Tag Archives: radioactivity

Radioactive sleet and snow in White County, Arkansas

Arkansas map showing White CountyMap of Arkansas (red is White County, which is part of Little Rock Combined Statistical Area).

On January 15, 2013, heavily radioactive sleet and snow fell on White County, Arkansas, but no one told the residents about that.

As reported by Activist Post on Jan. 22, the usual background levels of radioactivity in the White County area are 35cpm. But the sleet and snow on Jan. 15 were at an alert level of radioactivity of above 100cpm, the equivalent of flying at 30,000 feet or exposure levels for nuclear plant workers.

No warnings were issued to parents to keep their children indoor.

Thankfully, the high levels of radioactivity lasted for only about 24 hours, indicating a short half life of the hot particles. However, though brief, this kind of exposure can reduce our bodies’ immune system and may be the cause for recent spikes in flu and illness in this area and others.

Here’s a video showing the radioactivity count rising, then subsiding.

~Eowyn

Nebraska Nuclear Plant Emergency

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station surrounded by flood waters from the Missouri River, June 14, 2011.

The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is located on the west bank of the Missouri River, 20 miles north of Omaha, in Nebraska. The power plant is owned and operated by the Omaha Public Power District.

A flood assessment performed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2010 indicated that the Station “did not have adequate procedures to protect the intake structure and auxiliary building against external flooding events.”The assessment also indicated that the facility was not adequately prepared for a “worst-case” flooding scenario.

Reportedly, 9 days ago, on June 6, 2011, a Level-1 Emergency was declared at the Station because of the imminence of flooding from the Missouri River. The Missouri River is above flood stage and is expected to rise further and remain above flood stage for several weeks to a month.

A day later, on June 7, an electrical component in a switcher room in the nuclear power station caused a small fire with poisonous gases and Halon extinguisher activation, which forced a partial evacuation. The fire was no longer active when the fire brigade arrived and according to officials, the public was never in any danger, however in response, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission declared an alert, which is a level 2 incident.

On June 8,  it was reported that the fire resulted in the loss of cooling for the reactor’s spent fuel pool. Any of loss of coolant in a nuclear plant risks a meltdown — a serious event because of the potential for release of radioactive material into the environment.

That day, at the Fort Calhoun plant, a pump used to recirculate coolant water through the spent fuel pool was offline for an hour. But we are told that backup equipment wasn’t needed because the pump was restored long before the estimated time to boiling temperature of 88,3 hours. [Source: Wikipedia]

Despite that, the plant’s been shut down.

Here’s Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer talking about what happened at Ft. Calhoun. Gundersen is chief engineer of energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates and a former nuclear power industry executive who had served as an expert witness in the investigation of the Three Mile Island accident.

H/t beloved fellow Joseph.

For an Update of this, go here.

~Eowyn

Japan Admits Meltdown of all 3 Nuclear Reactors

Aerial view of damaged Fukushima nuke plant. Source: CNN

Nearly 3 months after Japan’s disastrous earthquake-tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Japanese government finally tells the truth.

Not one (as previously said), but all three of Fukushima’s damaged reactors had melted down.

CNN Wire Staff reports on June 7, 2011:

Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday.

The nuclear group’s new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11…. Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a full meltdown, it said.

The plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., admitted last month that nuclear fuel rods in reactors 2 and 3 probably melted during the first week of the nuclear crisis. It had already said fuel rods at the heart of reactor No. 1 melted almost completely in the first 16 hours after the disaster struck. The remnants of that core are now sitting in the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel at the heart of the unit and that vessel is now believed to be leaking.

A “major part” of the fuel rods in reactor No. 2 may have melted and fallen to the bottom of the pressure vessel 101 hours after the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the plant, Tokyo Electric said May 24. The same thing happened within the first 60 hours at reactor No. 3, the company said, in what it called its worst-case scenario analysis, saying the fuel would be sitting at the bottom of the pressure vessel in each reactor building.

But Tokyo Electric at the same time released a second possible scenario for reactors 2 and 3, one that estimated a full meltdown did not occur. In that scenario, the company estimated the fuel rods may have broken but may not have completely melted.

Temperature data showed the two reactors had cooled substantially in the more than two months since the incident, Tokyo Electric said in May.

The earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at Fukushima Daiichi, causing the three operating reactors to overheat. That compounded a natural disaster by spewing radioactive material into the atmosphere.

Tokyo Electric avoided using the term “meltdown,” and says it was keeping the remnants of the core cool. But U.S. experts interviewed by CNN after the company’s announcement in May said that while it may have been containing the situation, the damage had already been done.

“On the basis of what they showed, if there’s not fuel left in the core, I don’t know what it is other than a complete meltdown,” said Gary Was, a University of Michigan nuclear engineering professor and CNN consultant. And given the damage reported at the other units, “It’s hard to imagine the scenarios can differ that much for those reactors.”

A massive hydrogen explosion — a symptom of the reactor’s overheating — blew the roof off the No. 1 unit the day after the earthquake, and another hydrogen blast ripped apart the No. 3 reactor building two days later. A suspected hydrogen detonation within the No. 2 reactor is believed to have damaged that unit on March 15.

Nuclear meltdown is an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating. A core melt accident occurs when the heat generated by a nuclear reactor exceeds the heat removed by the cooling systems to the point where at least one nuclear fuel element exceeds its melting point. A meltdown is considered a serious event because of the potential for release of radioactive material into the environment. [Source: wiki]

Moral of this story: Governments lie.

Don’t believe what Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Japanese government are saying about how much toxic radioactivity has leaked and is still spewing into the air and water. If they lied about the meltdown, chances are they’re lying about the radioactivity.

~Eowyn