(The following is posted by het)
I have noticed some comments here about Fukushima and I thought it might be useful to have one post to capture that conversation. So please, have forth here.
I live in the middle of Canada. Fukushima is on the other side of the world. The only information I have about what goes on there is what I get via the media. And therein lies a problem. Basically, who do you trust?
- There are the mainstream media who are liable to print almost anything.
- There are TEPCO, General Electric and the Japanese government.
- There are regulatory agencies NISA, JAEA, IAEA etc.
- There are a range of items from anti-nuclear activists and pro-nuclear industry lobbyists who post news with their slant.
- There are several quasi-scientific organizations who have posted on the subject. I’m thinking of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the Wiki encyclopediaists and such.
- There are several scientists who have published peer reviewed papers. (see List below)
[Complicating this matter, I regularly see news items stating that the company and/or the government are engaged in cover-ups.]
Originally I was going to write a “What Do We Know” section with information I pulled from old AWOGWN issues, but then I asked myself…
What do we want to know?
- How long until the four Fukushima plants can be completely decommisioned?
- How far has the melted nuclear material [corium] penetrated into the base concrete or into the earth?
- What are the health effects on the local and the non-local populations?
- What is the danger of low level radiactive material bio-accumulating in the human food chain?
- When can the Fukushima prefecture people go home?
- What precisely is the source of the elevated radioactive material in the ocean nearby?
- What is the danger of radioactive fish in other parts of the Pacific?
Which simplified my task considerably, because as far as I know the answers are…
- Uncertain [likely will only be revealed in decades].
- Unknown [see #1].
- Leaking reactors bathed by sea water [despite what TEPCO says].
Those “Uncertains” mean that ongoing monitoring will be required.
Okay, over to you. What’s missing? What’s wrong?
Some Radioactive Isotopes
|Cesium-135||2.3 million years|
|Plutonium-244||80 million years|
|Uranium-235||703.8 million years|
|Uranium-238||4.468 billion years|
Peer Reviews Papers
- 2011/09/: Sage:TBAS: Fukushima: The myth of safety, the reality of geoscience by Johannis Nöggerath et al.
- 2011/12/14: Nature: [Editorial] Critical mass — Even Japan’s political leaders struggle to get answers regarding the Fukushima disaster. It is just the latest example of the government’s lack of independent scientific advice.
- 2011/12/15: Nature: (ab$) Nuclear energy: Nationalize the Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant by Tomoyuki Taira & Yukio Hatoyama
Only by bringing the nuclear power station into government hands can scientists find out what really happened, say Tomoyuki Taira and Yukio Hatoyama.
- 2012/03/08: Nature: Isotopic evidence of plutonium release into the environment from the Fukushima DNPP accident by Jian Zheng et al.
- 2012/03/29: RSC:JEM: (ab$) Radioactive fallout in the United States due to the Fukushima nuclear plant accident by P. Thakur et al.
- 2012/07/09: ERL: Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of Cs137 released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima by Erik Behrens et al.
- 2012/07/17: RSC:E&ES: (ab$) Reply to the ‘Opinion on “Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident”‘ by B. Richter… by John E. Ten Hoeve & Mark Z. Jacobson
- 2012/07/17: RSC:E&ES: (ab$) Opinion on “Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident” by J. E. Ten Hoeve and M. Z. Jacobson… by Burton Richter
- 2012/07/17: RSC:E&ES: (ab$) Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident by John E. Ten Hoeve & Mark Z. Jacobson
- 2012/08/07: PubMed:BBB: Radiocesium distribution in the tissues of Japanese black beef heifers fed fallout-contaminated roughage due to the fukushima daiichi nuclear power station accident by K. Sasaki et al.
- 2012/08/08: ES&T: (ab$) Radiostrontium in the Western North Pacific: Characteristics, Behavior, and the Fukushima Impact by Pavel P. Povinec et al.
- 2012/09/15: Springer:E&ES: (ab$) Analysis of Radionuclide Releases from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Part I by G. Le Petit et al.
- 2012/10/26: Science: (ab$) Fishing for Answers off Fukushima by Ken O. Buesseler
- 2012/10/22: PRL: Cosmic Ray Radiography of the Damaged Cores of the Fukushima Reactors by Konstantin Borozdin et al.
- 2012/11/02: SagePub:BoS: From Brokdorf to Fukushima: The long journey to nuclear phase-out by Alexander Glaser