukushima reactors are wholly uncontained … and radiation will continue to spew for decades … or centuries.

Japan Times reports:

A U.N. nuclear watchdog team said Japan may need longer than the projected 40 years to decommission the Fukushima power plant and urged Tepco to improve stability at the facility.


The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency team, Juan Carlos Lentijo, said Monday that damage at the nuclear plant is so complex that it is impossible to predict how long the cleanup may last.


“As for the duration of the decommissioning project, this is something that you can define in your plans. But in my view, it will be nearly impossible to ensure the time for decommissioning such a complex facility in less than 30 to 40 years as it is currently established in the road map,” Lentijo said.


The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. have predicted the cleanup would take up to 40 years. They still have to develop technology and equipment that can operate under fatally high radiation levels to locate and remove melted fuel. The reactors must be kept cool and the plant must stay safe and stable, and those efforts to ensure safety could slow the process down.


The plant still runs on makeshift equipment and frequently suffers glitches.




The problems have raised concerns about whether the plant …  can stay intact throughout a decommissioning process. The problems have prompted officials to compile risk-reduction measures and review decommissioning plans.




“It is expectable in such a complex site, additional incidents will occur as it happened in the nuclear plants under normal operations,” Lentijo said.




The IAEA team urged the utility to “improve the reliability of essential systems to assess the structural integrity of site facilities, and to enhance protection against external hazards” and promptly replace temporary equipment with a reliable, permanent system.

Indeed, the locations and condition of melted Fukushima fuel is still totally unknown.  Shimbun reports:

The workers have yet to gain a grasp of the locations and condition of the fuel debris. They have yet to develop extraction equipment and determine removal methods.

Mainichi notes:

Uncertainty over the location of melted fuel inside the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant continues to cast a shadow over plans to remove the fuel at an early date…. Reactor Nos. 1-3 at the plant contained a total of 1,496 rods of nuclear fuel in their cores….  Each fuel rod weighs about 300 kilograms, and a high level of technical expertise would be required when undertaking a remote control operation to cut up and retrieve clumps of scattered radioactive materials weighing a combined 450 tons or thereabouts…. the cores of reactors at the Fukushima plant have holes, and the task at hand is finding which parts have been damaged.

Indeed, the technology doesn’t yet exist to contain – let alone clean up – Fukushima.

Mainichi notes:

In a news conference on June 10, a representative of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said that bringing forward the plans would be dependent on developing technology, and suggested that the plans might even end up being delayed.

Scientists are considering freezing the ground around the Fukushima reactors.  Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports:

The Japanese government has ordered the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant to freeze the soil around its crippled reactor buildings to stop groundwater seeping in and becoming contaminated…. According to a report compiled by a government panel on Thursday, there are no previous examples of using walls created from frozen soil to isolate groundwater being used for longer than a few years. This means the project at the Fukushima plant poses “an unprecedented challenge in the world”.

Japan Times reports:

The panel’s draft report said the government and Tepco hope to create the frozen-soil walls between April and September 2015…. A rough estimate suggests that groundwater seepage into the basements would be reduced from 400 tons [every day] to 100 tons once the frozen-soil walls are built.

Another high-tech solution being proposed: injecting cement into the Fukushima reactors.

And then there are the spent fuel pools, which continue to be one of the main threats to Japan, the United States … and all of humanity.

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Gaffing_Nome's picture

Thanks G.Wash for posting this. Difficult, to separate ZH FTMFW amygdala inspired sarc-on humor from dunning/kruger fx (perfunctory sub-Bernank/hypo-troll prattlers' expected). My knowledge regarding radiation/nukes is to quote that Au dude "in the multiples of 100s" compared to my fin-fin (learned a LOT from here...the Fuka sitch,
see this for starters:


Arnie G<--hoodwink. That said ENE has some great posters.

For foil- do a bit of web-some, find-read FOIA docs re: fuka. Fulfords' stuff (to his kinda cred, no denying it's him and d. rockerfeller 1 on 1 on utoob vid. Enuf sources leave little doubt Japan-Gov did try selling 238->Iran...as and the company contracted for work post "sell" was an Izz Co. Can't confirm was m0sAdZ. Decent anecdotal of stux-infecting fukacomps. The pre-load mini-combustible? Schematic looks legit, only 2 sources=no dice)

Back to present.
Fuka-Dai all ponzi, CB, price suppression/algo hi jinks. Of course it's all connected $€?¥.

