national

NRA says Fukushima water leak risk exaggerated

61 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments
Login to comment

Now it turns out that sciencists from around the world are bribed with TEPCO money? Or maybe that commentators here don't know what they're writing judging from the apocalypse drawn under almost every article (yes, according to some of them Tokyo is already doomed).

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

It seems people here are getting desperate. On the Huffington Post, one well connected person has said that Madrid is sure to win, and the main reason Japan won't is because of Fukushima! I guess TEPCO is damned is they do or damned is they don't. On the one hand they get blasted for under reporting risks, at the plant. Now when they do report, and give perhaps accurate numbers, they are blasted for being too extreme.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so far there is no meaningful effect...heard that before

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Regret this issue is more serious and can not to be taken lightly like re-arranging katakana characters to read : Tanaka->Nakata.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Sounds to me like they are setting up the blame game for if they lose the bid.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

These guys must be walking in a coma.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

NRA says Fukushima water leak risk exaggerated

It was all just a bad dream, Toto.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

These guys must be walking in a coma.

Knowing your work isnt 'coma'.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

NRA is just as incompetent as TEPCO. Exaggerated or not, there is still a leak and it still needs to be fixed! Period!!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

“You should avoid the situation that Japan gets criticism from abroad because of misleading information,” he told reporters.

Get this dangerous spin doctor out of here. He's basically encouraging TEPCO to cover up even more in order to avoid criticism. What has the NRA done to get a grip on the situation? Sweet FA.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Leaving nuclear power generation to all these idiots gives me a chill.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How is it that these readings keep becoming higher? Didn't Naoto Kan tell us the reactors were in ''cold shutdown'? So, the news from Tepco previously was that readings near the tanks were 1800 millisieverts an hour? Now the readings are 2000 millisieverts per hour!

What is the reason for this abnormal increase? This is not addressed in the article at all. However, does this mean that tanks of radioactive water are in a state of fission? I find that hard to believe! Or does it mean that the corium from the damaged reactors is undergoing a nuclear criticality under the ground near the tanks? If this is the case that the nuclear corium is moving then how long is it before there is an explosion? The corium meets lava? The corium flows into the sea?

Tanaka as head of the NRA should be onsite to ensure that these events do not occur and to ensure that any measurements given by Tepco are not misconstrued....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The NRA will give you their nukes when you pry them from its cold, dead hands.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The NRA is the new Edano! "Not harmful", "No risk", etc. The thing is, if we listen to what the NRA is suggesting in this article made available today, tomorrow (especially after the Olympics vote), we'll here about how too little was done too late, and how actually this and that leak have done a whole lot of damage.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

While I believe that the newly disclosed information should not under any circumstances lead to a less determined clean up effort. I do agree with Tanaka from the NRA that the released information should be correct and provide an understanding of what it means.

It is vital, especially with catastrophes such as this one, that information being released is placed in the proper context in order to prevent popularization and plain faulty explanations. The report of hot-spots with radations levels up to 2,200 millisieverts per hour were very worrying, but without the context provided by Tanaka are unnessecarily alarming and cause great unrest on a societal level. I myself was very concerned about this, but with the information available to me know I wonder why. Here is a couple of things that caused my concern:

I had absolutely no clue of how big a hotspot is and how fast the radation decreases when moving away from said hotspot, I believe very few people do. Now we know that after 50cm's, in comparison to the actual hotspot, hardly any radation is left. This is quite a big deal and takes away most concerns of great health hazzards.

Not being a radation expert, I only have a vague understanding of the different kinds of radiation out there. Based on 2,200 millisieverts per hour being deadly in a couple of hours I assumed the emitted radation to be gamma and thus highly penatrative. This turned out not to be the case and unless you start rolling around naked in the actual hotspot there is no immediate danger, good to know.

300 tons of radioactive water leaked away?! This must be a environmental disaster that will immediately affect the whole of Japan and possible the surrounding countries after a longer period of time. No, not according to the leading experts on radiology. A big relief.

While it is ofcourse horrible that water leaked away and that hotspots with extreme radation levels exist and that it is of great importance that the clean up effort should be spared no expense and takes presedence over everything else, repsonsible and accurate reporting is of great importance as well. Technically the reporting was correct on the numbers, but it failed to provide context and thus lead to another big scare. It is time that besides the government and TEPCO needing to take this more seriously, that the media turn to themselves (not just the Japanese media) and consider the message they send across in their articles as well. People are usually not willing or able to go into the (scientific) details of the cases covered and base their opinion solely on what the media throws at them, leading to worry, misunderstandings and, in the case of crimes, witchhunting and false accusations.

