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Fukushima Commentary (blog)


 

Op-Ed on whether the Fukushima accident is ongoing and if it has the potential for world-wide apocalyptic disaster. We also have regular hosting of the Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers.

"Fukushima : The First Five Days"...a book taken from the records kept by the operating staff at Fukushima Daiichi during the first crucial days of the crisis. It is now available at all E-book outlets. For the PDF and bundle... (click here)

"Kimin: Japan's Forgotten People" - A book about the untold story of Japan's 300,000 tsunami refugees, ignored by the world's news media. For availability... (click here)

  Please make a Fukushima Anniversary donation.

March 19, 2017

Fukushima 6-years-on: Part 3

Fomenting Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)

Fukushima FUD has plagued the internet since March, 2011. The frequency of scare-mongering posts found in antinuclear group sites and on social media increases every year to “celebrate” the March 11 anniversary of the nuclear accident. The following is only a few of the disreputable postings concerning this year’s anniversary, with a “Worst of the Bunch” bringing up the rear (where it belongs).

1 – Greenpeace’s 6th anniversary posting tries to persuade Iitate evacuees to not go home. Evacuation orders will be lifted for the municipality on April 1st, potentially affecting thousands. The activist organization uses its typical non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion and rhetorical hyperbole to scare off as many evacuees as possible. Greenpeace says that its November 2016 radiation survey shows that exposures “remain too high for the safe return of its citizens.” To Greenpeace, any radiation exposure, no matter how trivial, produces unacceptable risks. The most-false statement says returning citizens would be exposed to in-excess of 100 millisieverts lifetime, which would require prompt mitigation actions if found inside a nuclear facility! But, no such 100 mSv/lifetime exposure limit actually exists. It is Japan’s guideline for nuclear workers per year…not lifetime. Using this fake statement as “evidence”, Greenpeace says it is “shocking” that returning Iitate evacuees would get higher exposures than nuclear plant workers! This is but one of many instances of intentionally false statements. http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/NRN_FINweb4.pdf

 

2 – Life-long activist and political meddler Akio Matsumora has a blog called “Finding the missing Link”. He has been touted as an expert on Fukushima by such hard-core antinuclear prophets of doom as America’s Arnie Gundersen and Harvey Wasserman since 2011. His 6th anniversary blog is filled with wild speculations concerning Fukushima Daiichi unit #2 and the high radiation levels measured earlier this year. He found a Fukushima-phobic person with academic credentials who says another earthquake of seven or more on the Richter scale will destroy the reactor pressure vessel holding 90% of the corium (a formerly molten, now solidified mixture of nuclear fuel, control rods, and structural metals from the reactor core). Geophysics Professor Shuzo Takemoto of Kyoto University says the quake would destroy unit #2 “making the Tokyo metropolitan area uninhabitable.” Takemoto also evokes the uneventful removal of used fuel bundles from F. Daiichi unit #4 to support his apocalyptic claim. Matsumoto and Takemoto have become Japan’s street-corner prophets of nuclear energy doom.  http://akiomatsumura.com/2017/02/the-potential-catastrophe-of-reactor-2-at-fukushima-daiichi.html

 

3 – Counter Current News (CCN) is a fringe news source that has gained a wide antinuclear audience with its conspiracy theories. Its March 9th posting of “Fukushima Has Now Contaminated 1/3 Of The Worlds Oceans” is fear-mongering at its worst. CCN assures its audience, “Though the [Fukushima] disaster’s many impacts have been suspiciously absent from mainstream media reports in the years since, the radiation pouring out of the plant’s damaged reactors have never stopped.” It further alleges that finding trace levels of Fukushima cesium ushers in “…a dangerous new era for residents and wildlife along the Pacific coastal region.” CCN assures us that drinking water and fish from the Pacific coast will leave behind the trace amounts of radioactive Cesium which will never leave our bodies, and bioaccumulate forever. Obviously, CCN has no clue as to human Biology and Chemistry, but that doesn’t stop the FUD from being posted. http://countercurrentnews.com/2017/03/officials-fukushima-has-now-contaminated-13-of-the-worlds-oceans/

 

