Wildfire near Fukushima power plant, officials asked government to bring in troops to fight fire

From ENE News 

Posts for May 1 and April 30

May 1, 2017

Fukushima a “ticking time bomb” — Fires now “raging” near nuclear plant — Blaze doubles in size; “Smoke rising from wide areas” — Concern over fallout of highly radioactive material; Officials closely watching radiation levels (VIDEO)

NHK World, May 1, 2017 (emphasis added): Wildfire continues in Fukushima — A wildfire has been raging for more than 2 days near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… The area is part of a zone designated as “no-entry” due to high radiation levels… Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures and the Self-Defense Forces are using helicopters to fight the blaze. They are also looking at the possibility of using ground crews. Footage from an NHK helicopter on Monday morning showed smoke rising from wide areas and fires burning in several locations

Mainichi, May 1, 2017: Wildfire rages in highly radioactive Fukushima mountain forest — A fire broke out in a mountain forest near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on the evening of April 29, consuming an area approximately 20 hectares in size, according to prefectural authorities… As the fire continued to spread, however, helicopters from the GSDF, Fukushima Prefecture and other parties on May 1 resumed fire extinguishing operations from around 5 a.m. … As of May 1, there were no major changes to radiation levels in the heart of Namie and other areas near the fire scene, according to the Ministry of the Environment. “We will continue to closely watch changes in radiation doses in the surrounding areas,” said a ministry official.

Common Dreams, May 1, 2017: Sparking Fears of Airborne Radiation, Wildfire Burns in Fukushima ‘No-Go Zone’; Contaminated forests such as those outside fallout sites like Fukushima and Chernobyl ‘are ticking time bombs’ — A wildfire broke out in the highly radioactive “no-go zone” near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant over the weekend, reviving concerns over potential airborne radiation… Local officials were forced to call in the Japanese military… In a blog post last year, Anton Beneslavsky, a member of Greenpeace Russia’s firefighting group who has been deployed to fight blazes in nuclear Chernobyl, outlined the specific dangers of wildfires in contaminated areas. “During a fire, radionuclides like caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium rise into the air and travel with the wind,” Beneslavsky wrote. “This is a health concern because when these unstable atoms are inhaled, people become internally exposed to radiation.” Contaminated forests such as those outside fallout sites like Fukushima and Chernobyl “are ticking time bombs,” scientist and former regional government official Ludmila Komogortseva told Beneslavsky. “Woods and peat accumulate radiation,” she explained “and every moment, every grass burning, every dropped cigarette or camp fire can spark a new disaster.”

Sputnik News, May 1, 2017: Japanese Authorities Fighting Wildfire in Evacuation Zone Near Fukushima NPP… There were no reports either about the wind direction or the changes in the background radiation level in relation to the fire.

See also: Fires burning near Fukushima plant — Officials ask Japan gov’t to send in troops to help fight blaze — Strong winds hindering firefighters (VIDEO)

Watch Mainichi’s video here

April 30, 2017

Fires burning near Fukushima plant — Officials ask Japan gov’t to send in troops to help fight blaze — Strong winds hindering firefighters (VIDEO)

RT, Apr 30, 2017: Fukushima authorities ask troops to help deal with forest fires near crippled nuclear power plant — Fukushima prefecture has asked the Japanese Self-Defense Forces for help in handling forest fires that have swept areas near the crippled Fukushima power plant, local media report. Strong winds are hindering the firefighting efforts, however. The forest fires broke out near the town of Namie, some seven kilometers from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, on Saturday evening, Japanese NHK broadcaster reported… The prefecture has deployed several helicopters to extinguish the fires, which are believed to have been caused by lightning. According to police, at least 10 hectares of forest have burned in the area… With strong winds stoking the flames, the Fukushima Prefecture has requested help from the Self-Defense Forces, Japan’s de-facto army, on Sunday.

NHK (translated by Google), Apr 30, 2017: Fukushima Namie-cho continued fire fighting activities in forests in difficult-to-return areas — When smoke is rising from Namie-cho, Fukushima Prefecture, which is a difficult-to-return area of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, in the evening of 29th, there was a report to the fire department, the whole day burned all day It continues… Fukushima Prefecture requested the Self Defense Forces for disaster relief… Around 4:30 PM on Friday, Fukushima Prefecture Namie-cho Iyedo had a message saying “smoke is coming up” and a helicopter such as Fukushima Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture came out early on Monday morning for fire fighting… Prefecture requested the SDF to dispatch disasters at noon on 30th, fire was extinguished with both helicopters, both of which were almost extinguished at 7:30 am on Friday, due to the strong wind again and burning again… the police are investigating the detailed situation looking at as a result of lightning strikes.

Iwate Daily (translated by Google), Apr 30, 2017: Forest fire in the difficult-to- return area, Fukushima prefecture dispatched to GSDF… Fukushima Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture began fire fighting from the sky from morning on the 30th, once suppressed around 7:40 am, but it started burning again with a strong wind.

