12 April 2012

Fukushima - it's not over yet

20 Nisan 5772
Day Five of the Omer

Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident
Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. 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; dangerously, they are open to the air. 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 numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421....

It’s Not Over: Government Plans for the Worst: Forced Evacuation of Tokyo
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other agencies have warned that the nuclear storage pools (the containment units that are being used to cool the nuclear fuel) have been damaged and may collapse under their own weight.

Such an event would cause widespread nuclear fallout throughout the region and force the government to evacuate the nearly 10 million* residents of Tokyo and surrounding areas, a scenario which government emergency planners are now taking into serious consideration.

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* While the report cites a population figure of "10 million," the city itself reports its population as nearly 13 million, as of October 2009. Additionally, the greater Tokyo metropolitan area increases that figure to a staggering 35 million people!