4 - The Ecologist has become one of the most antinuclear websites on our planet. With respect to Fukushima Daiichi, The Ecologist wants everyone to believe that the nuke accident is on-going, there is a Fukushima child thyroid epidemic, and the site is swamped in radioactive wastewater and sludge that threatens the entire world. The report also warns its readers that the people that actually know what is going on are not to be trusted., "If Fukushima taught us one thing it is that people should not expect the government to protect them - nor will corporations be held responsible in time of nuclear disaster," and "...no independent party [is] allowed to verify the veracity of the given information." Deplorable! http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988736/fukushima_catastrophe_unfolds_key_facts_and_figures_for_an_unhappy_sixth_anniversary.html

 

5 – Bringing up the rear (literally), we come to Global Research.com giving antinuke Helen Caldicott license to spout confabulated Fukushima 6th anniversary opinions based on wild speculation, twisted facts, and unabashed fabrications. The radio broadcast’s host opens by calling Fukushima “the greatest nuclear disaster of all time”, which is a gross exaggeration in-itself. No nuclear accident even remotely compares to Chernobyl.

Not to be outdone by the host, Caldicott immediately evokes the high radiation readings and images taken earlier this year inside the Primary Containment of unit #2. She says the high readings are but the tip of the iceberg because if the robot had gotten closer to the “molten nuclear core”, the radiation levels would have climbed even further. This is untrue because the highest reading was actually registered outside the robust steel-reinforced concrete pedestal supporting the reactor pressure vessel (RPV). The robot failed inside the pedestal where radiation levels were 25 times lower than the one localized reading outside in the PCV. She further conflates the situation by stating that the hole in the grating beneath the RPV was caused by entire “molten” core falling through the bottom of the RPV, through the concrete base-mat below, and “most certainly” into the earth. The “hole” near the outside of the pedestal’s walkway, not under the RPV’s bottom head where an actual melt-through would have made it. Plus, here verbal conjuring of the purely fanciful China syndrome is obvious.

In addition, Caldicott completely ignores the fact that the shoreline barriers built by Tepco has literally stopped the flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea. She says that the “highly radioactive” groundwater has always poured into the Pacific at a rate of “three-to-four hundred tons per day” and continues to do so. Further, neither Tokyo nor Tepco will ever find Fukushima’s nuclear cores, so it will continue to pollute the ocean forever. Her proof of all this is through “speaking with engineers” and “reading the literature”. However, she never says who these alleged engineers might be or what literature she refers to.

Then Caldicott asserts that all the radiation inside the unit #2 PCV has weakened the structure to the point that an earthquake of seven or more [Richter scale] would cause the building to collapse, break open the RPV, release all of the “molten” core into the environment, and make all of Japan uninhabitable! In the real world, there have been several aftershock quakes of seven or more over the past year alone, and unit #2 still stands. Her scenario is a bold-faced lie!

But, Caldicott doesn’t stop there. She says that the 7+ Richter scale quake would also collapse all of the water tanks, releasing toxic radioactive “elements” to the sea. She conflates that the cleanup system cannot remove all radioactive “elements”. She says the remaining “elements” would not only be biologically innocuous Tritium, which she calls “extremely toxic”, but also the other “elements” the removal system can’t touch. She says Tepco and from being cancelled!

Concerning the 2020 Olympics, Caldicott preaches,Do not go to Japan. Do not under any circumstances take your children to Japan, because you don’t know what you’re eating and where the food is sourced… And the Japanese are trying now to export their radioactive food to London and elsewhere. Taiwan has refused to receive it. But, it’s dangerous and it’s going to continue to be dangerous for the rest of time. It’s sad.

What’s sad is that Caldicott actually believes her apocalyptic delusions.

Because this fake news is surely held sacrosanct by countless thousands of Caldicott worshipers around the world, I have dubbed the Helen Caldicott broadcast on Global Research.com as this year’s “Worst of the Bunch”!! http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-radiation-what-prospects-for-humanity/5578929

March 14, 2017

Fukushima 6-years-on: Part 2

Positive and negative Fukushima 6th anniversary articles

Every year, Fukushima accident anniversary articles flood the Japanese and international Press. In the past, nearly all focused on the dire and gloomy. This year, most of the reports were once again dedicated to the negative. However, some news outlets bucked the tide and took the positive approach. First, we will list the positive minority. Then, we will do the same with the negative majority.

