Fukushima Aborts Latest Robot Mission Inside Reactor; Radiation At "Unimaginable" Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Two years after sacrificing one robot, TEPCO officials have aborted their latest robot mission inside the Fukushima reactor after the 'scorpion' became unresponsive as it investigated the previously discovered hole where the core is believed to have melted.

A "scorpion" robot sent into a Japanese nuclear reactor to learn about the damage suffered in a tsunami-induced meltdown had its mission aborted after the probe ran into trouble, Tokyo Electric Power company said Thursday. As Phys.org reports, TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, sent the remote-controlled device into the No. 2 reactor where radiation levels have recently hit record highs.

The "scorpion" robot, so-called because it can lift up its camera-mounted tail to achieve better viewing angles, is also designed to crawl over rubble inside the damaged facility.

 

But it could not reach its target destination beneath a pressure vessel through which nuclear fuel is believed to have melted because the robot had difficulty moving, a company spokeswoman said.

 

"It's not immediately clear if that's because of radiation or obstacles," she said, adding that TEPCO is checking what data the robot was able to obtain, including images.

 

...

 

The robot, 60 centimetres (24 inches) long, is made by Toshiba and equipped with two cameras and sensors to gauge radiation levels and temperatures.

 

"Scorpion's mission is to take images of the situation and collect data inside the containment vessel," TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki said earlier.

 

"Challenges include enduring high levels of radiation and moving on the rough surface," he said.

 

Radiation levels inside the reactor were estimated last week at 650 sieverts per hour at one spot, which can effectively shut down robots in hours.

This is not the first robot to become disoriented under the extreme stress of the Fukushima environment...

The robot sent to inspect a reactor' containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stopped responding three hours into the operation.

 

 

TEPCO hoped to take a look inside the vessel containing one of the three reactors, which underwent a meltdown in the 2011 nuclear disaster.

 

A group of approximately 40 workers sent the remotely-controlled device, allegedly capable of withstanding high levels of radiation, into the vessel at 11:20 a.m. The robot stopped functioning after covering two thirds of the route at approximately 2:10 p.m., according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.

But as Michael Snyder recently noted, radiation inside one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power facility has reached an “unimaginable” level according to experts. Because so much nuclear material from Fukushima escaped into the Pacific Ocean, there are many scientists that believe that it was the worst environmental disaster in human history, but most people in the general population seem to think that since the mainstream media really doesn’t talk about it anymore that everything must be under control. Unfortunately, that is not true at all. In fact, PBS reported just last year that “it is incorrect to say that Fukushima is under control when levels of radioactivity in the ocean indicate ongoing leaks“. And now we have just learned that the radiation level inside reactor 2 is so high that no human could possibly survive being exposed to it.

According to the Japan Times, the level of radiation inside the containment vessel of reactor 2 is now estimated to be “530 sieverts per hour”…

The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.

 

Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.

 

The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.

It is hard to find the words to convey how serious this is.

If you were exposed to a radiation level of just 10 sieverts per hour, that would mean almost certain death. So 530 sieverts per hour is simply off the charts. According to the Guardian, this recent measurement is being described by scientists as “unimaginable”…

The recent reading, described by some experts as “unimaginable”, is far higher than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour in that part of the reactor.

 

A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; 5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks.

And the really bad news is that there appears to be a 2 meter hole that was created by melted nuclear fuel “in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor’s primary containment vessel”.

The following comes from Bloomberg

New photographs show what may be melted nuclear fuel sitting under one of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima reactors, a potential milestone in the search and retrieval of the fuel almost six years after it was lost in one of the worst atomic disasters in history.

 

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest utility, released images on Monday showing a grate under the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 2 reactor covered in black residue. The company, better known as Tepco, may send in a scorpion-like robot as soon as February to determine the temperature and radioactivity of the residue.

If that isn’t frightening enough, one Japanese news source is reporting that this melted nuclear fuel “has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side”…

The melted fuel has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side, generating radioactively contaminated water every day. In order to dismantle the reactor, it is necessary to take out the melted fuel, but high radiation levels inside the reactor had hampered work to locate the melted debris.

If this disaster was just limited to Japan, the entire northern hemisphere would not be at risk.

But that is not the case.

Most of the nuclear contamination from Fukushima ended up in the Pacific Ocean, and from there it was literally taken around the rest of the planet. The following was reported by PBS

More than 80 percent of the radioactivity from the damaged reactors ended up in the Pacific — far more than reached the ocean from Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. Of this, a small fraction is currently on the seafloor — the rest was swept up by the Kuroshio current, a western Pacific version of the Gulf Stream, and carried out to sea where it mixed with (and was diluted by) the vast volume of the North Pacific.

We don’t know if there is a connection, but it is extremely interesting to note that fisheries up and down the west coast of the United States are failing because of a dramatic decrease in fish populations. Just check out the following excerpt from a story that was posted on January 18th

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.

 

In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This decision enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress.

Things are particularly bad up in Alaska, and biologists are “stumped” as to why this could be happening…

In 2016, the pink salmon harvests in Kodiak, Prince William Sounds, Chignik and lower Cook Inlet came in woefully under forecast and stumped biologists as to why.

 

The estimated value of Kodiak’s 2016 haul was $2.21 million, compared to a five-year average of $14.64 million, and in Prince William Sound the ex-vessel value was $6.6 million, far less that the $44 million five-year average. The total state harvest was the smallest since the late 1970s.

 

Although state biologists weren’t ready to declare a cause for the poor pink salmon performance, the Commerce Department press release attributed the disasters to “unusual ocean and climate conditions.”

Further south, it was being reported last month that millions of dead sardines are washing up on the shores of Chile.

I could go on and on with a lot more examples like this, but hopefully you get the point.

Something really strange is happening in the Pacific, and a lot of people believe that there is a link to Fukushima.

Not too long ago, I wrote about how the elite of Silicon Valley are “feverishly prepping“, but the truth is that all of us should be. If you need some tips on how to get started, you can find my prepping book right here. Our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster is just one piece of the puzzle.

But it is definitely a very important piece. The nuclear material from Fukushima is continuously entering the food chain, and once that nuclear material gets into our bodies it will slowly irradiate our organs for years to come. The following is an excerpt from an absolutely outstanding opinion piece by Helen Caldicott that was published in the Guardian

Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.

Are you starting to understand the gravity of the situation?

Sadly, this crisis is going to be with us for a very, very long time.

According to Bloomberg, they are not even going to start removing melted nuclear fuel from these reactors until 2021, and it is being projected that the overall cleanup “may take as long as 40 years”…

Decommissioning the reactors will cost 8 trillion yen ($70.4 billion), according to an estimate in December from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Removing the fuel is one of the most important steps in a cleanup that may take as long as 40 years.

 

The unprecedented nature of the Fukushima disaster means that Tepco is pinning its efforts on technology not yet invented to get the melted fuel out of the reactors.

 

The company aims to decide on a fuel removal procedure for the first reactor during the fiscal year ending March 2019, and to begin removing fuel in 2021.

A lot of people that end up dying as a result of this crisis may never even know that it was Fukushima that caused their deaths.

Personally, I am convinced that this is the greatest environmental crisis that humanity has ever experienced, and if the latest reading from reactor 2 is any indication, things just took a very serious turn for the worse.

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BigFatUglyBubble's picture

Send Cher in there.  She can survive it.

knukles's picture

Dammit man, I can tell you that this bodes well for the future of mankind's triumph over AI. 
Sleep tight, son.  I won't let the parts people harvest you like they did your ma.

Dormouse's picture

Neither the Anna 1&2 reactors nor the Surry 1&2 reactors are located close enough to the District of Criminals to cause its permanent evacuation if a Fukushima-type failure occurred. There must be another way to render that portion of the country unlivable for swamp creatures.

fockewulf190's picture

Talk about "Deadliest Catch".  Them crabbers are going to be out of business soon.  Terriible!

NoDecaf's picture

Robots are going to demand a raise soon. Pay up MFers or clean up your own shit.

Paper Boy's picture

I have a gut feeling that Fukushima is far, far worse than any of the "experts" are letting on....

CuttingEdge's picture

Look on the bright side - both Obama and Zuckerfuck have bought boltholes in Hawaii.

popeye's picture

They say it will take 40 years to clean up (starting when?), but can't even get robots near the fuel, let alone isolate it, contain and remove it.

 

So yes, it is far worse than Tepco is letting on. Any talk of clean up is just blowing smoke, at least until the Tokyo olympics have ended. Fact is they are slowly removing stored fuel assemblies and ancillary wrecked materials, but can't do anything, ANYTHING about the central problem. 

apadictionary's picture

doesnot make sense. in 2011 experts said leak is so extreme the radiation would kill all ocean life along west coast by 2015. now its 2017 and its business as usual. so is it another fear porn hoax?

divingengineer's picture

So they have a little Corium, big deal. Pour some concrete on it and call it a day.
Let's not make a big production out of it.

Gold Pedant's picture

Yes, yes, a good old-fashioned dousing of the radiation with dolomite and Soviets goes a long way.

Or a gigantic RC moth. 

Phil Free's picture

Would need more concrete than exists on the planet.. a lot more.

The Black Bishop's picture

Concrete domes dont work so well in that location as its situated by the sea with water beneath it. A big conrete BALL would be needed, but the problem is....they dont know where the cores are. They are somewhere straight down, but how far is anybodys guess. I guess we will kinda know when the entire site blows up skyhigh.

 

As for truthiness....when things get serious, you gotta lie....

 

All the jawboning about CO2 and climate change bullshit...but hardly a peep about this ongoing monster event that is by far the worst manmade disaster ever. And they STILL want to run the Tokyo olympics as normal. Fucking retards. It's like the orchestra on the deck of the Titanic.

jerseychris's picture

I worked for a Japanese firm.  They lie.  Part of their "saving fase" culture.

BuddyEffed's picture

I suggest they build a catapult and start launching sandbags and stones to cover the whole complex to a depth of 500 feet after they get the spent fuel pools unloaded.

Or build a magma aqueduct and route the next volcanic magma flow on top of it.

SILVERGEDDON's picture

Reactor fuel - inside a reactor, in containment is a big problem. 

Reactor fuel, melted through the bottom of the reactor, and melted through the floor of the containment vessel into the ground and the water table releasing an endless 3-400 tons of highly irradiated water into the Pacific Ocean daily - is a crime against humanity.  

Joe Sichs Pach's picture

Three of the sources noted in the article are:

PBS
NOAA
Bloomberg

None have a stellar track record of unbiased accuracy.
I do not know who to trust as a quality source on this topic.

RiderOnTheStorm's picture

I just spent about 15 minutes on http://enenews.com/

OMG and nobody is really talking about this!!!  Barely a peep on any national news.

knukles's picture

You want fear porn? We got fear porn!  We're gonna Blue Beam the Cosmic Invasion Right into Mankind's Living Room!
The Reptilians Commeth!
Unity, Fraternity (No Pedobear jokes) Egality

fockewulf190's picture

http://enenews.com/expert-potential-global-catastrophe-from-fukushima-un...

 

Expert: “Potential Global Catastrophe” from Fukushima Unit 2 highly radioactive fuel… Reactor could be destroyed, “making Tokyo area uninhabitable”… This is “most dreaded” scenario — Already “partially liquefying” below reactors

Akio Matsumura, Japanese Diplomat, Feb 11, 2017 (emphasis added): The Potential Catastrophe of Reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi: What Effect for the Pacific and the US?… It is clear to us now that the radiation level in the containment vessel of the crippled Reactor 2 is much higher than experts had believed… The danger of Reactor 2 begs us to ask many new questions

Dr. Shuzo Takemoto, professor of the Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University — responded to Mr. Matsumura concerns: Potential Global Catastrophe of the Reactor No.2 at Fukushima Daiichi, by Professor Shuzo Takemoto — On July 28, 2016, the [Tepco] published the images of the F1 Unit 2 reactor screened by muon particles… They showed the shadow of materials equivalent to 180 – 210 tons at the lower part of the pressure vessel… It can hardly be said that the Fukushima accident is heading toward a solution. The problem of Unit 2, where a large volume of nuclear fuels remain, is particularly crucial. Reactor Unit 2 started its commercial operation in July 1974. It held out severe circumstances of high temperature and high pressure emanating [after 3/11]…  years long use of the pressure vessel must have brought about its weakening due to irradiation. If it should encounter a big earth tremor, it will be destroyed and scatter the remaining nuclear fuel and its debris, making the Tokyo metropolitan area uninhabitable.

The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will then be utterly out of the question… [Fukushima is] situated in the aftershock area of the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of T?hoku. In this area, we must foresee a number of magnitude 7 class earthquakes. Consequently, we cannot exclude the possibility of intensity 6 and intensity 7 earthquakes befalling the Fukushima Daiichi. What is most dreaded is what could happen to the Unit 2 whose pressure vessel contain a large volume of nuclear fuel debris. This pressure vessel has endured the sudden change of temperature and pressure in the accident of March 2011, but in light of its possible weakening due to irradiation, it could be seriously damaged if a new big earth tremor occurs nearby.

