Four years ago today nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi started melting down.

fukushimareactors1… same type of reactor that it is in Monticello, along the Mississippi River, upriver and just northwest of the Twin Cities.

Four years later…

Japan Radiation Map

Four years later…

Some residents to ‘come home to Fukushima disaster zone

The government says about 138,000 Fukushima residents are still living in temporary accommodation.

At a meeting Sunday, Miyakoji residents were told that radiation contamination levels had lowered sufficiently for their return to the area — though some voiced concern over existing radiation levels despite decontamination efforts around some communities.

Four years later…

Navy sailors have radiation sickness after Japan rescue

Four years later…

Navy Sailors Possibly Exposed to Fukushima Radiation Fight for Justice

In March of 2011, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan rushed to Japan to help after the disastrous tsunami. Since then, many sailors from that ship have fallen ill, possibly as a result of exposure to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. They will soon have their day in court.

The court decision came in the mail a few weeks later. The class-action lawsuit, the court ruled on Oct. 28, may proceed. Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on Feb. 26.

The complaint is 100 pages long and contains the names of 247 sick sailors along with details pertaining to reactor construction, water samples taken, Navy tactics and Japanese politics. It assails company greed just as it does the negligence of those who built the Fukushima reactors — and goes on to censure global politics and the cynicism of humankind. A kind of Old Testament fury infuses the text, and the complaint is so sweeping that it almost loses track of its true target. The USS Ronald Reagan appears therein as humanity’s last ship. An aircraft carrier. A ship of ghosts.


I live in Red Wing, home to two nuclear reactors.  This week I hope you all will take some time to reflect on the mess at Fukushima Daiichi and the role of nuclear generators in our energy scheme.   It was a year ago today when Fukushima Daiichi reactors melted down.

When Fukushima Daiichi first blew up, I spent some time tracking down every shred of info, which wasn’t much.  That there was so little information available was startling, and that was emphasized by my blog stats which showed 4,00o+ hits in just one day, people trying desperately to find out what was going on.

For an overview of how difficult it was to get information, and the struggles of even NRC personnel, from Marketplace earlier this week:

Lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

Interview: Witness Fukushima Daiichi

From the New York Times:

Nuclear Disaster in Japan Was Avoidable, Critics Contend

The Wiki is packed with info:

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

Here’s what I’d posted then:


The nuclear mess in Japan is just slowly getting worse, with radiation leaking out at higher levels, more radioactive water from the plant leaking out, nowhere to store what they are able to pump out, and efforts to pump water in aren’t sufficient to provide cooling.  The good news is that they are finally openly admitting that the plants will have to be “scrapped.”

Here are some updates from around the world:

Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor

Japan nuclear crisis: evacuees turned away from shelters

Link to photos from plant

Japan to scrap stricken nuclear reactors


Here’s a view of our own Monticello reactor, the same GE as some of the Fukushima plants:


For some technical info and photos of this type of GE reactor, check this “Virtual Nuclear Tourist” site, put together by Joseph Gunyeau (here’s some background on him) who I think is based in nearby Cannon Falls, he has been a contractor at many nuclear plants — and he says that a Fukushima page is in the works:

Monticello Page from Virtual Nuclear Tourist

Fukushima Reactor 3 blows…

March 13th, 2011


New Explosion at Japan nuclear facility – CBS News



Oh great… I dug through my pile o’ mail and found our voucher to get potassium iodide — we can get it at the Target here in Red Wing or in Cottage Grove.  Now I feel safe… right… life in a nuclear town.

Three injured, seven missing after explosion at nuclear plant

Hydrogen explosion rocks Japan nuclear facility…

Are people getting how serious this is?  Two reactors melting down?

Below, yesterday’s blast — today’s was much the same:


One suggestion of the fallout path from Beyond Nuclear and Australian Radiation Service:

Meltdown caused nuclear plant explosion: Saftey Body


BOOM!  Here we go… explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. I write this as I’m sitting here in Red Wing, near two nuclear reactors (which are built not far from a fault in downtown Red Wing), and in Delaware with the THREE Salem and Hope Creek reactors just across the Delaware River, this is NOT what I want to see.  Our reliance on nuclear power, Minnesota’s recent repeal of our nuclear moratorium, HOW STUPID CAN WE BE?  That this would happen in Japan makes it even worse.

At issue are the following nuclear plants (from NIRS fact sheet, linked below):


Regarding the map above, Michael Mariotte of NIRS claims the numbers are way off, that as it is “there would be no increased radiation in the United States, however, these wind patterns and increased levels would come into play in the event that the core melts down.” (emphasis added) …but folks, that’s what the map says, M-E-L-T-D-O-W-N! Here’s NIRS’ info about this:

NIRS Factsheet

Last night in the STrib there was a quote from some nuclear muck-a-muck noting the high radiation levels in the plant and saying, “I sure wouldn’t want to be in there now.”  Every nuclear worker, every CEO, officers, board of every company making money on that plant better be there dealing with it first hand, it’s their moral obligation.

Huge blast at Japan nuclear power plant – BBC

Behind the Hydrogen Explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant

Radiation leaks from Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant

Seawater used to cool reactor

Below, a transformer fire at the plant, prior to the explosion: