Fukushima's Doomsday Machine About to Blow?
By Mike Whitney
Clearing House" ---
Mounting troubles at
Japan's hobbled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant now pose
a real threat to human survival. If the area in which Unit 4 is
struck by another 7.0 magnitude earthquake, there's a 70 percent
chance that "the entire fuel pool structure will collapse" and
massive doses of lethal nuclear radiation will be released into
the atmosphere. The disaster would release approximately "134
million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of
Cs-137 released at Chernobyl as estimated by the U.S. National
Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP)." Experts believe that
the amounts are sufficient to "destroy the world environment and
our civilization", which makes containment "an issue of human
survival." ("The Greatest Single Threat to Humanity: Fuel Pool
Number 4", Washington's blog) Link--http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/the-largest-short-term-threat-to-humanity-the-fuel-pools-of-fukushima.html
The structural integrity of Unit 4's cooling pool was greatly
compromised by the earthquake and following tsunami which struck
the facility over a year ago. At present, the pools are not
adequately protected or reinforced, which means that a sizable
tremor could "cause a disaster worse than the three reactor
meltdowns." If such a disaster were to occur, "people should get
out of Japan, and residents of the West Coast of America and
Canada should shut all of their windows and stay inside," says
nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen.
While the danger to life and the environment pose the greatest
single national security threat the United States has faced
since WW2, the Obama administration has provided little aid to
the emergency effort. Japan is largely "going it alone" trying
to cobble together a plan to safely store the spent fuel and
minimize the risks to public safety.
On March 8, 2012, Dr. Hiroaki Koide, Research Associate at the
Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University, gave his bleak
assessment of the situation on the Japanese a news program
called, “Morning Bird”. Koide explained how 1,500 rods are
presently located in a "fuel pool" that has been severely
damaged. The rods have to be cooled constantly or a "huge amount
of radiation contained in the spent fuel will be released
outside". If an earthquake hits and undermines the pool, the
coolant will exit the pool, the rods will melt and radioactive
plumes will rise into the atmosphere. Koide explained that the
rods could not be safely removed from the existing pool because
"if you hoist them up in the air, huge amount of radiation will
come out from the spent fuel and people nearby will die."
One of the journalists on "Morning Bird” asked Koide what would
happen if the Unit was struck by another earthquake?
Koide answered, "That will be the end."
"The end," the journalist asked, visibly shaken?
"The end," Koide repeated emphatically. ("Fukushima Dai-Ichi No.
4: An earthquake before spent fuel rods are moved to safe
storage would be “the end”, Lambert Strether, Naked Capitalism)
Now, check this out:
"Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei
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 it 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; dangerously, they are
open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe
like we have never before experienced. ... Such a catastrophe
would affect us all for centuries."
("Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at
Chernobyl Accident", akiomatsumura.com)
Murata's concerns have been brought to the attention of the UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to high-ranking officials in the
Obama administration and EU, and to leaders around the world.
The reaction has basically been the same everywhere, which is,
"It's Japan's problem. Let them deal with it."
There is no way to overstate the media's complicity in
concealing critical information about the tragedy that is
presently unfolding at Fukushima. If there is another
earthquake, the media will certainly be every bit as responsible
as the government officials who saw the danger, but chose to do