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Thread: 9.0 Earthquake Strikes Japan

  1. #46


    Aid Agencies Helping Tohoku Survivors

    Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
    Donations: 800-424-ADRA (2372)
    Donations address: ADRA International, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring MD 20904

    All Hands Volunteers
    Donations: 919-830-3573
    Donations address: PO Box 546, Carlisle MA 01741

    American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
    Donations: 212-687-6200
    Donations address: 132 E. 43rd St PO Box 530, New York NY 10017

    American Red Cross
    Donations: 1-800-RED-CROSS
    Donations address: PO Box 37243, Washington DC 20013

    Donations: 203-658-9500
    Donations address: 88 Hamilton Ave, Stamford CT 06902

    Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT)
    Donations: 301-738-7122
    Donations address: AMURT, 2502 Lindley Ter, Rockville MD 20850

    Baptist World Alliance/Baptist World Aid
    Donations: 703-790-8980
    Donations address: 405 N. Washington St, Falls Church VA 22046

    Brother's Brother Foundation
    Donations: 412-321-3160
    Donations address: 1200 Galveston Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15233

    Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
    Donations: 1-888-989-8244
    Donations address: Tzu Chi USA HQ, 1100 S Valley Center Ave, San Dimas CA 91773

    Catholic Relief Services
    Donations: 1-877-HELP-CRS
    Donations address: PO Box 17090, Baltimore MD 21203-7090

    Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
    Donations: 800-55-CRWRC
    Donations address: CRWRC, 2850 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49560-0600

    Church World Service
    Donations: 1-800-297-1516
    Donations address: PO Box 968, Elkhart IN 46515

    Direct Relief International
    Donations: 805-964-4767
    Donations address: 27 S. La Patera Ln, Santa Barbara CA 93117

    Giving Children Hope
    Donations: 714-523-4454
    Donations address: 8332 Commonwealth Ave, Buena Park CA 90621

    Habitat for Humanity International
    Donations: 1-800-Habitat
    Donations address: 270 Peachtree St NW Suite 1300, Atlanta GA 30303-1263

    International Medical Corps
    Donations: 800-481-4462
    Donations address: 1919 Santa Monica Blvd Suite 400, Santa Monica CA 90404

    International Rescue Committee
    Donations: 1-877-REFUGEE (733-8433)
    Donations address: 122 E. 42nd St, New York NY 10168

    Mercy Corps
    Donations: 800-852-2100
    Donations address: Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland OR 97208

    Operation Blessing
    Donations: 800-730-2537
    Donations address: 977 Centerville Tpke, Virginia Beach VA 23463

    Relief International
    Donations: 310-478-1200
    Donations address: 5455 Wilshire Blvd Suite 1280, Los Angeles CA 90036

    Save the Children
    Donations: 1-800-728-3843
    Donations address: 54 Wilton Rd, Westport CT 06880

    World Vision, U.S.
    Donations: 1-800-777-5777
    Donations address: Federal Way, WA 98063

    Google resources related to the 2011 Japan Crisis

    A Japanese NGO, Jen

  2. #47


    Japan reactor core may be leaking radioactive material, official says

    March 25, 2011 1:35 p.m. EDT

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    Tokyo (CNN) -- Authorities in Japan raised the prospect Friday of a likely breach in the all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a potentially ominous development in the race to prevent a large-scale release of radiation.
    Contaminated water likely seeped through the containment vessel protecting the reactor's core, said Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
    Three employees working near the No. 3 reactor Thursday stepped into water that had 10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for a nuclear plant, Nishiyama said. An analysis of the contamination suggests "some sort of leakage" from the reactor core, signaling a possible break of the containment vessel that houses the core, he said.
    The workers have been hospitalized and work inside the reactor building has been halted, according to the agency.
    Work inside two other reactor buildings also had to stop and workers had to be pulled back Friday after the discovery of high levels of radiation in water at those locations, a Tokyo Electric Power Company official said Saturday. Water is still being pumped into the containment vessels, the utility official said.

    read full story and see video:

  3. #48


    The confirmed and presumed death toll now stands at above 27,000. More than 300,000 are homeless. It will take up to five years to rebuild, and cost almost 5% of Japan's GDP, making the costliest disaster since WWII.

    An incredible photographic essay from The Atlantic --

  4. #49


    Three employees working near the No. 3 reactor Thursday stepped into water that had 10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for a nuclear plant, Nishiyama said.
    I read this several times and cannot believe it, if it means what it seems to mean. What could be "10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for a nuclear plant" mean? Does it really mean that this nuclear plant is hyper-radioactive, or is this a poorly structured sentence, or am I missing something?

