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Recent Alarm About Fukushima #3 Reactor

fukushima #3 explosionIn the past few weeks a number of alarming stories about Fukushima have made their way onto Facebook and several blogs. Among the points brought forth, are:

  • Starfish dying a death by melting in massive numbers, attributed to radiation from Fukushima
  • Steam from Reactor #3 (Reported as if a new occurrence, and therefore as a cause for alarm for the west coast of the USA)
  • Radiation hot spots measured along the west coast of the USA.
  • Russia’s Ministry of Defense elevating Fukushima to critical status.
  • Underground explosions (Indicating subterranean criticality)
  • The lawsuit filed by 70 U.S. sailors from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan against TEPCO for misreporting radioactivity levels.

大发体育After gathering information and vetting sources, we have reached several conclusions. (Caveat – due to misreporting there may be missing data):

Regarding the starfish dieoff: This appears to be a consequence of a combination of a number of factors. Although it appears that the marine fauna populations began to shift significantly in spring 2011 (coincidental with the Fukushima Daiichi disaster) the time lags involved would tend to rule out the Fukushima disaster as a cause. Much more likely causes are continuing levels of pollution and long-term changes in carbon and oxygen levels in the ocean as well as a trend towards acidification.  Biological diversity is significantly lower. 

Regarding steam from Reactor #3: This is nothing new. It has been happening since July of 2013 (due to coolant water leaks) and is simply visible due to colder weather, according to expert Arnie Gunderson. 

Regarding hot spots on the west coast: This is true, but not particularly sourced from Fukushima. More people are using Geiger counters, and so previously unnoticed elevated background radiation levels are being detected. However, this begs the question, “Where IS it coming from?” The fact is that concerns over Fukushima are having the secondary impact of raising awareness of the pre-existing radiological legacy of atomic testing and current nuclear power plant releases. (The long half-life isotopes from the previous century faded from the news, but not from the environment). 

Regarding Russia’s Ministry of Defense elevating Fukushima to critical status: No basis in fact.

Regarding Underground Explosions (Indicating subterranean criticality): False. (Several things to keep in mind, however):

  • According to Haruo Uehara, designer of the Fukushima plant, reactor #3 is a China Syndrome in progress. Although not forthcoming regarding whether or not containment has been breached, he has raised concerns about what some term “hydrovolcanic explosions.”
  • Although unknown at this time, if containment has indeed been breached and corium is melting through the earth, interaction with the water table would likely result in geyser-like behavior, where water cools the corium to a crust at the same time it becomes steam. Both process will then tend to cycle and create periodic eruptions of water and steam.
  • It is possible that one or all the stricken reactors are potentially experiencing a “China Syndrome” and that the corium is following the ancient streambed upon which the facilities were built and is working its way out to the ocean. (Via Radchick). 

Regarding the Lawsuit being filed against TEPCO buy the sailors of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan: This is true. The original filing was dismissed due to technicalities and is being refiled presently. It is hoped that facts will necessarily be brought to light which will avail the average citizen of the truth of the situation. The case may also set a precedent whereby U.S. nuclear power companies may be sued for cover-ups of health impacts from their operations. 

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