Friday, June 17, 2011

Tales from Japan: Radiation Clouds continue from Fukushima

Check out this video from the live camera monitoring the Fukushima plant earlier this week.

If you watch from about the two minute mark you will begin to see some action and a spark and something extremely nasty begin to develop. This happened during the middle of the night and was later confirmed to be steam from a spent fuel pond. In the hours following there were many independent radiation measurements showing a sharp rise in local radioactivity. Many people posted on TWITTER and advised people with children to be careful and take precautions.

When a pool of fuel becomes too hot it begins to boil and release radioactive steam. This steam can be extremely toxic and hazardous to the environment. It can easily carry radioactive particles to areas very far from the plant, which might explain why there are hot spots of radiation all over the Kanto region in Japan.

This steam is also dangerous because it can cause electrical failure, or instrument fires, and stop the cooling water pumps which would be cause for even greater concern.

As TEPCO attempts to implement its newly devised cooling system this week and try to control the damage at Fukushima, it is apparent that everything is not under control and such information is only given if internet watchdogs are awake and spreading the word.

The radiation levels over the last three months still continue to stay high compared to normal background radiation levels and they do spike every now and then.


  1. Yeah, they let steam out to alleviate pressure from inside a reactor. That is dangerous, no doubt. But let us consider what would happen if they didn't do said venting. Most likely, pressure within the reactor would reach a critical level and would cause the reactor(s) to explode. Now which do you fancy a small amount of steam or an exploded reactor core completely and utterly exposed to the environment. And yes these would cause "hot spots" if a plum landed somewhere and yes it would be highly radioactive but rarely do people consider "the alternative" when looking radiation in the face.

    Do I agree with a lot of policies the government and TEPCO have done the last few months? Definitely not, but that does not make them (TEPCO and the Japanese government) evil by proxy, just because some horrible event has happened.

    People need to look at facts and not internet gossip!!

  2. I think the truth is that the crisis is barely manageable at the moment. Contrary to TV and what is said by mainstream media. Throughout the ordeal TEPCO decisions and actions have been focused on saving its investment more than giving information and taking action that value the life of the citizens of Japan. In fact Kan was furious with them, I`ve read the transcripts of the meetings from March and April.

    No one person is being deliberately "evil." It is more that the results that come and will come from all this will be tragic and it could have been reduced greatly by a better being transparent and honest with the flow of information and the new government policy.

    Fukushima is a PR success, the economy is still moving people are still living "normal" lives but at what cost? TEPCO and Japan govt will say things are okay, but how long till Edano`s words "no immediate impact" become "long term impact"


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