The Positive

1 – Yomiuri Shimbun provided what is perhaps the most balanced 6th anniversary article of the bunch. . It says, “…the risk of radiation escaping…has decreased considerably”, and “…it can be considered that the initial response to the nuclear accident at the plant is almost complete,” plus “Presently, the internal temperature has fallen to almost the same level as the outside air temperature. It is hard to believe that a nuclear reaction will occur again.” It also reveals that the former 400 ton per day in-flow of groundwater to the basements of units #1 through #4 has dropped to about 100 tons/day. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003562229

2 – The Yomiuri also reports that workers at F. Daiichi have faced slander and discrimination. Takeshi Tanigawa, professor at Juntendo University, says Tepco employees across Japan suffer public abuse, but the Fukushima employees and their contractors experience nearly four times more. http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003570479

3 – Canada’s Fukushima InFORM reports something we have not seen anywhere else. Tepco has capped the floor of the F. Daiichi port with two layers of material to keep radioactive sediment from contaminating the Pacific. We previously reported first layer inside the “quay” was completed in 2012. However, the second “top” layer covering the entire port was finished last year devoid of Press coverage. As a result, Cesium-134 in the port has dropped below Tepco’s minimum detectible level, and the Cs-137 varied between 480 & 3,100 Becquerels per ton of seawater, which is less than Canada’s drinking water limit for the isotopes. Outside the port, no cesium was detected. https://fukushimainform.ca/2017/03/07/fukushima-six-years-on/

4 – In their March 2017 update, Woods Hole Oceanographic says there is currently no evidence of the of radioactivity found inside unit #2 leaking into the Pacific Ocean. In addition, there is a very good breakdown of the miniscule levels of Fukushima Cesium suspected to have reached America’s Pacific coastline; all registering more than 500 times below drinking water standards.  Unfortunately, Woods Hole taints its otherwise positive article saying some contamination from F. Daiichi still seemed to be seeping into the sea. They need to read the Fukushima InFORM posting, linked above. http://ourradioactiveocean.org/results.html#

5 – Science Magazine reports that it is safe for some Fukushima residents to go home. A “new study” found that radioactive decay and weathering deserve more credit for reducing radiation levels than expensive decontamination efforts. The study was run in Date City by Makoto Miyazaki, Fukushima Medical University, and Ryugo Hayano, a University of Tokyo physicist. Date had more activity lost to decay and weathering than by decontamination, and there is no reason to think it is any different with the remaining evacuation locations.  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/it-s-safe-return-fukushima-study-suggests  

6 – Popular mechanics reports that “People are moving back to Fukushima”! One town scheduled for repopulation on April 1st - Namie - has an outdoor exposure level of only .07 microsieverts per hour, “…putting it in line with areas in Japan unaffected by the disaster.” The article includes that most Namie evacuees will not go home and hunting wild boars is a new local job. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a25649/fukushima-clean-up/  

Accentuating the Negative – Japanese Press

1 – The openly antinuclear Asahi Shimbun posted roughly a dozen “Six Years After” articles since March 3rd. The negative topics include: allegedly depressing conditions facing evacuees returning home, evacuee children being bullied, the loneliness of a Tepco housing unit in Okuma, radioactive boars, and that some evacuees feel it will be 20 years before repopulated communities will return to normalcy. The Asahi lists the individual article links here - http://www.asahi.com/ajw/japan/0311disaster/

2 - It should be noted that the Asahi’s 6th Anniversary report of March 13th on the buildup of nuclear waste at F. Daiichi station, contains a misleading statement. It says, “About 400 tons of water pass through the reactors every day, including groundwater that seeps in.” First, some groundwater still seeps in, but it goes directly into the four basements, and not through the reactor. Secondly, the current total of cooling water to the Reactor Pressure Vessels of units 1,2,&3 is 266 tons per day. The Asahi link is here - http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/SDI201703131091.html - and the Tepco link for the actual cooling water flow here - http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu17_e/images/170217e0101.pdf

