Talk Nation Radio for afternoon of March 15, 2011
Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Special series, Japan goes Critical, part 3, audio below
UPDATES: 3/31 Japanese officials appear to have lost fight to "save" the Fukushima plant from full core meltdown according to one of the scientists involved in manufacturing it. See the Guardian here .
UPDATES: 3.31 Radiation found in milk in California where much of nation's dairy products come from and also Washington State, also farm country, especially for fruits, vegetables, and grain products. The particles include radioactive iodine 131. One can learn about preventative measures here as pdf file, and here. Media coverage tends to emphasize the "miniscule" amounts involved, yet radiation levels could rise as emissions from the plant continue daily. Fears have been growing in Japan where the plant continues to spew radiation and radioactive particles have been detected in water sources and in the soil in towns outside of the official exclusion zone. On Friday workers were not allowed to enter the plant as the nation's supply of radiation badges had been depleted according to NHK, Japanese Television Network airing on PBS in America. The plant seems to have continued to go critical according to scientists. See The Real News here. Japanese officials and the plant operators and owners at TEPCO are being encouraged to widen the evacuation zone as levels of radiation continue to rise. The NOVA episode for March 22, 2011, shows previously unseen footage of the Fukushima plant and the Tsunami that hit after the largest ever recorded earthquake in Japan March 11th. An estimated 28,000 people remain missing.
UPDATES Radioactive Iodine Releases from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Reactors May Exceed Those of Three Mile Island by Over 100,000 Times. IEER Press Release (March 25, 2011) PDF "While Chernobyl had one source of radioactivity, its reactor, there are seven leaking radiation sources at the Japanese site. Together, the three damaged reactors and four spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi contain far more long-lived radioactivity, notably cesium-137, than the Chernobyl reactor".
Update: 3-25 News gets more clear about breach of core reactor at Plant 3. Here is NIRS update first. 11:00 am, Friday, March 25, 2011. Greenpeace Germany has released a statement that, according to an analysis of radiation releases by consultant Dr. Helmut Hirsch, Fukushima is now a Level 7 accident on the international scale (currently it is officially ranked as a Level 5, comparable to the Three Mile Island accident of 1979; Level 7 would make it comparable to Chernobyl). More here
Now NYT story 3-24
March 21, 2011, NIRS UPDATE, Noon, Monday, March 21, 2011 Radiation doses at Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini, March 18-21, 2011. Obtained by Dr. Chris Busby at European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECCR). ECCR risk model predicts 120,000 cancers worldwide from Fukushima accident based on current known release
March 19, 201: Japanese fire fighters have been dousing the plant with water. Power has been restored to 5 and 6 plants, but 3 and 4 remain a problem.
March 17, 2011 NIRS update: PDF on Protective Measures from Radioactivity in North America here http://nirs.org/reactorwatch/accidents/protectivemeasuresfromradioactivity.pdf
The NIRS Alert Page here
UPDATE, 6:15 pm (note: all Update times are Eastern U.S. time), Tuesday, March 15, 2011. We have just learned that TEPCO has announced that at 5:45 am Tokyo time (4:45 pm eastern us time) flames have appeared again at the northwest side of Fukushima Daiichi (Unit 4). According to TEPCO, it is impossible to go near the fire since the radiation is so high.
Update: SYDNEY (MarketWatch) -- "Another fire broke out at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Wednesday, according to reports, citing Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco. The latest fire follows three explosions and one fire at the nuclear complex since last Friday, when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country. A fire on Tuesday at the No. 4 reactor was reportedly the cause of a spike in radiation levels around the plant." We will hear about the meltdown and core involvement at plant 2.
Cooling at plants still not achieved. Radiation threat high. Japanese officials having trouble with stabilizing population that has been devastated by the earthquakes and Tsunami. Another quake occurred Tuesday morning in the Tokyo region even as they were discovering some levels of radiation there. These levels have not been high, however, radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been very high.
TRT: 28:50 music fades long, 0:27 seconds
Produced by Dori Smith and John Schwenk, Storrs, CT and Syndicated with Pacifica Network
Download at Pacifica's Audioport here or at or at Radio4all.net and Archive.org.
Covered in this interview:
-The latest on the nuclear plants in Japan, where things stand, what are the possibilities for best case versus worst case scenarios.
-Global impacts from Japan nuclear power plant meltdown at core
-Use of Potassium Iodine and Availability in North America in the event the Radioactive Plume makes it across the ocean to America?
-Exposure at reactor core, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant no. 2, involvement of three or four plants.
-Potential for nuclear chain reactions.
Throughout Monday night in Japan, more risk of radioactive contamination. We’re joined by Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. He is based in the US but he is in touch with colleagues in Japan and other parts of the world as they continually assess the risk posed by the meltdown at the Japanese nuclear plants. We’re going to be talking about the core involvement after one core was exposed.
You can go to the web site www.NIRS.org for updates and information including a map provided by NOAA showing the direction of any radioactive plume. It is expected that at least some radiation will be affecting other countries, potentially America’s West Coast residents this week some time and NIRS and other agencies will be watching the clock and you should consult them for more specific information if you live on the West coast.
“I think it is time for the US Government to have adequate nuclear monitoring capability so we will know if those plumes make it to America”.
Michael Mariotte has also criticized the US for not making it more clear that Potassium Iodine has been stored and would be made available to residents who are at risk of contamination from across the ocean in Japan.
Seismic activity has continued to impact the already devastated country of Japan. OnTuesday Morning March 15, 2011, there radiation was detected in Tokyo. Not long after that information was made public, there was news of another magnitude six earthquake near Tokyo. No reports of casualties or damage at this time.
At the Fukushima plant contamination, fire, and radioactive releases. We asked Michael Mariotte to discuss what he knows.
Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service nirs.org