Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants

joewein
By which route/medium/mechanism should the majority of total air releases from the plant have escaped from unit2?

Several weeks ago I heard that the contamination in the Namie / Iitate region to the NW of Fukushima Daiichi was linked mostly to emissions from unit 2. Researchers reviewing SPEEDI predictions realized that the rain and snow that brought down most of the radioactivity there must have picked up the radioactivity at Fukushima Daiichi around the time the suppression chamber blew up, according to a late night documentary I watched on NHK.

The suppression chamber explosion in unit 2 on the morning of March 15 sounded like bad news at the time as it was a clear breach of the containment. The presence of the containment supposedly was the reason why Fukushima was not going to be another Chernobyl (the main reason I decided that same day to get out of Japan for a while were the #4 SFP problems though).

The reactor pressure vessel vents into the containment when pressure gets too high and it does that through the water in the torus, which acts as a fairly effective scrubber, catching most of the radioisotopes other than noble gases. Consequently, when TEPCO had difficulties venting the containment in unit 2 later on and pressure far exceeded design limits, leading to the suppression chamber bursting, there must have been a lot of volatile substances in the torus already.

I would be very interested in getting a clearer picture of exactly what events at Fukushima Daiichi match up with the various spikes in radioactivity in these charts, especially on March 15 and 16:
http://fleep.com/earthquake/ [Broken]

I have no clear image either what path any release would take from the torus. Would the radioactivity have to climb up through the stairwells between the floors? Radioactivity inside the #2 reactor building did not seem to be vastly different from levels in #1 when TEPCO first sent in robots and then people.

We do know that one panel was blown off the side walls near the #2 SFP.

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SteveElbows
I would be very interested in getting a clearer picture of exactly what events at Fukushima Daiichi match up with the various spikes in radioactivity in these charts, especially on March 15 and 16:
http://fleep.com/earthquake/ [Broken]

I have no clear image either what path any release would take from the torus. Would the radioactivity have to climb up through the stairwells between the floors? Radioactivity inside the #2 reactor building did not seem to be vastly different from levels in #1 when TEPCO first sent in robots and then people.

We do know that one panel was blown off the side walls near the #2 SFP.

Narrative in report to IAEA mentions the high radiation levels on site on the 15th, and although they have an issue with not knowing how much this may have been caused by unit 4 explosion/fires as opposed to reactor 2 s/c failure, it looks like reactor 2 is given credit for most of this.

The same narrative mentions further releases on March 16th, both from reactor 2 & reactor 3. I will be looking at the detail of this at some point this week.

I have sifted through loads of SPEEDI data, and for March 15th the wind is taking stuff south, but by the afternoon it is taking stuff north west, and prediction models start to resemble the actual map of contamination/expanded evacuation zone.

Reactor 3 explosion does not generate interesting SPEEDI data at all, because the wind is mostly taking stuff out to sea on this date.

Reactor 1 explosion also causes SPEEDI to project a plume that strongly resembles the north-west contamination zone, so its a bit hard for me to state how much of the contamination in this area comes from 2 rather than 1.

The panel that is missing from reactor 2 building is not by the fuel pool, rather it is close to the floor area above the reactor itself. There also remains some ambiguity as to whether this was blown off or removed deliberately. Official information states that it was removes as a result of explosion at 3, but that does not tell us with 100% clarity whether the explosion at 3 caused it to fall, or whether they removed it because of the explosion at 3, to prevent the same thing happening at 2.

As for pathway of release, I am not sure. In the narrative to IAEA they focus on damage to waste treatment buildings far more than we have done here, and the waste building adjacent to reactor 2 is damaged, providing a possible pathway, especially as they think its possible that hydrogen leaked into these building.

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SteveElbows
While it would be hard to imagine a...nd pointing the finger at the reactor itself.

SteveElbows
The argument made there by the cabinet secretary seems pitifully inadequate, and indeed has a form that makes it look like a 'post hoc ergo propter hoc' fallacy. Very _much_ had been going on before those high levels were measured on the 15th and the 16th of March, and during this period smoke and steam were reported billowing out from several sources within the plant, not only, and not even mainly, from unit 2.

