Will Fukushima’s Next Earthquake Start A Global Extinction Event?

Those of you who have been following me at HawaiiNewsDaily or on my blog may not have been thrilled with my initial assessments back in March – and ongoing – that Fukushima isn’t going away.

The reactors can NEVER be placed in ‘cold shutdown‘ because the cores are partially melted together. We are talking about hundreds of tons of fissile material inside reinforced concrete containment vessels. The containment vessels are cracked. They are releasing radiation. Fission excursions are still occurring and no one can go inside those containments for hundreds of years – even if they could get to the fuel.

They continue to pour water on them and drain it off into the ocean because there is nothing else they can do. If they stop pumping water, the genie comes out. If they keep pumping water, it has to go somewhere and that somewhere is the ocean. It is still a stop gap.  Those reactor cores cannot be put into ‘cold shutdown’ or dismantled or entombed.  Ever.

They cannot treat as much radioactive water as they have to keep pumping in.  No one can.  So the radiation is going to come across the Pacific and impact the US and, certainly, Hawaii. Yes, I read that they are going to start treating it or storing it, but the task is impossible.  Reactor cores have to be maintained in a ‘clean room’ environment or the water picks up particles – which then become radioactive – which then irradiate the reactor plumbing – and, eventually, become fuel. That’s why they have to keep pumping fresh water in and dumping it out. They cannot recirculate it, even if they manage to get new plumbing installed. The next major earthquake there will begin an extinction event.

I am not going to say ‘told you so’.  I am going to suggest that people who have the opportunity should consider growing their own food for a variety of reasons. I like aquaponics.

Growing food in enclosed greenhouses protects from fallout and the organic uptake of radionuclides. For my system, I have developed an ion-exchange filter to remove radioactive isotopes from rainwater. I can still use catchment. The water inside the greenhouses; water we need to drink, will be clean.

Consider this. When the economy collapses, as it must, the money people have invested almost anywhere except under their mattresses will be gone.  If, instead, you chose to develop an aquaponics farm,  in two years you would probably have a continuous supply of non-radioactive food.

We are now at the crossroads. The economic collapse IS coming. The radiation IS coming. I am going to have a radiation-free food source. If you believe you have your money and food supply secured into the future and that we will not devolve into a greenhouse economy, you don’t need to worry about it.  If you guess wrong, you will have lost both your money and your chance.

It is true that I am a doomsayer and actively prepare for the worst situation I can imagine. If I don’t, that’s what will happen. If I do, and it doesn’t happen, I will still have an active, organic aquaponics enterprise. It is win-win for me when I get it built on whatever scale I can do.

I am going to make fresh food and clean water no matter what anyone else does. It’s merely the practical matter of how many people I can feed. In one greenhouse I can produce enough food for myself and the people who help me. With two, I can produce a surplus and feed other people. I envisioned three, but I may have to convert the third one to a water treatment/storage facility. I presently don’t have enough land for more than three and I don’t have access to more than three greenhouses in any case. I still have to buy them, prep the ground, do the plumbing, dismantle them. move them, re-erect them and build the two-tier infrastructure inside them. Then I have to make them produce.  It is happening.

I have friends – maybe a lot of friends – who are investing in silver and gold. You can’t eat it.  I’m just saying – the markets are going back up today after what looked like a downward spiral on 3 May. They are fluctuating and confused. That is not a foundation for stability.

One of these days you will look at the clock and it will say “too late”.

The live camera link is here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FptmoVcgpqg The sound is on.  You can listen to the waves gently breaking on the shoreline.  You can watch birds fly around the ruins – they don’t understand what is happening to them.  When earthquakes hit you can watch the camera shake. It all appears very peaceful and tranquil.  It’s a view of Hell.

EDITED 13 MAY, 2011: For anyone who doesn’t quite ‘get it’ yet. http://vimeo.com/23680177

Dr. Tom is a retired scientist who is now farming on the Big Island of Hawaii. He blogs at https://www.facebook.com/tcburnett

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  • Tom

    My job with Mason & Hanger, A/E for the Nevada Test Site during Operation Teapot (1955) allowed me (along with everyone else employed by any site contractor) to view the several above ground tests of that series. Suffice it to say that the spectacle was vivid. I write this to note that the first Teapot shot I observed was a parachute detonation of a prototype artillery shell, ca. 1 Kt. Given the option to observe the initial flash directly thru density goggles or face away and turn around after that first bright flash, I chose to face away. I believe I turned around a tad too soon, as the fission event was very briefly visible before the fireball had fully developed to screen it. I had at the time no particular views on the nuclear issue. But that momentary glimpse of the fission event changed my understanding instantly. What I saw is not easy to describe. All I can say is that this localized space was twisting in and through dimensions not proper to Earth, and being here was utterly wrong in some fundamental sense. I have never forgotten this first encounter with nuclear energy, brief though it was.

