Saturday, April 09, 2011

Major Problems Continue at Fukushima

While the U.S. media now seem to have lost interest in what's happening at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, major problems continue.

Al Jazeera has a long article: Fukushima: A 'nuclear sacrifice zone'

Some experts believe Japan's nuclear disaster could become worse than Chernobyl.

"The situation is very concerning," Dr MV Ramana, a physicist specialising in issues of nuclear safety with the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University told Al Jazeera, "They are finding it very difficult to stabilize the situation."

Operators of the plant are no closer to regaining control of damaged reactors, as fuel rods remain overheated and high levels of radiation are being released. . . .

Mary Olson [director of the Southeast Office of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)] . . . expressed concern over the fact that in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in the United States, "All the contaminated material generated from that was released to our environment in a planned and 'regulated' way. It was dumped in rivers or boiled off into the atmosphere."

"All of those [Fukushima] reactors have been in a catastrophic level of radioactive release that exceeds Chernobyl," she said,."Two of these have exploded, No. 2 is in meltdown, and we believe it has gone back into criticality and that there is a nuclear chain reaction coming and going."

She also pointed out that the fuel core in reactor No. 4 was offloaded for refueling at the time of the earthquake and tsunami, "So none of the fuel was in containment and was all in the pool and that's why it's gotten hotter faster and there has been very little attention to this. All of these are catastrophic in themselves. Having them in one place in one month is truly catastrophic." . . .

"Since unit two is showing signs of fission happening, the chances of something more catastrophic happening at that site are increasing," Olson added, "People are acting like the worst is over, and that is just not understanding the real issues here as far as the radiological impacts."

She also pointed out that the fuel pool in reactor No. 3 "is gone, according to recent photos. There is no fuel there. The reactor fuel pool in No. 3 is gone. Where did it go?"
Given the reluctance of TEPCO, the company in charge of the power plant, and the Japanese government to give out much information, and our own media's fickle coverage - from obsessive to invisible - how will we ever know what's really going on?

Just wait till Godzilla shows up in Manhattan. Then some questions will be asked.

This recent photo, taken outside of Piscataway, New Jersey, may offer evidence that the situation at Fukushima nuclear power plant is still not under control - and that its effects around the globe have not been fully determined.

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