– MIT Professor & US Experts: Japan “must act now to seal Fukushima reactors, before it’s too late” — Concern US to be affected by “explosions – a chain reaction, engulfing reactors one to four” — “Situation is dynamically degrading and unstable” — Aircraft can likely entomb plant in 6 months (ENENews, April 4, 2014):
South China Morning Post (Subscription Required), Apr. 4, 2014:
Ernst G. Frankel is emeritus professor of ocean engineering at MIT — Jerome A. Cohen is co-director of the US-Asia Law Institute at NYU Law School — Julian Gresser is chairman of Alliances for Discovery — Dick Wullaert also contributed to the article
- Headline: Abe must act now to seal Fukushima reactors, before it’s too late
- Dear Prime Minister Abe, the Fukushima crisis is getting worse.
- The key assumption […] is that you still have a safe window of time, at least two or three more years, and possibly longer, to deal with Fukushima’s four damaged nuclear reactors
- What if this assessment is unrealistically optimistic? What if the safe window of time is less than a year? What if the very concept of a safe window is inappropriate for Fukushima? The fact is, we really don’t know what might happen.
- According to [Tepco’s] published engineering reports, the most severely damaged reactors are only secure to the level of a magnitude 7.9 earthquake.
- The crucial question is: how secure is the facility against any number of dark scenarios?
- There is a high probability that, if a quake of magnitude 7.9 or above, or some other serious event, strikes Fukushima, a “criticality” will occur.
- The least dangerous would be the local release of strontium-90, caesium 134/137, or nano-plutonium.
- Far more dangerous would be an explosion, or a series of explosions – a chain reaction, engulfing reactors one to four – that would spew this contamination over much broader areas of helpless populations. The next criticality may be far more serious […]
- The jet stream will transport airborne contamination to the U.S. and other parts of world
- Fukushima may be far more dangerous [than Chernobyl] because the risks are continuing, and the situation is dynamically degrading and unstable.
- The formidable problems of access to reactors one to three make accurate assessment of the true extent of the damage, hence the level of risk and vulnerability, extremely challenging.
- We urge that you commission a 30-day independent assessment by a multidisciplinary international team of experts on the feasibility of entombment of reactors one to four, addressing the following specific scenario among others: Use helicopters mounted with telescopic nozzles, and, after reinforcing the spent fuel pool in the target reactor, spray it with special lighter-than-water concrete, dissolved in water solution; let the pool harden, along with the remainder of the facility, which is also sprayed until it becomes impervious to radiation or explosion.
- Reactors one to four can probably be entombed within six months. Entomb them.