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WATCH OUT: Japan is pushing exports of its Fukushima ‘s radiation contaminated sake to other countries

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Free Fukushima “sake” tasting events in NYC.

Japan’s No.1 Sake Fukushima
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Most Gold Prizes 6 years in a row in the century-old Japan Sake Awards. “Champion Sake” in 2015 and 2018 at the International Wine Challenge. Unmatched craftsmanship and the finest taste. While famous in Japan, Fukushima sake has remained a mystery to the outside world—until now!
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More Free Sake Tasting Events
Japan’s No.1 Fukushima’s Sake for Holiday Gift–Free Tasting
Dec 7, 2018 5:00 PM
Japan’s No.1 Fukushima’s Sake for Valentine’s Day–Free Tasting
Feb 8, 2019 5:00 PM
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Fukushima Trade Promotion Council
Organizer of Japan’s No.1 Fukushima SAKE –Free Tasting
USA Inquiries
c/o: BIO ARTS NYC, INC
Attn: Aya Ota
Office: 103 Second Avenue, Suite 2D New York, NY 10003 USA
E-mail: fukushima@bioartsnyc.com
 
According to the following article (of Dec. 2017), “the United States topped the list of export destinations (of Fukushima sake) with 76.9 kl, accounting for 48% of the total, followed by Canada with 10.6 kl (7%) and Hong Kong with 9.4 kl (6%).” http://www.fukushimaminponews.com/news.html?id=871
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October 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | 1 Comment

