Beginning for Japan, and maybe, for the Planet: The Fukushima Century

April 8, 2011

ABC – Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports:

A nuclear expert has warned that it might be 100 years before melting fuel rods can be safely removed from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.

The warning came as levels of radioactive iodine flushed into the sea near the plant spiked to a new high and the Wall Street Journal said it had obtained disaster response blueprints which said the plant’s operators were woefully unprepared for the scale of the disaster.

Water is still being poured into the damaged reactors to cool melting fuel rods.

But one expert says the radiation leaks will be ongoing and it could take 50 to 100 years before the nuclear fuel rods have completely cooled and been removed.

“As the water leaks out, you keep on pouring water in, so this leak will go on for ever,” said Dr John Price, a former member of the Safety Policy Unit at the UK’s National Nuclear Corporation.

“There has to be some way of dealing with it. The water is connecting in tunnels and concrete-lined pits at the moment and the question is whether they can pump it back.

“The final thing is that the reactors will have to be closed and the fuel removed, and that is 50 to 100 years away.


The article quoted two experts who agreed that capping the site with concrete was not an option at this point.

Their is no “biggest problem” at Fukushima, since the plant’s operators have had to contend with a hydra headed multiple crisis since the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has now identified a host of festering issues at the facility, any one of which could have disastrous consequences.

The Daily Mail reports:

speaking tearfully through an interpreter by phone, the mother of a 32-year-old worker told Fox News: ‘My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary to save the nation.

‘He told me they have accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long-term.’

‘They have concluded between themselves that it is inevitable some of them may die within weeks or months. They know it is impossible for them not to have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation.’

The woman spoke to the network on the condition of anonymity because plant workers had been asked by management not to communicate with the media or share details with family members in order to minimise panic.

The last point again emphasizes what CNN reported last week, that Plant workers and  their families have been warned to keep silent on actual conditions at the plant. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream western media have been content to go silent, or take a happy talk approach to the ongoing disaster.

What we  have here is an uncontrolled, continuously spewing fountain of radioactivity dumping steady streams of toxins into the seas, which have traditionally been Japan’s chief source of protein.

The question arises, if there are already tens of thousands of tons of uncontrolled radioactive water at the plant, what will become of that, and untold millions of tons of water that will be contaminated throughout what now appears will be a process of years, if not decades..

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3 Responses to “Beginning for Japan, and maybe, for the Planet: The Fukushima Century”

  1. BlueRock Says:

    Peter, advice from a Brit: the Daily Mail has subterranean credibility. I’d personally not rely on it to tell me the correct date.


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