Sorry for the long post, but I needed to get this out there :)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Reminds me of the scene in the movie JAWS when the mayor of Amityville tells the sheriff to back off the shark scare at the beach.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's interesting that when someone picks up on the fact that the international scientists say something completely different to what the 'pundits' on here say they get marked down to record levels.

Why do people on here automatically assume that they work for the nuclear industry? Is that the only conclusion that could be reached? Or could it possibly be that, this has been over played by the media again?

Which does not justify TEPCO's incompetence.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

While I agree that things should be reported in a transparent manner, it is indeed funny TEPCO just started releasing all this information when the Olympics is to be decided. As if they have some sort of an interest in Japan not getting to host the games.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ha! Mr. Shunichi Tanaka, the "fear" isn't about the leaking radioactivity. It's a "fear" from media and others not following Fu. Daiichi, that you three stooges (NRA, TEPCO, JP Gov.) don't know what you're doing, lie, and don't ask for help.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It seems that nothing is exaggerated about it as long as TEPCO can't stop the leaks of radioative water and it is still leaking from everywhere. It also seems they are not able to stop leaks technically.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@kurisupisu - Didn't Naoto Kan tell us the reactors were in ''cold shutdown'?

Daiichi #5 and #6 are in "cold shutdown" as defined internationally. #4 was shut down for maintenance, and all the fuel rods emptied and placed in the spent fuel rod pool, hence the unusually large numbers of fuel rods present. #1, #2 and #3 are in a modified Japanese version of 'cold shutdown', but as they have basically melted down, with the corium outside of the reactor pressure vessel, few monitoring gauges, no functioning control rods, and total reliance on cooling water being poured over the melted mass, they are NOT in stable cold shutdown, the original closed cooling system is destroyed, hence the build-up of highly radioactive water.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission define it as: The term used to define a reactor coolant system at atmospheric pressure and at a temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit following a reactor cooldown.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I feel that this article is a little off.... The point about the radiation not being dangerous after 50cm was a comfort, but the fact that they glossed over the environmental impact is rather sad. The radiation going into the ocean will dissipate at first .Then it contaminates small plankton then bigger plankton eats it and then small fish eat the plankton and bigger fish eat the smaller ones. You can see my point. The larger the animal the more radiation they will take in. It will take years to recover from the damage done to the ecosystem near Japan and the rest of the ocean in general. This is going to be the real butterfly effect. I think the damage at this point in time is impossible to measure. Wondering why whales and dolphins are washing up on shores around the world? I expect to see more.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What makes any of us armchair experts more knowledgable than the mentioned professionals?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Armchair experts have predicted the current sate of affairs 2 plus years ago. Proof is in the pudding. Have to remember the EXPERTS get paid...by who?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

You could release all the evidence Mr. Tanaka, or the world will still be sceptical of anything you would say, it's a no brainer

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Its hard to trust any so called experts, when they all claimed there was no problem while the plant was blowing up in the first place..

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Mr Tanaka claims there is "no meaningful effect" of the radiation in the Pacific, yet the Fukushima fishery is closed. How much radiation can be measured in the waters near the plant? I don't see these data anywhere, but they must exist, unless Mr Tanaka is making statements based on no evidence.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Coverup, pure and simple. Also consistent. Do not trust Japanese so-called experts.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I love for Tokyo to win this but I think it will be Madrid. Someone will spout 'economic benefits' as the main reason to help Spain recover from the present economic problems. These people will at the same time lambast TEPCO & the Japanese government for not handling the Fukushima crisis better. But let it be Tokyo please!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What is Tanaka Shuniti's background? Did he land his job at the NRA as a golden parachute after retiring from TEPCO? Or is he completely independent from the mess. I agree that the media ought to be able to report more accurately for the laymen readers. I worry when an official laments the free flow of information.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cover up. We have been lied too much too long.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Armchair experts have predicted the current sate of affairs 2 plus years ago. Proof is in the pudding. Have to remember the EXPERTS get paid...by who?

