Earthquake: 10 kilometre crack in a road in Northern Thailand
by Zoe Daniel via thriff - ABC (Oz) Saturday, Mar 26 2011, 3:10pm
Yet another tectonic shift and earthquake this time around the Thai-Burma border. Had this quake hit in a heavily populated area it would have been devastating. But NOTE how the mass media is playing down these related events with brief reports lacking detail and without making obvious connections to recent tectonic activity on the Pacific Rim.
Consider also the outrageous withholding of information by Corporate elites in the US and Japan on the real status of the Japanese nuclear disaster, which PROMISES to be the worst ever recorded.
Stay asleep sheeple, you are being deceived, distracted and exposed to catastrophic danger by those in whose interests it is to withhold the TRUTH but maintain THEIR safety. When it all erupts (very soon) just remember those RESPONSIBLE for all the Corporate deception that led to the earth's instability and horrendous loss of life -- 'you ain't seen nothin' yet!'
And remember, the only good (criminal by nature) executive, is a DEAD EXECUTIVE!
It is time to reclaim our societies from the criminal filth that have subverted justice and democracy around the WORLD -- they are currently active subverting Libya as I write.
Few today are fooled by the same old tired tricks we've seen so many times before.
[Thin] Report follows:
At least 75 people are now believed to have died when an earthquake struck the Thai-Burma border last night.
© 2011 ABC
The death toll is still expected to rise as authorities move into remote areas that have been cut off by road closures since the 6.8 magnitude quake.
More than 240 buildings are said to have collapsed on the Burmese side of the border killing at least 74.
One woman was also killed in the Thai district of Mae Sai and more than 100 people were injured in areas close to the epicentre.
Tremors were felt in Bangkok and Hanoi, both hundreds of kilometres away.
There are reports of a 10 kilometre crack in a road in Northern Thailand as a result of the quake and a number of aftershocks.
Burma sits on a different tectonic plate to Japan, which was hit by a massive earthquake two weeks ago today.
Additional details here.
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Catastrophic Safety Breach likely at troubled Japanese nuclear plant
by Hino Yuasa via gan - AJC Saturday, Mar 26 2011, 3:32pm
TOKYO — A possible breach at Japan's troubled nuclear plant has escalated the crisis anew, two full weeks after an earthquake and tsunami first compromised the facility. The development suggested radioactive contamination may be worse than first thought, with tainted groundwater the most likely consequence.
Japanese leaders defended their decision not to evacuate people from a wider area around the plant, insisting they are safe if they stay indoors. But officials said residents may want to voluntarily move to areas with better facilities, since supplies in the tsunami-devastated region are running short.
The escalation in the nuclear plant crisis came as the death toll from the quake and tsunami passed 10,000. Across the battered northeast coast, hundreds of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed still have no power, no hot meals and, in many cases, no showers for two weeks.
The uncertain nuclear situation delayed efforts to stop the overheated Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant from leaking dangerous radiation.
Work was under way Saturday to inject fresh water into one unit, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, or NISA, amid concerns about dumping large amounts of potentially corrosive seawater onto the reactors.
Low levels of radiation have been seeping out since the March 11 quake and tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling system, but a breach could mean a much larger release of contaminants. The most likely consequence would be contamination of the groundwater.
"The situation today at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant is still very grave and serious. We must remain vigilant," a somber Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Friday night. "We are not in a position where we can be optimistic. We must treat every development with the utmost care."
Water with equally high radiation levels was found in the Unit 1 reactor building, Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said. Water was also discovered in Units 2 and 4, and the company said it suspects that, too, is radioactive. Officials acknowledged the water would delay work inside the plant.
Radioactivity in seawater just outside one unit tested some 1,250 times higher than normal, probably from both airborne radiation released from the reactors and contaminated water leaked into the sea, Nishiyama said Saturday.
But he said the amount posed no immediate health risk.
Plant officials and government regulators say they don't know the source of the radioactive water discovered at units 1 and 3 of the six-unit complex. It could have come from a leaking reactor core, associated pipes or a spent fuel pool. Or it may be the result of overfilling the pools with emergency cooling water.
The possible breach in the plant's Unit 3 might be a crack or a hole in the stainless steel chamber of the reactor core or in the spent fuel pool that's lined with several feet of reinforced concrete. The temperature and pressure inside the core, which holds the fuel rods, remained stable and was far lower than what would further melt the core.
Suspicions of a possible breach were raised when two workers suffered skin burns after wading into water 10,000 times more radioactive than levels normally found in water in or around a reactor, NISA said.
The prime minister apologized to farmers and business owners for the toll the radiation has had on their livelihoods: Several countries have halted some food imports from areas near the plant after elevated levels of radiation were found in raw milk, sea water and 11 kinds of vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower and turnips.
Elevated levels of radiation have turned up elsewhere, including the tap water in several areas of Japan. In Tokyo, tap water showed radiation levels two times higher than the government standard for infants, who are particularly vulnerable to cancer-causing radioactive iodine, officials said.
The scare caused a run on bottled water in the capital, and Tokyo municipal officials are distributing it to families with babies.
The nuclear crisis has compounded the challenges faced by a nation already saddled with a humanitarian disaster. Much of the frigid northeast remains a scene of despair and devastation, with Japan struggling to feed and house hundreds of thousands of homeless survivors, clear away debris and bury the dead.
"It's still like I'm in a dream," said Tomohiko Abe, a 45-year-old machinist who was in the devastated coastal town of Onagawa trying to salvage any belongings he could from his ruined car. "People say it's like a movie, but it's been worse than any movie I've ever seen."
