Friday, October 20, 2017

Great Read on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Events at Fukushima

Great read:
Susanna Rabbitt Roff (October 19, 2017). Australia’s nuclear testing before the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne should be a red flag for Fukushima in 2020

The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.

It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne – despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians – British and Australian – to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.
No learning seems possible in this arena.

The myth of safety is too powerful, as compellingly described by Yagasaki Katsuma
Yagasaki Katsuma (2016) Internal exposure concealed: The true state of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. The Asia Pacific Journal 14(10.3): 10-10.

Yagasaki Katsuma, emeritus professor of Ryukyu University Yagasaki Katsuma, born 1943, is a professor emeritus of the University of the Ryukyus. He has worked at the university since 1974, where his positions include head of its Faculty of Science. His specialization is condensed matter physics. Since 2003, he has testified on the topic of internal radiation exposure at the atomic-bomb survivors' collective lawsuits. In May 2011, he acted as a witness to the Lower House Special Science and Technology Committee and the Upper House Budget Committee. In February 2012, he was awarded Kubo Medical Culture Award.
One of the things which stunned me was the absoluteness of the safety myth (anzen shinwa). Even though radioactive dust was falling, no one knew anything about how to protect their bodies. The local governments had not a single dosimeter among them. The evacuation manual for NPP accidents used in Fukushima City's elementary schools was exactly the same as the evacuation manual for earthquakes.

Furthermore, all attempts to talk about demonstrations of the danger of NPPs were categorically suppressed. Herein lies the root of why no countermeasures were taken to protect residents from radioactivity. No stable iodine tablets were distributed; no SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information) data was announced, and so on.
Japan is hardly alone in perpetuating this safety myth, as historically demonstrated by all nuclear powers.

This morning, my family discussed around the table the tarnished Olympic brand. Olympic committee members are in on the conspiracy of safety just as surely as they turned their head from the widespread sexual molestation of under-age athletes by Olympic coaches and medical doctors.

Back to Fukushima: What ongoing risks does Fukushima pose?

Earthquakes have rocked the plant over the last month, calling into question the stability of spent fuel pools given their housing sits on land that is subject to liquefaction because of the ongoing problems of contaminated water production. A spent fuel pool fire at Fukushima is a significant and undeniable risk.

Fukushima plant conditions visible on the TEPCO webcams have been mixed. Emissions really picked up after the recent series of earthquakes in early October (see my post here and here), but then settled down after TEPCO deployed its machine that spits water and/or some chemical stream into Unit 1.

You can read my last update here:

Since that post, visible emissions on the webcams have remained slightly more elevated than before the earthquake, but not too bad by historical comparisons.

The one thing, however, is that I have seen lots of "sparks" being thrown up from the areas near units 1 and 3, especially near 3.

I noticed that the webcam watchers at CafeRadlab have also observed this increase in "sparks," which are very difficult to capture with screenshots.

Here are a couple of unremarkable, recent webcam screen captures that were taken this morning after the rain stopped:

October 21, 2017 1:16 & 1:17