Watch NHK’s broadcast in  Japanese here

http://enenews.com/fukushima-a-ticking-time-bomb-fires-now-raging-near-nuclear-plant-blaze-doubles-in-size-smoke-rising-from-wide-areas-concern-over-fallout-of-highly-radioactive-material-official

http://enenews.com/fires-burning-near-fukushima-plant-officials-ask-japan-govt-to-send-in-troops-to-help-fight-blaze-strong-winds-hindering-firefighters-video

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Massive fire from MLRS through the night in Donetsk

February 3, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Red Spring, translated by Tom Winter –

Last night the Kievskiy District of Donetsk Kiev suffered massive fire from the APU, the Red Spring correspondent reported from the scene February 3.

The APU used heavy artillery, MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) “Grad,” and “Uragan” in the shelling of the northern regions of Donetsk.
Two schools (№19 and №65), two kindergartens (№354 and №204), the Kievskiy District Administration building, as well as multi-storey houses on Artema, Mountain, Mironov and Kievskiy Prospect streets were damaged.

In total, according to the Operational Command of the People’s Militia of the DPR, in the past day the APU shelled DPR territory 3481 times. The enemy fired on settlements, launching 196 MLRS “Uragan” and “Grad” projectiles, 753 152-mm, and 122-mm shells, 1086 shots from mortars, 64 fired from tanks, 91 from BMPs , as well as the fire from grenade launchers and small arms.

In total 28 settlements were fired on, including the worst-affected region, Donetsk, Makiyivka, Yasinovataya, Zaytsevo village in the north of Horlivka and villages Lenin, Telmanovo, Saganka and Kominternovo, in the south of the Republic.

Recall that in the night of February 2-3, the Kievskiy District of Donetsk, was fired with the MLRS “Grad”. Also MLRS “Uragan” rockets exploded in the evening in the around gas stations in the vicinity of the “Motel” bus station in the Kalinin district of Donetsk. There are dead and wounded among the civilians.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/02/massive-fire-from-mlrs-through-night-in.html

More wildfires in Chernobyl exclusion zone

Posted on Optimal Prediction.com July 2, 2015

The latest wildfire to break out near Chernobyl has consumed 130 hectares. It started on June 29, and it is unclear whether it is still burning or not.

Experts have recorded 0.0025 becquerels of Cesium-137 per cubic meter of air. The inspection found that it is beyond the measures usually observed.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the fire in the Chernobyl exclusion zone continues, firefighters are unable to resolve the situation. (link)

Air near the desolated settlement of Polesskoye in the Chernobyl zone is contaminated with the radioactive element cesium-137. Its content in the air has reached a level called “sequence above the norm” (approximately ten times the norm), the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRI) reported on Wednesday.

Cesium-137 is one of the most dangerous nuclear elements, as it accumulates in the body and can lead to leukemia. (link)

The radiation risk involves the fire spreading to areas closer to the plant. But there is no danger of a new explosion.

Fire near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine poses a danger to the surrounding regions, expert of the Polish branch of Greenpeace Jan Haverkamp told TASS on Thursday.

“We are monitoring the situation. Fortunately, the fire has not yet reached the NPP reactor zone. It’s very dangerous that everything is happening in the nuclear power plant area. If the fire spreads there, a huge amount of radiation will get into the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a risk, but the risk primarily to Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, as they are located in close vicinity,” Haverkamp said.

According to him, there will be no explosion, similar to the 1986 accident, and Eastern European countries, including Poland, have now nothing to worry about.

“We welcome the efforts of Ukrainian authorities that are doing their utmost to prevent the fire from spreading,” the expert said. (link)

http://optimalprediction.com/wp/another-fire-in-chernobyl-exclusion-zone-increasing-i-131-and-emissions-at-fukushima/

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150702/1024111335.html

 

Smoke from Chernobyl fire could spread radiation far and wide – experts

From RT, April 29, 2015

 RT video screenshot
 RT video screenshot 

Smoke from burning forests in the Chernobyl exclusion zone is capable of spreading contaminants across great distances, even after the fire has been stopped, ecology experts told RT.

The forest fire near the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant started on Tuesday and triggered an emergency alert, with police and National Guard mobilized to bring the flames under control.

https://youtu.be/U-c25VBhkE4

By Wednesday, the country’s Emergency Ministry, as well as the prime minister, who went to the affected area, said the spread of the fire had been stopped and firefighters were containing the remaining flames.

The fire occurred within 30 kilometers of the Chernobyl power plant, inside the exclusion zone which was abandoned and cordoned off almost 30 years ago. In 1986, an explosion and fire in Chernobyl’s Reactor 4 caused a release of radioactive particles into the air, which contaminated the surrounding area and caused an increase in radiation levels in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and across Europe. It was the worst ever nuclear disaster in terms of casualties and clean-up costs. The crippled reactor itself was sealed under a sarcophagus of reinforced concrete.