There must be more than guessing and imagining that they picked this scenario for sound reasons.Taking things from this particular report on trust alone is for me quite out of bounds.

I think its a combination of the theory of what happened at reactor 2, combined with the highest site radiation readings, SPEEDI data showing where it may travel matching pretty well with actual contamination, and perhaps some other factors that I haven't worked out yet.

Certainly there are a few complications, because up until the 15th they did not speak of containment failure, yet we know that reactor 1 had managed to spread some contamination away from the plant by the morning of the 12th, and as previously mentioned the SPEEDI data fro unit 1 explosion time also follows the north-west route. So one of the reasons I am interested in the report to IAEA pointing most of the blame at reactor 2, is that I cannot tell if they may have underestimated releases from reactor 1 and also 3, especially if they were sticking to their original narrative that unit 2 was the only one with containment damage. I cannot tell if they increased the estimates for reactors 1 & 3 after containment damage seemed likely there, for I do not have the original figures from April 12th in this much detail, only the later ones where total was upgraded past 800000 TBq.

clancy688
I cannot tell if they increased the estimates for reactors 1 & 3 after containment damage seemed likely there, for I do not have the original figures from April 12th in this much detail, only the later ones where total was upgraded past 800000 TBq.

Here you are: http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/files/en20110412-4.pdf [Broken]

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SteveElbows
Here you are: http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/files/en20110412-4.pdf [Broken]

Thanks, but I was referring to figures which show the release per reactor. These are available for the latest version of the figures, table 5 on page 7 of attachment IV-2 in report to IAEA, but I've not seen an earlier version.

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MiceAndMen
The panel that is missing from reactor 2 building is not by the fuel pool, rather it is close to the floor area above the reactor itself. There also remains some ambiguity as to whether this was blown off or removed deliberately. Official information states that it was removes as a result of explosion at 3, but that does not tell us with 100% clarity whether the explosion at 3 caused it to fall, or whether they removed it because of the explosion at 3, to prevent the same thing happening at 2.

There is a problem with all of those scenarios. The panel on the East side of Unit 2 was removed (or blown off) before Unit 3 exploded. There is indeed ambiguity in TEPCO's statements about exactly when and why that panel went missing.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalglobe-imagery/5522088312/in/photostream/ [Broken]

(Thanks to MadderDoc for pointing that out to me some weeks back.)

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Azby
Fukushima geology and groundwater

About the geology of the Fukushima area, I was able to consult a Japanese specialist, a professor of geology at a leading Japanese university, who provided lengthy and detailed explanations. Because he has been misquoted in the press recently he is reluctant to be identified publicly here, but has agreed to let me quote him anonymously. I've encouraged him to sign up and participate here, and maybe he will at some point. I asked him specifically about the solidity of the rock on which Fukushima Daiichi sits, and about the groundwater system in the area and implications for the spread of contamination by that route. His replies (excerpted, and even then it's pretty long):

"As for your question, there are limited number of info available, and the lack of info is more severe for English-language versions. Nuclear Plants are usually built on a stable rock, and granite is an ideal one: they are not only strong, but also deep-seated. I believe most of the nuclear plants in Japan are built on granite, and if it is not available, on other hard rock such as metamorphic rocks, but not for soft rocks such as sedimentary rock (or soft sediments) which would be suicidal*in terms of nuclear safety. Fukushimas bed rock is a hard-rock complex called Abukuma Massif, and is made of granite and metamorphic rocks (= former sedimentary rocks which*was then*hardened by high pressure and temperature in the underground). So people thought the region is relatively safer in terms of bed rocks and fault systems. But after the 3-11 earthquake, many "inactive" fault systems moved, causing some problems such as landslides or forming sink holes. Some of these faults CUT through these hard rocks, which people, including many geologists, thought quite unusual (if not impossible) utill they saw the consequence of the 3-11 Earthquake in Tohoku. Even in the areas of hard bed-rocks, it might be covered by a veneer of soft sediments or soft rocks, and if the reactor is built in such areas, the degree of tremor due to earthquake will increase. Unfortunately in the case of Fukushima Daiichi Plant, there are thick sedimentary rocks of the Quaternary (Pliocene) age called*the Taga Group covers the Abukuma Massif (hard bed rock in depth here), and there are a few active faults around*the plant*(they have been recently*found to be active after the 3-11 Earthquake).*"