Dr. Helen Caldicott, Feb 13, 2017: What the photos taken by the robot did reveal was that some of the structural supports of unit 2 have been damaged… all four buildings were structurally damaged by the original earthquake… and by the subsequent hydrogen explosions, so, should there be an earthquake greater than seven on the Richter scale, it is very possible that one or more of these structures could collapse leading to a massive release of radiation as the building fell on the molten core beneath… The reactor complex was built adjacent to a mountain range and millions of gallons of water emanate from the mountains daily beneath the reactor complex, causing some of the earth below the reactor buildings to partially liquefy 

fockewulf190's picture

Obama never touched this problem...never said a word.  MSM is mostlly silent.  This bitch is a true killer and a problem that can effect everyone on this planet....and will....unless another Manhattan Project level solution is not implemented.

freedogger's picture

Obama packing up his family and heading south for two weeks when it first went up said more than any words could.

cougar_w's picture

All the ways I can think of to correct the situation would cost a $2T (TWO TRILLION DOLLARS US), unearth the area for a mile in all directions (inluding out to sea) and take 200,000 men and equipment 20 years to accomplish.

Therefore, not happening. Just not at all happening.

Instead it will sit there in the ground murdering the world for the balance of human existance on Earth.

Make your own guess on how long that turns out to be, I'm done speculating on how much time we have left.

Reptil's picture

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo were a bad idea from the get-go.
I seem to have quoted Shuzo Takemoto as well. We will witness the event, however it goes down.

But then... the media, the politicians don't touch it, because their owners have invested in fission nuclear. They control it, really, by controlling uranium mining rights.
Their handling of Hanford, and other locations in the USA, as well as the canadian waste (they want to bury it near the Great Lakes!! :-O) is nothing short of insane.

The markets don't want it. It's purely the very top elite that's doubling down on fission nuclear, pushing a new round of madness through, despite it's long term effects.

HockeyFool's picture

What does anyone expect? Of course the rad levels are high, they are measuring the  dose rates of fuel rods! Melted fuel rods, but still fuel rods. 

If they were to measure the dose rates off intact fuel rods at any nuke plant once they have been in service, they would get the same high readings. So this really shold surprise no one.

Lumberjack's picture

Funny thing though, Cher is now suing a green company that she invested in...and lost a lot of money.

 

Xtreme Battery is part of the portfolio of SAIL Capital Partners LLC, with founder and Managing Partner Walter L. Schindler.  According to Sail Capital, the company was “chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to co-lead with Deutsche Bank the U.S. Trade Mission on Clean Energy to Germany and to participate in the first Impact & Sustainable Trade Mission to Europe with investor meetings in Zurich, Amsterdam, and London”.

Boston-based WindSail Capital Groupwhich lends to clean energy-related businesses in need of growth financing, has raised $20.4 million for its first dedicated fund.

 

The firm is managed by former Massachusetts energy and environmental secretary Ian Bowles and Michael Rand, previously a managing director of GB Merchant Partners in Boston.

 
Cher sues former financial managers, claims she lost $1.3M in bad investments 
Delving Eye's picture

during Obummer administration, too. Who'd a thunk?

Nobodys Home's picture

I hate you, but that was fucking funny!

Cynicles's picture

Extinction event for the N Pacific and you make jokes about tard cher?

"...almost six years..." since it Melted Down! while (ever since) the japs have been free flowing the Pacific thru the meltdown area to keep from, what, a disater?

 sry for the down vote, it (cher) probably could usrive it, unless her plastico body melts : /

Kahmunrah's picture

Only if she can turn back time.

EuroPox's picture
the overall cleanup “may take as long as 40 years”… Err... no!  A clean up is impossible!!  In fact it is even worse than that - the radiation is almost certainly over 1,000 sieverts per hour and the Pacific is being destroyed.  Anyone now telling the truth in Japanese MSM faces 10 years in prison.

This is an excellent article (also by Helen Caldicott but published last week rather than in 2011):  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/helen-caldico...

JohninMK's picture

It is probable that anyone in power in the world is fully aware of this situation.

They will have decided as a group that as there is zero chance of stopping let alone reversing the pollution in their lifetimes that it is better not to create panic in the world by discussing the disaster.

The whole situation will be elevated to 'top secret'.

vato poco's picture

"we do not speak its name"

EuroPox's picture

I am sure they know and there is nothing that can be done.  Japan has poisoned the whole fucking planet forever!

imbrbing's picture

How ironic, we nuke them in world war 2, then later on they nuke the entire world.

seabiscuit's picture

Let's not forget who designed this lovely homegrown beast and remember that there may be one nearby.

MOX and kisses,

SB

EuroPox's picture

Not just the design of it - you have to ask who thought it was a good idea to put it on a coastline where tsunamis are a regular event, because it is close to one of the world's most geologically active faults ... anyone else smelling corruption at play?

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"anyone else smelling corruption at play?"

Oh, there is lots of it. Well documented.