The radiation at the Fukushima plants has gone up, rather than down, since June. This may be because contaminated water has become more concentrated due to evaporation. The release of radiation from the plant into the air continues, although a covering over Reactor 1 is almost completed. The release of radiation from the plant into the sea continues, and plankton are shown to be contaminated to a level that raises some concern. Mid month, the plant was measured to be releasing about 100 million becquerels per hour. The reactors are still not uniformly shut down to less than boiling. Additional pumps are being brought in to inject more water. And what goes in must come out, as steam into the atmosphere and effluence into the sea. So this is going to keep going for a while, at least a few more months.
Most of the facilities are too radioactive to enter or to spend very much time in.
TEPCO claims that if there was another earthquake knocking out their current “cooling” facilities at Fukushima, they could return to a state of the plant continuing to emit radiation out of control and boiling off radioactive steam and dumping radioactive water into the sea within just a few hours, so no need to worry about that eventuality.
Even though one of the “hot spots” found in Tokyo turned out to be, rather disturbingly, a small nuclear waste dump someone had in their home, many other hot spots at many localities ofairutside of the evacuation area have been found. It would seem that some sort of winnowing effect is concentrating radioactive material here and there. In at least one case, a rainwater pipe seemed to be the source of high radiation. In another case, in Kashiwa, a drainage ditch has very highly concentrated radiation.
Meanwhile, radioactive material is spreading throughout the region in another way: Radioactive sludge and dirt is being systematically shipped to numerous municipalities for them to put in to their own local dumps, and political pressure is being applied to make sure mayors or other community leaders keep quite about his and allow it to happen. One wonders if the population was warned of this during the initial hearings about whether or not to build this plant. Were the region’s municipalities told then that if there was a massive meltdown at the Fukushima plant, individual municipalities would be expected to become radioactive waste repositories?
Children in the Fukushima area are returning to schools as radiation levels at the schools are dropping. The children are being asked to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when they go outside for their Physical Education classes.
The explosion at Reactor 3 may have been a prompt moderated nuclear critically within the reactor 3 fuel pool. Also, the containment at Reactor 3 was probably badly damaged and cracked independently. (see video below from Fairewinds)