California’s Wildfires and Nuclear Radiation – – A Personal Story

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August 7, 2018
When I purchased a commonly available radiation detector right after the Fukushima disaster in 2011 I never would have dreamed how it would impact the way I saw the world. Since then I would periodically test the level of radioactivity around my home here in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Nothing was ever out of the ordinary, and my own readings were generally in the 30 to 50 counts per minute (cpm) range. Perfectly safe, or so I thought.
That all changed this Spring, when by chance I happened to remember that testing on an air filter could show the presence of “hot” particles. Since I happened to own two air cleaners with HEPA air filters, I got out my detector and laid it down on one of the HEPA filters. Immediately the detector went into a wild frenzy of clicking punctuated by the flashing of the red light each time it was bombarded by ionizing radiation. Thinking something had to be wrong, I tried again only to have the same result. I tried again on the other air cleaner and found an even higher result of over 800 cpm.
Since I had at that time been working with Akio for about a year, and had been introduced to several of his nuclear experts by email, I reached out to them asking what could possibly be causing this disturbing result. All agreed this was a high result, and the prime suspect was radon gas. Radon gas is common in this area, and can be threat to health. I promptly obtained test kits for my indoor air and well water, sent them in, and within a week I had the results – – all completely negative. At this point, concerned for the health of my family, I began testing everything I could think of to try to determine the source. Floor tiles, countertops and a few other things registered higher than the ambient level, but I was assured that this wouldn’t contribute more than about 30 cpm to the total.
After about a week or so, I remembered reading that many years after the Chernobyl disaster, people living there who heated their homes with wood, like we do, released radiation into the atmosphere once again in the burning process. We have two woodstoves in our home, one large one in the living room and a smaller one in the master bedroom. Since the fine particulate material of the ash might contaminate my detector, I laid down some sheets of paper towels on the ash below the stove in the bedroom, and switched the detector on. Immediately it registered far higher than ambient levels and beyond. Same in the living room. Same at a neighbor’s house. The source apparently was the fire wood – – mostly cut on my own land. Most of my neighbors heat with wood too, at least as a backup. Wood smoke, as I was well-aware, is composed of extremely small particulates that are easily breathed into the body and absorbed.
The implications of this discovery were disturbing. There were radioactive particles in the air that we were all breathing, apparently in large quantities. These particles had apparently been bio-accumulating in the woods around my home for many years, and were re-suspended when burned.
I immediately began monitoring my indoor air regularly, and took a reading on the HEPA filters whenever I could, generally hourly when I was home. Since the level of radiation was much lower without wood smoke indoors, I decided to put one air cleaner outdoors and leave the other indoors. I got out a fresh legal tablet and started a protocol where I would take a reading on each filter, take a picture of the result on my radiation detector with my smartphone, and write down the results. This quickly showed that there was not a much difference between the readings indoors or outdoors.
What I did not know at this point was if this was a localized problem, or whether it was more widespread. With fire season approaching, I abandoned taking two readings, and focused on carefully taking readings outdoors, recording them, and taking a picture of the sky when smoke or clouds were present. Knowing that a fire event was likely going to happen in the upcoming months, I wanted to be ready to see if smoke from wildfires outdoors would result in similar levels of radioactive particles as I had found indoors.
I never could have suspected that the wildfires in California would be as epic as they have been this year. We live in an area vulnerable to fires, and we take them seriously. We had been evacuated in 2014 as a fire approached to within a half mile of our home driven by strong winds, and were only saved by a massive air attack from a virtual fleet of air tankers lined up dropping water and fire retardant. This left a deep impression on us. My stepson has since become a fireman, and has just returned from a deployment to several fires, and after nursing an injury and getting clearance from his doctor, will be back on the fire lines.
As horrific as this season’s fires have been so far, with all the destruction of homes and loss of lives, what disturbs me most is what I have just recorded in my logs, photos and readings. At the peak of the fires and smoke just a few days ago, the readings were significantly higher – – and not by just a little. I recorded a peak reading of 1,333 cpm on the morning of July 31st, and had multiple readings above 1,000 cpm during that period. And, none of the fires is even close to us this time. The likely source of much of the smoke here is a fire near Yosemite National Park, over a hundred miles away. I suspect heavier concentrations of smoke would yield higher results.
Has the vast bulk of the 40 million population of California just been unknowingly exposed to high concentrations of radioactive particles? What are the constituents of these particles? How hazardous are they? It was recently widely reported that radiation from Fukushima, in the form of Cesium-137, was detected in small quantities in California wines. There can be little doubt that Cesium-137 from Fukushima has also been absorbed by all the vegetation here, and when burned, is re-released.
This situation cries out for serious study. I have no experience or academic training in this field. There may well be alternative explanations. I can see from what I have recorded that there are nuances and variances over the course of the day that probably reflect complex processes. All I know is that what we have been breathing shows indications of being contaminated with radioactive particles. It is strongly implied that this radioactivity has been silently concentrating in the plants around us, and is presumably in the food we eat, and in what we drink as well.
If that is correct, this is a situation far worse than we have ever been told. It is likely a global problem, as the exotic and unnatural particles that never existed on this planet previously until the dawning of the nuclear age have now found their way into the air, the oceans, and every living thing. With California on fire, my hope is for all of us to burn away our own complacency, and reignite our own passion to serve life itself in each moment. We can all do something to help according to our abilities, as Akio has selflessly done for many years using his gifts in bringing together international leaders for important common goals. Time is short, and the problem is measured in lifetimes. And potentially for some of us, shortened lifetimes at that.
 
Gregg Lien is an environmental and land use attorney practicing at Lake Tahoe in California. He is a former prosecutor, and was a former assistant county counsel specializing in land use issues before moving to Lake Tahoe in 1980. He was a participant in the first Presidential Summit on the Environment, hosted by then President Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore, and has been interviewed over the years in various media, including National Public Radio. He has been a frequent participant in regulatory negotiations and battles over resources in the Sierras. He lives with his wife, Heidi, and whichever of their children needs a place to stay now that the youngest has turned 18. He is fascinated by electronics and has a collection of meters and gadgets for his amateur radio and musical hobbies, some of which are actually useful in practical application – – or so he claims.

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s nuclear signature found in California wine