3 – Until this year, the Mainichi Shimbun was a bastion of Fukushima negativity. However, we have only found one negative anniversary report this year. It focuses on the large volume of mildly radioactive soil that has accumulated in Fukushima Prefecture, and the fact that only 20% of the Okuma/Futaba temporary storage site has been acquired by Tokyo. In the very last paragraph, it adds that 320,000m3 remains in seven other prefectures. http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170309/p2a/00m/0na/019000c   

4 – Jiji Press contributed to the negativity with at least three articles. One reports that work to decommission F. Daiichi is not going smoothly and the ultimate cost of the project will probably be more than the current 8 trillion yen estimate. http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2017031000877. Another says that presently only 20% of the pre-3/11/11 companies from the old “no-go zone” have resumed business. The stated reason is that only about 15% of those now free to repopulate have actually done it, causing to a labor shortage. http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2017030900796 Finally, the Jiji posts a human interest story of a Futaba evacuee family that has permanently moved to Niigata Prefecture, in the City of Kashiwazaki; home community to the world’s largest nuclear power station, owned by Tepco!  http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2017030800881

5 – Japan Today reports on Fukushima Mothers that are performing their own independent radiation testing because they don’t trust the Fukushima or Tokyo government reports. https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fukushima-mothers-measure-radiation-levels-in-food-water-and-soil?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2017-03-11_A

6 – The Japan Times chimes in with a lengthy diatribe headlined Home holds little appeal for Namie evacuees. It states, “…the issue of rural depopulation is more serious than ever and probably nowhere is this problem more acute than in the area around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.” It includes numerous instances of inflammatory speculation such as, “The government is wasting huge amounts of money decontaminating areas for habitation when no one wants to move back”. Another states, “If you have any doubts that the central government may have been lacking in competency or transparency in its handling of the 3/11 nuclear crisis, do not watch their clumsy Orwellian video ‘Fukushima Today — For a Bright Future.’” On the brighter side, there is a very good color-coded map of the areas to have their living restrictions lifted April 1st. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/11/national/social-issues/namie-one-step-forward-steps-back/#.WMb5wdK7odU

Accentuating the negative; the international Press

Outside Japan, the majority of the sixth anniversary reports have been little more than restatements of what can be found by scanning Japan’s popular Press articles. Many are merely cut-and-paste jobs with appropriate citations. But three largely original postings bear mention here…

1- ABC news headlines Doctors: Radiation not biggest impact on Fukushima health. Despite the seemingly positive head, the article focuses on the entirely hypothetical Fukushima child thyroid cancer epidemic, cleverly provoking doubt about Fukushima Medical University which says the increasing number of positive tests is a matter of over-diagnosis. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/doctors-radiation-biggest-impact-fukushima-health-46018866  

2 – The New York Times, Asia Pacific edition, posts a photo-laden article of a deserted wasteland inside the Fukushima evacuation zone. It ominously speculates that the towns of Okuma and Futaba “…may never be reoccupied.” It also shows carefully-selected images of abandoned areas in soon-to-be-reopened Tomioka and Namie. The article states that with so few people ready to return, “…it makes little sense for many commercial operations to restart.” The posting ends with a photo of a Namie graveyard…a clear attempt to make the region seem like a death trap for those who repopulate. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/world/asia/fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-disaster-towns.html?_r=1

3 – The NY Times also reports on a recent tour of the Fukushima Daiichi station by two Times photo journalists. The images entirely focus on the protective gear they wore for the differing locations they visited, and nothing else. The journalists appeal to the reader’s feeling of dread by making an ominous statement about being inside the ground-level used fuel storage facility. The SFP was described as “dark and spookily quiet”! What did they expect… the audio system playing “The End” by the Doors?    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/insider/a-reporting-teams-nuclear-stress-test-hazmat-suits-face-masks-and-9-flights-of-stairs.html?_r=1
 
(Note: “Fukushima 6-years-on: Part 3”, will be posted later this week, and look at the morally criminal internet postings “celebrating” the sixth anniversary. A few days later, we will review the numerous Japanese articles on the sixth anniversary of the REAL disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami of 3/11/11.)