Greys/Rads/Sieverts...whichever uom....The [radiation] shit is everywhere.

Yesterday I attended a town hall meeting in the US. Kind of like...oh....everywhere, so many (un)secret nuke-waste dumps. Not far away, a dump-fill atop "water" "supply" containing many tons of waste ala manhattan project. 1200 (according to the EPA, ha) ft. Away is another land fill. This one is just trash...burning trash headed straight for that spent-death. EPA estimates are way off. Tested for gamma (idiots).

San O? Your fucked. Hartford? Double Screwed.

Arkansas One? How many deaths a few weeks ago, according to...1 blurb "unusual incident, deaths..."

Calloway Plant last week? How many? 1 or 8 deaths? M

BTW, check hospital records for inf. mortality rate 1-6 months post 3/11, and later...in EAST COAST as well as west. You might be surprised @ the "few" tens of thousands of em dead things.

Also, if you can buy 2x 20 Francs, go buy a damn Geiger counter which can crowd source n aggregate data. You don't need a damn s-machine to detect alpha and beta rad, just need to buy a good one. The best for the $ is the inspector. Pay a few extra for the one with the pancake wand.

It's not unusual post precipitation to get 60-80 CPM anywhere in N America. Remember...EPA turned off all mon stations after 3/11 and increased the "safe" y/y dose of ionized rad-ps up many times, above Japanese (not) safe levels.

This is the ultimate "kicking of the can". Because we're not being blasted by gamma...the same QE bitche(z) are expecting sheep-ness of all, cause low-levels of constant rads take 5-15 years to kill, unless of course it's your daughter/son (12>yrs).

Reptil's picture

yes, all of us need to buy Geiger Counters. And measure, record this (on a smartphone or whatever) and post on youtube.
an abundance of high (and increasingly higher) readings would be impossible for the powers that be to deny or thwart.
keeping check of the jetstream and readings from others will tell you something's coming your way
testing yourself will tell you if it's a good descision to go out for that jog in the rain
it's a win-win strategy in a fucked up world.

this is good
this is ok, and cheap
tested both

Bearwagon's picture

That's right. Just in case someone does not have much money, but is able to craft electronics by himself, here's an instruction on how to use a neon glow lamp as a (very, very simple) counter:


Walt D.'s picture

TEPCO needs to get their act together and clean this up before someone dies.

tony bonn's picture

anything tepco says is one goddamned horseshit lie....every single one of their executives should be thrown headlong into their melted down cores after having been forced to drink that radioactive water for a month....the same should happen to the engineers and company which built and sold the death machine.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Should we be taking radioactive Iodine with our daily vitamins?


fourchan's picture

why dont they hire the worlds termially ill to populate the dead zone and remediate the plant itself?

Falconsixone's picture

own the weather dipshits mysteriously awol


fucking pussy airmen can't even find a radiation suit. Spent all their funny money on thimerosal shots.

Ranger4564's picture

I'll tell you what's happening... this is all part of the Agenda 21 population reduction scheme. The oligarchs have decided to exterminate Japan. They are killing off the Japanese. The government is being blackamailed so it cannot do anything. The events are transpiring as they are planned. The government is being forced to first allow this catastrophe, and to ensure it's longevity by not doing anything to contain it.  The hope is it will spread across the globe and be the plague the oligarchs seek. The same basic nonsense is being prepared for the US. America will be sacrificed. You think the Zombie Apocalypse BS is by coincidence? There are no coincidences. Between radiation poisioning and biological terror, they intend to create a zombie population they can shoot with those 2 Billion hollow pointers.

There is no one really that dumb running the nations / corporations or put another way, the people of the world are not smarter than the people running these organizations... for the most part, so these things are happening on purpose for a reason... our job is not to gaze amazedly and chuckle at their stupidity, since I've explained they're not dumb anyway... our job is to gaze, study the conditions, and discern what the fuck is going on.

We are at war, with an enemy that has not shown its face... so I'd say we have a terrorist issue we the people have to deal with. To arms. Seriously, sarcasm aside, I basically meant that penultimate sentence. Maybe it was Irony, I always get those 2 mixed up.


RaceToTheBottom's picture

We are talking about some serious SHAM WOW absorbing power.  Then a couple hundred shuttle trips to throw the stuff away in outer space....


I don't think they had enough insurance to finding a new earth...

Bearwagon's picture

Do you by any chance remember STS-51-L (last flight of 'Challenger')? That would have worked great with atomic waste aboard, wouldn't it?

Falconsixone's picture

Burr..........it's so hot in here.


Maybe something to do with the western u.s. being hotter than ammo sales.


Am I getting a radi burn honey?


new clear reaction

Northern Lights's picture

In truth, the only thing TEPCO is doing is pouring water over the exploded reactor/s.  Same thing they've been doing since May 2011.

I watched a documentary of the Chernobyl incident and it took years before scientists could get even remotely close to the core and once they found it, they still really couldn't do anything.  Back then the Soviets dumped sand over the mess.  The Japanese are still only pouring water over the mess and I figure that's all they'll be doing for the next 10 years at least.

Face it, it's a lost cause and Japan is dead.  In 20 years when the results of what's going on to the people are noticed, they'll condemn the island and relocate it's inhabitants all over the world.


Bringin It's picture

Amazing how the Japanese can take one for the team like that.

Landfall west coast USA.  Radioactive? flotsam set to appear soon.

Skateboarder - what's that surfer group that cares about water quality?


SamAdams's picture

Actually, those with eyes to see and ears to hear, know that this is covered up by the same who experimented on Nagasaki.  You think the bankers are bringing in a Utopia?  They control Japan.  Hush, hush on the damage to your grandma and all her grandkids.  Yes, don't sweat it, more wealth for the bankers and their compadres. 

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Unfortunately, TPTB in the USA are more concerned about locating the remains of Jimmie Hoffa.  Homo Sapiens have screwed the pooch, with all the nuke plants in the world, it's like playing knock-a-mole.....

Duc888's picture

Don't sweat it. Nobody lives forever.

arnoldsimage's picture

will you please grow up and stop with all that environmental crap. don't you know the dow is rallying and the nsa spying issue is old news. jeez... we have a holiday coming up acknowledging how great our country is. i don't know who is more treasonous here, you or snowden.

Fuku Ben's picture

GW, I would laugh at your pics but they've poisoned the best place on the planet for blue green algae and seaweed. Not to mention seafood. On top of that they destroyed the lives of millions from radiation damage locally. And far more around the globe. And they're just continuing to poison the lot and don't give a sheit.


Bringin It's picture

Agreed - somebody should do something.

Don't feed the ponzi.

Handful of Dust's picture

My Mother-in-Law lives on the West Coast so it is true:


"Every Cloud has a Silver Lining."

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Make sure to tell her to eat more fish and seaweed. Maybe a good swim each week too.....

q99x2's picture

I grew up on strontium beer in Pittsburgh. Smoke used to come out of my ears and tear ducts. My brother and I would sit for photos. He had a deviated septum and was able to stick a 6" screwdriver all the way into his nose up to the handle. I had a broken ear drum. Boy did we get drunk on that shit.

KashNCarry's picture

'Sounds' like you both were glowing boys!

Angus McHugepenis's picture

Now that is funny shit! I don't care if it's true or not.

KashNCarry's picture

The Japanese get their marching orders from their Masters...

’Japan made secret promise with U.S. to restart pluthermal nuclear program’
” A Japanese prime ministerial envoy secretly promised to the United States that Japan would resume its controversial ”pluthermal” program, using light-water reactors to burn plutonium, according to documents obtained by the Mainichi.

The secret promise was made by Hiroshi Ogushi, then parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office, to Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, during Ogushi’s visit to the United States on behalf of then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in September last year.

The revelation comes as Japan’s pluthermal project remains suspended in the wake of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster due to safety concerns. The fact that a Japanese official promised to the U.S. to implement such a controversial project without a prior explanation to the Japanese public is expected to stir up controversy.