The Japanese nuclear disaster bathed north America in a radioactive cloud. Now pharmacologists have found the telltale signature in California wine made at the time.
Throughout the 1950s, the US, the Soviet Union, and others tested thermonuclear weapons in the Earth’s atmosphere. Those tests released vast quantities of radioactive material into the air and triggered fears that the nuclear reactions could ignite deuterium in the oceans, thereby destroying the planet in a catastrophic accidental fireball.
Atmospheric tests ended in 1980, when China finished its program, but the process has left a long-lasting nuclear signature on the planet. One of the most obvious signatures is cesium-137, a radioactive by-product of the fission of uranium-235.
After release into the atmosphere, cesium-137 was swept around the world and found its way into the food supply in trace quantities. Such an addition is rarely welcomed. But in 2001, the French pharmacologist Philippe Hubert discovered that he could use this signature to date wines without opening the bottles.
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The technique immediately became a useful weapon in the fight against wine fraud—labeling young wines as older vintages to inflate their price. Such fraud can be spotted by various types of chemical and isotope analysis—but only after the wine has been opened, which destroys its value.
Cesium-137, on the other hand, allows noninvasive testing because it is radioactive. It produces distinctive gamma rays in proportion to the amount of isotope present. Dating the wine is a simple process of matching the amount of cesium-137 to atmospheric records from the time the wine was made. That quickly reveals any fraud. Indeed, if there is no cesium-137, the wine must date from after 1980.
There is one blip in this record, though. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 bathed much of Europe, and other parts of the world, in a radioactive cloud that increased atmospheric levels of cesium-137 again. Hubert and colleagues can see this blip in their data from wines.
And that raises an interesting question about the Fukushima disaster of 2011, an accident of Chernobyl proportions caused by a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan following a huge earthquake and tsunami. It released a radioactive cloud that bathed North America in fissile by-products.
Is it possible to see the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in California wines produced at the time?
Today we get an answer, thanks to a study carried out by Hubert and a couple of colleagues. “In January 2017, we came across a series of Californian wines (Cabernet Sauvignon) from vintage 2009 to 2012,” say Hubert and company.
This set of wines provides the perfect test. The Fukushima disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. Any wine made before that date should be free of the effects, while any dating from afterward could show them.
The team began their study with the conventional measurement of cesium-137 levels in the unopened bottles. That showed levels to be indistinguishable from background noise.
But the team was able to carry out more-sensitive tests by opening the wine and reducing it to ash by evaporation. This involves heating the wine to 100 degrees Celsius for one hour and then increasing the temperature to 500 degrees Celsius for eight hours. In this way, a standard 750-milliliter bottle of wine produces around four grams of ashes. The ashes were then placed in a gamma ray detector to look for signs of cesium-137.
Using this method, Hubert and his colleagues found measurable amounts of cesium-137 above background levels in the wine produced after 2011. “It seems there is an increase in activity in 2011 by a factor of two,” conclude the team.
That probably won’t be very useful for fraud detection in California wine—the levels of cesium-137 are barely detectable, and even then, only if the wine is destroyed.
But the result does show how nuclear disasters can have unexpected consequences long after the fact.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1807.04340 : Dating of Wines with Cesium-137: Fukushima’s Imprint

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | 1 Comment

The bizarre coincidence of two false alarms announcing the start of nuclear war

Japanese Public Broadcaster NHK Issues False Alarm Over North Korean Missile Launch
It’s deja vu, all over again.
Just four days after residents of Hawaii lived through 38 minutes of doomsday hell, after a false public broadcast alarm announced that a ballistic missile launch was headed for the island, only to reverse and announce later it was a mistake, moments ago Japan’s National broadcaster NHK’s app issued a false J-Alert to phones over a North Korean missile launch at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday evening local time.
The message, received by phone users with the NHK app installed on their devices, read: “NHK news alert. North Korea likely to have launched missile. The government J alert: evacuate inside the building or underground. “
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It then promptly corrected the error just 5 minutes later, at around 7 p.m.
After the false alert, NHK issued an on-air apology on Tuesday evening local time, saying “the news alert sent earlier about NK missile was a mistake. No government J alert was issued.”
“Around 6:55pm earlier we reported on the NHK’s news site and NHK’s news disaster prevention application ‘Pattern of North Korean missile launch’ but this was incorrectly issued. J alert has not appeared. I must sincerely apologize,” the news outlet wrote.
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The bizarre coincidence of two false alarms announcing the start of nuclear war is certainly suspicious.
The false alert came on the same day as the US and Canada planned to host talks in Vancouver over the crisis on the Korean Peninsula after a year of missile tests and threats from the North.
As a reminder, on Saturday, an emergency alert notification sent out to residents of Hawaii warning of an incoming “ballistic missile threat” turned out to be a false alarm. The error was blamed on an employee who “pushed the wrong button.” “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the emergency alert read.
The warning went out on television and radio as well as cell phones, according to Hawaii Gov. David Ige, sparking panic amongst some residents. A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message confirming the false alarm.
 
