Friday, May 27, 2011

Plea for help, from Japan

A friend in Tokyo asked me to share the following with you.  It contains an update on the current nuclear radiation situation in Japan as well as a request for you to send emails to Japanese government officials urging them to comply with international radiation standards.  Please take a moment to read this and send an email.

Itsumi's message:

Since radioactive particles have started spreading around the world, your message will help to save the world and people (especially children).  Here are a few examples of what is happening now in Japan:
1. The Japanese government allows fresh food to be on the market although it contains radiation 20-30 times higher than the global safety standard.

2. The Japanese government does not do anything even with food which contains radiation higher than Japanese safety standards.

3. The Japanese government does not inform its citizens of the results of the seafood radiation investigation, and does not allow Green Peace to conduct a thorough investigation of the sea environment around Japan.

4. According to UK researchers, more than 400,000 additional cancers will occur within the next 50 years on account of the radiation if no preventive efforts take place.

5. Air dose levels of radiation do not reflect the actual doses. Official air doses are half or quarter of the actual doses.

6. The Japanese government insists that 20mSv/year is safe for children at a school yard. The amount is 20 times higher than previous safety standards.

7. Data and information about Fukushima has been hidden, although radioactive particles keep spilling into the water and air every day.

8. Several millions of residents who evacuated from the area surrounding Fukushima still live in public buildings, gymnasiums, and such. There is no plan for them yet.

9. Several millions of Geiger counters donated by foreign counties are sitting, unused, in a warehouse.
Please send an email about these issues to the following Japanese officials:
Mr. Naoto Kan, prime minister (for all of the above):
Mr. Hosokawa, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Points
Mr. Takagi, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Points 5, 6):
Mr. Kaieda, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Points 7, 8)
Mr. Matsumoto, Foreign Ministry (Point 9):
Please urge them to:

1) Conform to global standards on radiation safety in terms of food, water, and the environment
2) Check radiation levels in the air and water, and on the ground, which are more suitable to protect human life

3) Make all updated radiation information easily available to everyone

4) Disclose information and data regarding the Fukushima plant to Japanese and also the world

5) Take appropriate care of residents who have evacuated and who want to evacuate from Fukushima prefecture

6) Utilize the Geiger counters and other resources donated from foreign countries


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this message.  Itsumi regularly tweets about the radiation and earthquake situation.  You can follow her tweets at!/ikrockhopper

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Update on the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan

TEPCO (the Japanese power company) finally was able to enter Reacter No. 1, and they found that a complete meltdown had happened there.  For weeks they had been dumping sea water into the container that holds the rods, but they now know that it was to no avail, and none of the water stayed in the container.  When they entered the area they found that the water gague was not working, so all of their readings had been false.  They also found that there was no water in the pressure vessel (critical container) or in the container vessel (shell of the pressure vessel), although they had already poured 10,000 tons of water in to keep the rods cool.  TEPCO finally admits that the rods are exposed, and probably melted down to the bottom of the pressure vessel.

One surprise was that the temperature of the pressure vessel is very low, which implies that the hot rods are not at the bottom of the pressure vessel.  The rods may have melted the bottom of the pressure vessel and piled up at the bottom of the container vessel.  Or, even worse, they may have reached the concrete ground of the building, or even lower.  Nobody knows.

TEPCO planned to fill the vessels with water and cool down the rods, but, since they now know that the pressure vessel is broken, they must change their plan.  However, the only thing they are able to do is keep pouring on the water, even though they don't know where it is going.  Nobody knows where the 10,000 tons of radioactive water have gone.

Many experts including those in the U.S. say that a meltdown has happened in three reactors to a certain degree, but they can't say to what extent.  Now, a 100% meltdown has been confirmed at Reactor No. 1.
Presumably the situation at Reactor 3 continues to be dire, and is especially dangerous because Reactor 3 contains the more dangerous MOX plutonium fuel.  The situation at No. 4 is also obviously not good, because recently the No. 4 building has been visibly leaning. A video about the leaning No. 4 building and the fact that information is being controlled in order to avoid panic is here:

The nuclear disaster hasn't gotten any better, but life continues on in Japan.  I summarized this update from news that Itsumi, who is in Tokyo, has sent me.  She is tweeting regular updates about the disaster situation in Japan.  You can read them yourself at!/search/ikrockhopper, or go to and search for ikrockhopper.