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  • Sickputer

    Great ideas Tom…but you forget one thing…when money is gone society is totally broken. The only thing that will matter is who has the biggest stick. Your farm could never survive the roaming cannibals unless you have some trick up your sleeve. Advertising you are in Hawaii probably didn’t matter because there will NOWHERE to hide a food-producing farm on earth unless you live on a deserted island or have a undergound bunker funded by Bill Gates.

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    • Tom Burnett

      No, I didn’t forget that. Roaming thieves can’t steal a farm. At most they can try to steal food but that is very unlikely here where everyone is self-reliant to some extent. If someone asks, we’ll feed them in exchange for work. If they try to take it by force, we’ll kill them. We are kinda rural. There aren’t going to be roving bands of anything out here. It’s not a desert island, but it IS the most remote island chain in the world – you can’t drive here and there are only so many people who can sail across the Pacific to get here – and they’d have to get through a few other people and make a pretty serious march to find us. That’s a lot of effort for a chunk of raw fish and some vegetables.

      But since you mention it, they have to come to us. We can have fixed emplacements for the Barrett .50s and we know the land. No one wants to walk into something like that.

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      • Sickputer

        That’s the spirit! I’m with you…I will not go meekly in a Mad Max world. I wish you and your family well…looks like things are going very badly today at Fukushima and some big events loom in the very near future…one way or the other. Probably too late for my plans for me and Bruce Willis to drill the shaped charge blasts into the sea *;-), but I hear rumors of an USAF neutron bomb attack on the plant when things look beyond dire. Stay tuned and stay alert…the fat lady has yet to sing…and when she does get ready for the biggest disinformation campaign in the world.

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        • Tom Burnett

          Thanks! I have no family, though, Hell, I don’t even have any relatives.

          Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me! But be quick or I’ll bust a cap in someone’s ass.

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  • Mike “P.T.” Mandaville

    After the disaster struck at Fukushima, I did some research, and it was only then that I learned that when I was ten years old, the worst nuclear meltdown in U.S. history took place just thirty miles from where I was living, in Hawthorne, California. This was the Rocketdyne meltdown, at Santa Susana. What is even more disturbing is that noone who was living in the radioactive zone, which includes the prestigious Malabu Beach community, was even aware that the meltdown had occured.

    Tom, I like your fish-farming idea. When I was a boy, I spent many a happy hour trout fishing in Sweetwater Creek, thirty miles up the Colorado River from Glenwood Springs, in Colorado state. Then, one day, I saw the fish truck driving up the valley, and I started asking questions. That was when I found out that the state raised trout, to keep the populations up. My grandparents saw that I had an interest, and we went to visit the local fish farm. I still remember that.

    Aloha from the Austin hill country

    Hawaii is where I kissed the ground when I came back from Vietnam

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    • Tom Burnett

      Aloha Mike. I flew direct to California from Okinawa after the Nam. Austin is where I went to school – San Antonio is where I grew up. Too crowded now, though.

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  • rami

    Hey Dr.

    I’m sure you’ve said it somewhere, but is there any ION EXCHANGE water filter system you’ve recommended on here? and also what kind of air filtering system could you recommend for a small dwelling. ? I was thinking an intake fan with a hepa filter then blowing an exhaust out on the opposite side of our home.. mahalo if can or cant , ooo ryyyyte!!

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    • Tom Burnett

      @rami: I haven’t recommended one but several companies are making them now (especially in-line filters) and price-gouging. All you need for an ion exchange filter is some sort of filter medium – I use coconut husks but I am trying other things, too…and you need some charcoal and zeolite. I make Ohia charcoal. Zeolite is available from Bear River Zeolite: http://www.bearriverzeolite.com. I am using a gravity system so I don’t need electricity. I am going to pre-filter the catchment water through a ceramic filter coated in colloidial silver. The instructions for a good one are here: http://rdic.org/water-ceramic-filtration.html.

      If I had unlimited electricity and money I’d use a pool filter which pushes water bottom-to-top through Diatomaceous earth and merely add layers of charcoal and zeolite in the filter. You could do the same thing with a water softener. Once a month I’d hook a hose to it and backflush it into a little pond I’d build for Coquis. Let’s see the damn things whistle with their throats melted out.