  5. #50
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you're getting it right.

  6. #51


    Quote Originally Posted by hbcat View Post
    I read this several times and cannot believe it, if it means what it seems to mean. What could be "10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for a nuclear plant" mean? Does it really mean that this nuclear plant is hyper-radioactive, or is this a poorly structured sentence, or am I missing something?
    From what I've read, monitors around the plant have shown airborne radiation to be decreasing, while water contamination has become very high. Water is used - in different ways - to cool the reactor and spent fuel. It is speculated that a reactor breach is the cause of the high level contamination of the water.

    The two type of reactors in use are the Boiling Water Reactors and Pressurized Water Reactors. The damaged plant in Japan is a BWR. Three mile Island is a PWR. A critical difference is the height above ground that the spent fuel pool is located - height amplifies shaking in an earthquake.

    There's a good graphic at this NY Times article.

    A technical description of the two types of reactors:



  7. #52


    If I were Japanese, I'd be utterly exasperated at this point:

    A spokesman said the spike in radioactive iodine—to 1,250 times the legal limit—didn't pose an immediate threat to human health or the area environment, since the material quickly dissipates in the tides and would become diluted before reaching fish and seaweed.
    So water around the plant is 10,000 times more radioactive than your usual nuke plant coolant, and radioactive iodine is 1250 times the legal limit, and families in Tokyo are drinking bottled water because radioactive poison has been found in the water supply, and the government is now encouraging a wider evacuation zone, but there is still no serious threat to human health....

  8. #53


    Restrictions on food imports from Japan are spreading. The US has already banned milk, vegetable, and fruit imports from several Prefectures near the power plants. However, Japanese imports account for only 4% of the US food supply.

    Ban Grows on Japanese Food Imports

    Mil Arcega March 25, 2011

    Imported seafood from Japan is screened for radiation by a chef at a Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong to make sure the food is safe to eat, March 22, 2011

    The number of governments that have banned Japanese food imports due to fears of radiation contamination is growing. On Friday, China joined Singapore and the U.S. in halting some imported foods from radiation-affected areas of Japan. Other governments are expected to take similar precautionary measures as Japan struggles to contain the damage from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    The situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant remains precarious after several workers there suffered radiation burns while attempting to cool one of the damaged reactors.

    Although the extent of contamination remains unclear, the damage to farms and livelihoods is spreading. At one of Japan's busiest fish markets, Yasumichi Tanaka said the daily catch is dwindling. "Fish supplies from the radiation contaminated regions have been totally halted."

    Produce markets also have taken a hit. Retailers say some customers are avoiding all vegetables, not just those likely to be contaminated.
    International orders have suffered, as well.

    On Friday, China joined the growing list of countries that have halted food imports from affected regions. State TV reported the banned items included milk products, fruit, vegetables and seafood.

    In Singapore, where some Japanese foods already are banned, restaurant manager Connie Hon said her customers are worried. "Consumer confidence is yes, somewhat shaken, I would say, amongst some of the Singapore populace, but that can't be helped, I think."

    And at another popular restaurant, manager Nakakita Yoshihiko said the menu has changed. "First of all, they want to know the food comes from where and is it safe or not? These are two major questions and it's very easy to answer. It does not come from Fukushima, and Singapore is able to check all the items to make sure the food is safe."

    Canada, Australia and Russia have adopted similar bans on Japanese foods. Health and security researcher Bill Durodie said more countries are likely to follow. "The reality is the United States made the decision a few days ago and it's almost inevitable that once a country that size has decided to act in that way, others will follow suit."

    But an expert on the politics of energy said the danger of radiation-contaminated foods is greatly exaggerated. Charles Ebinger at the Brookings Institution told VOA that an average adult would have to drink a quart of contaminated milk each day for one year to receive the same radiation as one CAT scan.

    Ebinger said the one certainty is the economic damage to Japan's northeast. "That particular part of Japan is deeply dependent on agriculture and fish, so I think inside the Japanese economy, we'll see pockets of areas that have been exposed to contamination, see their economy hurt very much."

    Many European countries have yet to announce bans on Japanese food imports. Germany and France have started screening food samples. They say there will be no restrictions on Japanese food imports, however, until the test results are back.


