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Intro: "Japan, with assistance from the U.S. government, needs to do more to move spent fuel rods out of harm's way at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden on Monday."

The Fourth Reactor at Fukushima on February 20, 2012. The yellow area is the containment vessel. (photo: The Asahi Shimbum Digital)
The Fourth Reactor at Fukushima on February 20, 2012. The yellow area is the containment vessel. (photo: The Asahi Shimbum Digital)



Senator Wyden: Fukushima Worse Than Reported

By Roberta Rampton, Reuters

17 April 12

 

apan, with assistance from the U.S. government, needs to do more to move spent fuel rods out of harm's way at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden on Monday.

Wyden, a senior Democratic senator on the Senate Energy committee, toured the ruined Fukushima plant on April 6, and said the damage was far worse than he expected.

"Seeing the extent of the disaster first-hand during my visit conveyed the magnitude of this tragedy and the continuing risks and challenges in a way that news accounts cannot," said Wyden in a letter to Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan's ambassador to the United States.

Last March, an earthquake followed by a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima plant, causing the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years and prompting global scrutiny of the safety of nuclear power plants.

Wyden said he was most worried about spent fuel rods stored in damaged pools adjacent to the ocean, and urged the Japanese government to accept international help to prevent further release of the radioactive material if another earthquake should happen.

In a statement on his website, Wyden said the only protection for the pools from another tsunami appeared to be "a small, makeshift sea wall erected out of bags of rock."

Wyden said the spent fuel should be moved to safer storage sooner than anticipated under a 10-year clean-up plan from TEPCO, the owner of the nuclear plant.

The lawmaker also wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and top U.S. nuclear regulator Gregory Jaczko to ask them to find ways to help Japan address the problem.

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+13 # tedrey 2012-04-17 09:26
Contain the whole half-square mile with metal, glass, or whatever, and fil it with water to cool it down! Drive metal sheets down the perimeter a thousand feet! Or SOMTHING like that! If this were a site for fracting or an Olympic stucture or oil extraction or anythging which would make somebody millions, it would be done already. But it's only our lives and civilization, so forget it!
I'm old, infirm, isolated. I have no contacts! Don't any of you? Please.
 
 
0 # AndreM5 2012-04-17 15:52
That is not a great idea but even if it were no one can get close enough to the pool to do this construction work. It will probably take a few years before #4 can completely demolished. In the mean time we hold our collective breath.
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2012-04-18 12:07
There is No real solution...they built these plants with No idea what to do with the Rods.... that was why they wanted to bury them in Yucca Mountain in Nevada...and after this, and the numerous nuclear failures in both Russia and the US Obama authorizes more of these plants...anyone want to comment as to why? We don't need them..GeoTherma l can do a better safer job!
 
 
+18 # Mamazon 2012-04-17 10:44
The problems at Fukushima overshadow every other inssue humankins is facing today... We are talking about total global annihilation... (http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/303-211/10896-fate-of-japan-and-the-whole-world-depends-on-no-4-reactor ). Amazing that the world leaders (and the people of the world) stick their heads in the sand when it comes to nuclear waste--there is no where to safely store it... We just have to stop making it. Everyone needs to call their political reps and demand that we get on the case and get the smartest minds in the world to figure out what to do with Fukushima, especially reactor 4 which if the structure collapses will unleash "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)." This is real folks -- where is the outrage? This is the end of life as we know it and the Reactor 4's structure will collapse -- it's just a matter of time; we don't have any time to waste. SPEAK OUT NOW!
 
 
+14 # mnmufon 2012-04-17 10:52
You need to understand what 'disaster capitalism' is all about. The capitalists WANT this to be a world-wide disaster. They drool over the profits they will reap from the harm they do. They will tell us they are the only ones that can save us from what they did to us and charge any price. Welcome to the new capitalism. (Or is it the new fascism?)
 