      I don’t have the zeolite yet. It’s $99 for a five gallon bucket and $120 to UPS it here. And I don’t know any potters or where to get the materials for the ceramic filters, but I imagine it would be a huge business opportunity for someone on the Big Island – and I’d jump on it if I had the connections and resources.

      To make ‘activated’ charcoal from your homemade charcoal, just bake it in the over at 500 degrees for an hour or two. I have been sorely tempted to try to find a potter with a kiln – I’d get both the ceramic filters AND activated charcoal at one stop. I haven’t tried to pursue it but it would be easier than aquaponics.

      If ideas were dollars…

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      • rami

        great idea for the catchment, respect.

        what about in-home air filtration systems, any ideas..

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        • Tom Burnett

          If you have central air, put a HEPA filter on it. If you are like the rest of us and have all the windows open it’s not as easy but if we begin to read high backgrounds wear a P-95 painter’s mask and wash your vegetables.

          I have a room air conditioner on one room. I can put a HEPA filter on the intake and it pumps enough air to keep the room slightly pressurized. You can rig a Painter’s mask or HEPA filter on the A/C intake for your car as well.

          I have only read higher-than-normal backgrounds twice; a few days after R3 blew up and again about the 6th of April. It wasn’t enough to cause me concern and it was during rainstorms. Without rain to pull the particles out of the air most of them will keep on blowing around.

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          • rami

            Dr.,
            on Oahu everyone i know cares less. Appreciate all help & the do-it-yourself tips.

            MAHALO NUI LOA

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    • Tom Burnett

      Aloha Rami,

      Let’s discuss the reality of what is happening since no one seems to know. I read an email last night from someone who is sure the ‘rads’ are blowing right at Hawaii – another person who is anti-nuke even though they don’t understand what it is. That’s sort of like people who think inanimate objects (like firearms) are intrinsically evil and that, because I carry one, it may take over my mind at any time and make me a zombie – but that’s the way sheep think. They have only two speeds – graze and stampede.

      Allrighty….here we go. Common sense and nonsense.

      http://tergeist.wordpress.com

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      • rami

        Aloha Dr.,

        Preventative and self sustaining measures that are borderline OCD, or escape the northern hemisphere.

        Things are getting funky, something to tell the grandchildren about.

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        • http://drtom.posterous.com Dr. Tom

          OCD is in the mind of the beholder. I flatter myself that I can find solutions to problems before they occur – and not all of them DO occur. Fukushima did.

          The economy might not tank. I think it will. I don’t think these things in a bad way or to scare people but I try to carry my thoughts to a conclusion.

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  • Lili

    So how does one manage the plutonium, plus strontium, plus cesium, plus tritium…

    There are 55 operating nuclear reactors in Japan with a number of others in construction or being planned(From Wiki please feel free to check true data)

    So Fukushima reactor 1 is in a path of devastation, reactor 3 is now in trouble and Hamaoka is trying to prevent meltdown due to coolant contaminated with saltwater in reactor number 5.

    Japan is the size of California and ONE reactor at ONE nuclear site(Fukushima) is causing this madness…

    There are FIFTY FIVE nuclear reactors in a space the size of California with hurricane/typhoon season coming.

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    • Tom Burnett

      Hi Lili: As you see from what Japan is doing, there IS NO way to manage this disaster. As soon as they think they have one reactor under temporary control, another melts down. They are hanging on by their fingernails and losing the fight.

      Hamakoa isn’t the only problem – Fukushima Dai-ichi (#2) has problems with at least one of it’s reactors and so, probably, does the Onagawa plant. The solution? Take it off the news. Don’t tell anyone. The earthquakes are still happening and Typhoon season is coming. If not this year, then next year – or the next – or the next. These reactors will poison the planet for many decades.

      It’s true that there are 55 nuclear plants in Japan – but only about 50 are left in operation after March 11. Of those, only about forty are probably in danger of being damaged enough to wipe out most of life on earth. My aquaponics project – growing fish and vegetables under cover – begins today. Hopefully I will have sufficient non-radioactive food and water available within a year to feed a core group of people.

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      • http://barry-williams.com Barry from Saskatchewan

        You know Tom, as time saunters by I become more and more fond of you and home grown fish… 8-)

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        • Tom Burnett

          Pfft….What’s not to like? :-S

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  • Phineas Taylor Barnum

    Building tents will only turn this meltdown into a three-ring circus.