[snip]

"As for Fukushimas geology, *yes, it has been long known that around the Fukushima Daiichi Plant is sedimentary rock Taga Group; around the plant this rock is called the Tomioka Formation, whch is made of coarse sandstone (or Grit) and tuffaceous siltstone. Its pity that*no*geologists*(as*far as I know)*have warned the vulnebility of the Fukushima Daiichi Plant in terms of geology, as it won't take a rocket science (but so simple and clear) to check this out. But instead, I think most of us trusted info provided by Tepco, such as videos in*nuclear safety which states that "this region*of Fukushima Daiichi Plant have never experienced major earthquake or tsunami over the past 400 years". *
As for the groundwater-flow information, I dont know. I checked several website, but I could not find one, including the one in Japanese. As the bedrock of the area is made of coarse sandstone, the rock is highly permeable and has plenty of waters flowing in the underground of the plain (but in a very very*slow speed) around the*nuke plant. The source (catchment of rain) is the nearby Abukuma mountains, and the groundwater of this nature will spend hundred or more years to flow from the mountains to the coastline. But I do not have data to prove this - I am just stating a general rule."

[snip]

"I have talked with some of my colleagues (geology professors) today, and some of them knew for many years/decades that the bed rock of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuke Power Plant is soft sedimentary rock. They do not know why government (both national and local/prefectural) approved for the construction of the plant on such a bad spot, and can only think of*unethical acts of polititians and the industry.*Also,*my colleagues warn that the type of bed rock, which geologists identify,*and the strength/suitability of the*bed rock, which soil/geo-engineers determine, is different, even though I would*still support that*young sedimentary rocks below the Fukushima Daiichi Nuke Plant is NOT*suitable for constructing buildings that have to endure earthquakes. "

[snip]

"One of my colleagues told me that ground water research have been usually done by local/prefectural municipal office(s), consulting firms, and AIST in Tsukuba, especially when the geothermal gradient of the region is high - as it might be leading to the discovery and development of onsen and other hot spa resort. Unfortunately Fukushima does not have such areas along the coast (but inlands such as Aizu), so he doubt that detailed measurements of groundwater have been done by these organizations (but those associated with the nuclear industry), and even if they do have such info, they might have not made it publically available (but you could try to inquire about the info to these organizations using the contact info I provided in the earlier e-mail). Just for my curiosity, I have checked the report map on the geology (or Hazard map) *of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is in Japanese. It states/shows that the plant is away from active volcanoes and active faults (closest ones are about 8-9 km away) and supporting its safety against natural disasters. BUT THE MAP DOES NOT SHOW OR MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE BED-ROCK GEOLOGY OR GROUND WATER. The following is the link to this "Hazard map" issued by NUMO(Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan):
*
http://www.numo.or.jp/koubo/bunken_chisitsu/condition/07fukushima/07546.pdf

[snip]

"This is all I could answer with my knowledge (and inputs from my colleagues). I think you may be able to get info of bedrock geology and groundwater (hydrology) by contacting

(1) GSI Japan
*http://www.gsi.go.jp/ENGLISH/index.html
*
(2) Fukushima Prefecture Construction Dept
http://wwwcms.pref.fukushima.jp/pcp...ECT&NEXT_DISPLAY_ID=U000004&CONTENTS_ID=11045

(3) AIST (advanced institute of science and technology, Japan, in Tsukuba)
http://www.aist.go.jp/index_en.html

(4) other agencies/institutions re: nuclear energy and disposable sites. But I doubt that they make the info open-access.

[end quote]
*

clancy688
Thanks, but I was referring to figures which show the release per reactor. These are available for the latest version of the figures, table 5 on page 7 of attachment IV-2 in report to IAEA, but I've not seen an earlier version.