    How damaged nuclear plant's radiation gets into food, water

    Officials in Japan's capital Wednesday advised parents not to give city tap water to infants after tests showed it had elevated levels of radioactive iodine - a problem attributed to a nuclear plant damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

    Radiation exceeding legal limits also has been found in 11 types of vegetables and milk in prefectures surrounding the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, prompting some prefectures to stop shipping these products. The United States is preventing the import of milk, milk products, fresh vegetables and fruit from four Japanese prefectures, though certain products could be allowed in if tests show them to be safe, a Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman said.

    Below are brief explanations of how the radiation can get into food and water and how dangerous the food/water contamination in this instance might be.

    Traveling from nuclear plant to food, water and milk

    Radioactive particles escaping from the Fukushima Daiichi plant bind to dust, traveling in the air for a distance before coming to ground, according to CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The particles, such as cesium-137 and iodine-131, contaminate farm produce and water simply by falling on them.

    The large surface areas of leafy vegetables, such as spinach, make them likely to collect greater amounts of particles than many other produce types, said Marko Moscovitch, professor at Georgetown's Department of Radiation Medicine.

    The main way these particles get into milk is when they fall on the grass eaten by cows.

    What are the risks of consuming the food, milk and water?

    Experts say little is known about how eating radiation-contaminated food affects people in the short- and long-term. But experts who have spoken with CNN say that the contamination levels reported so far appear to pose very little risk.

    Dr. James Cox, an oncology professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said he believes the radiation levels measured in these products pose a "nonexistent" immediate risk to humans, and "very low" long-term risk.

    Spinach tested in a prefecture south of Fukushima showed radiation up to 27 times greater than the legal limit. Gupta, however, said a person "would have to eat the contaminated spinach from Japan every day for one year to get the same amount of radiation you would get from one chest CT (computed tomography) scan."

    A chest CT scan would expose a person to about 7 millisieverts of radiation. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that an average person gets about 3.1 millisieverts annually from natural sources, and an average American - thanks in part to medical diagnostic procedures and other man-made sources of radiation - gets about 6.2 millisieverts per year.

    Even low radiation doses can damage or alter the DNA of irradiated cells, the NRC says. And the radiation protection community "conservatively assumes that any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer and hereditary effect, and that the risk is higher for higher radiation exposures," the NRC says.

    But Gupta and Moscovitch say it's highly unlikely that the radiation reported so far in Japanese food would pose a risk to human health.

    "(The radiation is) not negligible my any means. But impact on human health? Not likely," Gupta said Wednesday night on the CNN program "In the Arena."

    Read more about what Cox - an expert on the effects of radiation on the survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima - has to say about the risks in this story, which also addresses the consumption of contaminated milk following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

    The concern about infants and the contaminated water

    Tokyo officials recommended withholding tap water from infants after government samples taken Tuesday night found 210 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram of water - two times higher than the limit that the government considers safe for infants.

    The amount of iodine detected was lower than the level considered safe for adults: 300 becquerels per kilogram. A liter of water weights 1 kilogram. A becquerel is a measurement of radioactive intensity by weight.

    The level set for infants is "very conservative," Cox said, but elevated radiation levels are considered a problem for small children, because their thyroid glands are more susceptible to radioactive iodine.

    "Erring on the side of caution for the extreme degree for children makes good sense," Cox said. For adults, "as far as the immediate health risk, something that would make people sick, I don't think that would come close to it."

    Can radioactive contamination be removed from water?

    The World Health Organization says standard water treatment procedures - including coagulation, sedimentation and filtration - might remove "significant amounts of radioactive contaminants." Other options including blending contaminated water with noncontaminated water to dilute the radioactive particles, the organization says.

    CNN's Thom Patterson, Elizabeth Landau, Danielle Dellorto, Miriam Falco, Madison Park and Jason Hanna contributed

    © 2011 Cable News Network

  9. #54
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    @ hbcat

    Depends on where the water is.

    If this is drain water, it means that the plant normally releases small amounts of radioactive material and that the stuff that is currently out there is probably directly exposed rather than filtered/stored/monitored/controlled.

    10,000 is nothing when you think of the scale that is used to measure things like EM energy. And by "nothing" I do not mean that there is nothing to worry about, but that there is the possibility for so much more than 10,000........


    I think the shift from air to water has to do with the water they have been dumping on the plant. Naturally cooling down the reactor core will reduce steam and airborne release, but those firehoses and seawater dumps are not controlled, so whatever gets dumped on the core has to come out somehow....
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; March 29th, 2011 at 08:17 AM.

  10. #55


    Japan Fears Nuclear Reactor Is Leaking Contaminated Water


    Published: March 28, 2011

    TOKYO — Highly contaminated water is escaping a damaged reactor at the crippled nuclear power plant in Japan and could soon leak into the ocean, the country’s nuclear regulator warned on Monday.
    The discovery raises the danger of further radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and is a further setback to efforts to contain the nuclear crisis as workers find themselves in increasingly hazardous conditions.
    Radiation measuring 1,000 millisieverts per hour was detected in water in an overflow tunnel outside the plant’s Reactor No. 2, Japan’s nuclear regulator said at a news conference. The maximum dose allowed for workers at the plant is 250 millisieverts in a year.
    The tunnel leads from the reactor’s turbine building, where contaminated water was discovered on Saturday, to an opening just 180 feet from the sea, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
    The contaminated water level is now about three feet from the exit of the vertical, U-shaped tunnel and rising, Mr. Nishiyama said.

    Contaminated water was also found at tunnels leading from the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors, though with much lower levels of radiation.
    “We are unsure whether there is already an overflow” of the water out of the tunnel, Mr. Nishiyama said. He said workers were redoubling efforts to first remove the water from the Reactor No. 2 turbine building. Government officials have said that the water is probably leaking from broken pipes inside the reactor, from a breach in the reactor’s containment vessel or from the inner pressure vessel that houses the nuclear fuel.

    For full story and diagrams:

  11. #56


    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    I think the shift from air to wwater has to do with the water they have been dumping on the plant. Naturally cooling down the reactor core will reduce steam and airborne release, but those firefoses and seawater dumps are not controlled, so whatever gets dumped on the core has to come out somehow....
    The coolant is in a closed system. That's why the very high radiation levels leads them to suspect that there's been a breach in the reactor, and coolant has escaped.

    Government officials have said that the water is probably leaking from broken pipes inside the reactor, from a breach in the reactor’s containment vessel or from the inner pressure vessel that houses the nuclear fuel.
    It doesn't help that in their efforts be be un-Chernobyl-like and say nothing, plant officials have released inaccurate or conflicting information. Like...

    "Readings show contamination of one million times above normal."

    "No wait, that's wrong. It's one hundred thousand times above normal."

    Either one would scare the hell out of me, but both of them gives the impression that the situation is out of control.

  12. #57
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    Plutonium should be banned from nuclear reactors worldwide. Even one speck of 27 micrograms ingested will result in a 100% chance of getting lung cancer or worse. The Japanese are bumbling in their response to this nuclear emergency, they need to get this nuclear material isolated immediately or many people in Japan are going to eventually start growing tumors

  13. #58


    More radioactive water spills at Japan nuke plant

    TOKYO (AP) — Workers have discovered new pools of radioactive water leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex that officials believe are behind soaring levels of radiation spreading to soil and seawater.

    Crews also detected plutonium — a key ingredient in nuclear weapons — in the soil outside the complex, though officials insisted Monday the finding posed no threat to public health.

    Plutonium is present in the fuel at the complex, which has been leaking radiation for more than two weeks, so experts had expected to find traces once crews began searching for evidence of it this week.

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant was crippled March 11 when a tsunami spawned by a powerful earthquake slammed into Japan's northeastern coast. The huge wave destroyed the power systems needed to cool the nuclear fuel rods in the complex, 140 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.

    Since then, three of the complex's six reactors are believed to have partially melted down, and emergency crews have struggled with everything from malfunctioning pumps to dangerous spikes in radiation that have forced temporary evacuations.

    Confusion at the plant has intensified fears that the nuclear crisis will continue for months or even years amid alarms over radiation making its way into produce, raw milk and even tap water as far away as Tokyo.

    The troubles have eclipsed Pennsylvania's 1979 crisis at Three Mile Island, when a partial meltdown raised fears of widespread radiation release. But it is still well short of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, which killed at least 31 people with radiation sickness, raised long-term cancer rates and spewed radiation across much of the northern hemisphere.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the complex, said plutonium was found in soil at five locations at the nuclear plant, but that only two samples appeared to be plutonium from the leaking reactors. The rest came from years of nuclear tests that left trace amounts of plutonium in many places around the world.

    Plutonium is a heavy element that doesn't readily combine with other elements, so it is less likely to spread than some of the lighter, more volatile radioactive materials detected around the site, such as the radioactive forms of cesium and iodine.

    "The relative toxicity of plutonium is much higher than that of iodine or cesium but the chance of people getting a dose of it is much lower," says Robert Henkin, professor emeritus of radiology at Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine. "Plutonium just sits there and is a nasty actor."

    The trouble comes if plutonium finds a way into the human body. The fear in Japan is that water containing plutonium at the station turns to steam and is breathed in, or that the contaminated water from the station migrates into drinking water.

    When plutonium decays it emits what is known as an alpha particle, a relatively big particle that carries a lot of energy. When an alpha particle hits body tissue, it can damage the DNA of a cell and lead to a cancer-causing mutation.

    Plutonium also breaks down very slowly, so it remains dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

    "If you inhale it, it's there and it stays there forever," said Alan Lockwood, a professor of Neurology and Nuclear Medicine at the University at Buffalo and a member of the board of directors of Physicians for Social Responsibility, an advocacy group.

    While parts of the Japanese plant have been reconnected to the power grid, the contaminated water — which has now been found in numerous places around the complex, including the basements of several buildings — must be pumped out before electricity can be restored to the cooling system.

    That has left officials struggling with two sometimes-contradictory efforts: pumping in water to keep the fuel rods cool and pumping out — and then safely storing — contaminated water.

    Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, called that balance "very delicate work."

    He also said workers were still looking for safe ways to store the radioactive water. "We are exploring all means," he said.

    Meanwhile, new readings showed ocean contamination had spread about a mile (1.6 kilometers) farther north of the nuclear site than before, but was still within the 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius of the evacuation zone. Radioactive iodine-131 was discovered offshore at a level 1,150 times higher than normal, Nishiyama told reporters.

    The buildup of radioactive water first became a problem last week, when it splashed over the boots of two workers, burning them and prompting a temporary suspension of work.

    Then on Monday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said workers had found more radioactive water in deep trenches used for pipes and electrical wiring outside three units.

    The contaminated water has been emitting radiation exposures more than four times the amount the government considers safe for workers.

    The five workers in the area at the time were not hurt, said TEPCO spokesman Takashi Kurita.

    Exactly where the water is coming from remains unclear, though many suspect it is cooling water that has leaked from one of the disabled reactors.

    It could take weeks to pump out the radioactive water, said Gary Was, a nuclear engineering professor at the University of Michigan.

    "Battling the contamination so workers can work there is going to be an ongoing problem," he said.

    Amid reports that people had been sneaking back into the mandatory evacuation zone around the nuclear complex, the chief government spokesman again urged residents to stay out. Yukio Edano said contaminants posed a "big" health risk in that area.

    Gregory Jaczko, head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, arrived in Tokyo on Monday to meet with Japanese officials and discuss the situation.

    "The unprecedented challenge before us remains serious, and our best experts remain fully engaged to help Japan," Jaczko was quoted as saying in a U.S. Embassy statement.

    Early Monday, a strong earthquake shook the northeastern coast and prompted a brief tsunami alert. The quake was measured at magnitude 6.5, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No damage or injuries were reported.

    Scores of earthquakes have rattled the country over the past two weeks, adding to the sense of unease across Japan, where the final death toll is expected to top 18,000 people, with hundreds of thousands still homeless.

    TEPCO officials said Sunday that radiation in leaking water in Unit 2 was 10 million times above normal — a report that sent employees fleeing. But the day ended with officials saying that figure had been miscalculated and the level was actually 100,000 times above normal, still very high but far better than the earlier results.

    "This sort of mistake is not something that can be forgiven," Edano said sternly Monday.

    Associated Press writers Jonathan Fahey in New York and Tomoko A. Hosaka, Mayumi Saito, Mari Yamaguchi and Jeff Donn in Tokyo contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

    Alpha particle. See "Energy and Absorption" and "Biological Effects."

  14. #59


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    ...10 million times above normal — a report that sent employees fleeing. But the day ended with officials saying that figure had been miscalculated and the level was actually 100,000 times above normal...
    Two decimal points. A 100-fold error.

  15. #60
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    The factor is irrelevant. Once you start going above, say, 10,000 you know something is wrong. It is no longer "secondary" radiation, but rather the hot stuff coming strait from the reactor core itself.

    I think they need to have a press team to get the information from the techs and scientists, the latter of which are always known to say something before being able to completely verify it (in their excitement or worry) and end up retracting their words. in a situation like this, it is more important to get it right than to get it out first.

    Although I do not like making technical information "friendly", it is important we do not have a bunch of information getting out before it is confirmed and before it can be, at least, partially diagnosed....

    Zip - I think you are right, but what I am saying is that the reason it is coming out is because it needs to get out somehow. So much was dumped in there to keep it cool that it is now taking what HAS leaked and is discharging it to the surrounding area.....

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