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    • Tom Burnett

      @ P.T. Barnum: Well…three rings and a fuel pool. :-)

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  • Carolyn

    Hey Tom,

    Excellent article, and very inspiring as well! I live on the east coast of the US and have been trying to keep on top of everything that has been occurring in Japan, and it all seems so overwhelming. I seem to feel as if I can never have enough information at my grasp in order to make a difference and start changing my lifestyle now before it is too late. Scary to think of what is to come, but even scarier to not be prepared for it. Would you mind emailing me or responding back with some starter ideas on how to get the makings of an indoor garden? Even a link would be great. I am 24 years old and worry about my future. Even contemplating not having offspring because of what they will be succumbed to in the next generation to follow. I thank you again for this article and will be following up frequently. God Bless my friend.

    Carolyn

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  • will

    hey friend does zero water ion exchange filter work for removal of isotopes or is it bs? thanks

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    • Tom Burnett

      If you mean the pitcher that is shown on the website, I seriously doubt it.

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  • http://bibliotecapleyades.net Faust

    You’ve hit the big question in your perceptive article, Tom, but you didn’t voice it:-

    Why have so many nuclear power stations been built over or near known geological fault lines?

    One possible answer may be found in the Georgia Guidestones message; another in Kissinger’s eugenics speech; another in Heritage Foundation policy; etc ad nauseum.

    Yet Gandhi correctly pointed out some time ago that “The world has enough for everyone’s needs but never enough for some peoples greed”

    The guy above who thought IAEA was subject to UN better check out the ’59 ruling…

    Good luck, survivors all.

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    • Tom Burnett

      Fault lines are typically near coastlines. Reactors are built on coastlines for the unlimited supply of water for their heat exchangers. They are not built with the fault lines in mind or anything else except maximizing profit.

      If your profit margins only destroy a remote part of Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico, or only kill a few thousand people at a time, no big deal. If you begin to kill TOO many people, it will first be denied – then covered up – then you have a problem. I don’t think anyone inside the beltway has any effing clue what like is like in the real world.

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  • Rampaging Manatee

    Thank you Mr. Burnett, great information. Thanks to others who commented. Even Steve Johnson. We all need a good laugh. You can’t spell ‘SLAUGHTERHOUSE’ without ‘LAUGHTER’. LoL. But seriously, if we survive this with some semblance of our civilization -> -> DUH, thorium ractors! <- <- All we have to do is convince or coerce the psychotic militaries and governments of the planet. China and Russia are already on board, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
    Oh, if they're poisoning my little manatee calves, I'll get my pound of flesh. Several even. ;) That is all.

    Sincerely,
    Rampaging Manatee

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  • J. Robert

    Thanks for your post. What do you think of pebble reactors, or thorium? Any other thoughts on energy creation in this area? Geothermal can create earthquakes, wind power is fine as an ancillary source, but not if you want your fridge or hospital equipment working part time (and kills massive numbers of birds), coal has mercury, solar isn’t ready for prime time, and oil sends money to the bad guys, given that the PC types won’t let us drill here (Brazil, 15,000 ft down, with our money, no problem… great for Obama’s Fabian socialist nightmare).

    Your thoughts?

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    • Tom Burnett

      I like pebble reactors and thorium fuel. The problem with GEN 1 reactors is that they are inherently unsafe, especially ganged together. We can see how that is working out.

      If we went with small, thorium-fueled CANDU-type reactors the size of cars or even buses that put out 15 to 50 megawatts and buried them underground over a wide area, they would be self-contained and this sort of thing couldn’t happen. Even if one were destroyed somehow, it wouldn’t go fissile and it is already buried. The problem with that is economy of scale. There isn’t enough profit in it for the big utility companies.

      (this is one article of many)
      http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jun/05-the-big-promise-of-micro-nukes

      BTW, Fukushima #3 and 4 are on fire again, big time. The Japanese just killed the live feed, bit not before I got pictures of the radioactive smoke. drtom.posterous.com or tergeist.wordpress.com

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  • prh

    Good assessment. Frightening, tho. I’ve got my seeds, my greenhouse, my reverse-osmosis water system, my zeolite and seaweed and iodine, my canned goods, etc. etc. I suppose my family can survive a short time. But this is not living – not something you would wish on your children. It’s like living under siege – or in a war zone. I think having a passport and a bug out plan may be wise, too – assuming that the southern hemisphere may be less radiated, it might be an option.

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    • Tom Burnett

      During a crisis you are always better going with a known. Where I am might be your best choice.

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      • zoe

        Aloha! Bro Tom Where exactly are you?

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        • Tom Burnett

          Zoe, tell me why you need to know. If it’s about that FATWAH for naming my cow MOOhammad, you don’t want to know. :-)

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      • Terry Robinson

        “Where I am might be your best choice.”

