A meltdown of fuel rods inside a containment vessel is the assumed greatest possible disaster. This generates a radioactive mass that cannot be dealt with for centuries.
Should this radioactive mass destroy the containment vessel you have a meltthrough. The radioactive mass sinks into the ground, the gigantic force of rays and particles is no longer contained.
There are three meltthroughs at Fukushima. The three masses may convert into one or sink individually at different times and speed. The consequences of either scenario are unknown. Expert predictions vary and nobody I have spoken to dares to predict what will happen. The planet has never experienced such a disaster, we are entering the realm of the unknown.
The official NHK news reports this:
Fukushima fuel rods removal can begin in 10 years
An expert on decommissioning nuclear power plants says work to remove fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant can begin in 10 years.
Koji Okamoto made the comments in an interview with NHK on Saturday.
Okamoto said the reactors and the containment vessels at the Fukushima plant were thought to be destroyed in a meltdown.
He said the situation in Fukushima is 10 to 20 times worse than what happened at Three Mile Island, where only a small portion of the fuel rods melted down, all of which remained inside the reactor.
He said with experience gained from the Three Mile Island accident, the planned 10-year span is possible.
Asked about residents’ hope of returning home, he said some people within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant may be able to go home if the radioactive contamination is properly controlled as suggested in the plan.
However, he said even a small amount of radioactive material from the fuel rods poses a danger and that TEPCO needs to disclose information quickly and accurately for the safety of residents .
Sunday, July 10, 2011 02:12 +0900 (JST)
The following official news releases from NHK give a clear indication that you no longer can produce any kind of food in Japan, and that there are no provisions for testing for contamination.
Fukushima Prefecture to inspect all cattle farms
Fukushima Prefecture has decided to inspect all its cattle farms for radioactivity, after radioactive cesium exceeding the government standard was detected in cattle shipped from a farm in Minami-soma city.
It has been learned that of the 17 heads of cattle shipped from the farm after the March nuclear accident, 6 were sent to Tokyo and Tochigi Prefecture, from where their beef was distributed to retailers in 8 prefectures without being tested for radioactive material.
Fukushima Prefecture decided to inspect all of its cattle in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and at least one head of cattle from all other farms within the prefecture.
But the measure is likely to be hampered by a lack of testing equipment.
Cattle processed in Fukushima Prefecture are tested at 3 facilities inside and outside the prefecture. But the facilities must also check pork and other meats, as well as vegetables. They have therefore been able to test beef from only 28 heads of cattle since the March disaster.
About 90 percent of cattle from Fukushima are sent to meat processing plants in other prefectures. These plants entrust safety inspections to local governments, which have been able to test less than one percent of Fukushima cattle.
Even if the prefecture purchases more testing equipment, it would need the cooperation of other local governments to inspect all cattle farms for radioactivity.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 19:19 +0900 (JST)
This official news release from NHK fails to mention that the grains must have the same level of contamination as the straw fed to cows. The grains are turned into flower which is consumed by humans. It is summer in Japan and the grain harvest is in full swing, they do not state where the straw came from. Anyhow, 379 times the safety level, assumed to be 500 Bq, is a lot of Bequerels.
The soil must be just as contaminated and people are walking on it during the harvest. In the previous article they admitted to a lack of testing equipment, so it is safe to assume that no fields are going to be checked anywhere.
Remember the contaminated green tea some 200 miles away from Fukushima?
More beef cattle fed with contaminated hay
Fukushima Prefecture has identified 5 additional farms where straw contaminated with high levels of radioactive cesium was used as cattle feed.
The prefecture says 84 cows that ate contaminated straw were shipped to markets across 5 prefectures, including Tokyo, between late March and mid-July.
The straw was found to contain radioactive cesium up to 379 times above safety standards.
Fukushima Prefecture has conducted on-site inspections at the farms and asked them to stop shipping and transferring cattle on a voluntary basis.
It also ordered local authorities to trace back the meat and recall any products with excessive levels of radioactive contamination.
Fukushima Prefecture launched the inspections earlier this week after it emerged that contaminated straw had been used to feed cattle at one farm.
So far, an investigation has shown that meat from 42 animals raised at the farm was sold to wholesale dealers and supermarkets across 30 prefectures. At least 1,700 kilograms of meat have already been consumed.
Saturday, July 16, 2011 22:18 +0900 (JST)