Thick ground fog again this early Tuesday on California’s north coast, a routine now as per about-normal for spring and early-approach to summer.
Seasons are quick nowadays it seems, hard to believe we’re closing in on the end of April — 2015, where art thou gone?
Across the vast Pacific, time quickens, too. And possibly radioactive.
(Illustration found here).
Since we’re kind of right in the flow zone from Japan, here along the US/Canadian Pacific coast, any and all news spewing from the Fukushima former-nuclear-power plant, now a never-ending, most-deadly fuck up, lands high on the radar. In February, trace amounts of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 were detected near Vancouver Island, up in British Columbia (my post on it here), and Fukushima-original shit is constantly found on beaches along the way, even along our shoreline here in Humboldt County.
And so it goes…this morning another possible calamity we’ll have to wait and see how it plays — the complete news report from Japan Times:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday reported that a power outage has shut down all eight water transfer pumps at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station and that radioactive water is again leaking into the Pacific Ocean.
The pumps are being used to pump tainted water from a drainage channel to another channel leading to a fence-enclosed artificial bay facing the station.
The beleaguered utility said it was checking into what happened and how much water had leaked.
The pumping had begun last Friday, in response to a finding in late February that highly radioactive water in the channel was reaching the ocean.
They were confirmed to be working Monday afternoon but found stopped at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The utility said earlier this year that water samples from the drainage channel last May contained concentrations of radioactive materials that surpassed the legal limit.
And maybe ended up in those Canadian water samples. Although the only news source on the latest incident, the Fukushima clean-up disaster has recently hosted some bad, weird events — from a ‘strange green glow‘ inside the reactor, to radioactive-fried, shape-shifting robots.
One of those robots detected way-high levels of radioactivity — way-too high for living things — and a Sci-Fi landscape.
Via CNN yesterday: ‘TEPCO said the yellow seen on the images seemed to suggest a discoloration of the grating, though the cause was unknown. It said the green glow could not be seen when filmed from other angles.’
Apparently, shit inside the plant is so bad, robots get fried quick.
This morning, details from Quartz:
The first of the unnamed snake-like 60 cm (24 in) robots — which use wheels to roll along in a “C” shape and convert to an “I” shape to shimmy through pipes — got stuck after moving about 10 meters (pdf) into the reactor’s ruins on April 10, and was abandoned.
The second robot, which took a different route yesterday, completed its mission, but was also abandoned after it suffered damage to its camera from the high radiation levels.
Even if the robots hadn’t been damaged, a Pixar-style “WALL-E” ending was never in the cards: As IEEE Spectrum notes, the robots became so radioactive that they would have been permanently stored in a shielded box if they had returned from their missions.
Before their demise, the robots — designed by the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy — measured radiation levels of 5.9 sieverts an hour.
By comparison, brief exposure to levels of 10 sieverts per hour would cause death within a few weeks for humans.
In the crazed-hyped nuttiness of our age, Fukushima is on a back burner, if still on the stove at all. Sort of like the BP Gulf oil spill five years later — bad shit to never recover, but who’s looking?
Maybe, familiar ticking of a Geiger counter….