According to the official documents obtained by the Mainichi, upon being pressed to reduce the amount of plutonium in Japan that could be diverted to military use, Ogushi told Poneman that Japan would burn plutonium in plutonium-thermal (pluthermal) reactors. The then ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was in the final stages of formulating its nuclear energy policy at the time…”

And right on schedule:
’Japan receives 1st shipment of nuclear reactor fuel since 2011 disaster forced shutdowns’
Published June 26, 2013

TOKYO – ” A power plant has received the first shipment of reprocessed nuclear reactor fuel sent to Japan since the 2011 disaster that forced it to shut down reactors.

The fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxide called MOX, arrived aboard a freighter from France on Thursday at the Takahama nuclear power station on the Sea of Japan coast. Operators of the plant are hoping to use the fuel once they get the go-ahead to restart their reactors…”

Reptil's picture

Yes, indeed.
The japanese elite are obeying their masters.And their people are obeying their leaders.
So, in this structure of organisation, a few psychopaths may force millions into situations that are not desirable.

more on this guy (obviously revolving door DoD-Defence Industry)

Obama said in Berlin (without that many words) that MOX is going to be the wave of the future.
What's the big dal with MOX? None of these powerplants was ever designed for Plutonium.
Plutonium was NEVER considered fuel in the nuclear industry for regular (BWR) reactors. (Arnie Gundersen)

In fact having these run on MOX is akin to insanity, because it renders these plants unstable.

Not Too Important's picture

These are old NPP's. Decades of ionizing radiation decay, along with crappy repairs using unfit material.

Now run these plants on MOX, which no NPP in existence is designed to run. It's like putting pure nitroglycerin in a stock 1950 Ford and trying to race at the Indy 500. And Japan isn't the only country that is going to use this stuff. The US is, too.

We will not survive this madness.

Bearwagon's picture

In don't disagree, but would like to remind you of the chance, that a few humans will survive. Men being quite clever and very fertile could adadpt to a world of soring cancer rates and mutation (which are mostly fatal anyways), if they manage to procreate faster than they get killed by the background radiation. I see chance of that happening, if not a very great one, though. (Just a measly try to hold up some hope.)

Mr. Hudson's picture

What did you all expect? The significant majority of human beings are self-serving and evil. Nothing will change.

CH1's picture

The significant majority of human beings are self-serving and evil.


The problem with most humans is not that they are evil, but that they are compliant.

John and Jane Average believe whatever authority tells them and obey reflexively. But when they're thinking on their own, Joe and Jane are actually okay.

Mr. Hudson's picture

People are compliant because they are lazy, which is being self-serving. Tell me, how many honest, wonderful people do you know in your life vs. evil, self-serving people?

Not Too Important's picture

How many people would violate their principles to keep a job, or win a prize?


Reptil's picture

Slightly OT but related.

geo engineering, now clearly visible for all to see (Netherlands)

key interview with Dane Wigington https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FDoW8sJ7HMI

UN Treaty (against it) http://www.un-documents.net/enmod.htm

Owning the Weather https://www.fas.org/spp/military/docops/usaf/2025/v3c15/v3c15-1.htm

Weather info (of the solar system) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6gteyV0vnU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUT...

failsafe's picture

Thanks GW...how much will Japan allow scientists of countries to help... How much are scientists of other countries willing to help. Earth is too small to quibble over blame games now.

JamesBond's picture

Tepco, however, said an exact start date currently is hard to forecast because the position and state of the fuel in reactors 1, 2 and 3, which suffered core meltdowns, remains unclear and all the utility can do at present is try, with makeshift equipment, to keep water circulating through the damaged containment vessels to prevent further massive radioactive fallout.


There is no plan other than for the executives to retire with pensions and leave the problem to the young.



Fish Gone Bad's picture

I got a kick out of hearing how the amount of carbon dioxide has now reached the scary 400 ppmv (0.0400%).  It is probably due to the production of oxygen falling from phytoplankton being decimated in the ocean by radiation.

Gas                                  Volume
Nitrogen (N2)                     780,840 ppmv (78.084%)
Oxygen (O2)                      209,460 ppmv (20.946%)
Argon (Ar)                         9,340 ppmv (0.9340%)
Carbon dioxide (CO2)          397 ppmv (0.0397%)

Think about it, if the amount of oxygen drops, then the relative amount of carbon dioxide rises (as does nitrogen and argon).

You heard it here first.

Fish Gone Bad


Reptil's picture

that's correct, it was however already going on before Fukushima melted
I'd say with the info available now, it's mostly due to geo-engineering and general pollution.
but the radiation (which is massive in the Pacific, and did not disperse like they "promised") could've been the tipping event.
I need a beer

cougar_w's picture

If you can find evidence for a significant drop in oxygen levels, we'd all love to see it.

The 400ppm thing is just a number, true. But if we get to another meaningless round number -- 500ppm -- you will by then have acquired a much greater appreciation for something we call positive feedbacks.

Kprime's picture

Simple math.  100 years ago there were about 1.5 billion people breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. Now there are over 7 billion humans breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide.

So a human uses about 19 cubic feet of oxygen per day. Multiply that by 7 billion humans and you can figure out where the oxygen has gone; and where the extra carbon dioxide is coming from.  Each human creates about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide each day. 


Not Too Important's picture

There's no question, barring a 'miracle', that the phytoplankton is now experiencing a die-off and will continue to die off, as the admitted ocean radiation levels increase.

Can we really trust any data at this point? But we know the sea life is dying from radiation. Simple extrapolation works.

cougar_w's picture

"A U.N. nuclear watchdog team said Japan may need longer than the projected 40 years to decommission the Fukushima power plant"

Folks, you better understand right now, they are saying it will never happen. Japan Inc. will close up shop and turn the lights out well before then. They are already in the spiral of deflation, they are finished. Perhaps even finished as an industrialized society.

The long term damage to Japanese land and sea will be bad enough. But at least the Japanese will know where the kill-zone is and stay away for 1,000 years. All their fisheries will have to move far to the south to avoid the radioactive plume dumping into the sea in the north. However peoples living along the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean will be clueless as monstrous levels of radioactivity brought in by the Pacific Gyre will continue to come ashore (to remain permanently) for that long or longer.

I really think we're seeing the end of the Pacific fishery at least; nobody will be able (or want to) eat anything taken from the eastern Pacific. Especially molluscs and bottom feeders in direct contact with radioactive sediments, but really anything at the top of the food chain as well due to bioaccumulation. Probably the end of many coastal towns once beach radiation levels become dangerous. People will simply leave, moving inland and finding other means of livelihood. I don't know what will happen to sea life, probably the larger marine mammals will become locally extinct due to a high number of fatal radiation-induced diseases couple with crushing reproductive failures.

Not a pretty picture. To think I got a graduate degree in Biology just in time for the local biological system to implode.

We biologists even have a saying for it. We call it "studying a system that no longer exists" and we do it for the sole purpose of saying goodbye.


GoldForCash's picture

I started raising my own White Channel Catfish and Blue Gill pan fish in April 2011.  Just in time I think.

South Carolina.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

cougar_w: Thanks for a great description that most people can understand. Personally, when I heard back on March 11/11 what happened I have not eaten ANY seafood since that day. The rest of the food chain isn't exactly safe either.

nothing can go wrogn's picture

I'm long Thermococcus gammatolerans.

Thermococcus gammatolerans is an archaea extremophile and the most radiation resistant known organism.


Not Too Important's picture

There's also the highly radioactive cyanobacteria that is spreading throughout Japan. Once it dries, the wind carries it to everyone's nostrils.

It has been found in the US, and a seaborne version is decimating the coral on the North Shore of Kauai'i.

I wouldn't eat mushrooms. They are radiation sponges.

cougar_w's picture

Hey yeah, and if that were all there were left, then life on Earth will be covered in green slime and will have returned to it's ancient roots.

And from there, who knows what could come around in another 300 million years or so?

Come to think on it .... maybe this isn't even the first time around and someone before us made the same mistakes we've made ... hmm ....

Bearwagon's picture

Luckily that will not be all that's left. There are more organism which will survive. For example also "Deinococcus radiodurans" :


I know, it's cold comfort ....