Japan issues false alarm over missile launch, days after Hawaii alert gaffe
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm on Tuesday saying North Korea appeared to have launched a missile and urging people to take shelter, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.
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The mistake took place at a tense time in the region following North Korea’s largest nuclear test to date in September and its claim in November that it had successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the U.S. mainland.
Pyongyang regularly threatens to destroy Japan and the United States.
But there were no immediate reports of panic or other disruptions following the NHK report. A similar gaffe caused panic in the U.S. state of Hawaii at the weekend.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK’s false alarm about a North Korean missile launch which was received on a smart phone is pictured in Tokyo, Japan January 16, 2018.
NHK’s 6.55 p.m. (0955 GMT) alert on its web site said: “North Korea appears to have launched a missile…The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground.”
The same alert was sent to mobile phone users of NHK’s online news distribution service.
In five minutes, the broadcaster put out another message on the website correcting itself and said no government warning, called “J-alert”, had been issued.
“This happened because equipment to send a news flash onto the Internet had been incorrectly operated. We are deeply sorry,” an NHK announcer said on its 9:00 p.m. news program, bowing deeply in apology.
Last Saturday, a false missile alert during a civil defense drill caused panic across Hawaii. A state emergency management agency spokesman attributed it to human error and a lack of fail-safe measures.

January 18, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Class Action Federal Lawsuit Filed in Boston Against General Electric

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GE sued for Fukushima disaster
Lawsuit alleges unsafe design, cost cutting
Japanese property owners and businesses near the Fukushima nuclear plant that melted down after a devastating 2011 tsunami filed a $500 million class-action lawsuit against General Electric for negligently designing the doomed plant.
The lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in Boston, claims the explosions and release of radioactive material at the Fukushima reactors — likely the most costly industrial accident in history at $200 billion — were caused by GE’s unsafe design of the reactors and further efforts to cut costs that also undercut safety during the construction of the plant.
As a result, the area around Fukushima, according to the lawsuit, became a “ghost town.”
“There are no people. Roads are guarded by men in hazmat suits. And no one will ever live there again,” the lawsuit said.
GE said in a statement it became aware of the lawsuit today and is “thoroughly reviewing the matter.”
The company pushed into the nuclear industry in the 1960s and offered a “cheap reactor … with a significantly smaller, but less safe containment than industry standard” that safety experts repeatedly raised concerns about, the lawsuit said.
GE designed all six reactors at Fukushima — building two on site and advising on the construction of the rest. Original designs for the power plant called for it to be built near a bluff 115 feet above sea level. But GE — to save money — lowered the bluff to 80 feet, court papers say, “dramatically increasing the flood risk.”
Backup systems in the event of a problem at the nuclear plant were also woefully lacking, causing the cooling system to fail, the suit states.
 
General Electric Named in Federal Lawsuit Regarding Fukushima
General Electric is facing a federal lawsuit because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that happened on March 11, 2011. The class action lawsuit asks for $500 million and was filed by residents, medical clinics, and companies in Boston who allege that they were affected by the disaster. The plaintiffs allege that they represent more than 150,000 Japanese citizens affected from the nuclear disaster.
Federal Lawsuit Alleges GE Failed to Properly Maintain Nuclear Power Plant
In the federal complaint, filed on November 17, 2017, GE faces serious allegations including failure to properly maintain the Fukushima:
“GE designed and largely constructed the entire Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant at the center of the dispute, and for many years, directly or indirectly through its affiliates, was responsible for the maintenance of the [plant]. To this day, GE has paid literally nothing toward the massive economic and business destruction its actions and failings have caused.”
Reuters.com reported on December 8, 2016 that Japan had more than $188 billion in losses.
The plaintiffs allege that although the Fukushima disaster occurred in 2011, GE’s plan to “dominate the commercial nuclear power industry” in the 1960s meant that the defendant misrepresented how safe the plant would be so that they could earn more money.
GE continues to offer its “heartfelt sympathy” to those who were affected, but wants the matter handled under Japanese nuclear compensation law. Under that law, power plant operators are liable for the damages caused by the incident, regardless of what caused it. A company spokesperson went on to say that the Japanese government found that a tsunami was ultimately responsible and it was not the fault of how the reactor was designed.
GE was made aware of the lawsuit on November 19, 2017 and they are “thoroughly reviewing the matter.”

November 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation has reached U.S. shores

Its official. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has samples of Fukushima-sourced cesium-134 in salmon off the Pacific Coast of Oregon. Given cesium-134 has such a short half-life the source is linked to the on-going leaks from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. While the amount is still very, very low, it remains a concern given the Fukushima disaster is still not contained after more than five years.
SALEM, Ore. — For the first time, seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected on the West Coast of the United States.
Cesium-134, the so-called fingerprint of Fukushima, was measured in seawater samples taken from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon, according to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Because of its short half-life, cesium-134 can only have come from Fukushima.
For the first time, cesium-134 has also been detected in a Canadian salmon, according to the Fukushima InFORM project, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen.
Should we be worried? In both cases, levels are extremely low, the researchers said, and don’t pose a danger to humans or the environment. Massive amounts of contaminated water were released from the crippled nuclear plant following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. More radiation was released to the air, then fell to the sea.
Woods Hole chemical oceanographer Ken Buesseler runs a crowd-funded, citizen science seawater sampling project that has tracked the radiation plume as it slowly makes its way across the Pacific Ocean.
The Oregon samples, marking the first time cesium-134 has been detected on U.S. shores, were taken in January and February of 2016 and later analyzed. They each measured 0.3 becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-134.
Buesseler’s team previously had found the isotope in a sample of seawater taken from a dock on Vancouver Island, B.C., marking its landfall in North America.
In Canada, Cullen leads the InFORM project to assess radiological risks to that country’s oceans following the nuclear disaster. It is a partnership of a dozen academic, government and non-profit organizations.
Last month, the group reported that a single sockeye salmon, sampled from Okanagan Lake in the summer of 2015, had tested positive for cesium-134.
The level was more than 1,000 times lower than the action level set by Health Canada, and is no significant risk to consumers, Cullen said.
Buesseler’s most recent samples off the West Coast also are showing higher-than background levels of cesium-137, another Fukushima isotope that already is present in the world’s oceans because of nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s.
Those results will become more important in tracking the radiation plume, Buesseler said, because the short half-life of cesium-134 makes it harder to detect as time goes on.
Cesium-134 has a half-life of two years, meaning it’s down to a fraction of what it was five years ago, he said. Cesium-137 has a 30-year half-life.
A recent InFORM analysis of Buesseler’s data concluded that concentrations of cesium-137 have increased considerably in the central northeast Pacific, although they still are at levels that pose no concern.
“It appears that the plume has spread throughout this vast area from Alaska to California,” the scientists wrote.
They estimated that the plume is moving toward the coast at roughly twice the speed of a garden snail. Radiation levels have not yet peaked.
“As the contamination plume progresses towards our coast we expect levels closer to shore to increase over the coming year,” Cullen said.
Even that peak won’t be a health concern, Buesseler said. But the models will help scientists model ocean currents in the future.
That could prove important if there is another disaster or accident at the Fukushima plant, which houses more than a thousand huge steel tanks of contaminated water and where hundreds of tons of molten fuel remain inside the reactors.
In a worst-case scenario, the fuel would melt through steel-reinforced concrete containment vessels into the ground, uncontrollably spreading radiation into the surrounding soil and groundwater and eventually into the sea.
“That’s the type of thing where people are still concerned, as am I, about what could happen,” Buesseler said.
Scientists now know it would take four to five years for any further contamination from the plant to reach the West Coast.
Tracking the plume
Scientists are beginning to use an increase in cesium-137 instead of the presence of cesium-134 to track the plume of radioactive contamination from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. These figures show the increase in cesium-137 near the West Coast between 2014 and 2015.
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137 Cesium Activity in 2014. (Photo: Dr. Jonathan Kellogg / InFORM)
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137 Cesium Activity in 2015. (Photo: Dr. Jonathan Kellogg / InFORM)
Graphic courtesy Dr. Jonathan Kellogg of InFORM, with data from Dr. John Smith, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Dr. Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment