I have friends in Japan who are in denial, and friends who have been relocated by the European/American employers, and who are still in denial. One of them is actually back to Tokyo for two weeks for holidays and laughs at me every time I tell him about the situation in Japan.
Tokyo is a city that I love — and also many parts of Japan, which I have travelled extensively.
I have crossed Japan from both business and leisure trips since the disaster at Fukushima.
All these make me very sad, but more than sadness, it's infuriating (though 100% expected) that the governments will do everything in their power to hide the truth. We just have to count only on our own judgement and on the Internet to keep the truth available.
From the Washington Post (via AP):
TOKYO — One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant’s stability.
A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity.
The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.
Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.
Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co.Note: 7-8 sieverts are considered fatal doses. Few instruments are capable of measuring more than 10 sieverts.
Maximum acceptable dose for the public from any man made facility: 0.001 Sv/year
Criterion for relocation after Chernobyl disaster: 0.35 Sv/lifetime
“It’s extremely high,” he said, adding that an endoscope would last only 14 hours in that condition. “We have to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation” when locating and removing melted fuel during the decommissioning.
The probe also found the containment vessel — a beaker-shaped container enclosing the core — had cooling water up to only 60 centimeters (2 feet) from the bottom, far below the 10 meters (yards) estimated when the government declared the plant stable in December.
Three Dai-ichi reactors had meltdowns, but the No. 2 reactor is the only one that has been examined because radiation levels inside the reactor building are relatively low and its container is designed with a convenient slot to send in the endoscope.
The exact conditions of the other two reactors, where hydrogen explosions damaged their buildings, are still unknown. Simulations have indicated that more fuel inside No. 1 has breached the core than the other two, but radiation at No. 3 remains the highest.
The high radiation levels inside the No. 2 reactor’s chamber mean it’s inaccessible to the workers, but parts of the reactor building are accessible for a few minutes at a time — with the workers wearing full protection.
[...] During a recent visit by a group of journalists including The Associated Press, the head of the plant said it remains vulnerable to strong aftershocks and tsunami and containing contaminated water and radiation is a challenge. Radioactive water had leaked into the ocean several times already.
Workers found the fresh leak of 120 tons from a water treatment unit this week from one of its hoses, with estimated 80 liters (20 gallons) escaping into the ocean, Matsumoto said. Officials are still investigating its impact. [...]Via WashingtonsBlog (via ZeroHedge):
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen took 5 random soil samples in Tokyo recently, and found that all 5 were so radioactive that they would be considered radioactive waste in the United States, which would have to be specially disposed of at a facility in Texas:YouTube (please click on CC to get the English subtitles). This report is one of the most troubling and scary ones, exposing the levels of radiations, the actions of Tepco and the J-Gov to hide the truth and prevent people from talking to the press. There's even a high-respected Japanese doctor, saying on behalf of the government, that if you keep smiling, you won't be hit by radiation.
Another similar report, on France24 in English this time: