Fukushima And The Plutonium Mystery
By Mary Hamer, M.D
13 April, 2011
*Humans with their upright posture, linguistic ability & opposable thumbs claim that they are the Superior species on Earth. But, Please review: The nuclear accidents of Fukushima & Chernobyl , the WWII Hiroshima & Nagasaki atomic bombings & other events such as the Holocaust, the genocide of the Native American Indians & the Iraq War. No Eagle has ever a dropped a nuclear bomb on people. No Wild horse has ever given the Earth nuclear accidents. & No wolf has ever committed genocide against people. Please witness the truth about this species called: Homo Sapiens. (1)
*PURPOSE: In general the purpose of this paper is to investigate Plutonium radioactive contamination & radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan . Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to explore the possible source(s) of the Plutonium found in soil samples near the Fukushima Nuclear power plant in Japan in March 2011. (2) (3) Although I am not a nuclear physicist, I am a concerned citizen of the planet Earth who cares not only about the well-being of humans, but also the well-being of animals & ecosystems. I do not believe in the myth of human superiority, but rather I believe that humans are equal partners with other living beings & the Earth. In this spirit, I present to you this essay on Plutonium at Fukushima .
*KEY SECTIONS: The Key Sections of this essay are: I. Plutonium: Basic Facts. II. Reactor #3 Explosion. III. Reactor #4. Spent Fuel Explosion & Fire. IV. Reactor #3. Meltdown? V. Other Sources of Plutonium. VI. Questions. VII. Recommendations.
I. PLUTONIUM: BASIC FACTS:
*DEFINITION: “Plutonium is a highly radioactive silvery metal that is used in nuclear bombs & nuclear power. It is a heavy & essentially man-made element, derived from the transformation of uranium through fission.” Plutonium is named after Pluto, the god of the Underworld or the god of Hell.
* FUKUSHIMA & PLUTONIUM: “The most common (Plutonium) isotopes -- & those found at Fukushima – are plutonium 238, with a half-life of 88 years; plutonium 239, with a half-life of 24,000 years; & plutonium 240, with a half-life of 6,500 years.” (Another plutonium isotope is plutonium-241, with a half-life of about 14 years.) “According to (the Fukushima nuclear) plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), soil at five sites at the Fukushima plant was found to have plutonium. At least two of these sites had isotopes where there was a ‘high possibility' of a connection to the (nuclear) accident(s).” (4)
*AMERICIUM-241: “Americium-241 (Am-241), (is) the decay product of plutonium-241 (& it has) a half-life of 430 years”. (5) “For plutonium (measurement) the best technique is to detect the accompanying (by-product) Am-241 which emits a … gamma ray”. (5)'
*BIOACTIVITY of PLUTONIUM:
“During the decay of plutonium, three types of radiation are released: Alpha, beta & gamma (radiation). Alpha particles can travel only a short distance & cannot travel through human skin (but they can be inhaled or ingested). Beta particles can penetrate human skin, but they cannot go all the way through the body. Gamma radiation can go all the way through the body.” Plutonium “Exposure carries a danger of unfavorable health outcomes including radiation sickness, cancer & death”. (6) Plutonium emits alpha radiation which can … “damage DNA & which can lead to cancers”. (7)
“Plutonium is more dangerous when inhaled than when ingested” -- with a risk of lung cancer. (8) Also, “Plutonium is a radioactive poison that accumulates in the bone marrow”. (9)
“A critical mass of plutonium emits lethal amounts of neutrons & gamma rays”. (10)
“A criticality accident … is an accidental increase of nuclear chain reactions in a fissile material, such as enriched uranium or plutonium. This releases a surge of neutron radiation which is highly dangerous to humans & causes induced radioactivity in the surroundings”. (11) “Many criticality accidents have been observed to emit a blue flash of light & to heat material(s) substantially”. (12)
II. REACTOR #3. EXPLOSION on 3/14/11 :
QUESTION: Was the Unit #3 explosion the source of Plutonium in soil samples around the Fukushima nuclear power plant?
*”On March 14, (2011) Unit 3 of the Fukushima exploded”, sending a huge smoke plume into the air. This … reactor … contains rods fueled with MOX”. (13)
*MOX: “MOX fuel is nuclear fuel that contains more than one oxide of fissile material. MOX fuel contains plutonium blended with natural uranium, reprocessed uranium or depleted uranium.” (14)
*INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION of RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION: “If the International commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommendations for general public exposure were adhered to, only about 1 mg of plutonium may be released from a MOX facility to the environment” – during a nuclear accident. (15)
*WORSE THAN CHERNOBYL: The Rad Rider, a Scientist states regarding the Reactor #3 explosion of 3/14/11:
*“ Study the close up views of the #3 reactor explosion and you will see that the blast was not the type of explosion one would expect from the ignition of hydrogen. The fireball seen in the corner of the plant may have been due to hydrogen but it was much too small to cause the main blast. Not only that, inspection reveals that this was a directional blast. Much as if a cannon had been fired straight up from inside the reactor building.
You Tube Fukushima video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNIHQvTOzs (16)
This is what one would expect if the reactor vessel exploded with enough force to take out the drywell dome and the removable concrete pads that cover it. …
*If my assessment is correct, the dark colored cloud we witnessed, that was shot approximately 1,000 feet into the air, contained the MOX core of the reactor and made this accident worse than Chernobyl. The experts that claim that Chernobyl was the worst possible form of accident due to it's lack of a containment, do not take into account that a contained core, could be violently exploded out of the containment and straight up into the atmosphere. This is worse than exploding a core that is not contained. (17)
*NUCLEAR FRAGMENTS BLOWN UP to ONE MILE AWAY: Also, regarding the “Fragments or particles of nuclear fuel” that were “Blown ‘Up to one mile from the units' (that) contained highly radioactive material” & that were “Bulldozed over” (18) – Did any of this nuclear debris contain Plutonium? & If plutonium was found in this ejected material, then did it have an isotope signature more consistent with a Reactor #3 Mox core explosion or a Unit #4 spent fuel rod explosion/fire? The Rad Rider states: “Plutonium contamination is being reported as far as a mile away from the plant but it is being attributed to spent fuel.” (19)
*Question: Have TEPCO & the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant abided by the ICRP's plutonium contamination standards regarding the March 14 th Reactor #3 explosion? i.e. Was 1 mg or less of plutonium released during the Unit #3 explosion on 3/14/11 ? – Or during any other major event at the Fukushima nuclear accident?
III. REACTOR #4 FIRE & EXPLOSION on 3/15/11 :
*QUESTION: Was the Unit #4 Explosion & Fire the cause of Plutonium in soil samples around the Fukushima nuclear power plant?
*EXPLOSION/FIRE: On March 15 th An explosion & fire broke out at unit 4 involving spent fuel rods from the reactor. (20) (21)
*PLUTONIUM: ”Plutonium is created in small quantities by the nuclear fission process in the spent fuel rods. Most of these (rods) are stored in the fuel storage pool at #4 reactor”. (22)
*SPENT FUEL RODS: ”At the time of the ( Fukushima ) nuclear accident, the units/(reactors)… contained the following numbers of fuel assemblies: Unit #4: Spent Fuel Assemblies: #1331.” (23)
*”The N.R.C. report suggests that the fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor suffered a hydrogen explosion early in the Japanese crisis & could have shed much radioactive material into the environment”. i.e. A “Major source term release”. (24)
IV. REACTOR #3 MELTDOWN:
*QUESTION: Could a Unit #3 Meltdown be the source of the Plutonium in soil samples around the Fukushima nuclear power plant?
*MELTDOWN?: “In reactor No. 3 there is radioactive molten metal & it is thought that is has begun to melt with the metal base of the reactor containment structure. If that happens corium will be formed, which can heat up to 2,500 degrees & (it) will start to infiltrate the 7-8 m thick concrete foundation of the reactor plant. This extremely dangerous substance could then eat it's way through the concrete & enter the soil below & then find it's way to the sea”. “Corium is capable of burning right through the concrete containment vessel.” (25)
V. OTHER POSSIBLE SOURCES of PLUTONIUM: REACTORS #1 & #2.
*FISSILS BYPRODUCTS from BURNING URANIUM: While ”Experts at France's Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) say (the plutonium in the soil samples) could have came from the No. 3 reactor, which uses mixed oxide, or MOX (fuel) (plutonium & uranium that has been extracted from spent nuclear fuel & reprocessed) -- Alternatively, (the plutonium) could have come as a fissile byproduct from burning uranium in the No. 1 & 2 reactors”. (26)
VI. QUESTIONS for the FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR OFFICIALS:
*QUESTIONS: Here are my questions regarding Plutonium radiation exposure & radioactive contamination at the Fukushima nuclear power plant:
*PLUTONIUM STATISTICS: Regarding the soil samples around the Fukushima Nuclear power plant that contain Plutonium – What is the Plutonium radioactivity count per unit volume & per unit time – either as an alpha emitter or of it's decay products such as Americium-241 with gamma radiation? What Plutonium isotopes or decay products have been found in the positive soil samples at Fukushima ? What is the radiation exposure of the Fukushima workers (Sv/hr) for Plutonium as an alpha emitter or of it's decay byproducts & gamma radiation? What is the amount of Plutonium radioactivity being released into the ocean (Bq/mL or Bq/cm3)? What is the amount of Plutonium in locations such as Iitate or Ibaraki ? Is there Plutonium contamination of drinking water in Tokyo or elsewhere (Bq/kg)? What is the geographic distribution pattern or radiation map of the Fukushima Plutonium release? (27)
*PLUTONIUM CANCER DEATHS: How many people are likely to die of cancers caused by Plutonium radioactive contamination & radiation exposure at Fukushima ?
*INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR EVENT SCALE: LEVEL #7: On 4/12/11 “ Japan 's nuclear regulators raised the severity level of the ( Fukushima ) crisis … to rank it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster” i.e. as a “Major Accident”. (28) Did alpha emitters such as Plutonium & it's radioactive contamination play a role in this upgrade of the Fukushima nuclear accident to the maximum level of 7/seven?
* CHERNOBYL COMPARISON: Note: “In the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the vast majority of the plutonium was not released during the explosion & subsequent fire”. (29) What is the overall amount of Plutonium radioactivity released during the Fukushima nuclear accident(s) compared to Chernobyl ?
*LACK of INFORMATION about ALPHA EMITTERS: One reference states: “All official agencies are conspicuously silent about the alpha-emitters (such as) Plutonium & Uranium (at the Fukushima nuclear accident site). We remain deeply concerned about this lack of information”. (30)
*I request that the Fukushima nuclear officials publish more comprehensive information to the public regarding: #1. The source(s) of Plutonium in the positive Fukushima soil samples, #2. The isotopes of Plutonium found at Fukushima such as plutonium-239 & #3. Fukushima Radiation exposure & radioactive contamination data for the alpha emitters such as plutonium & uranium. (31)
Namaste. Thank you. Respectfully, Mary Hamer, M.D. U.S.A.
Mary Hamer is a medical doctor who writes Earth, peace and human & animal rights essays.
1. Mary Hamer. 2011.
2. www.telegraph.co.uk. Japan Nuclear Plant: Plutonium found in Fukushima Soil. By Julian Ryall, in Tokyo . 3/29/11 .
3. www.guardian.co.uk. Plutonium detected at Fukushima . By Alok Jha. 3/29/11 .
4. www.smh.com.au. Fukushima : What is Plutonium & What are the Dangers? 3/30/11 . AFP.
5. en.wikipedia.org. Plutonium. Referencing: Can Reactor Grade Plutonium Produce Nuclear Fission Weapons? Council for Nuclear Fuel Cycle Institute for Energy Economics. Japan . May 2001.
5.' www.acq.osd.mil . Radiation Detection & Measurement.
6. en.wikipedia.org. Plutonium. Referencing: Plutonium. CAS ID#: 7440-07-5 CDC Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.
7. www.guardian.co.uk. Plutonium detected at Fukushima . By Alok Jha. 3/29/11 .
8. en.wikipedia.org. Plutonium. Referencing: Brown, CS et al. (July 2004) Lung Cancer & Internal lung doses among Plutonium Workers at the Rocky Flats Plant: A case-control study. Am. J. of Epidemiology. 160: 163-172.
10. en.wikipedia.org. Plutonium. Referencing: Miner. 1968. Pg 546.
11. en.wikipedia.org. Criticality Accident.
12. en.wikipedia.org. Criticality Accident.
13. www.naturalnews.ocm. MOX Plutonium fuel used In Fukushima's Unit 3 reactor 2 Million times more deadly than enriched Uranium. By Ethan A. Huff. 3/17/11 .
14. en.wikipedia.org. MOX fuel.
15. www.naturalnews.com. MOX Plutonium fuel used in Fukushima 's Unit 3 Reactor: 2 million times more Deadly than enriched Uranium. By Ethan A. Huff. 3/17/11 .
16. You Tube Fukushima video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNIHQvTOzs
17. www.countercurrents.org. Fukushima Disaster: Are We Told the Truth? By Stephen Lendman. 4/8/11. Comments Section: The Rad Rider, a Scientist.
18. www.nytimes.com. U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan 's Nuclear Plant. by James Glanz & William Broad.3/5/11.
19. www.countercurrents.org. Fukushima Disaster: Are We Told the Truth? By Stephen Lendman. 4/8/11. Comments Section: The Rad Rider, a Scientist.
20. en.wikipedia.org. Fukushima Nuclear Accidents. Referencing Kyodo News. 3/15/11 . 21. en.wikipedia.org. Timeline of the Fukushima Nuclear Accidents Referencing: UPI.com. Kyodo News. 3/15/11 .
22. www.plamero.com. Plutonium & Uranium Detected, Fukushima Daiichi Facility. Submitted by TheIntelHub. 4/10/11 .
23. en.wikipedia.org. Fukushima Nuclear Accidents. Referencing: Martin, Alex. Lowdown on Nuclear Crisis. Japan Times. 3/20/11 .
24. www.nytimes.com . U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan 's Nuclear Plant. by James Glanz & William Broad.
25. candobetter.net. Fukushima Reactor 3: Full Meltdown now Feared. by Sheila Newman. 3/30/11.
26. www.smh.com.au. Fukushima : What is Plutonium & What are the Dangers? 3/30/11 . AFP.
27. en.wikipedia.org. Radiation Effects from Fukushima I Nuclear Accidents.
28. news.yahoo.com. Japan ups Nuke Crisis Severity to match Chernobyl . By Yuri Kageyama & Ryan Nakashima. AP 4/12/11 .
29. www.webnewsjax.com Fukushima Crisis Worsens as one Reactor Core containing deadly Mox is feared to be Leaking.
30. endtimesnews.wordpress.com. Fukushima 70 kilometre Contamination levels Twice as High as Chernobyl Permanent Control Zone. Posted by gaianarchaos. 4/4/11 .
31. emergency.cdc.gov. Radiation Emergencies: Radioactive Contamination & Radiation Exposure.
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