Dr. Jim Smith gets paid by the University of Portsmouth. As far as I'm aware they are neither owned by TEPCO or the nuclear industry. Same could be said for Dr. Paddy Reagan. There were more experts talking about this on Discovery news earlier, echoing the way it has been overblown in the media. Again, pretty sure that Discovery news is neither owned by TEPCO or the nuclear industry.

There is a reason why the vast majority of experts have the same opinion. And that isn't because they work for TEPCO or the nuclear industry.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tanaka said TEPCO did not have the expertise in radiation monitoring that they needed for the current situation, and admitted that as specialists, his watchdog would have to help.

"Perhaps we have to take them by the hand and teach them step-by-step," he said.

So now you are admitting that the guys who have been in charge of handling the containment and clean up for the past 2 1/2 years, and have been receiving billions in taxpayer money have never had any f+++ing idea of what the hell they have been doing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

so far the releases to the Pacific Ocean have been much smaller than those seen during the accident

Only a few optimistic people trust the measurements of the releases that are reported.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tanaka is right that TEPCO's announcement of a reading is narrow and may be misunderstood without context. But at the same time Tanaka's focus on the meaning of a particular reading is itself narrow and may be misunderstood without context. The context is not the final concentration in seawater, but how radioactive elements gather and move up the food chain.

For example, you won't get mercury poisoning from sea salt, but you can get it from seafood.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thank you Heda_Madness. It amazes me how many people think there is some kind of lying or coverup going on, when overseas experts agree: There is no danger unless you're inside the containment vessel.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

TEPCO has done an admirable job thus far in containing the incident and ensuring that we all stay safe.

TEPCO muddled through, concealed information and lucked out that it hasn't been worse.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Exaggerated? Tell it to these whales if this is true!

http://www.cosmostv.org/2013/09/breaking-fukushima-disaster-leaves.html

Fukushima Disaster Leaves Hundreds of Whales Radiated to Death

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Poor little TEPCO, NRA and Government monkeys:

See no evil (truth), hear no evil (truth); speak no evil (truth).

Doesn't anyone get it?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You can be pretty certain that any nuclear experts are in some way being subsidized by the nuclear industry. We have heard it all before. Little to worry about. Problem is exaggerated. The media is to blame. Stop the hysteria, as one jaijin Japanese establishment blogger put it. The fact is that consistently the so-called experts have been proven wrong and the media has been vindicated. It will be so in this case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru, that story has been debunked. The photo that accompanied the story was of whales beached in New Zealand.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Radioactive pollution is not the only that is leaking uncontrolled. So is Japan's reputation. Underplaying the severity of the ongoing Fukushima disaster is only going to matters worse in all cases.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is abusive is saying " water leak risk". It's no longer a risk, it's been going on for months. It's the "water leak fact" and the legitimate concern about its worsening (the leak was supposed to be stopped 2 yrs ago, and we still don't know if it will ever be) and consequences. The thing I find exaggerated is financing a NRA whose actions are proven totally ineffective.

overseas experts agree: There is no danger unless you're inside the containment vessel.

Never heard one expert saying that. They all tell to not eat contaminated fish, veggies grown on contaminated water, etc.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@wanderlust

Thanks for the info-I'll file it in my 'misnomers' box! 200 degrees Celsius sure don't seem cold to me!

When we are told this many tons leaked or that many tons leaked we are just getting a piece of the puzzle.

How many underground water courses are under the ruined plants? When Tepco pipes in cooling water how much drains into the earth? We don't know do we..... The Koreans have been getting radioactive fish from Japan so it seems that the Japanese government have no real steps in place to effectively measure radioactive contamination nor will they readily admit to it,rather they export it It's subterfuge all the way with small cracks of truth shining through the darkness.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Right, so any and all experts who don't agree with the doomsayers is in the pay of TEPCO? Even international experts? I have the distinct feeling that a hefty number of JT posters WANT Fukushima to get worse so they can shout "I told you!" from their armchairs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tepco Vs scientist,

Straight deception! You can fool some people some times but you can fool all the people all the times.. Sound familiar ? Why would the later statement be trusted? We can Win the Olympic bid without all these!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Funny, anyone notice at the time of the "accident" they said there was no problem, now 2 1/2 yrs later they state "what is being released now is much worse than during the accident"... YEAH RIGHT!!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

i dont trust them (NRA). I see this more as an attempt to downplay fears of nuclear power.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The radiatoin danger of the area has been greatly exagerated by the media world wide..experts from the leading uiniversities and research groups from the US visited and tested right after the intial event and later on and found the levels much lower and in fact people could return home with no untoward dangers now, and could have a while ago. Too bad the media hypes everything to sell ads.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thunderbird - exactly.

There's an excellent article on New Scientist recently which includes the following:

Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts points out that the north Pacific contains an estimated 100,000 TBq of caesium-137 from H-bomb testing in the 1960s, so the fallout from Fukushima is adding only a fraction of that. Total discharges from the Sellafield nuclear plant in the UK released 39,000 TBq over 40 years, he says.

Buesseler says that during his own sampling survey in waters 30 to 600 kilometres from Fukushima in June 2011, three months after the meltdown, the highest levels he found were 3 Bq of caesium-137 per litre of seawater. By comparison, the natural weathering of rocks results in about 10 Bq of radioactive potassium-40 making it into each litre of seawater.

On an international level, even if all the waste from Fukushima was dumped neat into the Pacific, dilution would eliminate any radiation risks to distant countries like the US, says Simon Boxall of the UK National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

The ocean would be the safest place for the waste water, says Geraldine Thomas, who runs the Chernobyl Tissue Bank at Imperial College London. "But to make that politically acceptable they have to talk to the local population. They have to make people understand that low levels of radiation don't matter because we're all exposed to it all the time." In other words, it is more of a communication problem than a public-health problem. "None of this is going to do anything health-wise," she says. "Fukushima is nothing compared with Chernobyl."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There's an excellent article on New Scientist An unjuried publication ...

the north Pacific contains an estimated 100,000 TBq of caesium-137 from H-bomb testing in the 1960s...

Note the word "estimated," used because nobody knows the actual amount. The half-life of cesium is 30 years. Nuke plants have thousands of times more fissionable material than bombs. Nuke plants also have strontium and sometimes plutonium.

Buesseler says that during his own sampling survey in waters 30 to 600 kilometres from Fukushima ...

The garbage has been pouring out since then, and the contaminated area is going to grow. What will stop it? Where is the end of the problem?

Certainly some people overreact, and media sensationalizes, but this is not a small problem. It is a growing problem, and they haven't really messed with the fuel rod cleanup of the worst building yet. That is potentially a huge risk.

Geraldine Thomas, who runs the Chernobyl Tissue Bank When in doubt about water contamination, ask a tissue bank expert... not.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So you think the experts with their PhDs and all of that, haven't thought of that and come to the conclusion that it's nowhere near as bad as people have portrayed.

You have Oceanographers, Cancer specialists, international scientists all saying the same thing.

And you have armchair specialists from Japan Today saying something opposite.

At what point are any of you actually going to think that you may not know as much as the experts in their field.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

it's nowhere near as bad as people have portrayed.

Well, considering some people have said Armageddon had come and the mutant zombies would come from the sea, that's true. Well, almost true, as there have been a few mutants reported.

As far as the range of opinion, though, you are not represented the range of opinion, and not including in the evaluation scientists, with PhDs, who see it differently. You don't even mention strontium, which is much more dangerous than cesium, and you don't mention the risk of trying to deal with the fuel rods. You are listening only to the folks who agree with you, and ignoring everyone else.

There is also the question of trust in the data that we are receiving, lacking because of the number of 180 degree turns as new data contradicted old data. Why are you so trusting, in spite of that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So where are these experts?

I'm looking on Forbes, on New Scientist, on Discovery News... you know those that stand out as being the specialists in their fields, the ones who aren't the raving right or the loony left but those who spend their life in this subject.

You mention I'm not talking about Strontium but again, don't you think Dr. Ken Buessler, would have covered that? Especially given his research into 'geochemical studies of the Black Sea using Chernobyl radio tracers'. You question the validity of the experts but Dr. Geraldine Thomas has been researching the health effects of Chernobyl since 1996 she's well placed to compare the two.

These are experts. Internationally renowned experts in their field. They have been peer reviewed and published. Published in major publications that subscribed to by similar experts in their field.

You have Dr. Jim Smith saying that the releases into the Pacific are significantly smaller than during the initial crisis. You have experts saying that was negligible. That it was diluted. They are all saying the same thing.

What more do you want?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tanaka said TEPCO did not have the expertise in radiation monitoring that they needed

That's the most worrying. The people in charge being clueless.