March 12 2017

Fukushima 6-years-on: Part 1

Japan’s Press subverts Fukushima repopulation

In the six years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan’s popular Press has effectively disrupted the efforts of Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Tokyo government to return the Fukushima evacuation zone to some semblance of normalcy. By April 1st, 70% of the 2011 “no-go” zone will have been re-opened for repopulating, but only about 15% of the original population has exploited the opportunity. Every step of the way, the Press has accentuated the negative and done its best to eliminate the positive when it comes to the situation with Fukushima’s Tokyo-mandated and voluntary evacuees. With all the broadcast doom and gloom, it’s no wonder repopulation has taken way, way too long, and only a small fraction of the evacuees who are allowed to go home have actually done it.
Japan’s popular Press never forgets to remind their audience that there are “experts” who say repopulation is hasty, and radiation levels are too high for absolute safety. Reporters seek out the most radiophobic evacuees, broadcast their radiophobic fears, and make it seem as if all 80,000 Tokyo-mandated refugees have the same level of mortal angst. Almost every article says most, if not all refugees shun going home over concerns of radiation exposures that have never been conclusively proven to hurt anyone; as if it is OK to cower in fear of the radioactive bogeyman! Further, uncertainty and doubt are evoked by speculating that the land area which will remain off-limits “may never be inhabitable” (example from Japan Today; March 9th); the very same assumption that for many years was continually applied to the locations to be re-opened on April 1st. Clearly, the main body of Japan’s Press does not want evacuees to return home, doing its best to maintain a ready-made source of heart-rending articles.
It must be said that Japan’s largely antinuclear Press occasionally stashes something positive deep in an article steeped in the “don’t go home” agenda. For example, a recent report in the highly-popular Asahi Shimbun headline - Poll: At least 20 years to regain lifestyle, half of Fukushima says. (http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703030048.html) In it we find, “When asked about the timing of lifting the evacuation order [on April 1st], the most popular answer, from 40 percent, was that it was an appropriate decision. However, 19 percent said it was ‘too soon,’ while 22 percent said the order ‘should not be lifted in the first place.’ Nine percent said it was ‘too late.’  
What?
Nearly 50% of the respondents believe the current removal of evacuation orders is either “appropriate” or “too late”. Only 41% said repopulation was not appropriate. For first time, a decidedly antinuclear news outlet reveals that the “yeas” outnumber the “nays” with respect to allowing people to repopulate! Why have other popular news outlets overlooked, or otherwise ignored this little nugget? Almost all others, save one (below), continue to trumpet the “inappropriate” and “too soon” conceptions, seemingly to convince evacuees that they should not repopulate.
Only one news outlet has continually told the whole story with full objectivity; Fukushima Minpo. Minpo is only circulated in Fukushima Prefecture, so its actual range of impact is minimal. Over the past six years, this reporter has not seen a Minpo report posted anywhere outside Fukushima Prefecture. Some of Minpo’s nuke accident reports are gloomy, too be sure. Not everything is peaches and cream. But many articles, if not most, show that the evacuation zone is not a death-ridden, Chernobyl-like no-mans-land! Most of the evacuees are far from miserable, and living rather comfortably in their new locations thanks to the obscene amounts of money ceded to them in compensation (>$9,000 per month to every man, woman and child evacuee). While not a panacea by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not hell-on-earth either!
It should be pointed out that Minpo has no cross to bear, and is in no way connected to Tepco or the Japanese government. While a subsidiary of sorts to Kyodo News, Minpo does its best to maintain the highest degree of independence from its parent publication. In the best of all possible news worlds, Minpo’s articles would be broadcast across the globe. Why is this not happening? That’s a question not easily answered.
As I prepared to post this Op/Ed piece, I scanned today’s Japanese news outlets (as I always do) and found a new Minpo posting of considerable significance. It says that 58% of all Naraha evacuees plan on permanent repopulation! Most of the municipality was ordered to evacuate by Tokyo in 2011 because it is located within a 20km radius of F. Daiichi. However, almost all of the town’s 7,000 residents fled regardless of physical location. The town’s evacuation order was fully lifted last year, but only a small fraction of the former residents have repopulated. Now we know why. Fukushima Prefecture polled the 1,958 households in free housing and found that 665 households, or 57.9% of the 1,149 families who responded will return home, but only after their free housing ends in March, 2018! This poses the obvious question – how many evacuees other former no-go zone have also not exploited the opportunity because they are getting free housing? How many will return when the subsidy expires next year? http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=796
Here’s a list of other Minpo reports concerning Fukushima evacuees over the past half-year, which all other news outlets have shunned like the plague…

…and that’s just in the last six months!

News outlets, other than Minpo, should be taken to task for only reporting the articles of gloom, and eschewing stories that might run counter to the “don’t go home” agenda. What is the Japanese and international popular press afraid of? The truth?

February 20, 2017

 348thCarnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

The Hiroshima Syndrome’s Fukushima Commentary is proudly hosting latest edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers. This week, we have postings by Dr. Gail Marcus, Dan Yurman, Dr. Jim Conca, and Meredith Angwin.  

To read the full articles, please click on the individual links. Blog topics for this edition include… the Presidential appointment process, Toshiba’s exit from the nuclear business, SMR Smart and the future of nuclear energy, and an endorsement for Meredith Angwin’s new book from a fellow blogger.

*              *              *

From Dr. Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk –  

Term Limits at DNFSB: Good or Bad? 

 http://nukepowertalk.blogspot.com/2017/02/term-limits-at-dnfsb.html

 

From Dan Yurman at Neutron Bytes –  

Fate of Toshiba’s Nuclear Projects Remains Uncertain

https://neutronbytes.com/2017/02/19/fate-of-toshibas-nuclear-projects-remains-uncertain/

 

From Dr. Jim Conca at Forbes –  

SMR Smart - Small Modular Reactors Are the Wave of Nuclear’s Future 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/02/16/smr-smart-small-modular-reactors-are-the-wave-of-nuclears-future/#6008ea32131a

  

From Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee –  

Meredith does something a bit different; she posts an endorsement for her new book at on Dan Yurman’s blog…

Campaigning for Clean Air & Nuclear Energy

 https://neutronbytes.com/2017/02/12/campaigning-for-clean-air-nuclear-energy/

February 8, 2017

Fukushima unit #2 radiation has not “spiked”… it has actually DROPPED!

On Thursday, February 2, 2017, Tepco posted images recorded inside the thick steel-reinforced concrete pedestal that supports the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) of Fukushima Daiichi unit #2. A company spokesperson explained what the images visually indicated, and mentioned that radiation had caused “flickers” in the pictures which were used to estimate the possible radiation levels inside the pedestal. No pictures or video had ever been taken inside an F. Daiichi RPV pedestal before. The spokesperson said an estimated radiation level of 530 Sieverts per hour was located immediately inside the pipe used to insert the video recording device. Two deeper locations were estimated at 20 and 50 Sv/hr, respectively. Only the 530 Sv/hr report resonated with the Press.

The 530 Sv/hr announcement sparked a news media feeding frenzy with the Japanese Press, some international Press outlets, and the antinuclear internet demographic. The Asahi Shimbun (1) exemplified the typical Japanese Press article by showing images provided by Tepco and mentioning the three radiation estimates inside the pedestal. But one Japanese outlet, the Japan Times, said the “blazing” radiation spurring outlets around the world to report that radiation levels at F. Daiichi were climbing… soaring to new heights! Yet, no such thing was happening! Either these reports were posted out of bold-faced ignorance on the part of the reporters, or they ignored the truth in order to post a really juicy tidbit to garner a surge in readership and its concomitant rise in advertising income. You can be the judge!

Some newspaper outlets, like The Guardian (3), stretched the truth until it broke. The lead blurb read “Radiation levels inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are at their highest since the plant suffered a triple meltdown almost six years ago.” India’s India Times (4) said, “Radiation levels inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are at their highest since the plant suffered a triple meltdown almost six years ago.” Clearly, the intent was to make it seem that radiation levels had suddenly increased in an astronomical fashion. Even the usually reliable Forbes Magazine joined in. (5) Forbes said, “The level of nuclear radiation detected at the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan spiked on Thursday to its highest level since the triple core meltdown in 2011.” (Emphasis added, again) This was not a subtle suggestion. It literally screamed that the radiation levels at F. Daiichi had suddenly soared! In all cases, the postings of radiation levels increasing at F. Daiichi were entirely incorrect and grossly misleading. (More on this later)

It should be noted that Popular Mechanics realized its error by initially following the misleading journalistic tide. After posting an article saying the radiation levels at F. Daiichi were increasing, it later updated the report with the following disclaimer, “This post has been updated to clarify that the radiation readings, while new, do not reflex any change at Fukushima, but are rather new information coming to light. We regret the error.” (6) This reporter has seen no other correction in the Press outlets we monitor, both inside and outside Japan.

On the other hand - adding insult to injury - the antinuclear sites across the internet jumped all over Forbes’ use of the term “spiked” and took it to new extremes. The widely-cited True Activist posted (7), “Radiation at Fukushima spikes to highest levels since 2011”, and “…radiation inside the containment vessel of one of the plant’s failed reactors has now reached levels undetected since the disaster first occurred in 2011.” It further said Tepco told the Japan Times that the cause was a 2-meter in diameter hole “likely caused by melted fuel”. This is a complete fabrication! Tepco neither posted anything like this out of its formal Pressroom, nor told the Times anything of the sort!

A more egregious violation of truth was posted on the antinuclear circuit by Science Alert. (8) It said “The radiation levels inside Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor No. 2 have soared in recent weeks, reaching a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, a number experts have called ‘unimaginable’. Radiation is now by far the highest it has been since the reactor was struck by a tsunami in March 2011 - and scientists are struggling to explain what's going on… Exactly what's causing the levels to creep upwards again is currently stumping the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).” But, nothing like this was actually occurring! Undaunted, Science Alert openly fabricated the notion that Tepco sent in “swimming robots” last year, but their wiring was destroyed by the high radiation. This reporter has scanned the Japanese Press daily since 3/11/11, and can safely say that this never happened! What’s “unimaginable” is Science Alert’s defilement of the truth!

So, what is the truth?

The singular posting we can find that has accurately reported [in keeping with our professional understanding of the situation] is Safecast. Safecast is a citizen-based network that was created after the Fukushima accident to try and get the truth "out there" from a source that is not government or industry-based. Its post is headlined thusly, “No, Radiation Levels at Fukushima Daiichi are Not Rising”. (9) The article then states, “…many news outlets have published stories with headlines like [The Guardian’s] ‘Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.’ This has led to a number of alarming stories claiming that radiation at Daiichi has “spiked” to unprecedented levels. That’s not what the findings indicate, however.” (Emphasis added) In fact, Safecast’s independent monitoring system at F. Daiichi has shown that radiation levels are on the steady decline. Safecast’s bottom line is, “…it (the 530 Sv/hr estimate) does not mean that levels there are rising, but that a previously unmeasurable high-radiation area has finally been measured.”

Nothing more, and nothing less! Radiation levels are not rising! And, it’s from a source with no government or industry involvement! There can be no more-credible source!

(For additional information, see Will Davis' "Radiation Levels Not 'Soaring' at Fukushima Daiichi" http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2017/02/07/radiation-levels-not-soaring-at-fukushima-daiichi/#sthash.gLRkguYr.Y4agVJfQ.dpbs )

References:

1 - http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201702030064.html

2 - http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/03/national/fukushima-radiation-level-highest-since-march-11/#.WJoee9K7odX

3 - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/fukushima-daiichi-radiation-levels-highest-since-2011-meltdown

4 – http://www.indiatimes.com/news/world/nuclear-radiation-at-highest-level-since-2011-meltdown-at-japan-s-fukushima-reactor-270867.html 

5 - http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2017/02/03/extreme-radiation-levels-detected-at-fukushima-reactor-highest-since-2011/#34c6e0b63381

6 - http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a25034/radiation-spikes-fukushima-possible-breach/

7 - http://www.trueactivist.com/breaking-radiation-at-fukushima-spikes-to-highest-levels-since-2011/

8 - http://www.sciencealert.com/radiation-levels-in-the-fukushima-reactor-have-started-unexpectedly-climbing

9 - http://blog.safecast.org/2017/02/no-radiation-levels-at-fukushima-daiichi-are-not-rising/

January 1, 2017

339thCarnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

The Hiroshima Syndrome’s Fukushima Commentary is proudly hosting the 2017 New Year’s edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers. To sweep out the old year, and usher in the new, we have postings by Dan Yurman, Dr. Gail Marcus, Milt Caplan, the IAEA, Meredith Angwin, and (yours truly) Leslie Corrice.

