Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What role is this man, Fardi Ghadry, ready to play in Syria??

As you will read, he is expecting some form of leadership, no doubt including a big pay off..
First a bit of background-
I have been covering the Syrian uprising for a bit now.
The sudden appearance of the of a social media revolution.
The fact that much of the narrative of the uprisings has been untrue.
Then the curious arrests of two Americans, who in a suspiciously timely manner made there way from Egypt to Syria.

If you have been following along, you will see the natural progression in this gem of a find.
I am going to highlight the curiosities in this bit of news.
Ask yourself, is this man the western puppeted replacement for Syria.??
Notice he is making his debut in typical American political fashion? He is groveling to Israel.

From Y-net: Top dissident: Syrians don't want war with Israel
"Don't fear the fall of Bashar Assad. Syria will not fall into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood," exile Farid Ghadry told Ynet Monday in a reassuring interview in the US.- Israel should not fear the prospect of Bashar Assad's downfall, as the Syrian people are not interested in war with Israel, a leading Syrian dissident says.

Who says Bashar Assad will fall?
From his current home in Washington, the dissident said the people rebelling against the Assad regime at this time comprise young Syrians whose average age is less than 22.

His current home in Washington? How long has this dissident been ensconced in Washington?

The Syrian exile estimates that the next phase will be a military coup, should the army feel that Assad's position is shaky. "We expect the army to be committed to elections and to democracy," he said.

The "next phase" will be a military coup? "We expect the army...."

Does this read to you as if there is a plan in place? Who is we?

Then he says this-"I'm a Sunni Muslim from the city of Aleppo," he said. "An 82-year-old mother is waiting for me there, as well as a young public whom I have much to offer to on the economic front, and not on the war front."

He has much to offer on the economic front, not on the war front???

The leading dissident added that he will not be a candidate in future elections, and noted that he and his people are in touch with the Muslim Brotherhood and are working towards the formation of a coalition that will act when the time is right.

He is in touch with the Muslim Brotherhood? And will work toward forming a coalition? When the time is right!!!

If you wish, you may be interested in doing some further reading here-

On Syria's Chalabi, an ariticle from four years ago, almost to the day!

“Farid Ghadry, Syria’s Chalabi: From Washington to Damascus,” by Salim Abraham

Names that appear Daniel Pipes, Freedom House and more including his initial appearance on Al Jazeera. Much more, like how about the break up of Syria, along the lines of Iraq?

The interest of the neo-conservatives in Ghadry also picked up when the US government announced its “Greater Middle East” initiative to promote “democracy and good governance”

Every alarm bell and whistle is going off in my head !!! How about you?

Fukushima: Radiation soars in Seawater, Plutonium poisons soil, 4 plants decomissioned, Media lies, No safe levels of radiation

So here I am again!
Tired of Fukushima? Get over it.
Fukushima is going to be with you and I for a long, long time. We are being lied to. I quoted some talking head yesterday, who actually had the temerity to say" the fight to control the damaged reactor in Japan is being won" Deluded.
So out of touch with reality is this alleged "doctor" that he was unaware that the problem is 3 reactors, likely 4. I hope this esteemed doctor saw the news yesterday that reactor # 2 is not contained and that the fight to control the multiple meltdowns is NOT being won.

I will start out with the latest news from Fukushima, then I will move onto why the media is lying to you, using the Three Mile Island accident as an example, then we will move on to the supposed safety of radiation exposure.

So first the latest-
Japan is going to scrap 4 of the six nuclear reactors. They cannot be repaired.
Four out of six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were damaged beyond repair in Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, the chairman of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday.
-Radiation Levels Soar in the Sea Water near Fukushima
The state nuclear safety agency said the readings showed a spike in radioactive iodine in the sea waters near the plant that are at 3,355 times the legal limit.
-Highly Toxic Plutonium is seeping (pouring, streaming) from Japan's nuclear plant

Highly toxic plutonium is seeping from the damaged nuclear power plant in Japan's tsunami disaster zone into the soil outside.
Followed by the usual lies!

"Safety officials said the small amounts of plutonium found at several spots outside the complex were not a risk to humans"

If it is highly toxic, how is it that there is no risk to humans? Lies!

AP happened to put up a timely post on this topic. If you care to read more, which you should, find that here. If you missed this post of mine and the interviews within, go back , read and listen, understand.

You may be wondering why the media especially the North American media has been on message. Ad nauseum. No risk from Fukushima. Not as bad as Chernobyl.

One must always bear in mind that main stream media is beholden to it's corporate masters.
And GE is one big corporate master. I found this article, it is older and relates to the coverage of the Three Mile Island meltdown. That said the problems with the media are the same and the article could have been written in relation to GE's Mark 1 plants at Fukushima.
The Media-Ownership- General Electric

In 1987, one year after GE took over NBC, NBC broadcast a special documentary promoting nuclear power using France as a model. The promotion for the program proclaimed that "French townspeople welcome each new reactor with open arms". The documentary won a Westinghouse sponsored prize for science journalism. (Westinghouse Electric Company also builds nuclear power stations.) Shortly after the documentary was screened, when there were a couple of accidents at French power stations and there was significant opposition to nuclear power amongst the French population (polls showed about one third opposed it), NBC did not report the story although some US newspapers did.

GE owned NBC did not report the story, imagine that?

Karl Grossman documents in Extra! (1993) how the programme What Happened? broadcast on NBC in 1993 gave a one sided account of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and its aftermath. It showed local resident Debbie Baker saying that she was not as afraid of the nuclear plant as she used to be. However, according to Grossman, Baker, whose son was born with Down's syndrome 9 months after the accident and who has received $1.1 million in a settlement arising from the accident, was shocked at how the programme had been edited to imply her acceptance of the plant. She said she was still extremely uncomfortable with the plant and that what she had said was she felt safer since her groups set up a network of radiation monitors around the plant. Neither Baker's settlement nor the 200 or so others "made to families who have suffered injury, birth defects and death because of the 1979 accident" were mentioned. Instead a nuclear power industry expert was featured who said the plant's back-up safety systems worked successfully.

When EXTRA! pointed out that no scientists critical of nuclear power appeared in the program, Jaffe [executive producer of the show] responded, 'That is correct. Maybe there is some misunderstanding. That show is not a journalistic show but an entertainment show to look into and to find out the reason and cause of various accidents and incidents.' (Grossman 1993, p. 6)
Entertainment. Not truth. Not facts. Entertainment.
Don't think PBS is any better (Public Broadcasting System)

The Public Broadcasting Service was a beneficiary of sponsorship by General Electric when it decided not to screen the Oscar award winning documentary Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment (Jacobson and Mazur 1995, pp. 51, 53). The reason given by PBS was that the film had been partly financed by INFACT which was boycotting GE: "We do not permit the producer of the programme to be the subject of the programme." (Quoted in Knoll 1993)

That paragraph speaks for itself.

If you have been at a loss or unaware of the power of the corporations to control the news, you have not been paying attention. Or you have and that is why you are seeking out alternatives?

Now onto the "Don't worry/Be Happy" part of Fukushima's radiation: Excerpts from article linked below: "Safe" Radiation is a Lethal TMI Lie

There is no safe dose of radiation.
We do not x-ray pregnant women.
Any detectable fallout can kill.

With erratic radiation spikes, major air and water emissions and at least three reactors and waste pools in serious danger at Fukushima, we must prepare for the worst.

When you hear the terms "safe" and "insignificant" in reference to radioactive fallout, ask yourself: "Safe for whom?" "Insignificant to which of us?" Despite the corporate media, what has and will continue to come here from Fukushima is deadly to Americans. At very least it threatens countless embryos and fetuses in utero, the infants, the elderly, the unborn who will come to future mothers now being exposed. ( )
No matter how small the dose, the human egg in waiting, or embryo or fetus in utero, or newborn infant, or weakened elder, has no defense against even the tiniest radioactive assault.
Science has never found such a "safe" threshold, and never will. In the 1950s Dr. Alice Stewart showed a definitive link between medical x-rays administered to pregnant women and the curse of childhood leukemia among their offspring. After a fierce 30-year debate, the medical profession agreed. Today, administering an x-ray to a pregnant woman is universally understood to be a serious health hazard.

Fukushima's radiation is pouring into the air and water. The operators have reported radiation levels a million times normal, then retracted the estimate to a "mere" 100,000. Workers are being exposed to doses that are certain to be lethal. At least three of the reactors, and one or more of the spent fuel pools, hover at the brink of catastrophe.
Fukushima's radiation has now been detected in Los Angeles and Sacramento, and has blown east across North America. It has also been detected in Sweden, which means it's blowing across Europe as well.
Radiation is not being released as a single puff. Rather it's a steady stream that could yet turn into a tsunami.
Fukushima's worst may be yet to come. Its collective emissions are virtually certain to exceed Chernobyl's.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Japan may have lost race for containment in Unit # 2

Here is the latest and it is not good. I can't imagine it was entirely unexpected. Not by those in the know.

Fukushima meltdown fears rise after radioactive core melts through vessel

The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.

At least part of the molten core, which includes melted fuel rods and zirconium alloy cladding, seemed to have sunk through the steel "lower head" of the pressure vessel around reactor two, Lahey said.

"The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell," Lahey said. "I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards."

The major concern when molten fuel breaches a containment vessel is that it reacts with the concrete floor of the drywell underneath, releasing radioactive gases into the surrounding area. At Fukushima, the drywell has been flooded with seawater, which will cool any molten fuel that escapes from the reactor and reduce the amount of radioactive gas released.

Lahey said: "It won't come out as one big glob; it'll come out like lava, and that is good because it's easier to cool."

The drywell is surrounded by a secondary steel-and-concrete structure designed to keep radioactive material from escaping into the environment. But an earlier hydrogen explosion at the reactor may have damaged this.

"The reason we are concerned is that they are detecting water outside the containment area that is highly radioactive and it can only have come from the reactor core," Lahey added. "It's not going to be anything like Chernobyl, where it went up with a big fire and steam explosion, but it's not going to be good news for the environment."

Radioactive seaweed and water in BC. Fukushima sandbagging to stop radioactive water.

Sadly, this has to be a two post day. Be sure to catch the first one on Libya.
For this one we have to go back to Japan. To Fukushima.
It's been reported that radioactive seaweed was found off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.
But don't worry - be happy, is the message repeated.

Increased levels of radioactive iodine have been detected in seaweed and rainwater samples in British Columbia and a scientist from Simon Fraser University says the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan is clearly the source.

Let's look at what they found-

The rainwater samples containing iodine-131 were taken at SFU’s campus on Burnaby Mountain and in downtown Vancouver. Seaweed samples were collected in North Vancouver near the Seabus terminal.

Samples taken March 16 and March 18 did not show the signature for iodine-131, but it did show up in tests on March, 19, 20 and 25.

On March 18, the level was zero, but on March 19 it was 9 Bq/l and on March 20 it was 12 Bq/l. On March 25 the level was 11 Bq/l.

So levels had increased from zero to a high of 12 Bq/l. No mention of what the levels were from March 25th on. Today is March 29th, what are the levels today? Fukushima's multi reactor meltdown began on March 11-12/11. The initial rating approximately seven days later was zero, but on the eighth a marked increase! From zero to 9. Then on March 20 to March 25th jumped again and nothing reported on over the next four days. So should we assume the levels have jumped to 15 Bq/l or are they even higher? As I posted yesterday the radiation levels in the ocean surrounding the plant in Japan are much higher as radioactive water continues to pour into the ocean.

In Japan, a health warning was issued recently when iodine-131 levels reached 210 Bq/l in drinking water. The Japanese standard for iodine-131 in drinking water is 100 Bq/l if the water is to be consumed by an infant, and 300 Bq/l if the water is to be consumed by an adult

This paragraph quoted from the linked article is quite misleading, because I am not sure if Japan ever instituted a safe level of radioactive iodine for infants.
Recalling: "Radioactive iodine-131 does not exist in nature"

The only possible source of iodine-131 in the atmosphere is a release from a nuclear fission,”

"Iodine-131 will probably continue to show up in B.C. for three to four weeks after the Fukushima nuclear reactor stops releasing radioactivity into the atmosphere."

Problem being, Fukushima has NOT stopped releasing radioactivity into the air and the water.
So it has to be assumed the reason the iodine count is not being reported on, is that it is increasing in the coastal water.

Then some utter crap!
"Dr. Kendall said health authorities will continue to monitor the situation, but it appears the fight to control the damaged reactor in Japan is being won"

Yeah sure Dr Kendall.
It is three reactors Dr Kendall. Three reactors.
But Dr Kendall is not alone in this delusion. From another article -"Graham Andrew, a senior official at the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the ocean is capable of absorbing vast amounts of radiation with no effect."

Really?! No effect at all!
Not poisoning the fish, not entering the atmosphere, or raining down on the humans, thereby poisoning the ground.
No effect at all. Is this credible?

Head's up Dr Kendall and Graham Andrew more radiation is coming!
Japan Tries to Stem Leak of Radioactive Water

"Workers at Japan’s crippled nuclear plant piled up sandbags and readied emergency storage tanks on Tuesday to stop a fresh leak of highly contaminated water from reaching the ocean, opening up another front in the battle to contain the world’s worst nuclear accident in decades.

(worst nuclear accident, EVER!)

The Japanese government said the discovery of plutonium in the soil near the plant provided new evidence that the fuel in at least one of the plant’s reactors had experienced a partial meltdown. A full meltdown of the fuel rods could release huge amounts of radiation into the environment.

Pay attention Dr Kendall & Graham Andrew

But in the past days, work at the plant’s most severely damaged reactors, Nos. 1 through 3, has slowed, after the discovery of highly radioactive water around and inside the reactor buildings. Last week, three workers were injured after stepping into radioactive water at Reactor No. 3. The water has now accumulated inside the turbine buildings of the three reactors and is now making its way through separate underground tunnels to openings just 200 feet from the sea, officials say.

That is 3 reactors, severely damaged, in some state of meltdown either partial or complete.
Chock full of radioactive water making it's way through separate underground tunnels to openings just 200 feet from the sea!

A leak of the radioactive water, which measured more than 1,000 millisieverts an hour on the surface at Reactor No. 3, could exacerbate smaller leaks of radiation detected in the seawater around the plant. Contaminated water was also found at tunnels from the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors, though with much lower levels of radiation.

On Tuesday, workers piled sandbags outside the opening of one tunnel in danger of overflowing near Reactor No. 1, according to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company. They also prepared to pump water out of the turbine buildings, and to secure storage tanks to hold the highly radioactive water.

But capacity may be running out, officials said. At Reactor No. 3, for example, a 750-gallon tank inside the reactor building is already full, while a smaller tank is more than half full.

“When there is no more room in the tanks,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a top official at Japan’s nuclear regulator, “we will need to think of another option.”

The fight to control the nuclear disaster at Fukushima is won? On what planet? Not Earth.

Libya: The Hypocrisy is right before our eyes

Stunning in it's breadth and depth.
Bombing civilians to prevent a humanitarian crisis. What kind of doublespeak is this?

Would the US be in Libya if not for the sweetest of sweet crude on the planet?

After seizing control of critical oil fields and terminals in eastern Libya over the weekend, Libyan rebels are now trying to sell oil in international markets, potentially raising hundreds of millions of dollars to buy weapons and supplies.
Over the last few days, the rebels have seized several towns with important oil installations that they said would enable them to produce and export crude.

Selective Sanctions!

Although the Libyan government faces global economic sanctions and asset freezes, an official at the Treasury Department said that the United States would not seek to block oil sales by the rebels if they could prove the money was not going to any Libyan government authority, the national oil company or the Qaddafi family.

The rebels already have their own oil company, Agoco, which is based in rebel-held Benghazi and broke away from the main national oil company early in the conflict. Agoco controls fields that represent 40 percent of the country’s 1.6 million barrels a day of output and operates an oil terminal and refinery in Tobruk.

The rebels now control all five eastern oil export terminals, including Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina, roughly two-thirds of the country’s export capacity and a majority of its production and refining capacity.

Well isn't that really really convenient!

The rebels already have their own oil company! They control two thirds- two thirds of the country's export capacity!
How did they manage to tend to the business of starting up an oil company, when they were so busy fighting for freedom?! When they were allegedly being killed by Ghaddafi forces?
Amazing foresight on their part, given the fact they just got took control of critical oil fields this past week-end?

And even more stupendously serendipitous....they already have a buyer! Qatar.
A nation that is going to recognize the legitimacy of the rebels!
Qatar had agreed to buy oil offered by the rebels and planned to ship it in leased tankers. The Qatari government has not commented on the oil sales, but on Monday, Qatar became the first Arab country to formally recognize the legitimacy of the rebels as representatives of Libya.

Stunning how everything is just falling into place. Like it was all preplanned.

If I may point you to a video, posted at Chuckyman's place and at Veritas's blog.
It deserves viewing. It really does.
Hypocrisy abounds as is pointed out below

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fukushima: Damaged containment vessels, including # 4, poisons in the ocean, plutonium in the soil.

Let's face it, if TEPCO is finally acknowledging this as a possibility, you KNOW the reactor containment vessels are damaged and have been since the beginning.

Damaged containment vessels are present in reactor #1, #2 and #3 (MOX fuel)
I have covered the three crippled plants and the MOX fuel in several previous posts.
So if your new or haven't been paying attention I will relink them all at the bottom.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. acknowledged for the first time possible damage to core pressure containers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant--the last line of defense in preventing radioactive materials from spewing out.

TEPCO officials told reporters Monday morning that despite the continuous pumping in of water to cool down the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactor cores, water levels were not rising as expected, meaning the pressure containers may not be completely sealed off.

The water, which is believed to be mixing with radioactive materials from the fuel rods within, is likely leaking from the pressure containers, they said.

TEPCO officials said a possible reason the water levels were not rising sufficiently were breaches in the lower part of the pressure containers. They said they did not know what caused the possible damage.

TEPCO claims they are speculating with this scenario. That is doubtful. I would take it more as this is what has happened.

Fuel rods are damaged and crumble, the melted fuel could fall and accumulate into a lump at the bottom of the pressure container. In that scenario, it would be more difficult to cool because of the fuel's larger surface area. The experts also said damaged fuel rods could have reached high temperatures that melted the walls of the pressure container.

To understand how this is possible one has to realize that the Mark 1 plants were built with cost cutting in mind , so they stored the spent fuel rods atop the reactors. I know, I know a brilliant show of ingenuity....

Let's think for a minute. The water that has been dumped on these crippled reactors since the crisis began. I have touched briefly on this in other posts. Let's look a little more in depth at the water. Can it be contained? Has it been contained? Where is it going?
Japan resumes pumping radioactive water

On Monday, workers resumed the laborious yet urgent task of pumping out the hundreds of tons of radioactive water inside several buildings at the six-unit plant. The water must be removed and safely stored before work can continue to power up the plant's regular cooling system, nuclear safety officials said.

Contaminated water inside Unit 2 has tested at radiation levels some 100,000 times normal amounts.

Workers also discovered radioactive water in the deep trenches outside three units, with the airborne radiation levels outside Unit 2 exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

So we have radioactive water in the reactors and radioactive water in the "deep trenches" outside of three units ( 1, 2 & 3) Could workers really have "discovered" radioactive water outside of the power plants in deep trenches. You know a discovery: "Something previously not known or unexpected" Or do you think this was an expected outcome of the water dumping, therefore NOT a discovery. I do take exception to the use of that word in this reporting. Anyone with a firing brain cell would have realized there is no surprise in the discovery of radioactive water outside of the containment vessels, in the plants themselves and all the way outside of the buildings!

But it get's worse, way worse-

New readings show contamination in the ocean has spread about a mile farther north of the nuclear site than before. Radioactive iodine-131 was discovered just offshore from Unit 5 and Unit 6 at a level 1,150 times higher than normal, Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told reporters.

So to answer the three original questions
Can it be contained? NO
Has it been contained?
Where is it going? To the ocean and onto the rest of the globe

What about Reactor # 4?
Not to much news on the condition of that plant. But I had come across this last week, and now seems the right time to post it. Fukushima Engineer Says He Helped Cover Up Flaw at Dai-Ichi Reactor No. 4

Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor. Tanaka’s allegations, which he says he brought to the attention of Japan’s Trade Ministry in 1988 and chronicled in a book two years later called “Why Nuclear Power is Dangerous,” have resurfaced.

