THE CRITICAL FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR REACTOR #4
A CATASTROPHY COULD AWAIT
-
JAPAN AND THE REST OF THE WORLD AT STAKE
Posted April 16, 2012
By Colin Andrews
=============
In Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the
nuclear industry, and its friends in the supervisory
ministries and government have only shown themselves
interested in returning to the pre-disaster status quo. As
in the United States, a great deal of money lies with
companies whose self interest brushes aside the
dangers of nuclear power, let alone the reality of an
on-going disaster at Fukushima with which nobody yet
has the technology to ameliorate, let alone repair.
=============
         Kagedo/Update on Fukushima

This is very serious. My Friends have worked between Japan and Seattle for nearly 40 years and
know folks, who know what’s recently been happening at the nuclear disaster site—now that it is no
longer being covered by media. They are not prone to exaggeration. We are pretty much in the dark
about it, but need to wake up to what is really happening.  We expend a great deal of energy and
capital trying to protect the environment around us and are nearly oblivious to a very large looming
cloud. I urge you to pay some attention to this and share this with others.


Dear Friends and Clients,

Bill and I have just returned from Japan and wanted to get you this new report on the Japanese
nuclear disaster. As well, we want to ask you all to consider taking a few minutes to sign the White
House Petition (information on that is below), requesting the foundation of an international advisory
team to propose practical methods for dismantling the unstable fuel pools at the plant.

Unfortunately, the situation at Fukushima Daiichi is anything but stable. The Japanese Government
and TEPCO both certainly would like everyone to believe that all is well and that we can all ignore the
Fukushima nuclear problems while living life as it was. Recently, some scattered reports in the United
States news media contradict this policy line. However, they remain so few and random that hardly
any people seem aware of the actual situation.

As some of you may know, we were all told in December by the Japanese government and TEPCO
that the reactors were in a state of “cold shutdown” (i.e. below the threshold of 100 degrees Celsius).
I’m afraid that this pronouncement gave many the impression that the situation was somehow
stabilized and under control. There remains great skepticism in the International community about
those claims, and it was recently confirmed that there is less than two feet of water in the Unit 2
reactor (compared with TEPCO’s assertion of 33 feet). This matter of water level is tremendously
significant, as the greater depth of water is desperately needed to cool the melted cores. Units 1 and
3 are so highly radioactive that it is impossible to get electronic equipment (or robots) into them, as
the staggering radiation levels disable electronic equipment. It will take new technology, skills and
machinery not yet on the drawing boards to deal with the situation.

Unfortunately, information even more distressing has come to light. Bill and I have been reading for
some time now that nuclear experts were worrying a lot about the Unit 4 building, not because of the
reactor but because of its spent fuel pool. Its design (an American one used in our country as well)
put the fuel pool on the upper levels of the reactor building. During the aftermath of the earthquake
and tsunami in March 2011, the Number Four Unit experienced very heavy damage as a result of the
quake and explosions. It now leans precipitously and no longer has intact walls. To deal with the
structure’s near failure, TEPCO has tried to reinforce the building with exterior beams and attempted
to shore up the floor of the fuel pool. What worries many, however, is the level of structural damage
to Unit Four. Even a far smaller quake could crack the floor beneath the fuel pool, draining the
cooling water from it and igniting an even larger fuel pool some 50 meters away.
Should that
happen, Japan and the world would face an unprecedented nuclear holocaust.

In response to an inquiry from Japanese diplomat Akio Murata, Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior
Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the
Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy said:

I
n recent times, more information about the spent fuel situation at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi
site has become known. It is my understanding that of the 1,532 spent fuel assemblies in
reactor No. 3 & 4 assemblies are fresh and unirradiated. This then leaves 1,231 irradiated
spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel)
of long-lived radioactivity. The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally
damaged and is exposed to the open elements.
If an earthquake or other event were to
cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly
10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.

Even worse, Mr. Alvarez goes on to say:

Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies
are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which are in pools. They contain roughly 336
million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-
137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident, as
estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP).
The total spent
reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount
of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear
weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.
9 E+18 Becquerel).
It is important for the public to understand that reactors that have been operating for
decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site, have generated some of the largest
concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.

Basically, if anything drains the water from the spent fuel pool at the Daiichi Plant’s Unit Number Four,
then the fuel rods will catch on fire within a short period of time and cause a huge explosion likely
affecting other spent fuel stored at the plant. Such an explosion would release unimaginable amounts
of radioactivity into the environment.

