Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Japanese Government Finally Divulges What It Has Been Hiding: SPEEDI Radiation Simulations from March 12

(UPDATE) The earliest simulation was done at 4:00PM on March 11, assuming the leak of radioactive materials started at 4:00PM. (To see the simulation, go to the bottom of the post.)


Now, after more than 50 days and after so much contamination of soil, water, air and ocean with radioactive iodine, cesium, strontium, plutonium, americium, curium, among other yet to be disclosed nuclides that have exposed the residents in Japan to heightened internal and external radiations, the Japanese government simply dumps the SPEEDI simulation data on the Ministry of Education's website.

What is, really, the point of telling us now? To say... what? They're sorry that they didn't tell you about the simulation when the radioactive materials were coming at 10,000 terabecquerels/hour and they knew it but were afraid people would freak out? I suppose the people in the administration and in the government would rather have a significant increase in cancer and other illnesses several decades down the line, because by that time they may be no longer in the government or no longer in this world.

The SPEEDI simulation data is here (in Japanese only):


The earliest simulation that has been disclosed at the site is the simulation done on March 12 for the period from 3:00AM March 12 to 3:00AM March 13. The simulation assumed the accident of the Reactor 1. At 2:48AM on March 12, the pressure inside the Pressure Vessel of the Reactor 1 rose significantly, so whoever was in charge of SPEEDI did conduct a simulation assuming the Reactor 1 would blow. Looking at the simulation, it is clear that they assumed the wind direction to be offshore (west by northwest), and most of the radioactive materials would blow over the Pacific Ocean.

However, by the next simulation for 10:00AM to 8:00PM on March 12, the prevailing wind direction forecast shifted over time from northwest to east by southeast to south, resulting in the simulation that forecasts wide dispersion of radioactive iodine inland. The simulation chart below is the internal radiation exposure at the thyroid gland of a 1-year old by inhaling radioactive iodine:

After the Reactor 1 blew up, they even created the simulation for wider area, which shows they predicted the rapid expansion of the radioactive materials well north of Minami-Soma City and reaching Soma City (0ver 40 kilometers away from Fukushima I Nuke Plant), on a prevailing strong wind from the south. This is the simulation chart for the air radiation level, from 6:00PM to 8:00PM on March 12:

Prompt disclosure of such simulations could have made a huge difference. If the initial simulation when the pressure got high in the Reactor 1 of Fukushima I Nuke Plant had been disclosed, then the people in the immediate vicinity of the plant could have evacuated in a more orderly way instead of in a panic after the Reactor 1 blew up.

Professor Toshiso Kosako, who quit the job as the PM's special advisor in protest of the government response to the Fukushima I accident, said in his resignation statement that there was another program called WSPEEDI, which can cover much wider area ("several thousand kilometers", according to Professor Kosako). WSPEEDI can probably cover the entire Japan (except for outlying islands).

The Japanese government is still sitting on WSPEEDI simulations, if any exists as Professor Kosako says.


THE EARLIEST SIMULATION DONE WAS AT 4:00PM ON MARCH 11, and that simulation is posted at the Nuclear Safety Agency's site, not at Ministry of Education site. It assumes a minor accident (because they only forecast noble gas to spread) at the Reactor 1. The simulation chart is the air radiation level from 4:00 PM to 5:00PM on March 11:


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Has anyone else heard about this? I wonder if it is true? It seems radiation levels in Amarillo Tx. are on the rise. It doesn't seem like there are any nuclear plants close by. I guess it could be a small little known research center or the story is just bogus. But then again it could be the PANTEX nuclear weapons facility it is only 17 miles away. An accident/incident at a nuclear weapons facility would tend to stay out of the MSM.




I don't think this "incident" is related but it makes you wonder.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

The release of these maps is probably why Professor Kosako got the old "granny heart" warning to remember his nondisclosure agreement. This information could bolster the Professor's public position if he was allowed to have one.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Maybe Greenpeace will shame some more numbers out of the officials.

"Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Despite being denied permission to conduct radiation sampling within Japan’s 12 mile territorial waters, the Greenpeace flag ship, the Rainbow Warrior, today began testing for radioactive contamination to the south of the crisis-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, the group said in a statement".


arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@robbie, do you know what's the annual radiation limit for civilians and for radiation workers in the US? I'm getting too sleepy to find out myself...

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez: Your wish is my command ...POOF!

NRC excerpt:

"The NRC requires that its licensees limit maximum radiation exposure to individual members of the public to 100 mrem (1mSv) per year, and limit occupational radiation exposure to adults working with radioactive material to 5,000 mrem (50 mSv) per year. NRC regulations and radiation exposure limits are contained in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20".


Radiation allowance breakdown chart for nuclear workers:


That isn't to say this won't change at the drop of a hat. The EPA is looking to use PAG's to increase what is considered "safe" exposure levels. I would imagine if they are successful the NRC will follow suit. (I feel "safer" already)



Anonymous said...

AREVAMIRPAL...just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work. I read you everyday and spread your links around, mostly on the Japan HP threads. Good job!!

Anonymous said...

Areva, do you know of the WSPEEDI results? I saw on a glimpse in one of Japanese TV channel, and it showed the plume, at highest red concentration, covering Tokyo and surrounding. Looks like WSPEEDI has not been released yet :( If you know where to find this info, that would be appreciate it. Japanese weather agency somehow has this map here: http://atmc.jp/jma/ but I can't tell what the numbers mean, esp. no color to indicate level of danger and how to read their units?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 2:27PM, Japan Meteorological Agency's chart is a joke. It is for the submission to an international agency (probably IAEA) according to the international agency's format and NOT for general public consumption, as the Agency says.

I'm trying to find more on WSPEEDI. I heard other researchers in Japan who mentioned this, and one of them said the government decided to suppress the data because the initial data was very, very bad. As you say, if you saw the highest red concentration covering Tokyo...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone there the link for the simulation (video) of it? All the links just send me to pages with pdf's...thanks!

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