 
+12 # Broger 2012-04-17 11:23
"Seeing the extent of the disaster first-hand during my visit conveyed the magnitude of this tragedy and the continuing risks and challenges in a way that news accounts cannot," said Wyden...

The media are being forced to downplay it to keep the public from demanding the imminent phase-out/shut- down of the nuclear industry before the greedy 1% cause a major extinction and 10,000 years of global poisoning. It's a big PR job. Wyden knows that as well as anyone. He should be telling it like it is with full responsibility going to the energy corporations and their owners for the sickness and death that are on their way with so much ionizing radiation poisoning our
environment. The future is bleak if this is where we continue being led.

Say no to nukes before they start building more reactors. If they were to put the federal subsidy money they throw at nukes and oil into alternative energies like many other countries who are abandoning nuclear power. It's a matter of our survival in a world that will not be filled with invisible poisons that will sicken and kill us and our children. Anybody know where I can get a good geiger counter at a reasonable price?
 
 
+2 # dick 2012-04-17 11:51
Wyden sees public health disaster, proposes privatization of Medicare. Disaster capitalism. Wyden, too, is a DISASTER. Who OWNS this turncoat fake Democrat?
 
 
+16 # Vardoz 2012-04-17 12:15
This is the most dangerous technology there is to produce energy. On the front end, urnaium mining is very Co2 intensive and the companies leave millions of tons of radioactive waste all over our South West next to schools, shopping centers and rivers. This low level waste called taillings, if breathed in, or drinked, is like receiving a continual X-Ray. I know I produced and directed a documentary that aired nationally on PBS. But the reactors make a place unlivable for generations and keeps killings for many generations. Dr. Michio Kaku, who I interviewed for my documantary, made his own. With a Geiger Counter he tested the soil where they did the above ground testing in the 50's and it was still very radio active. Using radiation to boil water is so serious, so dangerous and those in charge are so irresponible. Perhaps one of the worst kinds of pollution. It keeps on killing and spreads around the world killing people and wildlife for generations everywhere.
 
 
+5 # michellewey 2012-04-17 21:23
The news I have seen tonight:
Long term nuclear threat from Fukushima and a reluctance of the proud Japanese govt to ask for help.
The military (not only US) is now in the arctic region to stake claims and to exploit the now available wealth of natural gas and oil since the melting of the icecaps.
From CBC, Ottowa govt will limit or end environmental impact studies to be able to faster approve profitable business in the region. The powers that be are insane with greed and power so that we will all too soon be facing the consequences of their heinous acts.
 
 
+5 # jack113 2012-04-18 12:48
The coverup in America with this tragedy is as bad as it is in Japan.

As soon as radiation levels in America spiked the BOA FDA and EPA all upped their safe radiation levels in food and water.

In reality their is no safe radiation levels and it is another coverup to keep corporate farm profits rising.

All the nuke plants in America and Japan have used up their safe operating time and are being licensed over and over to support GE and the corporate pigs they work for. All the nuke plants are over storage with spent fuel rods with no active plan for future storage available.

Nuclear power is not green energy it is a Pandora's box waiting to happen.
 
 
+1 # tedvbeach 2012-04-19 10:22
As my mom would say when I was young, "God helps those who help themselves." I/we need to prepare 4 the outcomes of all big govs criminal negligence. The GEORGIA GUIDESTONES give great insight into our planned future by the elite. Things are really coming to a global head quickly aren't they. FEMA 'residential centers' massisve animal deaths by stranding trying to get out of nuclear soup from Japan, AMERO, Executive Order allowing martial law and seizement of any/all assets, CDC's projected catastrophe itineray...must I go on. We have no power over what we can't control; we have the power to control ourselves. Get right and prepared however you have to...thou living in a nuclear waste land doesn't appeal to me. THANK YOU FOR THIS FORUM and I hope I do not offend anyone. I am an objective individual and these are the things I have observed in my research. Oh, I forgot HARP and the Chem trails, dud.
 

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