The official death toll stood at 10,151 Saturday, with more than 17,000 listed as missing, police said. With the cleanup and recovery operations continuing, the final number of dead was expected to surpass 18,000.
Officials have evacuated residents within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the plant and advised those up to 19 miles (30 kilometers) away to stay indoors to minimize exposure. The U.S. has recommended that people stay 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from the plant.
Government spokesman Yukio Edano insisted that people living 12 to 20 miles (20 to 30 kilometers) from the plant should still be safe from radiation as long as they stay indoors. But since supplies are not being delivered to the area fast enough, he said it may be better for residents to voluntarily evacuate to places with better facilities.
"If the current situation is protracted and worsens, then we will not deny the possibility of (mandatory) evacuation," he said.
One Fukushima government official said some commercial trucks were refusing to enter the area because of radiation fears, resulting in a shortage of goods.
"We are not ordering people to leave. But we have told residents that we will help you leave voluntarily," Takeshi Ishimoto said.
© 2011 The Associated Press
Dai-ichi Radiation Releases May Exceed Three Mile Island by 100,000 Times
by press release via greg - IEER Saturday, Mar 26 2011, 3:24pm
TAKOMA PARK, MD - March 25 - The damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan continue to release radioactivity into the atmosphere. So far, the accident has released far more radioactivity than the 1979 Three Mile Island (TMI) accident. While Chernobyl had one source of radioactivity, its reactor, there are seven leaking radiation sources at the Japanese site. Together, the three damaged reactors and four spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi contain far more long-lived radioactivity, notably cesium-137, than the Chernobyl reactor.
The French radiation protection authority, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), estimates the radioactive releases of iodine-131 in Japan had reached about 2.4 million curies by March 22, 2011. That is about 160,000 times the best estimate of the amount released during the TMI accident in Pennsylvania (15 curies) and about 140,000 times the maximum estimate of 17 curies. It is about 10 percent of the estimated amount released during the Chernobyl accident, according to the IRSN. Combined cesium-134 (half-life: about 2 years) and cesium-137 (half life: about 30 years) releases from Fukushima are estimated at about half-a-million curies, about 10 percent of estimated Chernobyl cesium releases. The TMI accident did not emit measurable amounts of radioactive cesium, according to the presidential commission that investigated the accident.
“This accident has long since passed the level of Three Mile Island,” said Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER). “While the releases are still considerably below Chernobyl, they have already reached a level that could affect the region around the site for a prolonged period. It is simply a fantasy and highly misleading for the official accident level to remain at level 5, given the estimated radioactivity releases and the extended evacuation, contamination of food and water, and other countermeasures that have already been ordered by the government.”
The primary risk of concern with iodine-131 is thyroid cancer, with children more at risk than adults. A high enough intake of iodine-131 by children can also cause developmental problems and other thyroid diseases. Young girls are at greater risk than boys. Female infants have a risk of thyroid cancer 70 times greater than adult males for the same radiation exposure. Some iodine-131 deposits on land, including pastures. When contaminated grass is eaten by cows and goats, iodine-131 concentrates in milk. It has a half-life of about eight days, meaning that appreciable amounts will remain in the environment for a few months after large releases. Cesium-137 will take a few hundred years to decay to very low levels. Some cesium-137 from atmospheric testing in the 1950s and 1960s is still present in soil all over the world. It causes all types of radiogenic cancers since it distributes itself all over the body, like potassium. Cesium-137 contamination is the main reason that a huge exclusion zone (about 1,000 square miles) still needs to be maintained around Chernobyl.
The radioactive fallout from the damaged Fukushima reactors has already covered substantial parts of Honshu, Japan’s main island. Japanese officials have warned citizens against consuming 11 types of vegetables found to have higher than the legal levels of radioactivity, as well as milk from regions near the plant. They have urged residents to avoid giving tap water to children and infants.
Despite these warnings, authorities in Japan have not been forthcoming about the actual levels of radioactive releases, which according to some reports are grave enough that additional, immediate public protection is necessary. The large radioactivity releases, large evacuation zone, and extensive contamination of food and water indicate that it should be raised to level 6, which is also the evaluation of the French and U.S. authorities. This would give a more realistic picture to the public in Japan and allow for appropriately intensified contingency planning.
Efforts to stabilize the damaged reactors have only been partly successful; cooling with seawater may have created its own problems. A significant blockage of the space between the fuel rods with salt deposits could slow cooling water flow even if fresh water can be pumped in. The re-start of normal pumping faces formidable technical and safety problems.
“Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese government must inform the public of their estimates of the releases so far and the potential scale of additional releases, provide updates that are as complete as possible, and create appropriate contingency plans for the public.”
Last week, IEER noted that damages from severe spent fuel accidents in the U.S. could range from $900 million to $700 billion (http://www.ieer.org/comments/Daiichi-Fukushima-reactors_IEERstatement.pdf). Vermont Yankee, for example, contains more spent fuel in its pool than all four stricken pools at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not ordered any additional actions to protect this material.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should order all aged spent fuel in the U.S. to be moved from pools to hardened dry storage,” said Dr. Makhijani. “It should suspend all licensing and relicensing proceedings until the long-term safety review is complete. It should also review the nearly certified reactor designs, like the AP1000. It is lamentable that the NRC extended the license of the Vermont Yankee reactor, which is the same design as the stricken Fukushima units, while the Japanese crisis is still going on and there has been no time to learn its lessons. I am shocked the NRC did not even order the emptying of all of Vermont Yankee’s older spent fuel into dry cask storage, as a condition of the license extension.”
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