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Chernobyl And What To Expect From Fukushima – The Facts

Chernobyl And What To Expect From Fukushima – The Facts
3-29-11

1) Radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl meltdown spread over 40% of Europe.

2) Nearly 5 million people still live with dangerous levels of radioactive contamination.

3) Most of the Chernobyl radionuclides (up to 57%) fell outside the former USSR and caused noticeable radioactive contamination over a large area of the world ­ practically the entire Northern hemisphere.

4) Levels of radioactive contamination in the first days and weeks after the catastrophe were thousands of times higher than those recorded 2 or 3 years later.

5) When the reactor exploded, it expelled not only gases and aerosols but also particles of U fuel melted together with other radionuclides ­ firm hot particles. When absorbed into the body (with water, food or inhaled air), such particles generate high doses of radiation even if an individual is in an area of low contamination.

6) Lastly, the impact of the 2400 tons (some authors estimate 6720 tons) of lead dumped from helicopters onto the reactor to quench the fire has not been adequately evaluated. A significant part of this lead was spewed out into the atmosphere as a result of its fusion, boiling and sublimation in the burning reactor.

7) In Wales, one of the regions most heavily contaminated by Chernobyl fallout, abnormally low birth weights (less than 1500 g) were noted in 1986 and 1987 (Busby, 1995).

This Girl hasn't forgotten Chernobyl

8) Children from the contaminated areas of Belarus have digestive tract epithelium characteristic of senile changes (Nesterenko, 1996; ebeshko et al, 2006).

9) The biological age of inhabitants from the radioactive contaminated territories of Ukraine exceed their calendar ages by 7 to 9 years (Mezhzherin, 1996)

10) Adverse effects as a result of Chernobyl irradiation have been found in every group that has been studied. Brain damage has been found in individuals directly exposed…Premature cataracts; tooth and mouth abnormalities; and blood, lymphatic, heart, lung gastrointestinal, urologic, bone, and skin diseases afflict and impair people, young and old alike. Endocrine dysfunction, particularly thyroid disease, is far more common than might be expected, with some 1,000 cases of thyroid dysfunction for every case of thyroid cancer, a marked increase after the catastrophe. There are genetic damage and birth defects especially in children of liquidators and in children born in area with high levels of radioisotope contamination.

11) 5.1 Blood and lymphatic system diseases For both children and adults, diseases of the blood and the circulatory and lymphatic systems are among the most widespread consequences of the Chernobyl radioactive contamination.

12) The incidence of diseases of the blood and blood forming organs was 3.8 fold higher among evacuees 9 years after the catastrophe.

13) Diseases of the blood and circulatory system for people living in the contaminated territories (Ukraine) increased 11 to 15 fold for the first 12 years after the catastrophe (1988-1999) Prysyazhnyuk et al 2002).

14) Incidence of hemorrhages in newborns in the contaminated Chechersky District of Gomel Province (Belarus) is more than double than before the catastrophe (Kulakov et al, 1997).

15) In the observation period 1992-1997, there was a 22.1% increase in the incidence of fatal cardiovascular disease liquidators compared to 2.5% in the general population
(Belarus) (Pflugbeil et al, 2006).

16) Changes in genetic structures in both reproductive and somatic cells determine and define the occurrence of many diseases. Ionizing radiation causes damage to hereditary structures. The huge collective dose from the Chernobyl catastrophe (127-150 million persons/rad) has resulted in damage that will span several generations, causing changes in genetic structures and various types of mutations: genomic mutations (change in the number of chromosomes), chromosomal mutations (damage to the structure of chromosomes – translocations, deletions, insertions and inversions), and small (point) mutations.

17) In 1991 in Norway, a 10-fold increase in the number of chromosomal aberrations was found in 56 adults compared to controls (Brogger et al, 1996, Schmitz Feuerhake, 2006).

18) In 1987 in Austria, among 17 adults examined there was a 4-6 fold increase in the number of chromosomal aberrations.

19) There was a doubling of Down syndrome in Lothian, Scotland one of the territories contaminated by Chernobyl (Ramsey et al, 1991).

20) In Norway, cataracts in newborns occurred twice as often
1 year after the catastrophe (Irgens et al, 1991).

