Monday, May 7, 2012

Fukushima Reactor 4 Release Would Doom Western USA

Stephen Alexander

If Reactor 4 at Fukushima becomes unstable and releases 10 times the amount of Cesium-137 (CS-137) released at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, then the prevailing winds could carry it all the way to the Western USA – that means California.

On April 30, 2012, 72 NGO organizations sent a request to the United Nations and the Japanese government urging fast-action to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel. Experts in the nuclear field from both Japan and the world endorsed the letter.

The letter contained warnings that the damaged Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool contains Cesium-137. If that pool were exposed to an earthquake or other event that drained that pool, then the result could be a catastrophic radiological fire. The letter urged the United Nations to create a Nuclear Safety Summit to find a solution to the problem of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool. The proposal stated that the United Nations should create an independent assessment team on Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 and organize international assistance to stabilize the unit's spent nuclear fuel and prevent the impending catastrophe. The letters were delivered to both the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The second letter asked that Japan officially ask for the United Nations' help.

Numbering in excess of 10,000, the spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima Daiichi plant lie in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes. The radioactivity is around 85-times more long-lived than the radioactivity released at Chernobyl.

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