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    Connecting the Pieces

    Regarding Fukushima, What Did US Gov Know and When Did It Know It?

    Connecting The Pieces
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    Jay Johnson
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    A massive gas leak in Southern California is ongoing, and it is unknown when it will be able to be fixed. Pundits are comparing it to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and even Fukushima. A recently declassified US gov report revealed that Fukushima is way more dangerous than has been revealed. But do people care?

    The colorless miasma slowly crept over the land, engulfing everything in its path. Living creatures that could move, attempted to do so, or faced the ultimate ending in a most gruesome way. Unfortunately and eventually, the animals tired, and were forced to rest, closing their eyes for one final time. The end had come. Now, if you thought this was another story describing the BP spill in the Mexican Gulf or even Fukushima, you would be wrong. Our story involves a natural gas leak in California that is taking place right now, as we speak.

    Wired described the situation further when it wrote — “Methane, a greenhouse gas 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide, has been leaking out of a natural gas storage site in southern California for nearly two months, and a fix won’t arrive until spring”. That’s right. The authorities don’t have any idea when it will be fixed, or when this horror will come to an end. The article went on to say that — “According to the California Air Resources Board, the site is leaking up to 145,000 pounds per hour. In just the first month, that’s added up to 80,000 tons, or about a quarter of the state’s ordinary methane emissions over the same period.” In fact, the problem is so bad that — “The Federal Aviation Administration recently banned low-flying planes from flying over the site, since engines plus combustible gas equals kaboom”. Kaboom, as in, a massive explosion. That’s right. A low-flying airplane could set this thing off.

    The situation was further described — “Families living downwind of the site have also noticed the leak. Methane itself is odorless, but the mercaptan added to natural gas gives it a characteristic sulfurous smell. Over 700 households have at least temporarily relocated.” It continued by saying — “Given both the local and global effects of the gas leak, why is it taking so long to stop? The answer has to do with the site at Aliso Canyon, an abandoned oil field. Yes, that’s right; natural gas is stored underground in old oil fields. It’s a common practice in the US, but largely unique to America. The idea goes that geological sites that were good at keeping in oil for millions of years would also be good at keeping in gas.”

    Zerohedge noted that — “Across the US, over 300 depleted oil fields, of which a dozen are in California, are now natural gas storage sites.” Chris McGill, a vice president of the American Gas Association said — “We have the largest natural gas storage system in the world”. And the site at Aliso Canyon is one of the largest in America, with a capacity of 86 billion cubic feet. Aliso became a natural gas storage site in the 1970s. Each summer, SoCalGas pumps natural gas into the field, and each winter, it pumps it out. The sites are basically giant underground reserves for winter heating.”

    The authorities put out a statement that read — “SoCalGas began drilling a relief well on December 4. The relief well will intercept the steel pipe of the original well—all of seven inches in diameter—thousands of feet below ground. Then crews will pour in cement to seal the wells off permanently.” So, that is it. They apparently have a plan, although Zerohedge noted once again- “As if finding a skinny pipe hundreds of feet below ground weren’t hard enough, the presence of all that explosive natural gas adds an extra layer of complication. A tiny spark and everything can go boom. So at the leaking well site, work is restricted to daylight, as lighting equipment could produce stray sparks. (The relief well is far enough away that drilling there can proceed 24/7.) Back in 1975, a well at Aliso Canyon caught fire because of sparks from sand flying up the well…..And crews can’t set a deliberate fire, also known as flaring, which they often do at other remote areas with excess gas. The leak is so big and the flare would be so hot that it could make the mess even harder to contain.”

    A pundit commenting on the situation noted — “that means that natural gas leak is putting out 17.5 times the amount of greenhouse gas (effectively) as all the cars in California (combined) per unit of time!… that means (probably) that that single well is putting out as much greenhouse gas as probably half of the country…and it is ongoing. It is like Fukushima down there.” And speaking of Fukushima, which also isn’t in the mainstream news, InvestmentWatch noted that — “Following the March 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reactors have sprayed immeasurable amounts of radioactive material into the air, most of which settled into the Pacific Ocean. A study by the American Geophysical Union has found that radiation levels from Alaska to California have increased and continue to increase since they were last taken.”

    In fact, although the US government has played down any and all claims that Fukushima is something to worry about, a recently declassified report written by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission dated March 18, 2011 was released to the public. In that report, and remember this was ONE week after the tidal wave hit Fukushima, they wrote — “The source term provided to NARAC was: (1) 25% of the total fuel in unit 2 released to the atmosphere, (2) 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 was released to the atmosphere, and (3) 100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from unit 4.” Now, for most of us, those numbers don’t mean anything. However, Arnold "Arnie" Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive, and engineer with more than 44 years of nuclear industry experience, explained it in layman’s terms when he said bluntly — “The fuel pools at Units 3 and 4 contained enormous amounts of radiation.” He continued by saying — “There’s more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground…”. That’s right. More than 800 nuclear bombs and that was just one unit.

    So, what do you think dear listeners — “Regarding Fukushima, what did the US gov know, and when did it know it?

    Tags:
    greenhouse gas, SoCalGas, BP spill, nuclear bomb, accident, Fukushima
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