21) Incidence of neural tube defects in Turkey increased between 2- and 5-fold after the catastrophe (Hoffman, 2001; Schmitz-Feuerhake, 2006).

22) The most recent forecast by international agencies predicted there would be between 9000 and 28,000 fatal cancers between 1986 and 2056, obviously underestimating the risk factors and the collective doses. On the basis of I-131 and Cs 137 radioisotope doses to which populations were exposed and a comparison of cancer mortality in the heavily and less contaminated territories and pre- and post-Chernobyl cancer levels, a more realistic figure is 212,000 to 245,000 in Europe and 19,000 in the rest of the world.

23) More than 1000 cancer deaths in Norland Province, Sweden, between 1986 and 1999 have been attributed to the Chernobyl fallout (Abdelrahman, 2007).

24) After 20 years the incidence of thyroid cancer among individuals under 18 years of age at the time of the catastrophe increased more than 200-fold (National Belarussian Report, 2006).

25) In the Marne-Ardennes provinces (France) cancer incidence increased 360% in women and 500% in men between 1975 and 2005 (Cherie-Challine et al, 2006).

26) From 1985-1989 to 1990-1992 in Connecticut, USA, rates of thyroid cancer for all age groups increased by 23% (from 3.46 to 4.29 per 100,000, after 10 previous years without change (Reid and Mangano, 1995).

27) In Greece, infants born between 1.7.86 and 31.12.87, exposed to Chernobyl fallout in utero, had 2.6 times the incidence of leukemia compared to children born between 1.1.80 and 31.12.85 and between 1.1.88 and 31.12.90. (Petridou et al, 2004)

28) Changes in the sex ratio and the stillbirth odds ratio for gender were significant for Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Latvia and Sweden (Scherb and Wiegelt, 2000).

29) Great Britain. Ten months after the catastrophe, a significant increase in perinatal mortality was found in the two most contaminated areas of the country (Bentham, 1991).

30) Sweden. Infant mortality increased immediately after the catastrophe and increased significantly in 1989-1992 (Korblein, 2008).

2. COWS’ MILK SHOWS FIRST SIGNS OF RADIATION

First Japan suffered an earthquake, then a tsunami, then nuclear meltdowns and radiation.

Experts advised the Japanese people not to panic.
Experts advised people that the food was safe to eat, and that radiation had not entered their food supply.

This past week, the world learned that Japanese food and water were tainted with radioactive iodine.

Food is now routinely tested in Japan. The first food to show signs of radiation was cow’s milk. This makes sense, as cows are eating 50-80 pounds of feed each and every day. Radiation is concentrated in their bodies like sponges soaking up water. In a cow, the water is filtered and excreted and the concentrated toxins are consumed by milk drinkers. Twenty-one pounds of milk are required to produce one pound of butter.
Eating butter further concentrates toxins; in this case, radioactivity.

Armed with the knowledge that milk is the perfect barometer to test for the presence of radiation, it would make sense to test for levels of radiation in America’s milk as plumes from Japan are carried by the jet stream over California, Kansas, and then onto New York.

Here is where today’s stupid human trick kicks in.

It would make perfect sense to test milk from California Happy Cows, just in case…Sadly, this is news that the United States Department of Agriculture just does not want to know.

As of March 22, 2011, California milk is not being tested for radiation on a daily basis. As a matter of policy, California’s Department of Public Health routinely tests California milk for radiation once every month. One would assume (love that word) that with jet steams being what they are, and with Japan’s tragedy having the potential to radiate to Americans, it would be a logical human conclusion to want to test milk.

The spokesperson for California’s Department of Public Health, Mike Sicilia, had this stupid human trick comment:

This is typical routine testing and has been done for many years.”

Routine once-per-month testing will continue, because the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sees no reason for caution. California’s Department of Public Health reLIES upon FDA’s lead.

http://rense.com/general93/chern.htm

EPA to help obscure the TRUTH about Radiation Exposure by DRAMATICALLY raising “Safe” limits


EPA to Help Mainstream Media Obscure The Truth About Radiation Exposure to Americans

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

As Americans focus on March Madness and Dancing With the Stars instead of the radioactive plume spreading all across the country, the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is attempting to make the mainstream media cover up of the Fukushima cloud a bit easier.

