Tokyo tap water declared unsafe for infants

Meanwhile, Japan’s “nuclear boy” explains the crisis to children

The Tokyo government moved to stop infants from drinking the city’s tap water after levels of radioactive iodine were found to be twice the legal limit for babies….

Prime Minister Naoto Kan instructed Fukushima governor Yuhei Sato to order residents not to eat leaf vegetables harvested in the prefecture after radioactive materials far exceeding legal limits were found in 11 types of vegetables….

The US Food and Drug Administration banned imports of food and dairy products from around the plant yesterday as fears over the extent of food contamination continued.

The story is spreading, kind of like radioactivity.  No doubt Ann Coulter is rushing to Tokyo even now.

Meanwhile, Japanese animators have created “Nuclear Boy” to explain the meltdowns to kids — or just to be absurd:

The Boston Globe reports:

The Nuclear Boy character was created by a Japanese artist, Hachiya Kazuhiko; in a New York Times interview, he explains that after he posted about Nuclear Boy on Twitter, one reader turned it into a comic strip. Then an anonymous professional animator turned the story into an animated short. (According to the website The Daily What, it’s been shown on Japanese national TV. I can’t confirm that, but it has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube.)

As always, it’s costs that remains the Achilles heel for nuclear power (see The Nukes of Hazard:  Reports of nuclear Renaissance were greatly exaggerated; efficiency is 10 times cheaper today, renewables “costs are dropping fast”)

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22 Responses to Tokyo tap water declared unsafe for infants

  1. Colorado Bob says:

    First pictures emerge of the Fukushima Fifty as they battle radiation poisoning to save Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant

    Read more:

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    Radioactive particles to hit Europe today, German expert says

  3. Colorado Bob says:

    Neutron beam observed 13 times at crippled Fukushima nuke plant

    TOKYO, March 23, Kyodo

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.

  4. Colorado Bob says:

    On Wednesday, it was also found that the surface temperatures of the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor vessels have topped the maximum levels set by their designers. The rise in temperatures came to light after data measuring instruments became available after power was restored Tuesday, the agency said.

  5. Prokaryotes says:

    Re Neutron beam

    Neutron radiation is a kind of ionizing radiation which consists of free neutrons. A result of nuclear fission or nuclear fusion, it consists of the release of free neutrons from both stable molecules and isotopes, and these free neutrons react with nuclei of other stable molecules to form new isotopes of previously non-isotopic molecules, which in turn produce radiation. This will result in a chain reaction of nuclear radiation, which makes radiation dangerous and harmful over great areas of space.

    In health physics neutron radiation is considered a fourth radiation hazard alongside the other types of radiation. Another, sometimes more severe hazard of neutron radiation, is neutron activation, the ability of neutron radiation to induce radioactivity in most substances it encounters, including the body tissues of the workers themselves. This occurs through the capture of neutrons by atomic nuclei, which are transformed to another nuclide, frequently a radionuclide. This process accounts for much of the radioactive material released by the detonation of a nuclear weapon. It is also a problem in nuclear fission and nuclear fusion installations, as it gradually renders the equipment radioactive; eventually the hardware must be replaced and disposed of as low-level radioactive waste.

    Due to the high kinetic energy of neutrons, this radiation is considered to be the most severe and dangerous radiation available. Consequently, in living tissue, neutrons have a relatively high relative biological effectiveness, and are roughly ten times more effective at causing cancers or LD-50s compared to photon or beta radiation of equivalent radiation exposure.

  6. dbmetzger says:

    more on radiation in the drinking water.
    Tokyo Tap Water Exceeds Safe Radiation Levels
    The Japanese government has ordered residents around the Fukushima evacuation zone not to eat some vegetables because of fears of radiation poisoning.

  7. Prokaryotes says:

    Nuclear power in US: public support plummets in wake of Fukushima crisis
    Several polls show that Americans are once again wary of nuclear power. Before the Fukushima disaster, support for nuclear power had hit record highs in the US.

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    Nuclear safety: Five recent ‘near miss’ incidents at US nuclear power plants
    Fourteen safety-related events at nuclear power plants required follow-up inspections from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC reported in 2010. These “near-miss” events “raised the risk of damage to the reactor core – and thus to the safety of workers and the public,” concluded a new report, “The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010,” by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here are five of these 14 “near miss” examples:

  9. Prokaryotes says:

    AP IMPACT: US spent-fuel storage sites are packed

    The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem for the United States – the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states.

    The U.S. has 71,862 tons of the waste, according to state-by-state numbers obtained by The Associated Press. But the nation has no place to permanently store the material, which stays dangerous for tens of thousands of years.

  10. Prokaryotes says:

    Fukushima Engineer Says He Helped Cover Up Flaw at Dai-Ichi Reactor No. 4

    One of the reactors in the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may have been relying on flawed steel to hold the radiation in its core, according to an engineer who helped build its containment vessel four decades ago.

    Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. (6501) in 1974. The reactor, which Tanaka has called a “time bomb,” was shut for maintenance when the March 11 earthquake triggered a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that disabled cooling systems at the plant, leading to explosions and radiation leaks.

  11. Prokaryotes says:

    Fukushima power plant helicopter video #3 deshaked & slow motion – white rods all over the area

  12. Prokaryotes says:

    Correction, fuel rods are much thinner

  13. Villabolo says:

    Nuclear Boy was the most outrageous spoof I’ve ever seen on any subject.