Wow, I didn't know that. Nearly all of the stuff (90%) came from Unit 2.

zapperzero

About the geology of the Fukushima area, I was able to consult a Japanese specialist, a professor of geology at a leading Japanese university:

"Just for my curiosity, I have checked the report map on the geology (or Hazard map) *of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is in Japanese. It states/shows that the plant is away from active volcanoes and active faults (closest ones are about 8-9 km away) and supporting its safety against natural disasters. BUT THE MAP DOES NOT SHOW OR MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE BED-ROCK GEOLOGY OR GROUND WATER.
*

Would you please be so kind as to point this professor to the Cryptome website? More specifically, to

http://cryptome.org/0004/daiichi-build-01.pdf and
http://cryptome.org/0004/daiichi-build-02.pdf

which appear to contain some site geology data?

Azby

Would you please be so kind as to point this professor to the Cryptome website? More specifically, to

http://cryptome.org/0004/daiichi-build-01.pdf and
http://cryptome.org/0004/daiichi-build-02.pdf

which appear to contain some site geology data?

I did, and his reply was:

"I had a quick look at the report, and the geology (bed rock) is the grit (coarse sandstone) and siltstone, which is identical to the one I reported to you in my previous e-mail."

Jim Lagerfeld
Reactor 3 explosion does not generate interesting SPEEDI data at all, because the wind is mostly taking stuff out to sea on this date.

As a resident of Tokyo, I find the SPEEDI stuff from the 15th all too interesting! I remember reading in the Tokyo Shimbun at the start of April that the 'unexpectedly high' radiation recorded in Tokyo was due to the fact that the reactor three plume which 'went out to sea' actually looped back and licked Tokyo and Chiba.

When the SPEEDI maps finally came out, this made some sense. Compare the shapes on these predictions:

To this contamination map by Yukio Hayakawa @ Gunma University:

In my opinion no one has officially explained nor factored in the full significance of the contaminated green tea from Shizuoka (150km south west of Tokyo) yet, however those SPEEDI plumes just kiss Shizuoka too.

I'm also guessing the makeup of the reactor 3 plume should be significantly different from the reactor 2 plume due to the completely different release path - they should be able to 'fingerprint' them, right?

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Gold Member
But second you need more than a tsunami to kill a NPP. It's often overseen, but Fukushima Daiichi didn't lose cooling capability because of the tsunami. The station blackout happened because offsite power was lost due to collapsing electricity lines which were damaged by the earthquake.
If those towers would've withstood the earthquake, perhaps emergency cooling could've been sustained.

To the difference with the nuclear systems which require to wait years until a camera can enter the reactor and tell us what happened, we don't need to wait that much to learn the lessons from this accident concerning the power transmission systems :

For example, sufficient consideration was not given to the following actions required for improving reliability of off-site power supply and auxiliary power system.
* Assessment to assure reliability of supplying power to nuclear power stations if a main substation stops supply
* Measures to improve reliability by connecting external power transmission lines to units at the site
* Seismic measures for external power lines (power transmission lines)
* Tsunami countermeasures for power receiving equipment in switching stations

IV-130 http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/kan/topics/201106/pdf/chapter_iv_all.pdf

I am a bit disappointed that the specific "lessons learnt" chapter (chapter XII) fails from restating the above, insisting mostly on "failures derived from a common cause " and "preparing various emergency power supply sources" under "(2) Ensure power supplies" page XII-3 http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/kan/topics/201106/pdf/chapter_xii.pdf ). Is it because "Seismic measures for external power lines (power transmission lines)" is too expensive ? Is it feasible ?

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Mentor

About the geology of the Fukushima area, I was able to consult a Japanese specialist, a professor of geology at a leading Japanese university, who provided lengthy and detailed explanations. Because he has been misquoted in the press recently he is reluctant to be identified publicly here, but has agreed to let me quote him anonymously. I've encouraged him to sign up and participate here, and maybe he will at some point.

Thank you for your efforts - and send our "thank you" to the anonymous professor for his willingness to help

yakiniku
RE: Data released by the CTBTO as mentioned Posts 6087 and 6089, it has been mentioned that the ratios of xenon isotopes were unusual:

Were ratios of xenon isotopes unusual because reactor physics are poorly understood, or because of equipment being miscalibrated?

