Update on Fukushima

George Washington's picture



The University of California at Berkeley detected cesium levels in San Francisco area milk above over EPA limits … and even higher than they were 6 months ago.

Finnish public television says that cesium from Fukushima has been detected in lichens, fungi and elk and reindeer meat in Finland.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency confirmed a radiation cloud over the East Coast of Australia.

The West Coast of Canada is getting hit by debris from Japan … and at least some of it is likely radioactive.

The authors of the controversial study claiming 14,000 deaths in the U.S. so far from Fukushima are now upping their figure to 20,000. I spoke with nuclear health expert Chris Busby about their study, and he said that mortality figures fluctuate pretty substantially in the normal course, and so it is hard to know at this point one way or the other whether their figures are accurate.

And while there is no evidence linking them to Fukushima, Bed Bath and Beyond has recalled radioactive tissue holders after they set off police radiation monitors aboard a delivery truck This may just be an example of the incredibly lax handling of radioactive materials.

And thyroid cancers are – mysteriously – on the rise in the U.S.


Nothing to see here, folks, move along ...

I noted last month in connection with Tepco’s announcement of “cold shutdown” of the Fukushima reactors:

If the reactors are “cold”, it may be because most of the hot radioactive fuel has leaked out.


The New York Times pointed out last month:

A former nuclear engineer with three decades of experience at a major engineering firm … who has worked at all three nuclear power complexes operated by Tokyo Electric [said] “If the fuel is still inside the reactor core, that’s one thing” …. But if the fuel has been dispersed more widely, then we are far from any stable shutdown.

Indeed, if the center of the reactors are in fact relatively “cold”, it may be because most of the hot radioactive fuel has leaked out of the containment vessels and escaped into areas where it can do damage to the environment.

After drilling a hole in the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor 2, Tepco cannot find the fuel. As AP notes:

The steam-blurred photos taken by remote control Thursday found none of the reactor’s melted fuel ….


The photos also showed inner wall of the container heavily deteriorated after 10 months of exposure to high temperature and humidity, Matsumoto said.

TEPCO workers inserted the endoscope — an industrial version of the kind of endoscope doctors use — through a hole in the beaker-shaped container at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant’s No. 2 reactor ….


The probe failed to find the water surface, which indicate the water sits at lower-than-expected levels inside the primary containment vessel and questions the accuracy of the current water monitors, Matsumoto said.

And while cold shutdown means that the water inside the reactors is below the boiling point, CNN reports:

Massive steam and water drops made it difficult to get a clear vision….

Given that steam forms when water boils, this is an indication that the reactor is not in cold shutdown.

Asahi Shimbun reports:

Tadahiro Katsuta, associate professor of nuclear engineering at Meiji University, said: "While an inside look was provided much sooner than I expected, it is still too early to rest assured. The water level is lower than estimated, so there is the possibility that the melted fuel that fell to the bottom of the vessel is not being adequately covered by water."

The Daily Yomiuri notes that Tepco has gone from 100% confident that water was covering the fuel to saying it is "quite unlikely" that there is any problem:

Drops of water fall like rain in the video, which was shot using an industrial endoscope. The drops were apparently the result of vapor--created by the heat from melted nuclear fuel--that cooled inside the upper part of the reactor containment vessel.


"It's quite unlikely nuclear fuel was exposed, as liquid from condensation is dripping down," a TEPCO official said.

Mainchi points out that reactors 1 and 3 are probably in no better shape:

The fuel inside the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors is believed to have melted through the pressure vessels and been accumulating in the outer primary containers after the Fukushima plant lost its key functions to cool the reactors in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year.


As I’ve pointed out since day one, the Japanese government and Tepco have covered up the extent of the radiation released by Fukushima and its health effects on the Japanese and others. See this and this.

The New York Times notes:

The government inspectors declared Onami’s rice safe for consumption after testing just two of its 154 rice farms.

Then … more than a dozen [farmers] found unsafe levels of cesium. An ensuing panic forced the Japanese government to intervene, with promises to test more than 25,000 rice farms in eastern Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located.




The repeated failures have done more than raise concerns that some Japanese may have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in their food, as regrettable as that is. They have also had a corrosive effect on public confidence in the food-monitoring efforts, with a growing segment of the public and even many experts coming to believe that officials have understated or even covered up the true extent of the public health risk in order to limit both the economic damage and the size of potential compensation payments.


Critics say … the government can no longer pull the wool over the public’s eyes, as they contend it has done routinely in the past.