        Why?

        I hope we never experience this:

        http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/chernobyl

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        • http://barry-williams.com Barry from Saskatchewan

          Holy! Friggin incredible Mr. Robinson. Thanks.

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        • Tom Burnett

          Because we understand that ‘big brother’ no longer cares about individuals and that depending on the government for anything at all is a fool’s errand. Because Fukushima will affect North America much more severely than it will Hawaii. Because we already have a functional subsistence economy and can mitigate the threat of radioactive fallout almost completely. Because we have sufficient water and a year-log growing season. Because we can live without TV and toilet paper.

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  • http://barry-williams.com Barry from Saskatchewan

    So far you have been right about this whole schmozzle even though the stuff you say has been provocative, to say the least.

    I’ve got my indoor garden underway and have concluded my unconscious support for the nuclear industry.

    The gov’t types I had figured out a while back so nothing they do (or don’t do) surprises me now.

    Sir – you have a good head on your shoulders and I for one am glad you have it screwed on like you do. Thanks muchly Tom.

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    • robertsgt40

      Yep-Dow is -160 as we speak. If radiation is continuous to your island, it’s just a matter of time before you croak.

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      • Tom Burnett

        Nope. I have an anti-croaking device. I thought about this before it happened.

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  • Dave Klausler

    Tom:

    About the ion-exchange type filter… I only took a quick look around. Are you designing your own, or are you acquiring specific resin beads for an existing unit?

    Thanks,

    Dave

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    • Tom Burnett

      I am designing my own.

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      • Dave Klausler

        You have my address if you’d care to share.

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  • Steve Johnson

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Tom Burnett

      Umm…let me take your points one by one. My OBSERVATION is not extremist. It is merely an observation. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there smarter than I. Most of them agree with me.

      No one is ‘looking to fix this’. It can’t be fixed. It can get worse, and it will, but it can’t get better.

      Who told you I have no background in nuclear physics? I certainly do. And I have friends on the ground and associates in the academic community in Tokyo. I have no business ‘potential’. I happen to be self-sufficient, or nearly so, and that doesn’t make me a ‘hippie’, you Jackass. My observation is not only logical, it is exactly accurate.

      The reactor 4 building is about to fall over. Look at it. There is a reason it is now about 15 degrees off vertical. It wasn’t like that until the 4th of May. The Japanese are trying to shore it up as we speak. The live camera was centered on it most of the day today. In fact, they just moved another water pumper between the reactors and alternate between 3 and 4. But you don’t believe me. OK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxbm7iJTT8U&feature=player_embedded

      Deciding that, because the IAEA and EPA have stopped issuing timely information, there is nothing to see, is seriously naive. This is quite a long article, but you would do well to read it. http://groups.google.com/group/theautomaticearth/msg/640b86780461155a?

      Apparently you are living an a parallel universe. I gotta tell you, I didn’t delete your rant because of this choice item: “The IAEA is sanctioned by the UN, not some backwater corrupt organisation easily bribed to ignore a critical situation.”

      Right! I am still laughing. But wait! Where does the IAEA GET their information about Fukushima? Do they actually go look? NOOOOOOOO. They get it from TEPCO! Look on their website. http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsunamiupdate01.html

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      • Howard T. Lewis III

        Ahh, useful input. Except I disagree that ‘nothing can be done ” to reduce the eventual sum of the radiactive contamination.
        We know…
        1) It is way too hot now because the result from what the asshole legions built resulted in the fuel rods and pellets being fused into wads so coolant (Demineralized water preferred) can not efficiently access the tubes or pellets within to carry away heat.
        2)If liquified, the molten material can be
        seperated. If seperated, the smaller amounts of fuel can be manipulated and interred with correspondingly less tendency to go super critical and remelt or explode. But, trouble now is this stupid reinforced concrete barrier between successful manipulation of the fuel and a semi-realistic sense of PANIC. The Russians correctly reasoned that building the thick cement dome structures was a silly false security blanket that in the event of a meltdown, would only allow the
        pressure and rate of activity to build up far more before a much larger explosion ensued. After the initial shock, access and repair and dispersal of super-critical masses could be done. At Fukushima, apparently cracked cement is the barrier to any access? I would venture to say the radioactivity would prohibit even 2 minute efforts… So we find the solution which is not been fed to us. We hunt the motherfucker down and nail it. I don’t imagine the Fukushima gang hunt much. And GE and Westinghouse are hiding and denying every and any responsibility so they don’t get sued. Get them a radioactivity suit and put them on the next plane to Tokyo. LBJ,Nixon and the Bushes set this deal up.

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        • Tom Burnett

          Nope. “2)If liquified, the molten material can be seperated”[sic]. It cannot. It has now melted into a puddle of Corium (from the word ‘core’). It is an ungodly mess of melted fuel, melted fuel rods, melted concrete and whatever debris happened to fall in with it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corium_%28nuclear_reactor%29

          It can never be separated, even as a liquid. However let’s go one more step. The only to liquefy metal is to melt it. If you do that with a reactor core (and we don’t really have anything that will get hot enough) it will simply go fissile again. They can accomplish that particular disaster by merely ceasing to pump water on it – probably not a great idea.

          By the context, I understand you to mean it can be melted into chunks, not ‘separated’. But it cannot, for the same reason I just explained. However, I am willing to let you explain to me how a fissioning mass at 5,000 degrees can be separated. Not with anything on earth or in the known universe, I am sorry to inform you. We are talking about heat approaching that on the surface of the sun which would be emitting huge amounts of alpha and beta particles and gamma rays. Nothing separates that.

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          • Howard T. Lewis III

            Well put. The situated pile would then have to be allowed to fall into seperate vessels or sand boxes on crumbling apart. Then further isolated after seperation.

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          • Tom Burnett

            OK, but there are still very limited ways to crumble it apart. It’s metal. It’s reinforced. It’s a homogenous mass It randomly goes fissile and shoots neutron beams – and it’s deadly. So there are two or three possible ways to kill it. One is to nuke it and burn all the fissile material at once. That will create a very nasty planet. They can keep doing what they are doing – hanging on by their bleeding fingernails until the genie gets loose. Same result. They can stop cooling it and let the cores melt and explode. (they did that this morning – but I didn’t see an explosion) Same result. They could conceivably pour liquid nitrogen in there and shoot a armor-piercing High-explosive DU rounds in there to break chunks off – that will immediately go fissile and melt right back into the pool. The bottom line is that as soon as they remove the water, the thing is going to get loose. Not just one. At least 4 at Dai-ichi and one at Dai-ni.

            Let’s hear your plan. Dropping chunks of fissioning material into sand merely melts the sand. It does bot coat the Corium or vitrify it or dilute it.

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          • Howard T. Lewis III

            Some sort of material is holding up the Corium material as we speak,enjoying ever decreasing success. Demineralized water in receiving containers, constant monitoring of mean temperature of each corium mass realizing temperature drops occur as the piles seperate and coupling seperation technique with solid/liquid states kept in mind and transport vessel design kept in consideration of these changes of state occuring with each mass. First it would have to be decided whether liquid with chunks or cooler totally solid would be easier to seperate and transport. I don’t have all the bugs worked out and welcome the opportunity to help from far back. I fled constructing the Trojan nuclear plant in Rainier, Oregon because at the time they did not have nor do they yet have, a method of storing spent fuel long term that does not include copious quantities of demineralized water. No body can juggle three vials of nitroglycerin or eniriched spent radioactive fuel for ever. They just proved that, the fools. I suggest we get a move on and get this baby wrapped up and remember who actually built this motherfucker in the first place.

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          • Tom Burnett

            @Howard: Well…concrete is holding it up where it hasn’t melted through – as in reactor 1. But you have to realize that they poured salt water in there. That little effort completely obviated any future need for demineralization water. That’s only needed in the Class 1 clean room atmosphere inside the containment. Once it’s polluted, there is no way for Dorothy and Toto to get back to Kansas. Once Corium forms, there is only one viable option. TEPCO is turning off the water at night and letting the fuel burn itself up. I hesitate to say it’s intentional.

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          • Howard T. Lewis III

            Think robots. Think cement ponds and cement sailboats. Think hi-pressure water cutters (experiment first) There is a way.

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  • Ben

    It’s the government that should be prosecuted for leaving this operation entirely in the hands of TEPCO well after it became obvious TEPCO is completely out of its depth and cannot handle it at all. Not that this is surprising in any way. They are an electric power company, not an organization meant to manage nuclear disasters. Imagine if Gorvachev had decided to leave Chernobyl in the hands of the entity that ran the power plant. This is totally absurd.

    The government does not want to take charge of the hot potato, so that it as something else people can point to: the Tokyo power company.

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    • Howard T. Lewis III

      Check out who designed and licensed this thing. Check out who signed off on the location. (Hint: TEPCO is an American anagram.)

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      • Tom Burnett

        Man, don’t start that nutty shit. My name is an anagram, too. So is yours. ‘Dishwater low’ is an anagram for your name. Just sayin’.

        However, stepping back up a notch to your previous post about water jet cutters…they’d have to get a serious water jet and use diamond abrasive – but it is at least remotely possible – all the residue would have to be pumped out in a boron slurry so it didn’t recombine and go critical again.

        It might be do-able. Unfortunately, they have to get to the core first and it looks like it will take decades.

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  • Dwight Kondo

    Another idea regarding your aquaponics endeavors:

    Raising animals that are lower on the food chain, and smaller too, provides for a more efficient conversion of protein and feed. Say like Tilapia. I have been thinking that it would be better just raising the fry or babies to use as protein for other animals like poultry. For poundage of fish versus poundage of feed, harvesting the juveniles or fry would have higher return of harvested weight. Of course, you lose some of that efficiency when you feed that to poultry which then convert that to meat or eggs but the poulty can subsidize their diets by being let out to forage. They eat Coqui frogs, centipedes and roaches.

    I would rather have an omelet or chicken-papaya than Tilapia sashimi. Prawns, though real ono, take longer to grow out and more feed. But we do have varieties of prawn already introduced and adapted to Hawaii. Macrobracium or Malayasian Prawn and the smaller and more fecund Tahitian prawn…forgot nomenclature. Hawaii has its own fresh water shrimp called opae.

    Call me when you get started or better yet, when you harvest some prawns!

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    • Tom Burnett

      You just said ‘let out to forage’. The entire basis for the article is the concept that an alternative exists if radiation should prevent foraging outdoors. The idea is to grow the food in greenhouses to protect it from uptaking and bio-accumulating radionuclides. I must not have made that clear.

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      • Dwight Kondo

        Yeah, right! I forgot!

        I wonder how long before this paradigm shift on how we relate to EVERYTHING around us sinks in or SINKS us?

        In some ways, if sh!t gets worse at Fukushima or is ‘worser’ than we have been misled to believe, the change and the surviving won’t amount to very much.

        Again: Us older types got twenty good years left. What about the young ones who were supposed to have another 60 or 70 good ones? Guaranteed! Fukushima Daiichi Tepco has robbed them!

        With or without a greenhouse, canned food and contamination kits and suits, the true outcome of this fugging disaster will NEVER be known until too late for many if not all.

        Frankly, if we survive this, and it is certain millions have been condemned -mostly unbeknownst to them yet, this catastrophe proves we cannot AFFORD nuclear or maybe even petroleum if we are to avoid extinction.

        Perhaps after a short century of Technology and ‘easy’ energy, this wicked, yet miraculous age must come to an end.

        Our ‘exposure’ in this Nuclear- Faustian Deal has our liabilities out-stipping positive returns. I don’t love my Sony anymore.

        If it be good or bad, are just opinions. As Crapitalism dies at Fukushima, the imperative manifests.

        Humans! Change or Perish!

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  • Dwight Kondo

    Just the consequences of the fall or substantial decline of the worlds #3 economy can/will trigger tensions that can get out of hand in this flakey whirl right now. Never mind the great economic and public health deterioration due to the level of radioactive fallout on Canada, US and Hawai’i even if the government does raise the safety levels.

    I don’t sense that you are a fear monger in general or here, now. I think you’re attempting to get others to ‘look in the eye’ the looming threat is necessary.

    Put it this way: If nothing happens that makes the Fukushima Meltdown any more dangerous than it is now for us all, great! But we ought to be fearful of nuclear energy and our lying governments. Be so fearful that we get angry and do more to control them. If something IS happening or about to, our being uncomfortable, or better yet, pissed, is a healthy impetus to assert ourselves effectively.

    But I still believe TEPCO officials need to be prosecuted for operating these unsafe nuclear power plants and for the constant releases of radioactive poisons that EXCEED THE LEGAL LIMIT! Everyone, anyone, all who release radioactive poisons exceeding the legal limit ought to be prosecuted severely.

    Then beaten and hung no matter what the verdict.

    Just say, Sayonara, TEPCO!

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    • Tom Burnett

      I certainly agree with that assessment. I would probably go a lot further and suggest prosecution for politicians who enable things like this and then blame the citizens for them.

      Those reactors (and ALL reactors) are not built to be as safe as possible. They are built to a price-point. That point coincides with an earthquake magnitude of 6.9. They can fail at any magnitude past that – a follow-on tsunami almost guarantees catastrophic failure.

      But that’s not all that happened. Parts of the island of Honshu were pulled as far as 17 feet to the southeast and sank up to four feet. That change is permanent.

