Friday, May 25, 2018

Re-Writing Fukushima Histories

Updated 5/29/2018

A newly published study describes researchers' detection of cesium-rich microparticles, both inside and outside the Fukushima Daiichi exclusion zone in Japan.

The study is behind a paywall and I've not read it yet, but will follow up with any particularly interesting findings beyond those cited in the abstract below:
Ryohei Ikehara, Mizuki Suetake, Tatsuki Komiya, Genki Furuki, Asumi Ochiai, Shinya Yamasaki, William R. Bower, Gareth T. W. Law, Toshihiko Ohnuki, Bernd Grambow, Rodney C. Ewing, and Satoshi Utsunomiya. Novel Method of Quantifying Radioactive Cesium-Rich Microparticles (CsMPs) in the Environment from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Environmental Science & Technology Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06693
Highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) were released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) to the surrounding environment at an early stage of the nuclear disaster in March of 2011; however, the quantity of released CsMPs remains undetermined. 
Here, we report a novel method to quantify the number of CsMPs in surface soils at or around Fukushima and the fraction of radioactivity they contribute, which we call “quantification of CsMPs” (QCP) and is based on autoradiography. 
Here, photostimulated luminescence (PSL) is linearly correlated to the radioactivity of various microparticles, with a regression coefficient of 0.0523 becquerel/PSL/h (Bq/PSL/h). In soil collected from Nagadoro, Fukushima, Japan, CsMPs were detected in soil sieved with a 114 μm mesh. There was no overlap between the radioactivities of CsMPs and clay particles adsorbing Cs. 
Based on the distribution of radioactivity of CsMPs, the threshold radioactivity of CsMPs in the size fraction of <114 0.06="" based="" be="" bq.="" determined="" font="" m="" method="" on="" t="" this="" to="" was="">he number and radioactivity fraction of CsMPs in four surface soils collected from the vicinity of the FDNPP were determined to be 48–318 particles per gram and 8.53–31.8%, respectively. The QCP method is applicable to soils with a total radioactivity as high as ∼106 Bq/kg. 
This novel method is critically important and can be used to quantitatively understand the distribution and migration of the highly radioactive CsMPs in near-surface environments surrounding Fukushima.
The findings are important and indicate concerning levels of contamination when bioaccumulation and biomagnification are considered.

You can read a press release on the study here:
Fukushima-Daiichi radioactive particle release was significant says new research. (2018, May 24). University of Manchester. Available the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, it was thought that only volatile, gaseous radionuclides, such as caesium and iodine, were released from the damaged reactors. However, in recent years it has become apparent that small radioactive particles, termed caesium-rich micro-particles, were also released. Scientists have shown that these particles are mainly made of glass, and that they contain significant amounts of radioactive caesium, as well as smaller amounts of other radioisotopes, such as uranium and technetium.

This press release describes findings effectively but incorrectly states that after the accident "it was thought that only volatile, gaseous radionuclides" were released from the reactors.

History is re-written in these words.

In contrast to this argument that it was thought only volatile radionuclides were released, I offer Japanese news media reports of plutonium detected outside the plant and several scientific studies. The first documenting uranium in aerosols in Japan:
Yoshinari Abe, Yushin Iizawa, Yasuko Terada, Kouji Adachi, Yasuhito Igarashi, and Izumi Nakai (2014). Detection of Uranium and Chemical State Analysis of Individual Radioactive Microparticles Emitted from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Using Multiple Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Analyses. Anal. Chem., 2014, 86 (17), pp 8521–8525
The second detected Sulphur35 in La Jolla California:
Antra Priyadarshi, Gerardo Dominguez, and Mark Thiemens, “Evidence of Neutron Leakage at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant from Measurements of Radioactive 35S in California,” PNAS 108 (2011): 14422-14425, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1109449108. 
Additionally, I offer the following study describing how uranium buckyballs may have also been produced [although not examined empirically in the study]:
C. Armstrong, M. Nyman, T. Shvareva, G. Sigmon, P. Burns, and A. Navrotsky (2012) ‘Uranyl Peroxide Enhanced Nuclear Fuel Corrosion in Seawater’, PNAS, 109.6, 1874-1877.
The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident brought together compromised irradiated fuel and large amounts of seawater in a high radiation field. Based on newly acquired thermochemical data for a series of uranyl peroxide compounds containing charge-balancing alkali cations, here we show that nanoscale cage clusters containing as many as 60 uranyl ions, bonded through peroxide and hydroxide bridges, are likely to form in solution or as precipitates under such conditions. These species will enhance the corrosion of the damaged fuel and, being thermodynamically stable and kinetically persistent in the absence of peroxide, they can potentially transport uranium over long distances. 
Finally, and most critically, I would note the case of radioactive black soil that was detected widely in Fukushima Prefecture, although no formal explanation was ever forthcoming:
S. Nomura (14 June 2012) ‘Radioactive “Black Soil” Patches’, The Asahi Shimbun Weekly Area,, date accessed 16 June 2012.

[paraphrasing] The highest level of radioactivity detected – about 5.57 million becquerels per kilogram – came from black soil collected in the Kanaya neighborhood of the Odaka district of southern Minami-Soma. In 36 out of 41 locations in Fukushima Prefecture where black soil was collected, the radioactivity level exceeded 100,000 becquerels per kilogram. If that level was found in incinerator ash, it would have to be handled very carefully and buried in a facility that had a concrete exterior separating it from its surroundings.
Many readers have left additional examples of detection of radioisotopes (e.g., hot particles) beyond noble gasses and volatile elements. Questions regarding the nature, scale and biological effects of contamination are particularly susceptible to debate that gets silenced through revisionism and re-framing. 

So, for example, the significance of new "findings" such as those discussed above will likely be subordinated to the WHO Report anticipating very few effects,. Those effects do not include reproductive effects according to the WHO report and are limited to the most directly exposed within the region, with increased risk mostly in treatable forms of cancer, such as thyroid cancer.

The WHO report stands in strange opposition to the findings on animal populations impacted by Fukushima radiation and the rising incidents of other diseases, such as diabetes, among children in or from Fukushima Prefecture.

Additionally, the nuclear industry and attendant institutional affiliates have been very successful in trivializing the scale of the disaster and responsibilizing the Japanese by focusing on the insufficient sea wall, rather than the flawed GE Mark 1 reactor design and structural failures in cooling (e.g., such as broken pipes) caused by the earthquake.

This blog documents alternative accounts to this dominant narrative. Alternative accounts produced by scientists, journalists, concerned citizens, etc. are found here. Their findings and interpretative accounts negate the lesson the nuclear apparatus would have us learn from the disaster.

I hope that the efforts of all of those who seek to document history from the perspective of affected people and eco-systems, both scientifically and experientially, are still available in a future that will be governed by a logic of total information control (see my discussion here).



  1. Doesn't it sound suspicious to you Majia? It is always, cesium rich, or plutonium rich nanaoparticles. Most people with any sense or science background know, that chunks, clumps, globs, microrparticles, water and liquid solutions, nanopaticles any size in-between and multiple mixtures with other radionuclides and materials, were blown and burned out of the massive catastrophes at Fukushima Dai-ichi.

    So much propaganda,and bullshit enshrouds this mess. None of the asses, want most people to comprehend the massive and ongoing consequences of it. By now there is so much radiactive cesium, americium, plutonium, uranium, cobalt, and a pethora of other radionuclides that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, genotoxic, and otherwise poisonous in billionths of a gram thresholds. Whether powdered, micronized, nanotized, aerosolized, chunked, gooed, or crystalized enough of it has spread across northern and central Japan to seriously maim that population now and, permanently.

  2. There are two things radioactive cesium present, in areas around fukushima tells you. There were probably one or more criticalities, and fuel pool fires.

  3. 1. Why weren't studies done on the mysterious black slimes found around tokyo, that had plutonium?

    2. What types of particles and debri, that registered with radioactive cesium, were in those car and house air filters, that Kaltofen examined?

    3. Why do not scientists, citizen scientists continue to monitor radionuclides in lichen, and fungi, that readily absorb radionuclides? It is currently done in ongoing research and exposes of chernobyl

    4. Why aren't plutonium, americium, and radioactive iodine, monitored in sewer systems? They have been monitored in sewer redidue and sytems before. They are radionuclides that have been monitored in sewer ponds and plants before, at los alwmos and hanford because, of the way they are taken in and excreted by humans.

  4. I think they use the glass nanoparticle meme, to imply that the contamination is not as dangerous. Nanoparticles encased in glass, means the cesium is not as well absorbed into the body, and more safely and easily, cleaned up.

    Remember, the japanese are all about gathering bags of topsoil up and, puting it in plastic bags ! T

    This same thing was mentioned in an article I read, about japanese scientists studying the cesium nanoparticles encased in glass. The article implied would be safer and, easier, to clean up! How convenient, ready-made vitriolized radioactive waste, like they are trying to make at hanford!

    1. Interesting. The one observation I noted about these glass encased nanoparticles is that they are "persistent" - with implication not specified