Although the sarcophagus remains untouched by the fire, decades-old contaminants could still be released and travel far and wide, borne aloft by the smoke, nuclear safety expert John H. Large told RT:

“Brush fires and forest fires were the greatest concern in terms of the means by which you can disperse a secondary radiological impact from the original dissipation that occurred in 1986,” he said.

John went to Chernobyl in 2006 to assess the situation there and spoke to dozens of scientists working on containing the contamination.

“In the exclusion zone and further away you have an area that has been abandoned for farming, abandoned for man management,” John says. “That means you’ve got lots of brush and young wood growing out of control, and that means there’s a big fuel load to have a fire.”

He says the high temperatures and volumes of smoke produced in a forest fire can take contaminants hundreds of kilometers away from the exclusion zone: “Radiation really doesn’t respect any international boundaries.”

https://soundcloud.com/rttv/chernobyl-fire

Forest fires have happened in the area before, but have never been so serious, Timothy Mousseau, biology professor at the University of South Carolina, told RT:

“Previous forest fires had re-released about eight percent of the radiation from the original catastrophe. The fire that we’re seeing today seems to be on a much larger scale, and so we could see a re-dispersion of a very significant component of the original radiation.”

Another problem is that as the trees that have absorbed contaminants burn up and release smoke, this turns radioactive particles into a much more dangerous form than if they simply lie in the ground.

“Internal radiation from inhalation – in other words, if you inhale something radioactive and it gets inside you – is very much more dangerous than just the background radiation that comes off the ground,” says Christopher Busby, the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks.

http://rt.com/news/254193-chernobyl-fire-radiation-spread/

French nuclear safety research institution IRSN created this simulation video, modelling the spread of caesium-137 from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Christopher Busby commented on how far radioactive particles can potentially spread: “After Chernobyl itself, they ended up in the atmosphere and they went right across the Baltic States and into Finland, and over Sweden, and then to the United Kingdom, where they caused significant increases in cancer.”

http://rt.com/news/254193-chernobyl-fire-radiation-spread/

Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant; expert warns of re-release of radiation into atmosphere

From RT
April 28, 2015

Video 2:52: http://img.rt.com/files/news/3d/fc/90/00/kosarev2300.mp4?event=download

The Ukrainian National Guard has been put on high alert due to worsening forest fires around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

The forest fire situation around the Chernobyl power plant has worsened,” a statement on Avakov’s Facebook page says.

The forest fire is heading in the direction of Chernobyl’s installations. Treetop flames and strong gusts of wind have created a real danger of the fire spreading to an area within 20 kilometers of the power plant. There are about 400 hectares [988 acres] of forests in the endangered area.”

Police and National Guard units are on high alert. Ukraine’s Prime Minister personally went to the affected area to oversee the firefighting. He says the situation is under control, “but this is the biggest fire since 1992.”

However, in comments to Russia’s Moscow Speaks radio, a representative of Greenpeace Russia said that the situation is much worse: “A very large, catastrophic forest fire is taking place in a 30-km zone around the Chernobyl power plant. We estimate the real area of the fire to be 10,000 hectares; this is based on satellite images. This hasn’t been officially acknowledged yet.”

The potential danger in this fire comes from the radioactive contaminants the burning plants have absorbed, ecologist Christopher Busby told RT. “Some of the materials that were contaminating that area would have been incorporated into the woods. In other words, they land on the ground in 1986 and they get absorbed into the trees and all the biosphere. And when it burns, they just become re-suspended. It’s like Chernobyl all over again. All of that material that fell on the ground will now be burned up into the air and will become available for people to breathe.” Christopher Busby is the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks.

Ecologist Dmitry Shevchenko from the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus says it is difficult to predict where exactly the contaminants will go: “We don’t have a real-time monitoring system for the Chernobyl area. We can hypothesize whether the radionuclides will go here or there, but there is no-one who can reliably predict the situation.”

Ukrainian emergency services say 182 people and 34 vehicles have been dispatched to fight the fire. A Mi-8 helicopter and three An-32 water dropping airplanes are also working at the scene. The efforts are being coordinated from a mobile emergency headquarters.

According to the head of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone management department, radiation levels in the area remain normal. “The area on fire is relatively clean,” Vasily Zolotoverkh told the newspaper kp.ua. He said the fire started at lunchtime, when emergency workers had finished putting out an earlier blaze which started during the night. The emergency services have stated that it could have been caused by a lit cigarette.

Ukraine’s acting head of emergency services said earlier the forest fires were not a threat to the sarcophagus sealing off Chernobyl’s crippled Reactor 4.

Chernobyl and the surrounding area have been abandoned and remain off-limits following the April 1986 disaster, when an explosion and fire released massive amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Increased radiation levels were detected throughout Europe.

Chernobyl became the worst nuclear disaster in world history in terms of casualties and clean-up costs. Reactor 4, where the blast took place, was sealed off in a giant reinforced concrete sarcophagus to prevent further leaks.

http://rt.com/news/253897-chernobyl-fires-rage-ukraine/