      It is not surprising those reactors failed. What IS surprising is that they are trying to white-wash it.

      Earthquake-proof BUILDINGS are typically only built to withstand magnitude 5.9 earthquakes. That is a purely financial decision. This building has withstood all manner of earthquakes in the almost thousand years since it was built.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia

      I posted yesterday (somewhere) that some videos of Fukushima Dai-ichi taken after all the reactor explosions show water being pumped out of the main outflow (across the seawall to the south of the plant. That might mean that the basements of the reactors themselves are below sea level – which then explains how radioactive water can be escaping from the inflow sluices. I’ll have to try to find that out. This just keeps getting worse and worse.

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      • Dwight Kondo

        The seismic history of the eastern coast of Japan was ignored when these poison facilities were planned and built. In 1896 there was a magnitude 8.5 in this same area that generated an even larger tsunami than the one in March. Another m 8.4 in 1926 also discharged a tsunami again larger than the last one.

        Desperate for national industrial growth or profits, the designers CHOSE to ignore the history of earthquakes and tsunamis along that very shoreline.

        If the liabilities are only social while the benefits are private, the victim ends up being made responsible for the CRIMES of the shortsighted corporate culprit.

        I had a thought on a slightly different topic. The word ‘Tsunami’ is the accepted international/English term for what was once called a Tidal Wave. I have a hunch that the Japanese word “Tsunami’ or “harbor wave”, was invented right there near Fukushima a long time ago.

        The fugging planners chose not to recognize recent facts.

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        • http://seeAugeanStables yw

          Another tsunami might be a natural solution to reduce the radiation at the Fukushima site. Unfortunately rinsing the open, liquid and solid radioactive materials inland and seaward will set Japan and the globe to a faster cooking.

          Time for reflective poems like Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice.
          http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/fire-and-ice/

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  • AtomicZombie

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Tom Burnett

      Sure I understand ‘feed and bleed’. I just finished explaining why it won’t work. they started ‘feed and bleed’ on March 14. They can’t keep it up unless they keep pouring radioactive water into the ocean. Like they have been since March 14.

      I’ll redefine the problem for you. The fuel in the reactor cores is partially melted together. It doesn’t ‘unmelt’. It is not play-doh. It is one of the heaviest metals in the world and it cannot be separated. Explosives (other than nuclear detonations) and heat will merely make it continue to fission.

      There are hundreds of TONNES of this stuff melted all over the bottoms of the containment vessels. No one disagrees with that. It can’t be removed. No one disagrees with that. It can’t be entombed – it will just blow up like Chernobyl. No one disagrees with THAT, either. And so, although they are putting on a nice show, both the Japanese and everyone else know there is nothing else they can do.

      What, exactly, ARE you disagreeing with? The word ‘Never’? OK. They can’t clean it up for 200 years after it stops fissioning and it will stop fissioning when it gets hot enough to blow itself up or someone drops a nuke on it.

      The IAEA hasn’t bothered to report on Fukushima since 5 MAY and the EPA has stopped testing for fallout and refuses to test fish at all. The Japanese government has blacked out most news and hasn’t bothered to tell anyone that Fukushima Daini is leaking too.

      Knowledge shouldn’t scare people. Locking your citizens in the dark and feeding them mushrooms is much more scary than pretending it doesn’t exist.

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    • Tom Burnett

      Hey Bubba. The reactor 4 building is about to fall over. Watch what happens when THAT spent fuel pool is spilled all over the facility and into the ocean.

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      • Catherine

        I sure hope they are able to shore up that building. That will be catastrophic… with all the earthquakes I don’t know if they will be successful. News in this country, no longer stands for anything worth wasting your time with, they are still concerned about Sarah, Glenn, and Rush.. soon to be rejoined by Newt announcing… The democrats have been brainwashed to think nuclear power is the way to go… got a letters from Obama and Patty Murray… so, first anti nuke powered candidate will get my vote. Seeking information is the only way to find any… Helen Caldicott, Arnie Gunderson and a few others will tell you the truth, but check any of the Fox news sights, and you will see how very sick our nation is… keep checking all of cable news and you will find that it is only a propaganda machine that does not care about you, your family, or anyone’s safety. Journalism is dead.

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        • Mike “P.T.” Mandaville

          Yeah, I followed the news for two solid months on the satellite stations, and even on the internet, for gosh sakes, before I finally discovered first Tom Burnett, and then Arnie Gunderson. The mainstream media is behaving like an ostrich, burying its head in the sand.

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