Tanaka says the reactor pressure vessel inside Fukushima’s unit No. 4 was damaged at a Babcock-Hitachi foundry in Kure City, in Hiroshima prefecture, during the last step of a manufacturing process that took 2 1/2 years and cost tens of millions of dollars. If the mistake had been discovered, the company might have been bankrupted, he said.

Inside a blast furnace the size of a small airplane hanger the reactor pressure vessel was being treated one last time to remove welding stress. The cylinder, 20 meters tall and 6 meters in diameter, was heated to more than 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit), a temperature that softens metal.

Braces that were supposed to have been placed inside during the blasting were either forgotten or fell over when the cylinder was wheeled into the furnace. After the vessel cooled, workers found that its walls had warped, Tanaka said. The vessel had sagged so that its height and width differed by more than 34 millimeters, meaning it should have been scrapped, according to nuclear regulations. Rather than sacrifice years of work and risk the company’s survival, Tanaka’s boss asked him to reshape the vessel so that no-one would know it had ever been damaged.

If everything this man claims is accurate, Reactor # 4 could be in a great deal of trouble, if it is not already.

One more story for today- Plutonium has been found in the ground outside of the nuclear complex- Plutonium found in soil at Fukushima complex- The deadliest substance on the planet.

Plutonium found in soil at the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex heightened alarm on Tuesday over Japan's lengthy battle to contain the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years.

The radioactive material, was traced in soil at five locations at the complex.

"Plutonium found this time is at a similar level seen in soil in a regular environment and it's not at the level that's harmful to human health.

But, have no fear it is harmless, or so TEPCO claims

TEPCO said it was unclear where the plutonium was from, though it appeared two of the five finds were related to damage from the plant rather than from the atmosphere.

If two of the five finds can definitely be linked to Fukushima, how can TEPCO be unclear on where it came from?

Experts believe that as well as from the atmosphere, plutonium may have come from spent fuel rods at Fukushima or damage to reactor No. 3, the only one to use plutonium fuel.

The plutonium is from No 3. Let's stop playing fast and loose with the truth.

I realize this is what the nuclear industry is used to doing.

Distraction, obfuscation and out and out fabrication.

As I promised at the beginning, for the new readers or those that have not paid attention until only recently. Previous posts on Fukushima can be found here, here, here, here, or here and then - this and that.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Americans arrested in Syria

In light of what is going on in Syria, these arrests are a little more then curious.

Two Americans arrested in Syria, intimately connected to protests taking place in Syria and coincidentally, or not, Egypt.

One an Egyptian with dual US citizenship- (fresh from Tahrir square perhaps?)

An Egyptian carrying a United States passport, who had been working in Syria after a secret visit to Israel.
The man said on camera that he had "received foreign money for transmitting images and videos about Syria".
He said he had been contacted by a Colombian national and had received 100 Egyptian pounds (17 dollars, 12 euros) for each photo sent, and more per video.
He added that he had received "e-mails sent from abroad asking if it was possible to transmit video on the (situation) in Syria", where unprecedented protests against the regime have been spreading across the country since March 15.
He further stated he had travelled to Israel via Jordan, visiting Jerusalem before returning to Syria.
From this article we have an identity- Mohamed Radwan
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Sunday requested the Syrian authorities to allow one of its diplomats to attend investigations into, an Egyptian citizen accused in Damascus of spying for Israel.
“We want to make sure the investigation grants Radwan his full rights,” said Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel Hakam.
Abdel Hakam said Radwan, who also holds American nationality, had for the past nine months been working in Damascus as director of Petrographics, a petroleum services company that has branches in several Arab countries. (Under cover of a petroleum services company, interesting?)
Syrian authorities said Radwan confessed to receiving money from Israel in return for pictures and video on Syria.
This article identifies Mohamed Rodwan as a blogger from Egypt "Syria accuses Egyptian blogger of spying for Israel"
So is Rodwan a blogger, a journalist or does he work for Petrographics??
Then we have an exchange student, Pathik “Tik” Root, who was allegedly studying Arabic in Egypt ,but is said to have left for Syria, when the protests in Egypt made it unsafe to continue his studies- Why wouldn't he just go home?
"Root, an exchange student who left his school in Alexandria, Egypt, after protests in January made it unsafe to stay, moved to Syria this month to continue studying Arabic"
Curious, do they not teach foreign languages at American Universities? Why did he go from Egypt to Syria? Couldn't he learn Arabic in ..... Saudia Arabia or Jordan? Just wondering?
A cousin of Mr. Radwan told The A.P. that she last heard from him last week when he sent a Twitter message from a mosque in Damascus where Syrian security forces were battling protesters.

I must say these two fellows are in all the right places, at all the right times.......
For related info on the Syrian uprising please see this and this

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Myth of the Arab Social Media Revolution

I want to get back to our latest "social media" revolution, happening in Syria. Covered in a post from yesterday,read that for some background information as to how this revolution may be being created. Internet technologies brought in, what countries may be involved, that kind of stuff.

Today is supposed to be the so called "Day of Dignity" Protest. And the mainstream media coverage will be on going. Live even. Al Jazeera and The Guardian are both mentioning they will be having "live coverage" of the protests. Likely other mainstream media outlets will be providing live coverage. Watching the BBC yesterday, they were covering the issue.


The protests in Daara, are at the very best a local issue. In one city. And so far, the protests have been small. This has me really curious as to why the international media is giving it so much coverage?

All this tv reporting has led us ( the great unwashed) in the west to believe that these protests are huge, and they are being fueled by masses of the citizens of varying countries having access to the latest internet technologies.

I have no doubt a tiny fraction of Egypt or Tunisia or Syria do have access to said technologies, but, is it enough to get the word out to the western media, like a biblical flood?!
So it can be repeated endlessly that this is a social media revolution.

Keeping in mind that, it is the western world that is enamored of social media. So it would be quite appealing, and valuable as propaganda for us to believe that this is the case in these nations. It would really appeal to us. And make us jump on the bandwagon.

I came across an interesting article, Social media did not bring on revolutions in Arab world

The Organizers of Arabnet, the digital summit that discusses the latest trends and technologies in the sector, found it necessary to discuss the role social media in the Arab uprisings.

The panel asked bloggers and activists to explore the way that social media was used, the influence it had and the extent to which it was crucial to the revolution.

And what they said was pretty interesting-

Toukan said in Egypt, only 7 percent of the population was on facebook, Mohamed El Dahshan, Policy consultant and Reporter at ‘Al Masry AlYoum’ said the Egyptian uprising was not a Facebook revolution and that people in Tahrir Square hardly had food supplies, and never used a computer.

The people in the Tahrir square hardly had food and had never used a computer

What about in Tunisia?

Social media tools did not make the revolutions as in Tunisia before the uprising only 2000 people were on twitter out of which 200 were active

Only 2000 people on Twitter in Tunisia, and only 200 active accounts?

Yesterday I saw a figure , on recall I would say it was around 50,000 facebook friends of the freedom movement for Syria. It could be more. Who are these people?
Because, as in Egypt, as in Tunisia these facebook followers are not likely Syrians.
How many active Twitter accounts would you suppose there are in Syria?
Considering there were only 200 in Tunisia, I would suggest, not many.

The article I have quoted from gives us an interesting clue as to who they may be-

Journalists working for regional and international media were tweeting news before reporting it to their news rooms. So the media started using tweets as a source for information and they sometimes took citizens for journalist and thus fell into reporting false information at some times.

Journalists, international and regional. Tweeting news reports that were picked up and used despite the fact that they were" reporting false information at times"
News is supposed to be factual, therefore the journalists on the ground, international and regional were pushing lies, propaganda to create a false impression to the receptive western audience!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fukushima: Meltdowns, neutron beams, yellow rain& radiated workers

I have covered Fukushima to the best of my limited abilities since Monday March 14th.

I became aware of the Fukushima disaster Saturday March 12th/11. While reading the news that early morning, I was transported back to a time in my own past. When I was a new mom, with a brand new baby. It was 1986 and Chernobyl was the disaster, that scared the wits out of me.
I knew, don't ask me how, I just knew something was very, very wrong.
As I read about Fukushima early morning, very nearly two weeks ago, that same sense of dread hung over me. So here we are again.
They say history repeats itself because we never learn from the mistakes made in the past.
So here we are again.
Every time a new post went up, I wanted to be wrong. I wanted a good ending. Perhaps a miracle? Was that too tall an order? It appears so.

Sadly, let us get to the latest news on the reactor disaster at Fukushima.
Wait a minute, hold on, I want to mention this morning I saw a piece at CNN, a laughable piece, a piece filled with lies and utter bullshit. You can find that here
According to this piece everything was pretty much hunky dory with the reactor's containment units. No mention of meltdowns, partial or otherwise.

As I reported to you some days ago, there was at least 3 nuclear reactors in some state of meltdown.

Finally a mainstream piece, from Egypt, has reported this today!

It was actually confirmed on March 18/2011 by the Japanese IAEA that 3 reactor cores were damaged-

That is 6 days ago.

You would never know any of this if you watched the likes of CNN or any of the other western mainstream propaganda outlets. Who have been busily covering for their corporate masters...
But, I digress once again. A neutron beam has been reported emanating from Fukushima

Neutron beam observed 13 times at crippled Fukushima nuke plant

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.

So Fukushima has been in meltdown from the beginning!

Neutrons are emitted during a nuclear chain reaction; so given the context, is Kyodo's report to be taken as indicating that a chain reaction took place after the reactors shut down?

Two workers at the power plant were treated today for radiation burns on their feet.
And I love the spin on this story! Recall the other day, I reported that the government had just increased the safe amount of exposure from 100 to 250 msv.

Well, these two workers tested at between 170 and 180, which is being claimed as well below the safe 250 msv. Seriously, I am not kidding about this. Read below-

Fumio Matsuda, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industry Safety, said the men tested for radiation levels between 170 to 180 millisieverts.

While that's well below the maximum 250 mSv allowed for nuclear workers, it's much higher than the 2 to 6 mSv that average people absorb each year from naturally-occurring radiation.

This is pathetic!! It is (scuse my language) f'n unbelievable!!

Then there is the yellow rain! But it's pollen. Ok, it is just pollen! Don't worry, be happy.
(Is it winter in Japan at this time? Anyone? Because if so, would there be pollen?)
Problem?! Big one.Remembering Chernobyl

Thinking back to 20 years ago, it’s the splashing in yellow rainwater that Antonina Sergieff vividly recalls.

The third-year graduate student didn’t know it then, but the unnatural color of those puddles in her hometown of Gomel, Belarus were due to radioactive particles spewing from a nuclear explosion 80 miles away.

Pollen? Really?

A bit more info
Radioactive water detected in 6 prefectures
Radioactive water has been detected at water purification facilities in Tokyo and 5 other prefectures. The level of radioactive iodine-131 at 18 purification plants exceeds Japan's safety limit for infants.

Radioactive iodine-131 does not exist in nature. Experts believe it was carried by the wind from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to surrounding areas, and then washed down into rivers by rain.

OH sorry, that news changed! Now the water is OK in Tokyo, for infant consumption!!

Japan's now-rescinded warning yesterday that radioactive iodine in the city's drinking water exceeded standards set for infants' chronic radiation exposure was, above all, a public health threat. But it is likely that the warning's psychological effects on Tokyo could cause lasting stress to a group particularly at risk during nuclear crisis: young mothers.

Western backed Social Media "revolution" coming to Syria

All the hallmarks are there!

Facebook, Youtube & Twitter- the social media revolution is in progress.

This latest "revolution" is based in Southern Syria, in one town called Daraa.

A statement posted Thursday on the Facebook page "The Syrian Revolution 2011" held Syrian authorities led by President Bashar Assad responsible for the violence and called on the Syrian people to hold protests in all Syrian provinces on Friday, which it dubbed "Dignity Friday."

Videos posted by activists on Youtube and Twitter showed dead and wounded people lying on a street in Daraa, as heavy gunfire crackled nearby and people shouted in panic.

Does anyone recall the post I put up on the contractor for USAID -Alan Gross, bringing into Cuba all manner of tech items, making it possible for the Cuban followers of Judaism to connect to the internet.

He is accused of supplying Internet equipment, including sophisticated satellite phones, to dissidents in violation of Cuban law.

The US acknowledges he was providing internet access to his fellow believers.

I wondered aloud at that time if this was how the US was promoting one of their revolutions?

"I am really curious if the US was working towards one of their so called spontaneous uprisings using the latest social media technologies, such as Facebook and Twitter.

I mean these social media outlets, via internet access, played such a big role in the spontaneous uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen......"

Now, to my non-surprise we have the beginnings of a social media revolution in one town, in Southern Syria???

I believe that Alan Gross demonstrated the means used to get the necessary internet tools into a country. He was supplied by USAID, and he attempted to deliver the necessary tools to his connections within Cuba.

So let's take a look at the geography of Daara-

Daara is a border town, located right next to Jordan. Conveniently, it is also located very near to the Golan Heights, which are presently occupied by Israel.
Not to mention that Daara is not far from Israel itself.

Oh, the opportunities presented. The options available to send an Alan Gross type private contractor into Syria carrying all sorts of Internet access type technologies.

What is that saying in real estate? Location, location, location.

Located 120km (75 miles) south of Damascus, just a few miles from the Jordanian border, it has long been Syria's gateway to the south.

Located quite far from the capital.

"It has long been Syria's gateway to the South"
Which also means, it is the gateway in from the other direction. From the South (Jordan, Golan Heights, Israel) into the North.

Deraa is a city that the Syrian government simply cannot afford to lose. It is the main city of the historic Hawran region, which includes the provinces of Deraa, Sweida and Kuneitra - the last of which is partly occupied by Israel.

That is a big red flag folks!

Jordan's Islamic Action Front has a significant following in the nearby city of Irbid.
This group has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another red flag!

The Muslim Brotherhood were big players in the social media revolution in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups might try to exploit a collapse of government control in Deraa by seeking support from across the Jordanian border.

What supportive role is Jordan playing in this western backed revolution?
Surely, they are playing one. If you recall back in January of this year, a so called spontaneous revolution started up in Jordan? And then it disappeared. Protests gone, everything. The latest news is the people are demanding reform, but, NOT a new government.
Or so the story goes.
Was the threat of revolution in Jordan just the push the Jordanian government needed to help sow the seeds of discontent in Syria?
What role is Israel playing in this?
These are questions that have to be asked.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Skimming headlines for the "facts" on Fukushima

First off, thanks to my hubby for catching these two interesting articles!

Throwing this up quick, because it is a perfect demonstration of the manipulation via the mainstream media.

Two different articles, two different web address's, with the exact same headline. Why?
Other then reinforcing a lie?

Also take a gander at the information within the article.
It is a good thing our spin doctor authors are aware that most people skim headlines.

Japan radiation release lower than Chernobyl

"The fact that radiation releases are approaching the level they did in Chernobyl is a cause for concern, a sign of the severity of the accident that's already taken place," said Lyman, especially given the way Chernobyl exploded.

When was this statement made by Lyman? Today? Two days ago? Three days ago?
Who knows?

Then this!

Japan radiation release lower than Chernobyl

The release of two types of radioactive particles in the first 3-4 days of Japan's nuclear crisis is estimated to have reached 20-50 percent of the amounts from Chernobyl in 10 days, an Austrian expert said Wednesday.

Read this paragraph. In the first 3-4 days of Fukushima's meltdown, it reached 20-50 percent of the amounts emitted by Chernobyl in 10 days.

Using 35 percent as the medium number in just 9 to 10 days Fukushima has equalled Chernobyl's emissions.

Therefore, in the 13 days of Fukushima's "leaking" it has surpassed Chernobyl.

Thoughts anyone?

Stuxnet /Fukushima: Connected? Why and Why not.

Two commentors in yesterday's post asked me if I had checked out the Stuxnet/Fukushima angle. While I was aware that a possible connection has been made, until today, I had not checked it out.
A-13 had previously blogged on it, so here is the link to that post.

I took some time to read up on it today.

First some background for those who may not be aware of what Stuxnet is and who the two nations were behind it's creation. I have a number of posts on the worm, you can find them here and here.

If you don't want to take the time to read those posts, very quickly, Israel and the US created Stuxnet to attack Iran's nuclear power station. The worm allegedly went "wild" and made it's way to China. I question that premise! Honestly, I can easily see China being an intended target of this type of cyber attack. The West (US/UK/Israel) or as I call them the NATO allies have China's demise on their mind. But, story for another day!

It was reported that Stuxnet had shown up in Japan. You can find that here. Quoting from this article-

"Stuxnet, a computer virus designed to attack servers isolated from the Internet, such as at power plants, has been confirmed on 63 personal computers in Japan since July, according to major security firm Symantec Corp.

The virus does not cause any damage online, but once it enters an industrial system, it can send a certain program out of control.

Symantec says the virus reaches the servers via USB memory sticks, and warns against the careless use of such devices.

Systems at power plants, gas stations and water facilities are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber-attacks."

According to this article power plants are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber attack. If this reporting is accurate the power plants could not have been infected via the internet.

But there is another twist to this story. Security at Fukushima was set up by an Israeli firm.

The system includes cameras and a warning system, enabling the facility's security staff to monitor anyone attempting to trespass onto the site or damage the perimeter fence.

So, a connection can definitely be made between potential Israeli espionage and the Fukushima power plant. But, why would they do it? What is the gain? I am not sure.

My first problem with the Stuxnet/Fukushima connection is the age of the reactors in Japan. These are old reactors in Japan, the Mark 1, is forty plus years old? Would these reactors contain the same components that Stuxnet is designed to target, components that the newer reactors in Iran and China would contain? I don't know? If anyone does know, feel free to share your thoughts.

My second problem is GE or TEPCO could be held less accountable, or not accountable at all, for their part in what will be the worst nuclear disaster this planet has seen to date. Tales of Stuxnet worm infections could get them off the hook, so to speak. They do not deserve to be off the hook! Stuxnet or not, bad management, lax safety and nuclear power as a whole are still the bigger issues.

hook + worm =hookworm (pun intended)

But, if there is a connection between Stuxnet and the Fukushima disaster , it is pretty tenuous.

I am not saying impossible, I am just saying not absolutely convincing.

For reasons I will expand upon below-

As I mentioned in this post, the Mark 1 plant had all kinds of clearly defined problems, known and documented in the '70's

Then the numerous safety infractions at the plants, you know cost-cutting. Some of that is covered in this article Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear power

Past nuclear accidents-

In 1999, fuel-reprocessing workers were reported to be using stainless steel buckets to hand-mix uranium in flagrant violation of safety standards at the Tokaimura plant. Two workers later died

— At least 37 workers were exposed to low doses of radiation at a 1997 fire and explosion at a nuclear reprocessing plant operated in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo. The operator, Donen, later acknowledged it had initially suppressed information about the fire.

— Hundreds of people were exposed to radiation and thousands evacuated in the more serious 1999 Tokaimura accident involving JCO Co. The government assigned the accident a level 4

— In 2007, a powerful earthquake ripped into Japan’s northwest coast, killing at least eight people and causing malfunctions at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plan

Safety Violations dating way back!

In one case, Tepco's 17 nuclear reactors were temporarily shut down after it admitted in 2002 that it had falsified inspection findings and covered up serious flaws for 16 years. The company's president and four other executives resigned after the news became public.

In 2004, Kansai Electric's officials at the Mihama plant conceded they had not acted on safety warnings before a corroded pipe burst, spewing superheated steam that killed four workers. (The steam was not radioactive.)

It wasn't until 2007 that Hokuriku Electric Power Co. revealed that its Shika nuclear plant had a critical accident in 1999.

Typical corporate capitalist type stuff. Cover up, lie, fabricate, obfuscate, cut corners all in the name of maximizing profits.

Reviewing whole scenario-

Poorly built (cost cutting), aging nuclear reactors + numerous previous safety violation + multiple previous nuclear accidents + earthquake + tsunami = massive disaster!

That all said, can I rule out an attack by Stuxnet? With the limited information available? No. What I can say for certain is with all the other variables mentioned above, and all the problems with nuclear power in general. Fukushima was a disaster just waiting for a catalyst, and it had any number of them, Stuxnet aside.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fukushima: Core Meltdowns, nuclear lobbyists working overtime, non-existent US evacuation plans & Ann Coulter (crackpot)

Yesterday it was actually reported, finally, that three of the Fukushima reactors are in meltdown.
Either total or partial meltdowns have occurred. No one can be sure.

Off I went this morning to search that information down to post here. To my non-surprise there isn't a whole heck of a lot out there. Particularly not to much in the western media.
But, I did find this article! Warning Signals
I will not post it entirely so I hope, as always, that you will read it at the link.
The article is from India, a nation that is about to build many nuclear reactors.
Here is the important information-

Going by analysis by the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and other independent experts, the earthquake shut down the three operating reactors at Fukushima, as designed, thereby cutting off the power with which to cool the reactors' still-hot cores and control rods. As designed, the back-up diesel generators cut in, but an hour later, cut out, for as-yet-unknown reasons.

The core, containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel, started heating up further. As water circulation stopped, more than half the core was exposed in Reactors 3 and 1. It was fully exposed in Reactor 2, which is also in distress now.

The three reactors all suffered a LOCA, (loss of coolant accident) which carries the hazard of a partial or complete core meltdown.

Ok, so we have 3 nuclear reactors in partial or complete meltdown. No one really knows.
Let's talk Chernobyl. Where there was only one reactor, if I recall that correctly. In Japan we have three, in some varying degrees of meltdown. No one knows. So why is the media spinning this as less severe then Chernobyl. Not to mention again, as I have several times, that one of the plants is a MOX Fuel plant.

“the use of MOX generally increases the consequences of severe accidents in which large amounts of radioactive gas and aerosol are released compared to the same accident in a reactor using non-MOX fuel….

Because of this, the number of latent cancer fatalities resulting from an accident could increase by as much as a factor of five for a full core of MOX fuel compared to the same accident with no MOX.”
This little tiny fact-way more cancer fatalities- has been noticeably absent from our business friendly main stream media.
Who, I note, are doing their best to win the coveted most pathetic apologist award in their grovelling category.(as you can see by the title, I have chosen THE WINNER)

Now let's talk about the affects of this disaster on the nuclear industry. If you think the nuclear industry haven't been very busy sucking up to and bribing politicians for the right to increase your risk of cancer, think again!

U.S. nuclear advocates try to limit political impact of Japan reactor crisis

Nuclear power advocates are waging an intense lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill this week in an attempt to limit the political fallout from the reactor crisis in Japan.

Lobbyists with the Nuclear Energy Institute and some of the United States’ largest energy firms, including Exelon Corp. of Chicago, are holding meetings with key lawmakers and standing-room-only briefings for staffers in an attempt to tamp down talk of restrictions in response to the Japanese disaster.

Spurred on by federal subsidies and potential climate-change legislation, the nuclear industry has dramatically stepped up its federal lobbying and campaign contributions in recent years, records show.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, for example, has spent more than $6 million on lobbying since 2008

Lobbying the government that means money, gifts and hookers, male or female. As for the subsidies, that is your money John or Jane Doe, your money used to give you cancer. Indeed the lobbyists have been busy as of late.

Let's go from Lobbyists plying their trade on Capital Hill and take a look at the evacuation standards in the US if their was a nuclear disaster. You may be surprised to know, that your government does not love you and has no real plans for your evacuation should one be necessary.
US meltdown evacuation standards different than recommendation for Japan
U.S. companies are only required to develop emergency evacuation plans for people living within 10 miles of a reactor, even though the U.S. is recommending that Americans within 50 miles of the overheating power plant in Japan evacuate.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nuclear watchdog group, said Thursday the NRC should require companies to develop evacuation plans for residents living within 50 miles of a plant.

“We’ve been advocating for quite some time that they need to look at expanding emergency evacuation zones,” Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at UCS, told reporters Thursday. “It’s astounding and shocking.”

Why am I not surprised that the government actually has NO standard plans for evacuation if their is a disaster. Instead they require the companies develop plans? Have the companies done this? Who knows?

Let's get back to Fukushima for the latest news today. Smoke rises from the reactors again!

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) later said on Tuesday that the smoke had turned to steam and it was deemed safe to continue work in bringing the plant under control.

Japan's nuclear safety agency said steam was believed to be coming off a spent nuclear fuel pool at reactor No.2, and white haze was detected above reactor No. 3.

Smoke has turned to steam, coming from the spent fuel pools? Here is the latest with the spent fuel pools, from today-

A pool for storing spent fuel at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is heating up, with temperatures close to boiling point, a nuclear safety official has revealed.

In another day of progress and setbacks, a pool holding spent nuclear fuel heated up to around the boiling point, a nuclear safety official said. With water bubbling away, there is a risk that more radioactive steam could spew out.
More radiation for the atmosphere.

Also being reported the water, in the ocean, surrounding the power plants is contaminated.

Sea water near the Fukushima plant is showing elevated levels of radioactive iodine and caesium, prompting the government to test seafood.

Is anyone surprised by this bit of news?? All that seawater Japan has been dousing their radioactive power plants with surely must be pouring right back out to the ocean. I have not read anything about this water being contained? Really, how could it possibly be contained? So we have to assume this water is going straight back out to the ocean.

One last thing. Anne Coulter apparently made the statement that this radiation and plutonium is like a vaccine against cancer.

I am awarding her the best in her category, media whore extraordinaire!

Oh my, she has actually been awarded this prize previously!

This woman is clearly a crank. I truly do not know who or what constitutes her fan base.

Monday, March 21, 2011

# 3 MOX plant at Fukishima, smoke reported today. Questioning the reporting

Maybe you are tired of coming here and reading about Fukushima and nuclear reactors?
Sorry if that is the case.
Yes, I know Libya is under attack. I quite frankly was expecting it.
I am sure at some point in time I will address both Libya and Pakistan. But for now, radiation and plutonium are on my mind.
You may wonder why, why do you persist on this topic? Mainly because I am of the opinion we are being lied to. All of us. Not just the Japanese, but, all the people of the globe.
Governments lie to us daily. To cover up for their business and banking cronies. It is a fact.
Any look over the most recent news, that is if you are really paying attention, would surely mean you are aware of that.
So it is back to Japan, nuclear reactors and radiation and plutonium poisoning. Specifically, we are going back to the # 3 plant at the nuclear complex. This is the one I have addressed on several occasions. This is the MOX fuel plant.

I am going to move from present to past so here is the latest.
I is being reported that smoke is spewing from Reactor #3 (Number 2 also, but 3 is the priority)
Grey smoke is emanating from # 3.

Gray smoke was spotted outside the No. 3 unit, leading to the evacuation of nearby workers.

It wasn't known what was causing the smoke or what exactly was burning. He explained that it emanated from the building's southeastern side, where the reactor's spent nuclear fuel pool is located.

For days, authorities have been working fervently to fill that pool with water -- fearful that the evaporation of water and high temperatures could expose fuel rods within and lead to the release of more radioactive vapors.

Therefore, we have "smoke" it is grey. Could it be steam? Of course it could be!
It is emanating from the area the spent fuel pool is located. Evaporation of water in the spent fuel ponds could lead to the release of more radioactive and plutonium filled vapors.
So was it grey smoke or was it steam. Did cooling water evaporate, which is itself highly radioactive, exposing the fuel rods?

Do you notice the absence of coverage on the fact that plutonium is or has been released?

Yesterday it was being reported that pressure was building up in the #3 plant and that venting may be required.

Efforts by TEPCO to lower the temperature inside the crippled reactors at Fukushima Daiichi were met with an unexpected spike in pressure in reactor No. 3. Officials are weighing the option of venting the dangerous radioactive gases to combat the problem.

"The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) announced earlier Sunday morning that pressure inside the vessel was rising despite efforts to cool the reactor by spraying thousands of tons of seawater on the reactor through the opened roof damaged by an explosion

And then miraculously, or not, pressure suddenly dropped? Read on.

"We were preparing to implement a measurement to reduce the pressure of the reactor containment vessel (partial discharge of air containing radioactive material to outside) in order to fully secure safety. However, at present, it is not a situation to take a measure immediately to discharge air containing radioactive material to outside now."

I am having some problem with this story. And if anyone who knows more about this topic then myself cares to shed some light, I am all for it.
Here is my issue. The reactor is encased in a sealed containment vessel. Using a balloon as a simple analogy, if to much pressure builds the balloon will explode, or pop. To stop this from happening, you just release some air. Right? So back to our containment vessel, how is it possible the pressure was reduced without venting?

Recall I said we are going from present to past?
Here is the video footage of the initial explosion at the # 3 reactor.

If the containment vessel is still intact, what condition are the cooling pools where the spent fuel rods are stored, really in? Rewatching that explosion.... it is pretty huge. Exactly how much radiation plutonium particles were released initially?
How much continues to be released? Did TEPCO vent the # 3 plant yesterday and simply fail to report on it? Was today's grey smoke, really steam from evaporating spent fuel pools?
Much of what is being reported doesn't jibe, with what seems to be happening.

And there is something else that bothers me.
Last week Japan raised the limit of "safe" exposure for the workers at the nuclear power plants.
In what skewed version of reality does this have legitimacy

Japan last week hiked the emergency exposure limit to 250 millisieverts from 100.
That is five times higher than the normal maximum exposure permitted for Japanese and US nuclear plant workers, and 12 times that of French workers.

Japan is arbitrarily changing the rules of limits to exposure? For what purpose? To limit liability? How is it suddenly safer to be exposed to more radiation? What will it be increased to in the coming days or weeks? Upping the numbers does not change reality!

The average dose per year is two millisieverts from the sun's rays, rocks and soil

Experts say that a person exposed to radiation at 400 millisieverts will experience a drop in white blood cells, and beyond that level will suffer acute nausea, hair loss and other symptoms.

A dose of 5,000 millisieverts is fatal.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Greetings visitor from Fukushima Japan

To the reader/visitor from Fukushima, Japan.
I can see by my hit counter you have visited this blog 9 times.
I wonder who you are? And how you are coping?

I cannot imagine the difficult situation that the Japanese people are faced with at this time.
My heart goes out to them all.

If you had anything you could share or wanted to share, please feel free to do so.
You are more then welcome to leave a comment, or several if you wish.
It would help myself and readers to fully appreciate the situation on the ground.

Mark1 problems long known, Spent Fuel more threatening then reactors

This is an enlightening article

It looks as if cost cutting prevailed over safety when it came to the Mark 1 reactor. As far back as 1972 there have been issues..

The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a Mark 1 nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated. Dangerous radiation would spew into the environment.

Now, with one Mark 1 containment vessel damaged at the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and other vessels there under severe strain, the weaknesses of the design — developed in the 1960s by General Electric — could be contributing to the unfolding catastrophe. When the ability to cool a reactor is compromised, the containment vessel is the last line of defense...

But the type of containment vessel and pressure suppression system used in the failing reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant — and in 23 American reactors at 16 plants — is physically less robust, and it has long been thought to be more susceptible to failure in an emergency than competing designs.G.E. began making the Mark 1 boiling water reactors in the 1960s, marketing them as cheaper and easier to build — in part because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure.

American regulators began identifying weaknesses very early on.

In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended in a memo that the sort of “pressure-suppression” system used in G.E.’s Mark 1 plants presented unacceptable safety risks and that it should be discontinued. Among his concerns were that the smaller containment design was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
“What are the safety advantages of pressure suppression, apart from the cost saving?” Mr. Hanauer asked in the 1972 memo.

Questions about the G.E. reactor design escalated in the mid-1980s, when Harold Denton, an official with the N.R.C., asserted that Mark 1 reactors had a 90 percent probability of bursting should the fuel rods overheat and melt in an accident.

I touched on this in yesterday's post Greater Danger lies in Spent Fuel then in Reactors. All the spent fuel stored at the reactor site!!!!

If you heard the interviews from yesterday you would also know this was mentioned as being possibly worse then Hiroshima or Nagasaki due to the massive quantity of fuel stored at the reactors. Is this insanity or what?

Some countries have tried to limit the number of spent fuel rods that accumulate at nuclear power plants: Germany stores them in costly casks, for example, while China sends them to a desert storage compound in the western province of Gansu. But Japan, like the United States, has kept ever-larger numbers of spent fuel rods in temporary storage pools at the power plants.

A pre-earthquake view of fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Figures provided by Tokyo Electric Power on Thursday show that most of the dangerous uranium at the power plant is actually in the spent fuel rods, not the reactor cores themselves.

The electric utility said that a total of 11,125 spent fuel rod assemblies were stored at the site. That is about four times as much radioactive material as in the reactor cores combined.

Now those temporary pools are proving the power plant’s Achilles’ heel, with the water in the pools either boiling away or leaking out of their containments, and efforts to add more water having gone awry. While spent fuel rods generate significantly less heat than newer ones do, there are strong indications that some fuel rods have begun to melt and release extremely high levels of radiation. Japanese workers struggled on Thursday to add more water to the storage pool at Reactor No. 3.(The very dangerous MOX fuel reactor)

The zirconium cladding on the fuel rods could burst into flames if exposed to air for hours when a storage pool lost its water. (This was also mentioned in one of yesterday's interviews. which left me wondering why a material that could burst into flames would be used in this way?)

Zirconium, once ignited, burns extremely hot and is difficult to extinguish, added Mr. Lahey, who helped write a classified report for the United States government several years ago on the vulnerabilities of storage pools at American nuclear reactors.

These articles are linked within the post, so take the time to read them entirely