“Since the accident, the government has tried to continue its business-as-usual approach of understating the severity of the accident and insisting that it knows best,” said Mitsuhiro Fukao, an economics professor at Keio University in Tokyo who has written about the loss of trust in government. “But the people are learning from the blogs, Twitter and Facebook that the government’s food-monitoring system is simply not credible.”




“No one trusts the national government’s safety standards,” said Ichio Muto, 59, who farms organic mushrooms in Nihonmatsu, 25 miles northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The Japan Times reports:

The government buried a worst-case scenario for the Fukushima nuclear crisis that was drafted last March and kept it under wraps until the end of last year, sources in the administration said Saturday.


After the document was shown to a small, select group of senior government officials at the prime minister’s office in late March, the administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan decided to quietly bury it, the sources said.

“When the document was presented (in March), a discussion ensued about keeping its existence secret,” a government source said.

In order to deny its existence, the government treated it as a personal document of Japan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Shunsuke Kondo, who authored it, until the end of December, the sources said.

It was only then that it was actually recognized as an official government document, they said.


“The content was so shocking that we decided to treat it as if it didn’t exist,” a senior government official said.

Major Japanese broadcaster NHK purportedly stopped a reporter in mid-sentence on March 12th as he was discussing the exposure of the nuclear fuel rods above the cooling pool, telling him:

They say you mustn’t read this draft.

Finally, the Economist and Boing Boing note that a Canadian journalist was grilled about who he spoke with at Fukushima, and:

Held, threatened, and shaken down for bribes before being detained without counsel or a phone call. He says he was eventually deported, though not before being ordered to sign a falsified confession and being threatened by an official at gunpoint.

(Many journalists and nuclear experts are alleged to have been monitored, harassed or blocked by the Japanese government.)

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tony bonn's picture

thank you george for this fine update....the wicked powers in the epa and the white house have done a george bush katrina on this one....lies lies lies everywhere are lies....

pazmaker's picture

This is just absolutely disgusting and proof of the world's robotitis...this is disastrous it should be a major concern of  all peoples but you harldy here a peep about it!


Why isn't this being discussed in the presidential debates in the USA?   Why isn't Obama talking about it?   Why isn't Ron Paul speaking out?     Where is CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, FOX on this?


Utterly disgusting!


Thnaks George.

steveo's picture

I detailed the Carrington Event here

We got a class 9 coming at us right now. 


steveo's picture

These are real numbers that prove that solar electric is way cheaper than nuke, AND guess what, NO EVACUATION ZONE!


f16hoser's picture

It's ok. I hate sushi plus I got a bottle of Pottasium Iodine ready to go! Just waiting for Uncle Sammy to give me the go-ahead! They wouldn't keep something like this from us. Would they??????

nah's picture

news i want to read man, its like im blind to important stuff like nuclear power watching football on sunday... and it just turns into everyday


thanks George Washington

Jim in MN's picture

The full videos are going up on YouTube.  Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=8zoMJM9hr3w

A few comments:

--It's full of steam.  The Devil's own tea-kettle, it is. 

--I don't know how you can get such a tropical downpour just from condensation.  Either that's the actual water feed spraying around in there, or there is a LOT of energy/heat/pressure making it like Venus.

--You can see the sparkly radiation hits on the fiber optic camera (notice how much it increases as they slide the instruments into the containment vessel).

--I think they do find the water level at about 1:16 into this.  You can freeze frame for instance at 2:14 and it looks like the nice glowy Cherenkov radiation zone.  But it's not an underwater camera and they have other stuff to do, like check out the extreme corrosion on the surfaces and start to map the damaged pipes etc. plus use the other instruments they have attached.  So a lot of 'waving around' ensues.

--They have no idea where the core is or what is actually happening.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

well, that's good for a 65-yd par 3!

par for the whole course, too!

big wave, huh?


jmaloy5365's picture

You dont know what the phuk your talking about.

There is NO Cherenkov radiation in ANY of those videos.

Jim in MN's picture

How about this one?  Unit 4 fuel pool.  Does it make you angry that it doesn't look blue like on Wikipedia?



jmaloy5365's picture

They are not BLUE because alot of radiation has decayed off. And the color is NOT blue, In real life its a deep purple/ violet color.

The video is a video of the spent fuel pool. And from what I see look like it held up VERY well considering and the system work like designed.

And also what you can see in video is the bubbles going up, which means that the pool AND FUEL is covered with water.

The square things with the bars going over the top are fuel bundles, and inside those are the "Fuel Rods", which is a steal tube that contains the "fuel pellet".

So far I haven't seen any videos that I would be concerned about, and I haven't seen any REAL #s when it comes to radiation levels.

847328_3527's picture

I ate a three-headed squid at the local sushi palce a few days ago. The chef called it, "the fuki special."

ucsbcanuck's picture

You sure he didn't mean the "fuk-u" special

The Heart's picture

Thank you GW for staying on top of this still ongoing world wide disaster.

The cover up of the national emergency happening in Japan right now is also ongoing.

Take a look at what has hit Bakersfield, CA recently:


Those high spikes that are off the chart are from many covered up emergencies at fukushima or other reactors in Japan that are still happening NOW!

Unrelated but, for those who see fault in Ron Paul, see your choices also.

Newt Gingrich history:


Mitt Romney:


And of course the same old bush/obama political war liberty killing globalist agenda. Do we really want four more years of war for the contractors profits? More of the corruption that is killing America? More dead troops dying for the zionist oil/money god Empire?

Maybe Ron Paul supports Nuk power plants, maybe he does not. What he will respond to are the problems when he can get to it after a sound round education about it all. EVERY ONE OF THESE OTHERS WILL NOT! Any other elected leader besides Ron Paul will only be the same ol same carelessness towards people and the worlds environment.

Part of the multidimensional understandings must include education about this ongoing national emergency in Japan. Who is most likely to do something about this entire huge world wide problem, and which one of these will take the GE and industry monies and kickbacks to keep perpetuating the Nuk reactor problems in the USA?

Ron Paul has NEVER taken any kickbacks or lobbyist pay-offs.

If mitt romney who is a main "retired partner" in Clear Channel Network were to tell the world the truths about what is really happening in Japan, he might be a worthy leader. Since his networks are a major part of the worlds problem of the well espoused zio-media propaganda machine, he is just another globalist that uses the media to misinform and lie to the mass of minds in America and the world.



Do the homework, check the records of all these politicos and most of all, follow your heart. Radiation left unchecked and unregulated is the plan to kill us all off. So far, so good.


casamader's picture

The square things with the bars going over the top are fuel bundles, and inside those are the "Fuel Rods", which is a steal tube that contains the "fuel pellet".  casas prefabricadas

tempo's picture

The EPA,FDA, Food Stamp, medicare and Homeland security are so worried about our safety and want to protect children from ever possible danger BUT not one word or caution about this real danger. "We see nothing, we hear nothing, we know nothing." Great Job GW for the update.

q99x2's picture

Are nuclear meltdowns as powerful as financial re-hypothecation? Or is that a question of comparing mutants to zombies.

Jim in MN's picture

GW, found this earlier today, just to add to the picture:


No records of nuclear disaster taskforce meetings

It has been revealed that the government's nuclear disaster taskforce did not keep any records of its meetings after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

Experts say this is a significant loss, as the minutes could help to prevent mistakes from being repeated.

The taskforce, headed by the prime minister and including all the Cabinet members, was launched on the day of the accident on March 11th last year.

It made important decisions, including the designation of evacuation areas, basic policies on decontamination and restrictions on the shipment of agricultural produce.

NHK asked to see the minutes last November, but it only received a list of agenda items for each of the 21 meetings and found there were no other records.

The person in charge at the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which acts as the secretariat of the taskforce, told NHK that he was too busy to write the minutes.

The public records management act requires minutes of important meetings to be kept, so the government may achieve accountability and the people may verify the process by which decisions are made.

The Cabinet Office, which is responsible for the management of public records, is interviewing the person in charge at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

It is also investigating the lack of minutes for the meetings of the joint taskforce of the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the government, which discussed how to deal with the accident.

nasa's picture

Not surprising at all.  Disgusting as hell, but no surprise what so ever.

I am Jobe's picture

But US is ok to spend money on fucking on wars.

AchtungAffen's picture

"The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency confirmed a radiation cloud over the East Coast of Australia."

On the Beach, bitches...

Divine Wind's picture

I really do not hold out much hope for this situation with the  YAKUZA  running the place.


gravedestruction's picture

Ah, the 8 9 3 kurumaku krowd.

Where is Yoshio Kodama when they need him?

jse111's picture

"After drilling a hole in the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor 2, Tepco cannot find the fuel ... "

Until reliably proven differently, the 40-million Japanese living in or near the Fukushima-Tokyo corridor are in catastrophic danger.  Attaching Arnie's last update and TY George for your exemplary work! 

This piece is a difficult listen but worth the effort.


Gully Foyle's picture

"The University of California at Berkeley detected cesium levels in San Francisco area milk above over EPA limits … and even higher than they were 6 months ago."

And nothing from any other college or government entity in any other state or Canada.

Fukushima, and the Subduction zone activity, curtailed our plans to move to Wa.

The BIL is moving from Southern Cali to Bend Oregon.

Obviously he isn't worried because NO WARNINGS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!

Fucking Moron!

ForTheWorld's picture

I would have thought that Bend, OR would have been screwed with any major issues with the Cascadia Subduction zone? It's also the reason that my wife and I haven't made a move to the WA/OR area (we're in Australia), but all her family are near the state lines.

HungrySeagull's picture

Eh, I live near Memphis which has one of the biggest faults next to Yellowstone.

Now, the last time Yellowstone broke oh a half mil years ago, it buried the south in 3 to 4 feet of ash.

gravedestruction's picture

New Madrid fault zone quake is many times what the pacific rim quakes are. Lasts for days not minutes.

Sand blows, mud volcanoes, and literally reversed the flow of the Mississippi river.

Auburn's picture

Thanks for the post - if only to remind us that that corruption and self interest isn't exclusive to financial markets. 

Smiley's picture

Those in power with no qualifications to be there say it is safe; move along!

Divine Wind's picture

Threat Journal carried an article about 16 of 22 species of fish exported from Japan to Canada were found to be contaminated with radioactive cesium.


In November, 65 % of the catches tested positive for cesium according to a Montreal Gazette analysis of data on the fisheries agency’s website.

krispkritter's picture

Ruh roh! And I had sushi caught off of Hawaii today...probably means I can take the night light out of the bathroom now...

AbruptlyKawaii's picture

100% of tuna caught off the shore of japan and in the northern pacific was found to have elevated levels of cesium and strontium.

  other fish as well, including benthics, gastropods, mulluscs at varying percentages all extremely high as a % of the catch.

no more sushi for me. Lead , plastic, pesticides, urban runoff and pbcs are one thing, this other shit with a half-life of my life, no thanks.

"Cesium was especially prevalent in certain of the species:

73 per cent of mackerel tested

91 per cent of the halibut

92 per cent of the sardines

93 per cent of the tuna and eel

94 per cent of the cod and anchovies

100 per cent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish

Some of the fish were caught in Japanese coastal waters. Other catches were made hundreds of kilometres away in the open ocean.

There, the fish can also be caught by fishers from dozens of other nations that ply the waters of the Pacific.

Yet, Japan is the only country that appears to be systematically testing fish for radiation and publicly reporting the results."

Dingleberry's picture

Fucka-jima, the BP spill, MF Golbal, and so on........gotta love the MSM for keeping on important stories, instead of the Kardashians, Jersye Whore(s), etc.

pakled's picture

Thank you GW. Good news can always wait. I like to get my bad news as soon as possible.

cranky-old-geezer's picture




Yep, same thing they found when they drilled into the Chernobyl reactor, fuel all gone.

That's when they started looking for it in the basement ...and found it.

Chernobyl had no containment vessel.

gravedestruction's picture

That was the molten glob of plutonium/silica that the scientists named "the elephant's foot".

gdogus erectus's picture

Slightly OT but I stopped reading Clif High in '08 after he build his dumbass covered "grow dome" for his garden...

mendolover's picture

Glad ZH is posting updates on this.  UPS just dropped off my brand new PRM-8000 an hour ago.  Mazur Instruments had a three month backlog until last month.  Hope I never have to depend on it!

PersonalResponsibility's picture

Read up on hot particles.  Here's someone that will explain it:


Your little detector won't detect hot particles, and you only need to ingest one...  

americanspirit's picture

"Japanese may have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in their food, as regrettable as that is." Ah, so sorry.

Uchtdorf's picture

You're right! It definitely does not end here.

thegr8whorebabylon's picture

So, how's the apocalypsO goin 4 every1 so far? 

There has to be something or some process to neutralize radiation.

get on it bitchez!

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Here's a theorital technique, see if Obama will spring for the funding for this. Can't cos much more than Solyndra.

"In the future, compact LENR ULM neutron generator systems could be developed and deployed for cost-effective on-site treatment of nuclear wastes presently stored in cooling ponds next to reactors that produced them. Spent fuel rod assemblies could be processed into particulates in on-site containment facilities and injected into co-located LENR-based transmutation reactors. These specialized reactors would then ‘burn’ hot radioactive wastes down to stable isotopes using large fluxes of ULM neutrons. If successfully developed, such a technology could significantly reduce nuclear waste remediation costs for decommissioning fission power plants, and significantly increasing their safety and profitability for those still operating."



Nukites's picture

Sorry thing is that they only ever mention the poisonous isotopes that have the shortest half-life. When I and Cs are found so are a host of other more radioactive isotopes with even greater killing power.