    It’s low key but it pulls no punches. A must see.

  14. Mike#22 says:

    Two items. First the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics of Austria estimates “the total emissions of iodine-131 from 12 to 15 March at 4x10exp17 Bequerel, which is about 20% of the total emissions during the Chernobyl disaster. The emissions of Cesium-137 of the first 4 days were estimated to 3.3 x 10exp16 Bq, which is about 50% of the total emissions during the Chernobyl disaster”

    Hopefully they’ve got that wrong.

    Second, they don’t give the time frame for the “13 neutron beams” but this signals the possibility that there is both a hole in the containment(s) and that fission was/(is?) occuring intermittently.

    If ongoing, the nuclear power station could become so radioactive that workers can not survive there.

    Last weekend, JR asked what people thought the future of nuclear was, and how many plants the US might see under construction by 2020. On the one hand there is the electrical generation industry which seems to get pretty much anything it wants, on the other, this is going to frighten a lot of people for a long time. The irony is that people would be far more frightened of CO2 than meltdowns if they could see where the climate is going.


  15. Mike says:

    Has anyone tested the bottled water? It’s not flown in from Sweden. It comes from rivers or lakes in Japan I would think.

  16. Prokaryotes says:

    Chernobyl Fallout? Plutonium Found In Swedish Soil

    ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2008) — When a reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in 1986 in what was then the Soviet republic of Ukraine, radioactive elements were released in the air and dispersed over the Soviet Union, Europe and even eastern portions of North America.

    More than 20 years later, researchers from Case Western Reserve University traveled to Sweden and Poland to gain insight into the downward migration of Chernobyl-derived radionuclides in the soil. Among the team’s findings was the fact that much more plutonium was found in the Swedish soil at a depth that corresponded with the nuclear explosion than that of Poland.
    Radionuclides occur in soil both from natural processes and as fallout from nuclear testing.
    Gerald Matisoff, chair of the department of geological sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Lauren Vitko, field assistant from Case Western Reserve, and others took soil samples in various locations in the two countries, measuring the presence and location of cesium (137Cs), plutonium (239, 240Pu), and lead (210Pbxs).

    By looking at the magnitude of the radioactive fallout, how fast it moved down into the soil profile and how quickly it eroded and is transported by sediment, Matisoff’s research helps shed light on two fronts.
    The first is dealing with the public health ramifications, studying such issues as food chain transfer, exposure and cleanup as well as understanding the geologic aftereffects. These issues include measuring erosion rates, how long the radionuclides are retained in the watershed, the source of sediment found in rivers as well as compiling radioactive inventories.
    The second is developing an understanding of the differentiation of radioactive elements from a one-time event like Chernobyl and those of fallout created by atmospheric nuclear weapons testing conducted in the 1960s.

  17. Prokaryotes says:

    Chernobyl fallout impaired mental development of Swedish infants

    16 August 2007

    Radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl disaster impaired the mental development of Swedish children that were still in the womb at the time of the incident. That’s the conclusion of a new study by US-based researchers, showing that affected children went on to perform poorly at school. The findings suggest that infants are endangered by radiation exposure at levels previously thought to be safe.

    Economists Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund from Columbia University, New York, US, and their Stockholm University colleague Mårten Palme, carried out an analysis of the academic achievements of more than 560,000 Swedish children born between 1983 and 1988.

    They found that academic performance was generally weaker in all children still in utero at the time of maternal exposure to Chernobyl fallout, and this effect was most pronounced for those foetuses at 8 to 25 weeks post conception. This is the peak period of brain development when cells may be particularly vulnerable to being killed by relatively low doses of radiation, Edlund said.

    Moreover, children born in regions of Sweden that received most fallout seemed to fare worst – for the eight municipalities receiving the highest doses, children born between August and December 1986 were four per cent less likely to qualify for high school and had five per cent lower grades.

    The authors expect their results, seen by Chemistry World, to be published later this month as a US National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

    Fallout exposure

    Concerns about the effects of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986 have mainly focused on the raised incidence of thyroid cancer and birth mutations in Ukraine and Belarus, close to the reactor. But according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there has been no solid evidence of adverse inherited or reproductive effects which impact the overall health of children.

    Brain damage was recorded in Japanese babies born after atomic bombs were detonated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, but their mothers had received radiation doses much higher than those falling on Sweden in the weeks after Chernobyl. Indeed, the radiation exposure of Swedish mothers reached a maximum dose of about 4 milliSieverts, perhaps twice the normal background level and within the ‘safe’ control range of the Japanese study, Edlund told Chemistry World. Despite this, the problems revealed in their study may be connected to the concentrated period of the extra dose. ‘It’s the difference between drinking a litre of vodka in an hour or over several months,’ Edlund said.

  18. Dr.A.Jagadeesh says:

    Alas! What a pity that such is the effect of nuclear radiation.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  19. Alex Smith says:

    New interview with world-famous anti-nuclear campaigner Helen Caldicott, by Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock. March 23rd, on the Japanese nuclear disaster. 28 minutes, 6 megabytes.

    Shocking stuff.

  20. quokka says:

    “The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says it has lifted its advice against using tap water for consumption by infants in Tokyo’s 23 wards and 5 adjacent cities”

  21. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi says:

    governments and media pretend to be clueless;
    plutonium dust mixed into air, ground, and water