“Perhaps we have to take them by the hand

Perhaps... some day... Where have been during 2 years, you guys ? Being paid at what ?

You have Dr. Jim Smith saying that the releases into the Pacific are significantly smaller than during the initial crisis.

"significantly smaller" than... blah blah "the crisis", means nothing. Of course, that can be said, as there were a pair of days very worrying for immediate danger back then. But the "crisis" was the first 2 weeks. Now the leak maybe weaker but it has lasted 2 years, container overflowing over months...

What more do you want?

I want the chatting experts to stop giving their opinion and the real expert to give all actual measurements.

You have experts saying that was negligible. That it was diluted.

It was. And now it IS how ? it WILL be how with cumulating amounts ? It's starting to dilute... into groundwaters (this week from measurements by Tepco themselves). For the ocean, of course the whale thing is an hoax, but some fish have been measured with abnormal levels. It's not nothing. And we cannot know how common it is because there is no systematic measurement, and the sample measurements are kept secret. Idem for hot spots where they may keep growing food and raising cattle. I'd start to trust if all fish from seas 500 km, and all produce 200 km around Fukushima was systematically measured and results printed on the label.

Dr. Geraldine Thomas has been researching the health effects of Chernobyl since 1996 she's well placed to compare the two.

She is not placed at all if she doesn't come to take measurements on the field in Japan in a systematic way. Then the situation in Chernobyl was very different. They had worse issues for some things. But they didn't have an ongoing leakage, which is a unique case. It's not a bomb either, it's not a sunk submarine either. They have nothing to compare.

You have Oceanographers, Cancer specialists, international scientists all saying the same thing.

All ? You know them all ? I know my relatives from Areva and a good friend that has made her career at the nuclear official institution in my country, communicating about Chernobyl. And they are not people predicting the worse. They always told me I was safe in Kansai, and Tokyo was OK even in the worst scenario. But now, with the ongoing problem and the lack of measurement, they are still considering that the area around Fukushima is to be avoided and food from there too. When in doubt...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Cos, perhaps you should contact the editors of National Geographic, New Scientist etc and tell them that there experts aren't credible and not in a position to comment. Personally, I think people who have spent their entire lives looking at the effects of radiation, Chernobyl, etc are exactly the type of people who should be commenting on the subject.

I want the chatting experts to stop giving their opinion and the real expert to give all actual measurements.

So who is the expert you want? The one that tells you that everything is wrong? The one that posts on ridiculous blog sites? Or the ones that the reputable scientific magazines talk to?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Heda_Madness

Fish, in particular bottom dwelling fish, have been found to be above the allowed limit even though outside of the immediate harbor. The average level of radiation in the water may be very low, but generally speaking pollutants can accrue in concentration as they move up the food chain.

Nobody will get mercury poisoning by eating sea salt, but one can eat an unhealthy amount of mercury by eating certain types of seafood every day. That is due to the way mercury moves up the food chain and concentrates towards the top.

If i could remind you that soon after the disaster, tea from shizuoka, and shiitake mushrooms from Okutama mountains in the westernmost part of Tokyo were found not to be fit for consumption. These items were found only through blanket testing. No experts at all had predicted these results. The test results surprised everybody, including the experts.

Experts too are human; they have preconceptions, they have agendas.

Continued caution and a lot of testing are very important.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Craig, no-one is saying that fish and other sea food shouldn't be tested. And no, it wasn't a surprise that tea from Shizuoka was found to be above Japanese standards once it was discovered how low the Japanese limits were. But absolutely food should be continually suggested.

What I do take issue with, is the 'experts' on here who know more about it than any of the experts in these articles. The Japanese say one thing - they're corrupt. We need international opinion. The internationals support that. Therefore they must be paid for by TEPCO or the nuclear industry. Because they're the only options. The other, that this has been overplayed since day one, and is continuing to do so is impossible.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yeah and I guess the 152,000nSv/h spewing from Dai-ichi every day must be an exaggerated figure as well... sigh

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's not really spewing though is it? It's trickling, it's leaking. Which is why it's a localised issue. And it's why the experts are saying it's been overplayed. Why they think it's not as severe as is being portrayed. And why they've been critical of people making exaggerated claims.

Sigh? Sigh indeed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Once again media is trying to create furor over false and misleading information. The leaks were never as bad as claimed and made in to headlines over and over.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites