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International | Environment & Forest Defense

Breaking News on Nuclear Disaster in Japan
by Ruth Robertson
Thursday Mar 17th, 2011 10:54 AM
After an initial attempt at dumping water on reactors in Fukushima from helicopters yesterday yielded disappointing results, the Japan Self-Defense Forces once again began new attempts.

Rolling blackouts in Japan are causing major transportation disruption.

Food is scarce and the situation is becoming serious.

Information is via live Japan broadcast and some English language sources. Read comments section below for updates throughout the day.

3/16 10:40 am PST: 4th attempt at water dump by helicopter in progress.

Lack of gasoline for cars and buses is causing a major disruption of food delivery. Stores are stripped of supplies. NHK showing empty store shelves.

At schools still open school, lunch is being served with tea substituting for milk in soup.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by RR
Thursday Mar 17th, 2011 4:16 PM
All 6 reactors have serious problems. IAEA said Electricity finally restored to the site which means more effective efforts can begin after 6 days of no electricity to pump water.. BUT TEPCO says that has not yet happened.

NHK commentator said results of helicopter water drops "have been disappointing".

Japanese reports saying: "We don't know whether there is water in No. 4." (meanwhile American nuclear scientists have stated for the last 24 hours that there is NO water in No. 4 which means radiation is being leaked at extreme levels.)

Reporting "soft" news. Example: Breastfeeding mothers need to relax when nursing as much as possible for the sake of the child's health (amount of milk produced and child's ability to feel safe and secure).

They are reading letters from women who gave birth in the days immediately before and the days following the earthquake and from mothers of children worried about how to get safe food.

Response: "Fukushima residents let's do our best!" (to questions about "Is it safe to raise my kids in Fukushima?")

Giving lessons in how to make homemade menstrual sanitation products because commercially made ones can not be delivered to stores (distribution problems for all products due to infrastructure).

How to make homemade diapers from cloth and plastic bags.

by RR
Thursday Mar 17th, 2011 4:40 PM
Ed note:
Gundersen is a former nuclear industry executive. Yesterday on CNN he said: "We are at Chernobyl levels now".

Anchor: 4 of 6 overheating reactors have spent fuel storage pods draining. [how is this playing out?]

AG: There is saying, the sheet is too small for the bed. 300 people can't do everything that is needed fule pools are the biggestproblem on site.
When a Radiation shield is gone then you are releasing radiation
Because of the gamma rays workers can't get too close.

It is like we have to go 15 rounds and we are in round 3.

It's pouring water on a fire but it's a nuclear fire put water...and you still have to continue.
10,000 gallons a day needed in each reactor
Then it evaporates so must it's a long slog

There is contamination in the evacuation zone; that means particles that are driving down like soot.
That will continue till the pools are full of water.

If you could fill the pool [note from ed: at least one of the reactors is believed to be cracked] that would help but the problem is you have to do it remotely because of risk to workers.

CNN: what about levels of radiation beyond confinement area?

AG: the good news is the wind is blowing out to sea. But alpha and beta particles are coming into your mouth and skin...not detected by a decimeter [as Sanjay Gupta CNN correspondent used to measure the air in Tokyo]
If wind changes this will be more serious.

[US airplanes are near there and I wonder] what isotopes are on the wings of the airplane. My guess is they will find some [on US planes]. [Those isotopes] stick around a long time.