… certainly needs more attention.
Now from RT:
– Big quake near Fukushima would ‘decimate Japan, lead to US West Coast evacuation’ (RT, Nov 6, 2013):
The stricken nuclear plant at Fukushima in northern Japan is in such a delicate condition that a future earthquake could trigger a disaster that would decimate Japan and affect the entire West Coast of North America, a prominent scientist has warned.
Speaking at a symposium on water ecology at the University of Alberta in Canada, prominent Japanese-Canadian scientist David Suzuki said that the Japanese government had been “lying through its teeth” about the true extent of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
He attributed the cover-up to the Japanese government’s collusion with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that administers the plant.
“Fukushima is the most terrifying situation that I can imagine,” Suzuki said, adding that another earthquake could trigger a potentially catastrophic, nuclear disaster.
“The fourth [reactor] has been so badly damaged that the fear is if there’s another earthquake of a 7 or above then that building will go and all hell breaks loose,” he said, adding that the chances of an earthquake measuring 7 or above in Japan over the next three years were over 95 percent.
“If the fourth [reactor] goes under an earthquake and those rods are exposed, then it’s bye, bye, Japan and everybody on the west coast of North America should be evacuated. And if that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is,” Suzuki said.
Addressing the Japanese government’s attempts to bring the crisis under control, Suzuki said the scientists charged with the plant’s safety “don’t know what to do.”
“The thing we need is to let a group of international experts go in with complete freedom to do what they suggest,” Suzuki said, adding that the only thing impeding this was the “pride” of the Japanese government that was refusing to admit this was necessary.
Suzuki referred to the current scheme of freezing the soil around the reactor to prevent radioactive leaks as “cockamany.”
TEPCO has accepted the US government’s help in undertaking the risky cleanup operation of the Fukushima site. Teams of experts will begin the removal of fuel rods from the fourth reactor in mid-November in a decommissioning process that is likely to take decades. One wrong move in the delicate operation could result in horrific quantities of radiation being released into the atmosphere or trigger a massive explosion.
Dr Helen Caldicott described the risks of removing the rods to RT as “terribly serious” because of the danger of releasing a large amount of radiation.
“Two rods could touch each other in this process which has been done before and there could be a fission reaction and a very large release of radiation.”
Suzuki, a prominent environmental campaigner and scientist from the University of British Columbia, whose television science programs and books have gained a wide international audience, has been very vocal in his criticisms of Japan in its handling of the disaster.
Despite his prominence in Canada, Suzuki has been criticized in the past by the media for double standards and his credentials as a scientist have been queried. While his television programs encourage society to consume less fossil fuel and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, Suzuki reportedly lives in one of Vancouver’s most exclusive areas and has faced criticism over his globetrotting airplane travel.
However, with regard to the current situation at Fukushima, a number of scientists have echoed Suzuki’s concerns. Nuclear technology historian Robert Jacobs told RT that there could easily be more destruction at the plant’s fourth reactor.
“If this building were to collapse, which could happen, it would spill these spent nuclear fuel rods all over the ground which would make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics impossible and could threaten all kinds of health problems throughout northern Japan and Tokyo itself,” Jacobs said.
More on Fukushima reactor No. 4 SFP:
The leakage of water from these cores is bad enough but the most dangerous thing is the cooling pool of unit 4. Now it is terribly dangerous because the entire hot core of reactor 4 had been removed and put in this cooling pool shortly before the tsunami. So, there was a hot core in this cooling pool the entire superstructure building was blown off in a hydrogen explosion.
The entire area is weakened and there is a great risk of an aftershock. Now this pool contains something on the order of 400.000 kg of hot plutonium. So, the thing that people should be aware of is that TEPCO is going to begin attempting to remove these rods from this pool to some other type of storage. This has never been done with plutonium rods that have been out of a core for such a short period of time.
There is a great danger of a thermonuclear reaction if these rods become exposed to the air and the cooling pool itself is just barely containing the temperature levels of the core as it is.
The media coverage of the situation has been almost non-existent. The public must become engaged and the governments must become engaged because this is a global threat. They say that one microgram of plutonium could theoretically kill a person.
There are billion micrograms in a kilogram and there are 400.000 hot kilograms in this pool. So, if these rods combust, if the set of rods begins a thermonuclear reaction, it will vaporize the water in the pool and the entire pool can become an uncontrolled nuclear reaction open to the air. These particles will be spread through the northern hemisphere.
This is perhaps the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. And I think you would acknowledge there has been far too little attention given to this at this point and the measures that the Japanese government is discussing at this point are not sufficient, I believe. Other governments must become engaged in this.
If they are MOX fuel, containing 6% plutonium, one fuel rod has the potential to kill 2.89 billion people. If this pool collapses, as Senator Wyden is now saying too, we would face a mass extinction event from the release of radiation in those rods.
That is, if we aren’t in one already. Nuke experts like Arnie Gundersen and Helen Caldicott are prepared to evacuate their families to the southern hemisphere if that happens. It is that serious.
So now you know, if you didn’t before. We are in big trouble.
Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 – with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground – collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4.
In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel. Indeed, they are open to the air, which is quite dangerous.
This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced.
He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries.
Ambassador Murata informed us that the total number of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).
– Dr. Helen Caldicott (Co-Founder Of Physicians For Social Responsibility): What We Learned From Fukushima (Video – April 2, 2012):
Dr. Helen Caldicott: If Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 collapses I am evacuating my family from Boston.
– MUST-SEE: Fukushima Totally Out Of Control – Radioactive Fallout In the US – Reactor 4 SFP Is the Highest Risk Now: If The Cooling Water Is Lost It’ll Be Just A Few Hours At Most Before That Waste Is On Fire (RT – The Big Picture – Video)
‘Dr. Arnie Gundersen warns they need to go further than 450km.’
– Fukushima: ‘Reactor No. 4 Is Looking More And More Like The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Right Now’ – If It ‘Falls Over It’s Just Gonna Dump A Whole Reactor Core Right Out Onto The Ground’ (And Tokyo & Yokohama Will Be Lost!) (Video)
Arnie Gundersen: “… It could have cut Japan in half. But now the winds have turned, so they are heading to the south toward Tokyo and now my concern and my advice to friends that if there is a severe aftershock and the Unit 4 building collapses, leave. We are well beyond where any science has ever gone at that point and nuclear fuel lying on the ground and getting hot is not a condition that anyone has ever analyzed.”