The agency now notorious for its infamous claim that the air was safe to breathe after 9/11 is now seeking to raise the PAGs (Protective Action Guides) to levels vastly higher than those at which they are currently set allowing for more radioactive contamination of the environment and the general public in the event of a radioactive disaster.

PAGs are policies established by the EPA that guide the agency in enforcing the various environmental laws such as the Clean Air and Water Act in the invent of a radioactive emergency such as a nuclear/dirty bomb or factory meltdown like that occurring in Japan.

The EPA had already established PAGs in this area in 1992. They can be found here. However, the agency now plans to amend and revise these standards this year.

Because regulatory agencies form their own policies (although they can be directed by either the President or the Congress), there is no requirement to seek Congressional approval for these changes. All that is required is that the agency place the proposed changes in the Federal Register for public comment before it finalizes its draft into legal policy.

According to PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the new standards would drastically raise the levels of radiation allowed in food, water, air, and the general environment. PEER, a national organization of local, state, and federal employees who had access to internal EPA emails, claims that the new standards will result in a “nearly 1000-fold increase for exposure to strontium-90, a 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for exposure to iodine-131; and an almost 25,000 rise for exposure to radioactive nickel-63” in drinking water. This information, as well as the emails themselves were published by Collapsenet on March 24.

In addition to raising the level of permissible radiation in the environment, PEER suggests that the standards of cleanup after a radioactive emergency will actually be reduced. As a result, radioactive cleanup thresholds will be vastly lowered and, by default, permissible levels of radiation will be vastly increased in this manner as well.

As Michael Kane writes for Collapsenet, the current EPA numbers, as well as those generally agreed upon in the international radiation assessment community, all point to the fact that these increases in permissible levels would create a level of radiation where approximately 1 in 4 people would contract cancer from exposure to them.

The changes to the 1992 PAGs are not a new attempt by the EPA. The agency attempted similar changes in 2009 but the revisions were stopped largely by a barrage of FOIA requests and a lawsuit filed by PEER. However, in 2009 there was no massive radiation disaster the EPA needed to cover up as there is at the current time. In 2009, the EPA could afford to back off, regroup, and try again at a later date. Unfortunately, it is not likely to react the same way this time around.

As of the time of this writing, a toxic cloud of radiation has not only reached the US West Coast, but has spread all the way across the country to states like South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Massachussetts. Both the US government and the mainstream media have largely denied any risk associated with the radiation and have actively engaged in covering up the extent to which it has spread across the country.

In the event of any real journalism, the revelation of the danger and scale of the Japanese radiation cloud could be disastrous for those who hide the truth from the people who are sure to suffer the consequences. Indeed, the revelation that a toxic cloud of cancer-causing particles is littering the United States (especially in real time) might even be too much for the average television- and sports-obsessed American to handle.

However, the lowering of safety standards for radiation contamination would be a major victory for those wishing to cover it up. After all, the talking heads would then be able to claim that the radiation levels are within the safety range set by the EPA.

No cause for worry.

Regardless of the motivation behind these new changes, they must be actively opposed. We cannot allow the veil to be pulled even further over the eyes of the American people. At the very least, we cannot allow an agency charged with protecting both the environment and the people who live in it to set standards alleviating itself of that responsibility.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/03/epa-to-help-mainstream-media-obscure.html

Records Show 56 Safety Violations at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants in Past 4 Years
Mishandled Radioactive Material and Failing Backup Generators Among the Violations

By PIERRE THOMAS, JACK CLOHERTY AND ANDREW DUBBINS
March 29, 2011

Among the litany of violations at U.S. nuclear power plants are missing or mishandled nuclear material, inadequate emergency plans, faulty backup power generators, corroded cooling pipes and even marijuana use inside a nuclear plant, according to an ABC News review of four years of Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety records.

And perhaps most troubling of all, critics say, the commission has failed to correct the violations in a timely fashion.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has very good safety regulations but they have very bad enforcement of those regulations,
” said David Lochbaum, a nuclear scientist with the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

There are 104 U.S. nuclear power plants.

Lochbaum and the Union of Concerned Scientists found 14 “near misses” at nuclear plants in 2010. And there were 56 serious violations at nuclear power plants from 2007 to 2011, according the ABC News review of NRC records.

At the Dresden Nuclear Power Plant in Illinois, for instance, which is located within 50 miles of the 7 million people who live in and around Chicago, nuclear material went missing in 2007. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the operator — Exelon Corp. — after discovering the facility had failed to “keep complete records showing the inventory [and] disposal of all special nuclear material in its possession.”

As a result, two fuel pellets and equipment with nuclear material could not be accounted for.

Exelon did not contest the violation and paid the fine, a company spokesman said. “We took the learnings from that violation with respect to ways we can improve our spent-fuel practices,” Marshall Murphy said.

Two years later, federal regulators cited Dresden for allowing unlicensed operators to work with radioactive control rods. The workers allowed three control rods to be moved out of the core. When alarms went off, workers initially ignored them.

Murphy said the company concurred with the NRC’s determination. “ We have also taken a number of steps to ensure a similar event would not occur at any of our sites and shared the lessons from that with the industry,” he said.

“In both violations, neither employees or the public were ever jeopardized, but we take them seriously, we always look to learn from them, and we do that going forward.

Still, Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists said, “This event is disturbing. In August 1997, the NRC issued information … about a reactivity mismanagement problem at Exelon’s Zion nuclear plant,” which was retired the following year.

It was an epoch event in the industry in that other plants owners noted it and took steps to address [the issue]. Yet, a decade later, Exelon’s Dresden plant experiences an eerily similar repetition of the control-room operator problems.”

The lost material was almost certainly shipped to a licensed, low-level waste disposal site, Lochbaum said.

At the Indian Point nuclear plant just outside New York City, the NRC found that an earthquake safety device has been leaking for 18 years.

In the event of an earthquake, Lochbaum said, the faulty safety device would not help prevent water from leaking out of the reactor. A lack of water to cool the fuel rods has been the most critical problem at the Fukushima plant in Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami.

“The NRC has known it’s been leaking since 1993
,” Lochbaum said, “but they’ve done nothing to fix it.”

While declining to address specific violations, Roger Hanna, a spokesman for the NRC, said “we do require plant to comply, and we do follow up for corrections” when violations are discovered.

But NRC records examined by ABC News show that such incidents are not uncommon: In June 2009, at the Southern Nuclear Operating Co. Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., the emergency diesel generator — which would be used in the event of a disaster — was deemed inoperable, after years of neglect.

“Cracks in the glands of the emergency diesel generator couplings had been observed since 1988, but the licensee did not recognize the cracking was an indication of coupling deterioration
,” according to the NRC report. On April 19, 2010, the NRC cited the Tennessee Valley Authority Browns Ferry nuclear plant near Decatur for failing to provide “fire protection features capable of limiting fire damage.

The NRC fire protection regulations in effect today were developed as a direct result of the Browns Ferry fire on March 22, 1975.

In June 2010, Duke Energy, operators of the William McGuire nuclear plant in Mecklenburg County, N.C., was cited by the NRC after a contract employee was caught using marijuana inside the protected area.

NRC safety records show that inadequate emergency planning was a recurring problem in the industry from 2007 to 2011. Violations included unapproved emergency plans and plan changes, inadequate fire planning and precautions, falsified “fire watch” certification sheets,” inadequate flooding precautions, an insufficient tone alert radio system to notify the populace in a potential emergency and faulty assessment of containment barrier thresholds.

Corroded water pipes and cooling problems were also recurring issues.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-nuclear-power-plants-safe/story?id=13246490

Japan’s Nuclear Lessons Will Get Applied Right Away, U.S. Regulator Says

By Jim Snyder and Simon Lomax – Mar 29, 2011 1:56 PM ET

Nuclear-power plant regulators will apply lessons from Japan’s reactor crisis immediately without delaying until licenses are renewed, the head of operations at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

“We won’t wait” to order fixes at the 104 U.S. reactors, Bill Borchardt, the executive director for operations, said after briefing the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. Borchardt told senators there was “no technical reason” that the crisis in Japan would affect license renewals.

Licenses for commercial U.S. reactors were limited to 40 years “based on economic and antitrust considerations,” not because of technology, according to the NRC’s website. Under U.S. law, the NRC may extend licenses by 20 years if the operator shows the unit can be operated safely.

The agency has approved license extensions for 63 reactors, or 60 percent of the fleet. Applications for licenses at 19 existing reactors are under review, according to NRC data.

The commission’s safety study that started last week will examine whether operators should be required to improve the capabilities of batteries that keep cooling systems running when electricity is lost, Borchardt said.

Cooling systems lost power and backup generators failed, allowing radioactive fuel rods in reactors and storage pools to overheat after the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami disabled the reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant. Workers used helicopters and fire trucks to douse the Japanese plant with water to avert a meltdown.

Restoring Cooling System

Peter Lyons, the acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the U.S. Energy Department, said cooling systems hadn’t “been adequately restored” in Japan.

Radioactive water found in the basement of a turbine building that serves one of the reactors is “a result of the water that they’ve been injecting” to keep nuclear fuel rods cool, Borchardt said.

The water is the result of the ‘bleed and feed’ process that they have been using to keep water in the reactor cores and in the containment of the units,” he said. “The exact flow path of that leakage has not been determined.”

Borchardt said the situation at Fukushima “continues to further stabilize” as workers reconnect the damaged plant to the power grid.

I think it’s headed in the right direction,” Borchardt told reporters.

Evacuation Planning

A U.S. recommendation that Americans living within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the damaged plant leave was a prudent decision based on a Nuclear Regulatory Commission assessment of dangers, and fear that the fuel was damaged and the pools holding spent rods were empty or low on cooling water, he said.

Borchardt said the U.S. will evaluate its own emergency response procedures, including evacuation plans, during the reactor review. U.S. law requires a plan for moving residents living within 10 miles of a nuclear plant in an emergency.

Regulations setting the capability of back-up batteries vary by site, Borchardt said. Batteries at U.S. plants last from 4 hours to 8 hours. Regulators will review whether the Japan experience warrants a stricter requirement, he said.

The U.S. should freeze license renewals and permits for the construction of new nuclear reactors, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group said today in a report.

Nuclear power plants pose “inherent dangers” that can’t be overcome with safety measures and the U.S. “must move away from nuclear power and toward safer alternatives,” such as solar panels and wind turbines, the Boston-based advocacy group said in the report.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at [email protected]; Simon Lomax in Washington at [email protected]

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-29/japan-s-nuclear-lessons-will-get-applied-right-away-u-s-regulator-says.html

Radiation levels at Japan nuclear plant reach new highs

Radiation levels at Japan nuclear plant reach new highs

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By Chico Harlan and Brian Vastag, Monday, March 28, 1:35 AM

TOKYO — As radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant reached a new high Sunday, workers contended with dark, steamy conditions in their efforts to repair the facility’s cooling system and stave off a full-blown nuclear meltdown. Wearing respirators, face masks and bulky suits, they fought to reconnect cables and restore power to motor pumps the size of automobiles.

Leaked water sampled from one unit Sunday had 100,000 times the radioactivity of normal background levels, although the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, first calculated an even higher, erroneous, figure it didn’t correct for hours.

Tepco apologized Sunday night when it realized the mistake; it had initially reported radiation levels in the leaked water from the unit 2 reactor as being 10 million times the norm, which prompted an evacuation of the building.

After the levels were correctly measured, airborne radioactivity in the unit 2 turbine building still remained so high — 1,000 milli­sieverts per hour — that a worker there would reach his yearly occupational exposure limit in 15 minutes. A dose of 4,000 to 5,000 millisieverts absorbed fairly rapidly will eventually kill about half of those exposed.

The latest confusion in the operation to stave off a full-scale nuclear meltdown at the crippled facility underscores the immense challenges for the several hundred workers in a desperate battle to restart the critical cooling systems. Seventeen workers have been exposed to high levels of radiation, including three who were hospitalized last week, as technicians conducted highly nuanced electrical work in dark conditions that one nuclear industry expert termed “hellish.”

Japanese authorities say efforts to control Fukushima’s overheated reactors will take months and during that time radiation will continue to leak into the environment, extending a nuclear emergency that already ranks as the world’s most serious in a quarter-century. Several hundred workers now shoulder the responsibility for limiting the crisis, amid potentially lethal radiation levels, and on Saturday the chief of Japan’s nuclear agency called on Tepco to improve its worker safety.