We will have no Fact or Fiction (?) quiz for this week…

To read the full articles, please click on the individual links. Blog topics for this edition include… The NRC’s need to prohibit disruptive chaos at public meetings, Toshiba’s financial dive put nuke projects at risk, Intellectual property in the digital age, a stern goodbye to Vermont’s Governor Shumlin, and two end-of-the year reports of very good news from Japan.

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Two submittals from Dan Yurman

…at ANS Nuclear Cafe

NRC’s Work in Progress on Public Meetings

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2016/12/28/nrcs-work-in-progress-on-public-meetings/#sthash.SdwvQZP0.dpbs

(and)

at Neutron Bytes

Toshiba's Financial Meltdown Puts Its Nuclear Projects at Risk Worldwide

https://neutronbytes.com/2017/01/01/toshibas-financial-meltdown-puts-its-nuclear-projects-at-risk-worldwide/ 

 

From Dr. Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk – (2)

Dammed if they do…Dammed if they don’t

. http://nukepowertalk.blogspot.com/2016/12/dammed-if-they-do_60.html

(and)

Conferences and Technology: Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

http://nukepowertalk.blogspot.com/2016/12/conferences-and-technology_29.html 

 

From Milt Caplan at MZ Consulting

2016 was a challenging year for nuclear power – or was It?

http://mzconsultinginc.com/?p=857

 

From Dr. Jim Conca at Forbes Magazine

It Takes the Right Rock to Sequester Carbon

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/12/27/it-takes-the-right-rock-to-sequester-carbon/#416c2537bfd1    

 

From The International Atomic Energy Agency

IAEA Highlights and Achievements in 2016 – A Year in Review

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-highlights-and-achievements-in-2016-a-year-in-review

 

From Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee

Hello Governor Scott, and Goodbye Shumlin

http://yesvy.blogspot.com/2016/12/hello-governor-scott-and-goodbye-shumlin.html#.WGbVzjLMwUE

 

From Leslie Corrice at Fukushima Accident Updates

December 29, 2016 Posting

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority’s latest Pacific Ocean data shows that contamination from Fukushima Daiichi has stopped. Secondly, Tokyo allows Tepco to freeze the remaining “ice wall” sections. http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-accident-updates.html

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Happy New Year Everyone!

 

November 20, 2016

335thCarnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

The Hiroshima Syndrome’s Fukushima Commentary is proudly hosting the latest edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers. This week, we have postings by Dan Yurman, Dr. Gail Marcus,

Here’s the Fact or Fiction (?) quiz for this week… High level nuclear waste, primarily used nuclear fuel bundles, is deadly for more than 10,000 years.

Now…for this week’s Blogs. To read the full articles, please click on the individual links. Blog topics for this edition include…

*              *              *

From Dan Yurman at Neutron Bytes

Will completion of Bellefonte be a boom or bust?

https://neutronbytes.com/2016/11/19/will-completion-of-bellefonte-be-a-boom-or-bust/ 

 

From Dr. Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk – (2)

Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems: A Fascinating Symposium

http://nukepowertalk.blogspot.com/2016/11/innovative-nuclear-energy-systems.html

(and)

Waste from Solar Panels: End-of-Life Challenges

 http://nukepowertalk.blogspot.com/2016/11/waste-from-solar-panels.html

*                      *                      *

Here’s the Fact or Fiction (?) answer for this week… Fiction!

Used nuclear fuel can be recycled to make new fuel, leaving about 5% of the used furl bundles as radioactive by-products. More than 90% of these by-product elements lose their radioactivity in less than five years. The remaining waste will require a storage time of less than 300 years.  Finally, less than 1% of the by-products are radioactive for 10,000 years, but still having much shorter half-lives than the original uranium in the un-used fuel.  In fact, the long-lived activity is less radioactive than some things found in nature. (K.S. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, John Wiley and Sons, 1988)