Ever wonder what happened to Fukushima Storage Unit #4? You remember, the one filled with 1,500 wet stored and combustible fuel rods that threaten a total of ~134 million curies of radioactive cesium137 and, at least as of last April, seemed to be in maybe not such great shape? (PREVIOUSLY) This August, TEPCO released a comprehensive and easily understandable report on the condition of the structure as well as measures being done to both reinforce it against likely earthquakes and ultimately remove the fuel rods, which are still hot enough to require wet storage elsewhere (PDF). On the other hand, Kohei Murata, the former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland who had the attention of the world during the crisis, remains both unimpressed and eschatological.
In 1971, a clinic in Brazil bought a radiation therapy machine. Fourteen years later, the practice closed and was abandoned. On September 13th, 1987, two men sold the inner canister of the machine for scrap. Upon breaking it open, a scrapyard employee found sparkling, glowing blue powder. It was distributed to family and friends, who used for decorative and magical purposes. Sixteen days later, 112,000 people were in Olympic stadium, being tested for radiation poisoning. [more inside]
At 7 PM EST today, 80 cesium-based atomic clocks around the world will stop for precisely one second, to take into account the gradual slowing of the Earth's axial rotation.