On Monday morning, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made a plea to residents from the 12-mile radius evacuation zone surrounding the crippled nuclear plant to please stay away “until safety is confirmed.”

Police stationed in the area have noticed more people returning to gather belongings and “there is a risk” of returning home now, Edamo said. Many families fled quickly after the earthquake and tsunami struck more than two weeks ago with only the clothes they were wearing.

Evidence of rising contamination in and around the plant has tempered optimism from a week ago, when engineers began work to restore power to the first of the damaged reactor buildings. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Sunday that a new measurement of seawater taken about 1,000 feet from the facility showed an iodine level 1,850.5 times the legal limit, higher than a reading taken the previous day.

The dangers in unit 2 merely add to the growing challenges. Radioactive water is pooling in four of Fukushima’s six turbine rooms, and engineers have no quick way to clean it up, although they have begun to try in unit 1.

While a Tepco spokesman said Sunday that he did not know how the radioactive water was leaking from the reactor cores, Yukio Edano, chief cabinet secretary, said in a televised interview Sunday morning that the reactor itself had not been breached.

He said it was clear that water that could have been inside the unit 3 reactor had leaked but the reactor had not been breached. Still, he said, “Unfortunately, it seems there is no question that water, which could have been inside the reactor, is leaking.’’

Unlike in newer reactor designs, the older boiling-water reactors at Daiichi are pierced by dozens of holes in the bottoms of their reactor vessels. Each hole allows one control rod — made of a neutron-absorbing material that quickly stops nuclear fission inside the reactor — to slide into the reactor from below, as happened when the earthquake shook the plant March 11. During normal operations, a graphite stopper covers each hole, sealing in highly radioactive primary cooling water, said Arnie Gundersen, a consultant at Fairewinds Associates with 40 years of experience overseeing boiling-water reactors.

But at temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the graphite stoppers begin to melt.

“Since it is likely that rubble from the broken fuel rods .?.?. is collecting at the bottom of the reactor, the seals are being damaged by high temperature or high radiation,” Gundersen said. As the graphite seals fail, water in the reactor will leak into a network of pipes in the containment buildings surrounding each reactor — the very buildings that have been heavily damaged by explosions. Gundersen said that this piping is probably compromised, leaving highly radioactive water to seep from the reactor vessels into broken pipes — and from there into the turbine buildings and beyond.

To stabilize the facility, workers are trying to repair the elaborate cooling system, necessary to keep the reactor cores and spent fuel pools from overheating. For now, they are conducting this work in dark, steamy conditions. Nuclear safety experts say they must shift out of the most dangerous areas every 30 minutes to an hour, to prevent radiation overexposure.

Meanwhile, they are racing to repair motor pumps. Their environment resembles a cavern of cables. Some of the equipment was damaged during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Other equipment has been corroded by salt water, which was poured into the facility during earlier efforts to cool the reactors.

To a layman, you’d be scared to death,” said Lake Barrett, a nuclear engineer who directed the cleanup of Three Mile Island. “You’re working with salt water around your feet. This is not the way electricians usually work.

The number of workers at the Daiichi plant fluctuates from day to day, ranging between 500 and 1,000. But Tepco employees account for only a part of the labor force. Last Tuesday, for instance, there were 700 people at the plant, a nuclear agency official said. The figure included 500 Tepco employees, 100 subcontracted workers, and 100 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces or the Tokyo Fire Department.

One subcontracted worker who laid cables for new electrical lines March 19 described chaotic conditions and lax supervision that made him nervous. Masataka Hishida said neither he nor any of the workers around him was given a dosimeter, a device used to measure one’s exposure to radiation. He was surprised that workers were not given special shoes; rather, they were told to put plastic bags over their street shoes. When he was trying on the gas mask for the first time, he said, the supervisor told him and other subcontractors, “Listen carefully, I’m only going to say this one time,” while explaining how to use it.

When Hishida finished his work shift, an official scanned his whole body for radiation. He came up clean, except for the very tip of his beard. He was sent into a shower where he lathered up and scrubbed his beard. He was tested again and passed.

