Step right up! Try your luck! No, that’s not carnie cant, it’s TEPCO yakuza-ing in more inexperienced workers with inadequate compensation to risk their lives to perform jobs that will affect all of Japan… and beyond. 1,533 fuels rods are to be removed from Unit 4’s unstable spent fuel pool (no word on how they will remove the damaged rods) – and they’ve already started with some of the 200 unused rods, i.e. a practice run. Considering TEPCO has done little right, even in covering up their blunders, it’s interesting the world is expected to simply watch and wait. Some are asking, is this a set-up for inevitable failure? Others are asking, is it even really happening? (TEPCO had been showing off this pristine fuel pool that we’re supposed to believe is Unit 4, even though it had reportedly been devastated.) If sociopaths, psychopaths, and narcissists ruled the world *ahem*, it might look something like this mess. Anyway, we utilized only a tiny bit of creative license in our artistic rendering: TEPCO’s Criticality Claw Crane Arcade Game. Step right up! Try your luck! Prizes stuffed with radionuclides – everyone’s a winner! File this under #ScaryAssShit
Archive for the ‘Fukushima’ Category
Posted in blog, Environment, Fukushima, Hawaii, kauai, tagged Fukushima, Hawaii, London Convention, ocean dumping, pacific ocean, Radiation, radioactive water, radionuclides, TEPCO, tsunami, tsunami debris on January 24, 2013| 1 Comment »
As the Hawai’i Islands and the Pacific Coast continue to get bombarded with Japan’s tsunami debris, it gets harder to ignore the fact that radionuclides are a part of the debris as well. Radiation has been leaking from the plant for nearly two years (millions of bq per hour) and just because it’s “invisible” (or we’re not thinking about it), doesn’t make it go away (or make it dilute/sink/evaporate into nothing). We try to ignore that fish are becoming contaminated and instead pretend it will only affect fish caught in Fukushima waters (as if migrating fish no longer migrate). One fish they tested last week had 2,500 times the legal limit – or 254,000 bq per kilo of cesium alone (so much for radiation levels going down). At least there had been some illusion that Tepco was removing and storing the radioactive water but we were warned they were running out of places to put it. Not anymore.
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Thursday it plans to dump contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean after removing radioactive substances to reduce contamination to legally permissible levels. –Kyodo News
Tepco officially announced they will be releasing millions of tons of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. They’re simply waiting for permission. No, not from some international regulatory commission – seems Japan only need the okay from “departments” within Japan. Hello Greenpeace? EPA? Obama? (lol re: that last one – think he’s busy droning children or maybe he’s working on a new song with Beyonce). Isn’t this an issue that affects the world? Aren’t there some rules against dumping radioactive waste? Wait, there is a lil’ ole international law often referred to as the “London Convention” or “LC ’72”. And yes, Japan signed it – twice!:
The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, passed in 1972, forbids nations and companies from dumping toxic wastes into the ocean. –Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters
Yeah, that’s a law that’s never been broken.
Fact is, the plant has been “accidentally” leaking contaminated water regularly – into the basement, the groundwater, the ocean… and that doesn’t even begin to figure in the runoff and dumping of radioactive sludge into Japan’s waterways – nor the fact that the corium has… left the building. And while TEPCO pumps huge amounts of water to cool the reactors and then filters it, the SARRY system they use mostly removes the cesium, leaving a high degree of other isotopes potentially including strontium, uranium, plutonium (no biggie). Their new Toshiba water filtration system – called ALPS – was supposed to be in effect starting last September, and the inability to get it operational is part of the problem.
ALPS: A new water purifying facility of Toshiba, is supposed to filter 62 sorts of nuclides including strontium. They expected to start the facility by this September, but because of the orders and reorganization of NISA and NRA, they can not start Alps yet. It’s not even known when they can start it. Tepco’s comment made it clear that the operation of ALPS justifies Tepco to discharge the contaminated water into the environment. –Fukushima Diary
This dumping isn’t going to solve the problem. TEPCO estimates the volume of contaminated water required to be stored on site will likely triple over the next three years. If no “first-world” country can friggin’ help Japan figure out their nuclear nightmare, can’t we at least lend them some storage containers? You know, something that can hold a few billion tons of radioactive water?
Arnie Gundersen discussed the issue in December 2011, when TEPCO had announced they were going to dump contaminated water. Protests by local fishermen got them to scrap the idea – hopefully they can do it again.
I wrote to Kauai Surfrider today to ask their stance on the issue. They told me to write to Surfrider Japan. I suppose that’s a good idea, but I do wish Surfrider Hawai’i would be on top of an issue that is going to affect the waters throughout the Pacific, not just in terms of tsunami debris.
Remember that dishwashing soap commercial, where the manicurist Madge has her client’s hand in a bowl of Palmolive? “You’re soaking in it!” (I suppose Madge stating “it’s mild” could be comparable to TEPCO or our government stating “it’s safe” in reference to any dose of radiation). Well, surfers, you’re surfing in it! And if surfers and fishermen ain’t going to complain, who will? We shouldn’t sit back or wait for some “agency” to control the situation, because it obviously ain’t happening. All we can do at this point is spread the word and yell a little louder.
Read more on the ocean situation from previous Fukushima tagged posts here at CoconutGirlWireless, as well as Majia’s Blog:
And check out NOAA’s Marine Pollution: Ocean Dumping page with links and resources regarding regulations to prevent, reduce, and control pollution of the marine environment.
Curious radiation spikes have been posted for Kauai the past few weeks. Yes, we’ve had pretty consistent rain. Yes, the jet stream has been paying us a visit. (For those out of the loop – or rely on mainstream media as their source of news – Fukushima is still leaking, upwards of 10 million bq of cesium per hour – that’s just the cesium!). Anyway, 100CPM is the alert levels, but according to one person – who has some sensitive equipment and has been doing readings since not long post-Fukushima – he caught many spikes, some actually over 800CPM. Is it a glitch?
Having just gotten a new loaner Inspector geiger counter I was all amped to play with it so I’d been doing my own readings over the course of a few weeks. All my timed counts (from 10 min to 24 hours) have been between 32-37CPM – pretty “normal” – and no spikes over 56CPM. That’s ambient air readings taken indoors (which is pretty open-aired – it is Hawai’i after all) and on the screened lanai.
Today it rained, again, so I decided to tackle some rainwater. Truth be told, I was more focused on my dog and whether or not she might chase after the chickens, so I didn’t do the timed count. Instead I just ran the counter for a few minutes. It fluctuating between 30-50CPM; spiking to 56CPM a bunch of times.
There was an hour or so break in the rain, during which time my boyfriend attempted to mow the lawn. I wanted to see if it kicked up any radionuclides. The counter was reading much higher than I’d seen since I’d had it, averaging between 50-64CPM. That’s when I realized I had it held near my iPhone. I ditched the phone and it went back to typical background levels. I later tested the phone and the 10 minute count showed 53CPM. Suffice to say, I’m not going to be eating my iPhone any time soon.
I decided a car swipe may be in order (see video below). Yes, yes, I know, water readings / car swipes can all be misleading. And as my detector does alpha, beta, gamma it picks up everything. The meter was spiking to 124CPM. I waited a few hours and did another 10 minute reading and got 39CPM for the average. Meaning its decay rate was quite rapid. Radon perhaps?
Thing is, our “natural” radon levels in Hawai’i, according to the EPA, are supposed to be low. (Well, here’s more of an explanation of radon in Hawai’i). So what’s the deal? While we’re on the subject, in case you didn’t know, it IS National Radon Action Month 😛
Some suggest the isotopes may still be Fuku Satan-spawn. Could this have anything to do with the wash-out and breakdown of other radionuclides? Uranium perhaps? We did have a huge Uranium-238 spike in Hawai’i (among other high radionuclide findings) post-Fukushima. They are finding uranium in people’s urine on the Big Island. Can the Geothermal be adding to the problem? Maybe a little depleted uranium weapons testing? Something else military-oriented like the missile tests they are conducting at the Sandia Kauai Testing Facility? Is there some relation to how radionuclides combine with the aerosols we are constantly being bombarded with (a la strontium, barium…) and / or military chaff (titanium, aluminum…)? Or is it simply a mix of volcanic rock, soil/gas pressure rises, and rain?
Also interesting perhaps to note, radon concentrations often increase with thunderstorms. Though there was little talk about it, cancer-causers Xenon and Krypton-85, which suggests nuclear fission, was released from Fukushima in amounts 2-3 times higher than Chernobyl. Krypton increases atmospheric electricity, and is considered by scientists to be an amazing weather modification element since it penetrates the entire atmosphere and persists for decades. Fact is, Hawai’i had consistent thunderstorms for about a year post-311. But that’s a whole other story….
Anyway, I suppose one of the main questions is, if we’re getting readings over the 100CPM “alert” level, regardless of the source, should we be concerned?
Note: Following day reading off a 2 foot square swipe off car = 96CPM. One hour later = 52 CPM.
Since 3/11/2011, TEPCO has released an endless number of reports about leaks at Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Plant. Recently it was via an emergency email reporting a contaminated water leakage of 71,000,000,000bq/m3 (is it just me or are these numbers starting to look like/make as much sense as the national debt?). Not surprising – it’s not as if the piping is going to get better – the state of Fukushima will only decline and become more precarious over time. It’s just, we have this expectation that corporations at least make an effort to give us the pretty cover-up version.
But duct tape is amazing. I used it to fix about 90% of the repairs for my 1968 and 1980 Volkswagon Bugs. And you just never know when it’ll come in handy; an essential toolbox/emergency item – even at a nuclear plant!
Despite the cliché visual of a surfboard covered in duct tape (all surfers have been there at some point or another), if there’s one things surfers eventually learn, it’s that duct tape is not waterproof. Yes, I can tie everything to surfing; and no, duct tape does not make for efficient ding repair. The foam still absorbs water and the board ends up heavy and waterlogged. The salt from the sea water eventually disintegrates the foam, which causes the fiberglass to “de-lam” (delaminate). (We can only imagine what the salt water pumped into the nuclear plant is now doing to the metal/piping systems.) Add the element of heat, and the degrading tape soon turns the surface of the surfboard into a sticky, goopy mess.
DISCLAIMER: We are not saying duct tape won’t work at a nuclear plant; we’re simply leaving that up to the… experts. But our recommendation to TEPCO is this: For temporary fixes, surfers have learned, that bumper quality stickers actually work much better. So if you are seriously trying to do nuclear on a shoestring (and with all those politicians, contractors and CEOs to pay we assume you are) – go to your local surf shop (you probably have to drive a little more South these days) and ask if they have any free surf stickers.
TEPCO released a bunch of photos recently. Unfortunately, due to finincial contraints, they have had to trim down pay and benefits for the radiated drone worker bees and we assume the TEPCO graphic art department as well. This photo is but one example of how, when duct tape doesn’t work, you can always fix things in virtual reality.
Pretty certain we haven’t seen such badly photoshopped pictures since the early ’90s. The pixelated area is actually a loading bay, which we’ve seen in previous pictures (many of which were also edited in various ways).
Built on mud, this is the famed Reactor 4 building, bulging and cracking, with a spent fuel pool holding – give or take – 140,000 fuel rods on its “roof”. Anyway, unlike BP, who are much more efficient liars (it takes a renegade Russian sub and hurricane to uncover their cover ups), TEPCO simply admitted they did it:
(5)West wall (Exterior wall)
Photo taken on August 22, 2012
We had fabricated a part of the photo in terms of physical protection…
We replaced the photo for physical protection of nuclear materials…
We replaced the photo of which the fabrication may be taken inappropriate.
Immediately after ENENews called them out on it, the pixelated photo was removed and replaced with one that was cropped to exclude that area instead. (But there are a bunch more photos and videos with equally low-fi crops and edits).
The morals of this story: 1) Duct tape can seem like a good quick fix when you don’t want to spend time or money on real fixes. 2) The crop tool is more efficient and cost effective then the clone tool. 3) You don’t have to work too hard to cover up something that the media isn’t covering.
Posted in blog, Fukushima, Nuclear, tsunami, tagged Buffy the Vampire Slayer, David Copperfield, Fukushima, Fukushima Tree of Hope, Godzilla, Jack Wild, japan, lone pine, Miracle Tree, pine trees, PufnStuf, Radiation, salt water agriculture, tsunami on August 10, 2012| 1 Comment »
The March 11th tsunami nearly destroyed the coastal city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate prefecture, North East Japan. In addition to 10% of the population and 80% of businesses, the disaster claimed 70,000 pine trees. The ones that weren’t initially taken out by the tsunami eventually died from the salt concentration that remained in the soil once the waters receded.
Salt water, used by smart people to kill weeds, is not a plus when it comes to plants you want to grow. In an article about the impact of tsunamis and salt water on agricultural land, Food and Agricultural Field Guide writes:
When salt concentrations in the soil are high, the movement of water from the soil to the root is slowed down. When the salt concentrations in the soil are higher than inside the root cells, the soil will draw water from the root, and the plant will wilt and die… The damaging effects of salt on plants are caused not only by osmotic forces, but also by toxic levels of sodium and chloride. Fruit crops and woody ornamentals are especially sensitive to high levels of these elements. Also, the high pH value (a measure of the acid/alkaline balance) caused by excess sodium may result in micronutrient deficiencies.
Had the trees been inundated with clean/rain water immediately after the tsunami hit, they might have been saved (perhaps eventually taking up the radionuclides and becoming a red forest a la the pines in Chernobyl). But since the ground also sank, the area essentially became a bed of seawater. All the trees in that forest died, except one, which became a symbol of survival known as “Kiseki no Ipponmatsu”, “The Lone Pine”, “The Tree of Hope” or “The Miracle Tree”.
The community did all they could to help the 270 year old tree, and though it didn’t look promising, early this spring there was restored optimism when new leaf growth was seen at the top of the pine. Unfortunately, in May they announced the tree was indeed dead and this July, they announced funds were being raised to “preserve it”.
Sounds like a nice idea, until you consider the price tag: ¥150 million ($U.S. 1.9 million) to cut down the tree, treat it with preservatives, insert a metal core and return it to the place it now stands. They even have a Facebook fundraising page to reach possible contributors around the world. By the end of July, about $50,000 had been raised, including money from the fiscally-challenged city’s budget.
Futoshi Toba, Mayor of Rikuzentakata, posted on his Facebook page:
This tree that has given us so much hope can no longer stand on its own, but we want to leave it as a symbol as we work towards recovery.
Preserving a dead tree as a symbol of hope… do we need to point out the irony? Is it a waste of breath to suggest that the money could be better spent on bringing tangible – as opposed to symbolic – hope to the survivors, particularly the children in Fukushima?
We are all for the idea of anything uplifting the people of Japan but in this case, it seems more like an extension of the cover-up. Another deterrent to facing the reality of the situation; something governments and agencies do despite the needs or desires of the people they represent.
So, we came up with some more economical alternatives for the tree’s restoration. Perhaps the money saved could be used towards entombing the still leaking reactors, rebuilding the town or, better yet, helping relocate residents who live within 200 miles of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
STILL RIDICULOUS BUT POTENTIALLY LESS COSTLY OPTIONS FOR THE DEAD MIRACLE TREE (by Kerin & Darby):
- Get Christo to artistically interpret the lone pine with a backdrop recreating the thousands of dead pines a la his scene-scapes utilizing umbrellas, windmills, bolts of fabric….
- Hire David Copperfield to make the tree appear and disappear. It would truly make a statement, that this is all just an illusion. They can make it an annual show and charge tourists for admission (since most residents don’t seem to have extra mad money lying around for dead tree expenditures).
- Make a hologram of the pine like the Coachella 2Pac. Supposedly, that only cost a few hundred thousand dollars. In order to run it more cheaply and efficiently, you’d obviously use solar – not nuclear – power.
- Shellac the tree. It’ll still rot inside, but it could be a symbol of the reactors as well, like the cosmetic “circus” tents they put up over Reactor 1; temporary cover-up, as the decay – and radioactive releases – continues. Or as someone commented “Just a sheet over a dead body… in the morgue called Fukushima.” Apparently something that actually blocked radiation was deemed too costly by TEPCO (secretly these actually pull radionuclides out a chimney and higher into air, away from plant). No, TEPCO has no FB fundraising page, but with the estimated cost of Fukushima being $10 trillion – 10 years worth of Japan’s national budget – that country will certainly need a Kickstarter.
- Build a wax fountain around the tree. (Kerin’s dad can provide you with specs/details upon request.)
- Voodoo resurrection spell. This would potentially bring the symbolic tree, and all dead trees in the area, back to life. Unfortunately we run the risk they could resurrect as zombie trees (see: Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Forever”).
- Create a psychedelic forest of H.R. Pufnstuf trees. They could inspire through song and dance (maybe combine with the voodoo resurrection and bring back Artful Dodger Jack Wild, which will certainly generate huge fan contributions towards the project).
- Send in Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo, to speak with the pine and get its point of view on the situation.
- Make the tree bionic, as well as tsunami-proof. It can also fight Godzilla, stop earthquakes with it’s gynormous roots, double as an amusement park ride and suck up ionizing radiation from the atmosphere.
- Have scientists clone it. They can’t get enough of that shit.
- Incorporate the tree into the Space Elevator. That way, you can share a certain portion of the expenditures.
- Post a petition to G-d. With social networking comes the unlimited online petitions. But have you ever signed a petition to G-d? If 1 million people sign the petition, G-d will be forced to resurrect the tree or suffer the wrath of internet activists.
In the end, perhaps we need to listen to those with a little more wisdom? From the Asia Sentinel:
[An] elderly woman who declined to be named suggested that the tree has served its purpose, and that it was time to move forward. ‘The lone pine tree has already been impressed on our minds, so I think it has fulfilled its role’.
Indeed. And wouldn’t it be a nice change of pace if logic played a role in the ongoing recovery efforts as well? Otherwise, our list may start sounding just as realistic as what the corporate / government maniacs have been proposing as solutions since 311.
“O’ahu’s South Shores Invaded by Mysterious Creature”
People are tying the “mysterious creatures” to tsunami debris, Fukushima radiation, and – why not – End Times. And because KHON2 news couldn’t seem to find anyone on the beach or at the local aquarium who’d ever seen them before, or had a name for them, it’s a big mystery being posted across mainstream news and conspiracy web sites.
It’s something many have never seen before. And no one we found knew what they were.
“I definitely want to know where they came from and what they are all about,” says beach goer Scott Paddock.
Even the biologists at the Waikiki Aquarium are scratching their heads. They’ve been getting reports of the pea-sized crabs from Kahala to Ala Moana, all this week.
“The lifeguard called and asked what these things were because she had reports of surfers were actually have these things crawl up on their boards and onto them,” says Norton Chan, Waikiki Aquarium Biologist.
Some scientists tentatively tagged them as baby 7-11 crabs, a few molts shy of forming a shell.
Well, I don’t know about other surfers out there, but I’ve had these almost translucent, purple-ish “larve” crabs crawl up my legs many times when surfing on Hawai’i Island (although, ehem, the Big Isle could be considered by some a sort of “End Times” destination). Anyway, this occurred well before 311.
So really the only mystery is why they are “beaching” themselves. Not to dismiss possible pollution issues, Fukushima radiation dangers, but more than likely this is related to recent hurricanes in the area, not the impending apocalypse.