Asahi TV (Link Below) reports that Professor Koide, a respected nuclear researcher at the
prestigious Kyoto University, judges that if this were to happen Tokyo would become “uninhabitable.”
The Northern Pacific Ocean, the United States, Canada and especially the Northwest Coast of North
America would suffer massive amounts of radioactive pollution. This is not just Japan’s problem.

In Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the nuclear industry, and its friends in the
supervisory ministries and government have only shown themselves interested in returning to the pre-
disaster status quo. As in the United States, a great deal of money lies with companies whose self
interest brushes aside the dangers of nuclear power, let alone the reality of an on-going disaster at
Fukushima with which nobody yet has the technology to ameliorate, let alone repair.

Akio Matsumura continues to Robert Alvarez on this issue:
I have to admit that my country’s strong national pride makes it unrealistic to see an
independent assessment team form soon enough, and so I now turn to rely on U.S.
leadership to act out of the need for common, global security before a strong earthquake
comes in the near future. If the reactor Unit 4 building collapses, we will face a global
environmental and human catastrophe larger than ever before.
Mitsuhei Murata, the former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, also wrote recently to Ban Ki-
Moon, the UN Secretary General, and appealed to him to set up an international panel to deal with
this emergency. That letter states:

I was asked to make a statement at the public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the
House of Councilors on March 23. I raised the crucial problem of N0.4 reactor of
Fukushima containing 1535 fuel rods. It could be fatally damaged by continuing
aftershocks. Moreover, 50 meters away from it exists a common cooling pool for 6 reactors
containing 6375 fuel rods!

It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on NO.4
reactor. This is confirmed by most reliable experts like Dr. Arnie Gundersen or Dr. Fumiaki
Koide.

Like many others, we believe it is time for the International Community to form a task force to tackle
the problem at hand and attempt to prevent a major catastrophe. What can we do as individuals?
Sign the petition urging the United States government to address this danger and also inform your
friends. The petition hopes for 25,000 signatures but the threat deserves much larger witness.
Concerned citizens using social networking sites could immediately call a broader audience’s
attention to this pressing and important issue.

White House Petition Link:
>">https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-
advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.
gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl <https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%
21/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-
stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.gov&amp;utm_medium=shorturl&amp;utm_campaign=shorturl>  
<https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-
advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.
gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl <https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%
21/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-
stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.gov&amp;utm_medium=shorturl&amp;utm_campaign=shorturl> >


Thank you once again for your time and concern.
Best,
Jeff Cline & Bill Knospe
Kagedo Japanese Art

Links:

Link to statement by renowned diplomat including text of Mitsuehi Murata’s letter to the UN Secretary
General and other information:
http://akiomatsumura.com/2012/04/682.html


Asahi TV Program Link  (A lot of useful information explaining the problem with the fuel pools and the
difficultly of removing the fuel)
(Please click on the “CC” button to bring up English Subtitles):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJi-o4F8eOo

White House Petition Link:
">https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-
advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.
gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl <https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%
21/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-
stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.gov&amp;utm_medium=shorturl&amp;utm_campaign=shorturl>  
<https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-
advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.
gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl <https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%
21/petition/commission-fukushima-international-scientific-advisory-team-save-spent-fuel-pool-4-and-
stop/Y9mVpJWH?utm_source=wh.gov&amp;utm_medium=shorturl&amp;utm_campaign=shorturl> >
Link to the original
disaster on this website
HERE
Nuclear Concerns -
Cutting through the lies
HERE
New Study shows Fukushima Radiation
Spread to US Coast - April 12th 2012
HERE
"Basically, if anything drains the water
from the spent fuel pool at the Daiichi
Plant’s Unit Number Four, then the
fuel rods will catch on fire within a
short period of time and cause a
huge explosion likely affecting other
spent fuel stored at the plant. Such an
explosion would release
unimaginable amounts of
radioactivity into the environment".
Asahi TV (Link Below) reports that
Professor Koide, a respected nuclear
researcher at the prestigious Kyoto
University, judges that if this were to
happen Tokyo would become
“uninhabitable.” The Northern Pacific
Ocean, the United States, Canada
and especially the Northwest Coast
of North America would suffer
massive amounts of radioactive
pollution. This is not just Japan’s
problem.
LOCAL RADIATION MAP
Thanks to Busty Taylor (UK)