A few days later, still worried about the extent of his radiation exposure, he trimmed his beard.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/radiation-levels-reach-new-highs-as-conditions-worsen-for-workers/2011/03/27/AFsMLFiB_print.html

Radiation detected in Massachusetts rainwater as Fukushima crisis worsens

Radiation detected in Massachusetts rainwater as Fukushima crisis worsens

Mike Adams
NaturalNews
March 28, 2011

The Fukushima crisis continues to worsen by the day, with nuclear experts around the world finally realizing and admitting we’ve all been lied to. “I think maybe the situation is much more serious than we were led to believe,” said Najmedin Meshkati of the University of Southern California, in a Reuters report (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011…). That same article revealed that recent radiation readings at Fukushima show “contamination 100,000 times normal in water at reactor No. 2 and 1,850 times normal in the nearby sea.”

Massachusetts rainwater has also been found to be contaminated with low levels of radiation from Fukushima, indicating just how widespread the radioactive fallout has become. It’s not just the West Coast of North America that’s vulnerable, in other words: even the East Coast could receive dangerous levels of fallout if Fukushima suffers a larger release of radioactive material into the air.

Rolling blackouts are now continuing throughout Japan due to the drop in power production from Fukushima diminishing Japan’s electricity generating capacity (http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/20…). The only reason Japan isn’t experiencing widespread power blackouts right now is because so many factories were damaged or swept away from the tsunami itself. Once a serious rebuilding effort gets underway, Japan is going to find itself critically short of electrical power.

The radiation leaking from Reactor No. 2 is now measured at 1,000 millisieverts an hour — more than enough to cause someone’s hair to fall out from a single exposure event. Radiation sickness can begin at just 100 millisieverts. The extremely high levels of radiation are, in fact, making it nearly impossible for workers to continue working at the reactor. “You’d have a lot of difficulty putting anyone in there,” said Richard Wakeford, a radiation epidemiology expert at the Dalton Nuclear Institute in Manchester. “They’re finding quite high levels of radiation fields, which is impeding their progress dealing with the situation.” (http://www.businessweek.com/news/20…)

Taiwan looking to ditch nuclear power?

The worsening Fukushima situation is also starting to spook nearby nations such as Taiwan, which also depends on nuclear power. The DPP opposition party there announced today that it wanted to see nuclear power phased out by 2025. Taiwan is a relatively small island nation, and a Fukushima-like catastrophe would leave most of the island residents with nowhere to go. And like Japan, Taiwan is also vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis (as well as hurricanes).

In Germany, massive demonstrations (200,000 people in four large cities) have brought the nuclear safety issue to the forefront, contributing heavily to the defeat of Merkel and the rise to power of the Green Party in southwestern Germany (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/w…). Germans tend to have very strong opposition to nuclear power, in much the same way that most Europeans despise genetically modified foods.

The nuclear power industry turns out to be just as corrupt as Big Pharma

The truth is that many nations are rethinking nuclear power right now, thanks to the corruption, cover-ups and outright deceptions that we’re now finding out were behind the Fukushima power plant catastrophe. The nuclear industry, it turns out, is one big profit incest fest where the regulators are deeply in bed with the very industry they’re supposed to regulate (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100…).

Then again, what rich, powerful industry isn’t in bed with its regulators? It’s true with Big Pharma and the FDA just as much as it is with the nuclear power industry and its corrupt regulators. Every government-run regulator eventually becomes a marketing extension of the industry it was supposed to regulate.

That’s why Big Government never really works: Most of the regulators who are supposed to protect the people inevitably end up operating as industry whores. This entire Fukushima incident is a direct result of that deep-rooted corruption coming back to haunt humanity.

Watch for more reporting on this incident here at NaturalNews.com, and subscribe to our daily email alerts to be kept up to date on the situation: http://www.naturalnews.com/ReaderRe…

The Fukushima situation is nowhere near over. Now regulators are saying this might take not just weeks or months to sort out, but even years to fully rectify.

The half life of plutonium, it turns out, is a whole lot longer than the entire history of human civilization (24,000 years) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium). We would be wise to remember what we’re playing with when we attempt to harness the power of fission.

http://www.infowars.com/radiation-detected-in-massachusetts-rainwater-as-fukushima-crisis-worsens/