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html

<..>
The panel that is missing from reactor 2 building is not by the fuel pool, rather it is close to the floor area above the reactor itself. There also remains some ambiguity as to whether this was blown off or removed deliberately. Official information states that it was removes as a result of explosion at 3, but that does not tell us with 100% clarity whether the explosion at 3 caused it to fall, or whether they removed it because of the explosion at 3, to prevent the same thing happening at 2.

I am not sure which official information you are referring to. As you describe it, this information seems to say unambiguously that the panel was in place in the south wall of unit 2 until the explosion of unit 3 on March 14th -- leaving it only ambiguous whether the panel fell off due to that explosion, or whether it was actively removed, prompted by its occurrence. However, photographic evidence shows conclusively that the panel was not in place already by the morning of March 13th.

As for pathway of release, I am not sure. In the narrative to IAEA they focus on damage to waste treatment buildings far more than we have done here, and the waste building adjacent to reactor 2 is damaged, providing a possible pathway, especially as they think its possible that hydrogen leaked into these building.

Indeed, quoting the report to the IAEA (my boldfacing):
"At around 6:00 on March 15, the sound of an impact was heard which was considered to have resulted from a hydrogen explosion. No visible damage was observed at the reactor building, but it was confirmed that the roof of the waste processing building which is neighboring to the reactor building was damaged. During these processes, radioactive material to be released into the environment, and as a result, the radiation dosage around the premises increased."

However, the photographic evidence supports _no progression_ of damage to the unit 2 neighbouring radiation waste building in connection with the explosion on March 15th in the unit 2 reactor building:
the roof of the unit 2 radiation waste building appears to have been damaged already in connection with the unit 1 explosion on March the 12th, and it does not appear to have suffered any further significant damage by later events.

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zapperzero

"I had a quick look at the report, and the geology (bed rock) is the grit (coarse sandstone) and siltstone, which is identical to the one I reported to you in my previous e-mail."

Thanks a bunch.

zapperzero
RE: Data released by the CTBTO as mentioned Posts 6087 and 6089, it has been mentioned that the ratios of xenon isotopes were unusual:

Were ratios of xenon isotopes unusual because reactor physics are poorly understood, or because of equipment being miscalibrated?

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html

Very interesting. They say they have detected niobium-95.

Also, rubidium-103 (which is rather odd as I think its half-life is measured in fractions of a second, maybe an error and they meant Ruthenium-103 which has a half-life of 39 days?).

SteveElbows
Wow, I didn't know that. Nearly all of the stuff (90%) came from Unit 2.

Yes, this is the reason why I have started going on about reactor 2 again in recent days. Before I saw that attachment, there was already some other place in the main report where percentage release of certain core substances was in a much wider range for reactor 2 than the other reactors, 1-6% instead of around 1% for other reactors. This got me interested, and then when I saw the table I just had to talk about it more.

As well as being interested in the reasons why reactor 2 is attributed so much of the contamination blame, I also have to consider the possibility that they could be underestimating releases from other reactors, either because at various stages they did not want to accept that there was any containment damage at the other reactors, or because of weather conditions.

SteveElbows
As a resident of Tokyo, I find the SPEEDI stuff from the 15th all too interesting! I remember reading in the Tokyo Shimbun at the start of April that the 'unexpectedly high' radiation recorded in Tokyo was due to the fact that the reactor three plume which 'went out to sea' actually looped back and licked Tokyo and Chiba.

If its ok with you I will discuss the detail of this on the other thread about wider contamination, as its a better fit and March 15th plumes have been mentioned there recently.

But for now I will just say that I think a multitude of weather & reactor event timing factors make it hard to be completely sure.

Bioengineer01
Have a look at the following videos. I'll drop this topic very shortly, but I do want some kind of corroboration, given that this board's topic is: Physics Forums > Engineering > Nuclear Engineering > Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants.

This was not

- a false alarm
- one of the many false alarms
- one of the many frequent steam displays

It was a *massive* and significant steam/vapour display that started with a clearly visible vertical emission of vapour, then blotted out all the other reactors - starting around 2:15 in the first video below. Also look at the 10 second mark in the second video. They look very much like explosions to me:

Here's the video:
2011.06.14 00:00-01:00 / 福島原発ライブカメラ (Live Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cam)

2011.06.14 01:00-02:00 / 福島原発ライブカメラ (Live Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cam)

wow, this look really bad to me an no a 'wolf" cry... I did a qualitative luminescence analysis and the amount of light in the scene increases after the release starts, also there are peaks that look like sudden energy releases...

Bodge
Why have these CTBTO guys stopped reporting?

There has never been a gap in the data like this:

http://www.bfs.de/de/ion/imis/spurenmessungen.html/#2 [Broken]

Nothing for the past 10 days...

Does anyone have academic contacts with bfs? Can any german speakers here contact them?

Now 15 days without update. I am expecting the pattern of I-131 spikes to continue into June.

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Bodge
wow, this look really bad to me an no a 'wolf" cry... I did a qualitative luminescence analysis and the amount of light in the scene increases after the release starts, also there are peaks that look like sudden energy releases...

It looks exactly like a slow moving, swirling fog bank moving in from the south.

No smoking gun here.
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/b3m1vf" [Broken]

Hiroko Tabuchi

On Tuesday 14th June 2011, @HirokoTabuchi said:

Tepco on smoke (steam) seen rising from Fukushima Daiichi reactors overnight: amount of steam from spent fuel pools can rise bc of atmospheric conditions. No change in radiation, plant parameters detected as of early a.m. Also, the light likely has something to do w/ night camera settings or patrolman/car in the camera's field of vision. Tepco continues to monitor plant conditions 24/7 and will swiftly disclose any significant developments. (Original video: http://t.co/wiXDUp2)

Surely if TEPCO is lying, onsite and offsite measurements would betray them?

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JeremieDL
wow, this look really bad to me an no a 'wolf" cry... I did a qualitative luminescence analysis and the amount of light in the scene increases after the release starts, also there are peaks that look like sudden energy releases...

Following this forum since a while, thanks to all. This is my first post, Hi everyone! :-)

Just to say I doubt of the "qualitative luminescence analysis", since I believe the cam is not in "fix exposition mode", but rather adapts automatically to the lighting conditions, as all webcam do. Except if you have evidence that this is not the case, or if you know very well how this automatic adjustment is done algorithmically, I do not think you can extract meaningful information from such an analysis.
For instance a cloud could now obscure the moon, the webcam would adjust with more gain and maybe show even more luminescence on average, while in reality it would not be true.

Jeremie

Bioengineer01
I'm well aware of the tower and the optical illusions thereof. Yes, the vertical tower can be mistaken for a vertical plume of smoke, but this isn't what I'm talking about at all.

Take another look at your "fog". This is the third hour of the event:

2011.06.14 03:00-04:00 / 福島原発ライブカメラ (Live Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cam)

I'm also interested in the explosions within that "fog". They occur in several places, e.g. 10 sec in on hour 01:00-02:00.

Otherwise, it seems I'm beating a dead horse here, no takers. Over to video forensics I guess.
Simple, let's check the wind direction and then look for any reports of radiation increases in the region where any fallout should have gone. I may take a few days but will allow us to discard this as a no-event, or maintain it in our list of "inconsistencies" between observations and reported data.

Bodge
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html"

It was just the start of a flood of data collected about the accident by the CTBTO's global network of 63 radiation monitoring stations. In the following weeks, the data were shared with governments around the world, but not with academics or the public. Now scientists working with the CTBTO on behalf of member states are calling for the data to be released,

Time for wikileaks to get some of this "private" data and flood The Net with it.

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Bioengineer01
It looks exactly like a slow moving, swirling fog bank moving in from the south.

No smoking gun here.
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/b3m1vf" [Broken]

Surely if TEPCO is lying, onsite and offsite measurements would betray them?

Thanks for your post... Glad it is nothing on consequence... I am a sailor apart for engineer and certified to sail on fog and at night... it looked scary to me and not something I have ever seen, but it may have been the camera auto-adjusting its diaphragm, in combination with moving lights at the plant...

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mscharisma
It looks exactly like a slow moving, swirling fog bank moving in from the south. ...

Surely if TEPCO is lying, onsite and offsite measurements would betray them?

Not to make a case for or against the TEPCO web cam showing something unusual, which is beyond my capabilities, my thought on your closing question is that, at least for my taste, information made available to the public has been far too selective. As the just linked article above from naturenews confirms - yet again - (bolding mine, http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html):

"Shortly after a massive tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March, an unmanned monitoring station on the outskirts of Takasaki, Japan, logged a rise in radiation levels. Within 72 hours, scientists had analysed samples taken from the air and transmitted their analysis to Vienna, Austria — the headquarters of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) ... The network's sensitive radiation detection sensors were overwhelmed by radioisotopes streaming out of the damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Monitoring posts picked up isotopes such as iodine-131 and caesium-137 that were of concern to public health officials in other countries. Other radioisotopes such as niobium-95 and rubidium-103 were an early indicator of a meltdown inside one or more of the reactors... In keeping with its remit, the CTBTO shared data with designated scientific institutions in its member states, but not with other scientists or the public."

Just based on the above and disregarding other info that has recently been disclosed with huge delays, with 185 member states, plenty of state governments knew of the early indications of a meltdown fairly quickly, but the public was not informed. And obviously, data for isotopes other than cesium-137 and iodine-131 were available early on, but neither their existence, nor concrete measurements were disclosed to the public. (CTBTO member states: http://www.ctbto.org/member-states/country-profiles/[/URL])

Therefore, my confidence in "onsite and offsite measurements" possibly betraying TEPCO is fairly close to zero, at least as far as it happening in a reasonably timely fashion is concerned.

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Bioengineer01
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html"

Time for wikileaks to get some of this "private" data and flood The Net with it.
When all data is released to Universities and Scientists worldwide, we will start to have some transparency and will be able to stop worrying about autogain cameras distorting events at night...

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Bioengineer01
Not to make a case for or against the TEPCO web cam showing something unusual, which is beyond my capabilities, my thought on your closing question is that, at least for my taste, information made available to the public has been far too selective. As the just linked article above from naturenews confirms - yet again - (bolding mine, http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html):

"Shortly after a massive tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March, an unmanned monitoring station on the outskirts of Takasaki, Japan, logged a rise in radiation levels. Within 72 hours, scientists had analysed samples taken from the air and transmitted their analysis to Vienna, Austria — the headquarters of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) ... The network's sensitive radiation detection sensors were overwhelmed by radioisotopes streaming out of the damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Monitoring posts picked up isotopes such as iodine-131 and caesium-137 that were of concern to public health officials in other countries. Other radioisotopes such as niobium-95 and rubidium-103 were an early indicator of a meltdown inside one or more of the reactors... In keeping with its remit, the CTBTO shared data with designated scientific institutions in its member states, but not with other scientists or the public."

Just based on the above and disregarding other info that has recently been disclosed with huge delays, with 185 member states, plenty of state governments knew of the early indications of a meltdown fairly quickly, but the public was not informed. And obviously, data for isotopes other than cesium-137 and iodine-131 were available early on, but neither their existence, nor concrete measurements were disclosed to the public. (CTBTO member states: http://www.ctbto.org/member-states/country-profiles/[/URL])

Therefore, my confidence in "onsite and offsite measurements" possibly betraying TEPCO is fairly close to zero, at least as far as it happening in a reasonably timely fashion is concerned.[/QUOTE]
You are describing my problem. In my professional life as a scientist, once too often I've seen "doctoring" of data and since my job was to have my team find the truth, I have had to deal with making conclusions with fuzzy data. I recommend the use of fuzzy logic, not strict physical interpretations, since the probability of some data to be wrong is high. This doesn't mean, like suggested before, to disbelieve everything we hear, but to assign a "fuzziness" factor to every data point.

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SteveElbows
Certain SPEEDI predictions, and off-site samples were clearly censored. This was all to do with evacuations and areas that had suffered the worst contamination.

And yes, in some other regards TEPCO were not exactly forthcoming with information.

However, when it comes to major events on site, and radiation data from site, their track record is not so bad. All I can really say is that there were numerous things they could have kept quiet about, but instead gave us some detail. Sure this does not tell me if they kept anything secret, but it does help me to make preliminary judgements when dealing with non-events that people think they saw on the webcam. TEPCO have had to issue denials based on webcam images at least once in the past, and explain about weather-related phenomenon. In that instance nothing really emerged that suggests they were lying, that anything of note happened. I expect the same this time, although there is always some chance I will be wrong.

Gold Member
There are a lots of new images and movies on Tepco's website today.

Broadly split into three categories, they cover new First Aid and medical check rooms at Daiichi and Daini, sampling of the 'ambient radioactive substances' at Unit 3 and some detail on the new cover for Unit 1.

The movies are large (>80MB) and zipped.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/110311/index-e.html"

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Pu239
I just saw a white and black spotted DOG walk past the TEPCO webcam , it stopped and even looked into the cam for a sec !

( unfortunately no screenshot)

It is the Japanese raccoon-dog, called a tanuki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanuki

We call him a "radiation detection device", or just Rocky. Despite not wearing a respirator or hazmat suit, he is able to scamper about the Unit 1 area with seeming impunity. (We did have him on the run the other night, after the large vapour release - someone spotted him on camera somehow).

After some research, I've determined that the success of his biological defense mechanisms might be somehow related to the ample size of his "equipment":

The current humorous image of tanuki is thought to have been developed during the Kamakura era. The wild tanuki has unusually large testicles, a feature often comically exaggerated in artistic depictions of tanuki. Tanuki may be shown with their testicles flung over their backs like a traveller's pack, or using them as drums

http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Tanuki

The article continues, but may be a faulty cut and paste, because I think here they are now talking about physicists:

The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded.

*activate laugh machine*

mscharisma
You are describing my problem. In my professional life as a scientist, once too often I've seen "doctoring" of data and since my job was to have my team find the truth, I have had to deal with making conclusions with fuzzy data. I recommend the use of fuzzy logic, not strict physical interpretations, since the probability of some data to be wrong is high. This doesn't mean, like suggested before, to disbelieve everything we hear, but to assign a "fuzziness" factor to every data point.

I would agree with your point about fuzzy logic being necessary at times, at least to consider all alternatives. Strictly and exclusively thinking and analyzing scientifically works only if all data, however uncertain or potentially incorrect, are released completely and in a timely fashion (for all I care, with disclaimers). While I understand that for a scientifically oriented person, only analysis of known facts and data makes sense and any other approach is speculation or conjecture, I would at least caution that it has been clearly proven so far that the absence of data cannot be taken as proof that something did NOT happen. The information politics of TEPCO and governmental bodies involved so far unfortunately, IMHO, makes it necessary to keep an eye on literally everything not completely and conclusively explained or disproven, including the steam/fog events of June 14 (and, among many other things, the Daini radioactive water accumulation in the basement, which I sincerely hope you all here are not forgetting about).

To circle back to Bodge's question re. the web cam, "Surely if TEPCO is lying, onsite and offsite measurements would betray them?", I'd say, yes, one would think so, IF data is collected and released in an unrestricted fashion, for which there is plenty of reason to find that questionable.

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fluutekies
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110613/full/news.2011.366.html"

Time for wikileaks to get some of this "private" data and flood The Net with it.
Seriously, i don't think WikiLeaks is the right place at the moment to publish the withheld data.

If i had ounce again a document of public interest, i would sent it (anonymously) to cryptome.org !

"... Cryptome welcomes documents for publication that are prohibited by governments worldwide, in particular material on freedom of expression, privacy, cryptology, dual-use technologies, national security, intelligence, and secret governance -- open, secret and classified documents -- but not limited to those. Documents are removed from this site only by order served directly by a US court having jurisdiction. No court order has ever been served; any order served will be published here -- or elsewhere if gagged by order. Bluffs will be published if comical but otherwise ignored.

Mail: John Young, Cryptome, 251 West 89th Street, New York, NY 10024
Checks/Money Orders: Make out to "John Young"
Telephone for messages: 212-873-8700
..." http://cryptome.org/

In my experience Mr. Young is very discrete and publishes within 24 hours.

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