The resurrection of old F. Daiichi news has spurred the Tokyo Electric Company to respond. The topic is the occasional mist emanating from the top of the unit #3 reactor building at F. Daiichi. This has been happening off-and-on since last summer. Tepco found that rainwater collecting around the Primary Containment head will evaporate on cool or (now that it is winter) cold days because the steel dome, which is inside a deep concrete pit, is warmed by the 100oF (40oC) heat being generated inside the containment. In the winter, the evaporation rate is so great that it looks like a steam leak from inside the reactor building. The progenitor of this not-so-new news is the Turner Radio Network, which is essentially a conspiracy theory site run by former convict Hal Turner. His website has nothing to do with Ted Turner or Turner Broadcasting Company.

Tepco’s Press Release says the steam itself indicates no abnormality. It also says “Since July 18, 2013, steam has been intermittently observed at the top of the Unit 3 Reactor Building. It was observed on days with comparatively low temperature and high humidity and, upon almost all occasions, when rain had fallen before… No significant changes were found in neither the main parameters related to the plant (temperature, pressure and xenon density of PCV/RPV) nor the monitoring post readings, which indicates no abnormality of the cooling of the reactor, nor dangers to human health… There has been no significant change in the radiation dose and nuclide analysis results (dust sampling data) compared to those from before the steam was observed.”

I suggest reading the article on the “steam frenzy” posted by, headed by James Corbett of the popular Corbett Report. The blog seems to follow the agenda of reporting what is available in the Press. They give fear-mongering antinuclear postings equal billing with pronuclear. This piece attacks the recent fear-mongering and has an interesting timeline of visuals showing that the visuals used by the popular Press and internet scare-mongers are nearly three years old. The most recent image reveals the “steam” to be so minor that it is barely visible. (

Here are some other updates from this past weekend…

  • All of F. Daiichi’s inner harbor sample points are below national standards for Cesium. The limit for Cs-134 is 60 Becquerels per liter, and for Cs-137 it is 90 Bq/L. The concentrations along the shoreline and inside the quay break-walls have been dropping for several weeks, ever since the soil-solidified barriers were completed on-shore. As usual, the Japanese and international Press neglect to report this good news, unquestionably because it isn’t scary or unsettling. Here’s the latest test results…
  • America’s Arnie Gundersen admits F. Daiichi unit #3 cannot explode. Gundersen has been making disaster predictions concerning the four damaged units since March of 2011, but this is one of the first times he has forgone conjecture and posted something realistic…almost. With Arnie, any positive statement about Fukushima always follows with a negative caveat or three. This time, he focusses on the wispy emanations from around the exposed Primary Containment dome of unit #3 and uses it to reject the notion of cold shutdown. He purports, “While the plants are shutdown in nuke speak, there is no method of achieving cold shut down in any nuclear reactor.” His rationale is that there are fission products radioactively decaying in the unit #3 rubble, producing heat, and spewing radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere. To Gundersen, cold shutdown must mean no decay heat, which is entirely NOT in the definition of the phrase. Regardless, Gundersen uses a kernel of truth then blows it completely out of proportion. He says that in cold weather the release becomes visible due to condensation in the air, similar to exhaling in the winter and seeing your breath, which is correct. But Arnie’s assures us that the F. Daiichi #3’s atmospheric condensation is dangerously radioactive. His “proof” is that unit #3 produces about one Megawatt of heat from radioactive decay, which is correct. However, he twists this into a release of “radioactive steam” and unabashedly elaborates, “These hot radioactive releases [not physically hot, but radioactive hot – meaning they contain radioactive fission products] have occurring for the entire 33 months following the triple meltdown. The difference now is that the only time we visibly notice these ongoing releases is on the cold days with atmospheric conditions cold enough to condense hot vapor into steam.” What he fails to tell us is that none of the station’s numerous radiation monitors, and none of those run by Fukushima Prefecture and/or the Tokyo government, show any increases on the days the “radioactive steam” is visible.
  • Two posts concerning recent Fukushima fear-mongering on the Internet bear mention. The first concerns the UN Navy sailor’s Fukushima lawsuit. It is a YouTube video created by “Thunderfoot”, a popular Twitter video blog (vlog). The vlog has the misleading (sarcastic?) title, “Fukushima ‘Death Cloud’ Kills hundreds on Warship”, but goes into detail to show how the health problems alleged in the lawsuit could not possibly be the result of radiation exposure from the Fukushima accident. Thunderfoot states, “On paper they claim all sorts of cancer, however I can find no interview of anyone with cancer. Further the lawsuit doesn’t say what the claims are for. What I do find is interview after interview of people describing non-quantifiable symptoms that are wholly inconsistent with radiation poisoning.” Not your typical YouTube vlog, and worth the 19 minutes it takes to watch.  The other posting concerns stories that Fukushima contamination is killing sea life in the Pacific. It is entitled “Is the sea floor littered with dead animals due to radiation? No.” The author is Craig McClain, Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, jointly operated by Duke, North Carolina, and North Carolina State Universities. NESCent is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The NESCent staff has been trying to combat misinformation about the presence of Fukushima contamination having a deadly impact on marine organisms of America’s west coast. They conclude, “After doing thorough research, reading the scientific literature, and consulting with experts and colleagues, we have found no evidence of either.” The report is detailed and blunt.
  • F. Daiichi’s contaminated underground tunnels will soon be cleaned. Two of these equipment and cabling shafts are filled with water contaminated to levels that are now higher than what we find inside the turbine building basements. The basement waters are being slowly Cesium-stripped which is lowering their overall activity, while the tunnel waters outside the basements are not being Cesium-filtered. Tepco plans to first block all tunnel connections to the turbine buildings by freezing, to prevent the shafts from refilling. Once isolated from the basement waters, the tunnels will be drained. It is felt this will be the first step in freezing the ground completely surrounding the contaminated turbine basements.
  • Antinukes in Shimane Prefecture had submitted a petition to end nuclear energy. The petition has 92,000 signatures. The Prefecture’s population is 713,000. This is the latest in a series of attempts by Japanese antinuke groups to force anti-nuclear ordinances on local governments. As yet, none have succeeded. The Prefecture has two Boiling Water Reactor plants at Shimane Station on the Sea of Japan, which is the focus of the petition. The signatures will be checked against the prefecture’s voter registration list. If enough are valid, the petition will be sent to the governor who, by law, must bring the issue before the prefectural assembly. The petition wants the two nukes decommissioned by an unspecified date and replaced with “natural and renewable” energy sources. (comment – the signatories must be unaware that nuclear fuel is renewable by recycling, and that natural fission reactors have existed in Gabon.)
  • Students from the disaster-hit Tohoku coast will be presenting their stories in Paris. The event is planned for August. The 100 students will come from Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures. But as is the custom with the Japanese Press, only the students from Fukushima Prefecture are getting coverage. Some Fukushima student’s draft presentations use pictures depicting death and resurrection as an expression of their feelings. Others focus on what they have learned about radiation. Faculty from Fukushima University is overseeing the project. It would be instructive to know about the projects of students from Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures which were devastated by the quake and tsunami, but there’s nothing about them in the NHK report.