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Excerpt: "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 groun - 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."

The Fourth reactor at Fukushima. The yellow area is the containment vessel, 02/20/12. (photo: The Asahi Shimbum Digital)
The Fourth reactor at Fukushima. The yellow area is the containment vessel, 02/20/12. (photo: The Asahi Shimbum Digital)

Fate of Japan and the Whole World Depends on No. 4 Reactor

By Akio Matsumura, Finding the Missing Link

11 April 12


Fukushima Daiichi site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl accident.

apan’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  (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).

I asked top spent-fuel pools expert 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, for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 rods.

I received an astounding response from Mr. Alvarez [updated 4/5/12]:

In 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. 304 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.

The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters. Despite the enormous destruction cased at the Da-Ichi site, dry casks holding a smaller amount of spent fuel appear to be unscathed.

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 is 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.

Many of our readers might find it difficult to appreciate the actual meaning of the figure, yet we can grasp what 85 times more Cesium-137 than the Chernobyl would mean. It would destroy the world environment and our civilization. This is not rocket science, nor does it connect to the pugilistic debate over nuclear power plants. This is an issue of human survival.

There was a Nuclear Security Summit Conference in Seoul on March 26 and 27, and Ambassador Murata and I made a concerted effort to find someone to inform the participants from 54 nations of the potential global catastrophe of reactor unit 4. We asked several participants to share the idea of an Independent Assessment team comprised of a broad group of international experts to deal with this urgent issue.

I would like to introduce Ambassador Murata’s letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convey this urgent message and also his letter to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for Japanese readers. He emphasized in the statement that we should bring human wisdom to tackle this unprecedented challenge.

It seems to us that the Nuclear Security Summit was focused on the North Korea nuclear issue and on the issue of common security from a terrorist attack. Our appeal on the need for the independent assessment at Reactor 4 was regarded as less urgent. We predicted this outcome in light of the nature of the Summit. I suppose most participants fully understood the potential disaster which will affect their countries. Nevertheless, they decided not to raise the delicate issue, perhaps in order to not ruffle their diplomatic relationship with Japan.

I was moved by Ambassador Murata’s courage in pressing this issue in Japan. I know how difficult it is for a former career diplomat to do this, especially in my country. Current and former government officials might be similarly restricted in the scope of their actions, as Ambassador Murata is, but it is their responsibility to take a stand for the benefit of our descendants for centuries to come - to pass on a world safer than our ancestors passed us.

If Japanese government leaders do not recognize the risk their nation faces, how could the rest of us be persuaded of the looming disaster? And if the rest of us do not acknowledge the catastrophe we collectively face, who will be the one to act?



March 25, 2012

Dear Secretary-General,

Honorable Ban Ki-moon,

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for your considerate letter dated 2 March, 2012. Your moral support for a United Nations Ethics Summit will remain a constant source of encouragement for my activities.

Please allow me to pay a tribute to your great contribution to strengthen nuclear safety and security. The current Nuclear Summit in Seoul is no doubt greatly benefiting from the high-level meeting you convened last September.

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 containing1535 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.

Please allow me to inform you of an initiative being taken by a former UN official who is endeavoring to have the Nuclear Security Summit take up the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima. He is pursuing the establishment of an independent assessment team. I think his efforts are very significant, because it is indispensable to draw the attention of world leaders to this vital issue.

I am cooperating with him, writing to some of my Korean acquaintances that this issue deserves the personal attention of President Lee Myung-bak. I have written today to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. I asked him to consider taking the initiative of mobilizing human wisdom on the widest scope to cope with the Fukushima reactor No.4 problem, fully taking into account the above-mentioned "independent assessment team."

The world has been made so fragile and vulnerable. The role of the United Nations is increasingly vital. I wish you the best of luck in your noble mission. Please accept, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Mitsuhei Murata

Executive Director, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+88 # universlman 2012-04-11 09:47
This is just one more very disturbing glimpse into the heart of this disaster. The Japanese government and TEPCO (the owners) have successfully hidden the worst of the facts from the public. The press is mostly silent. These stories even in RSN seem to arouse little interest and few comments.

The resolution of this engineering failure is critical to future energy policy and planning. Come to think of it, the issue of energy policy is almost exclusively in the hands of power companies. Just look at the carpet bombing of TV commercials lately for the coal, oil and natural gas company lobbies.

Except for the few articles like this one, all we get about energy is propaganda.
-10 # John Locke 2012-04-11 16:05
We get more then that, Obama is fully aware of the extent of the problem and to further protect us, he authorizes more Nuclear plants to be constructed in America...Hummm excuse me is he human or a robotic android?
+25 # universlman 2012-04-11 17:03
this story has nothing to do with Obama
+12 # paulrevere 2012-04-11 17:47
BS...he is the leader of the preeminent power on the planet...he AGAIN refuses to make waves, take a stand, use the bully pulpit and kick ass on this malfeasant corporation and fear locked countries political establishment!!
0 # grindermonkey 2012-04-28 11:56
What do you expect him to do, ride a horse through the countryside screaming "The malfeasants are coming!"
+32 # CaptD 2012-04-11 18:19
Except that his biggest supporter was the nuclear Industry, Dr. Chu is pushing Nuclear and the President pushed for BIG Nuclear loan guarantees!

That was not the change I voted for, did you?
+2 # universlman 2012-04-18 16:09
Quoting CaptD:
Except that his biggest supporter was the nuclear Industry

2008 top campaign contributors to Obama
University of California $1,648,685
Goldman Sachs $1,013,091
Harvard University $878,164
Microsoft Corp $852,167
Google Inc $814,540
JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799
Citigroup Inc $736,771
Time Warner $624,618
Sidley Austin LLP $600,298
Stanford University $595,716
National Amusements Inc $563,798
WilmerHale LLP $550,668
Columbia University $547,852
Skadden, Arps et al $543,539
UBS AG $532,674
IBM Corp $532,372
General Electric $529,855
US Government $513,308
Morgan Stanley $512,232
Latham & Watkins $503,295
-3 # grindermonkey 2012-04-28 11:53
You have just listed the foremost financial and industrial components of the "Nuclear Industry" They are, like the contamination they produce, everywhere.
+9 # John Locke 2012-04-11 20:18
universlman: excuse me but as I interpreted the article it was about nuclear energy, and My response about Saint Obama was very appropriate...i n the face of one disaster after another this fool authorizes more of these plants in America...
+16 # terrison 2012-04-11 22:19
Could we focus, for a minute, on the topic at hand?
+8 # GabbyHayes 2012-04-13 07:19
Quoting terrison:
Could we focus, for a minute, on the topic at hand?

the topic at hand does not coincide with these right wingers' attempt to bend every news story into some kind of slam at our president. Please, fellows, go solve Japan's problem. We'll solve our problems. We don't need you here.
-6 # John Locke 2012-04-13 09:34
GabbyHayes: I see, so if someone doesn't agree with your position you want to band them from the discussions... Who do you need here? maybe we should all know!
+18 # genierae 2012-04-14 10:55
This squabble among commenters shows exactly the problem that we are faced with. Instead of joining together in cooperation to save the planet, we dissolve into recriminations and name-calling every time. I am beginning to think that without outside intervention we will not survive. Mankind on Planet Earth is a violent, warlike species and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.
-9 # John Locke 2012-04-14 19:33
genierae: Your correct, Human Kind is a war like species, in fact all animals are the same way defending their terratory from others of a like kind...
+2 # CL38 2012-04-16 10:47
I think you're describing the right wing fascists who've taken over our country and are busy passing one law after the next to destroy our rights: to make our religious and reproductive choices; to take away every protest or free speech right we have and every civil and privacy right and protection we've had for 40 years.
+16 # NanFan 2012-04-13 13:43
Our denial of our human fallibility is beyond belief at ALL levels.

I believe this WILL happen...
+50 # neohip 2012-04-11 10:12
But never mind all the depleted uranium we dumped on Iraq. Nuclear pollution is only a concern when it isn't ours.
+3 # John Locke 2012-04-14 19:36
neohip: It is our problem think Yucca Mountain, There were NO plans in place to dispose of the spent rods that have a life cycle of 1000 years. Now I ask you what kind of a government would allow such contamination without a plan for disposal?
Would you say our leaders lack intelligence or maybe just a little?
-16 # Buddha 2012-04-11 10:27
"The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daich i 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)."

OK, but then how is the potential release of that radiation going to "destroy the world environment and our civilization"? I mean, if the world's environment and global civilization has been able to survive all that radiation ALREADY RELEASED by "atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants", how is the potential release of 50% more radiation now going to result in Armageddon? Sure, the effects of radiation are additive and more relase will certainly lead to a possibly measurable increase in cancer and early death, but enough to "destroy our environment and civilization" itself? It is hyperbole like this that makes people not take the environmentalis t movement seriously, and that is sad, because we are facing many large global environmental issues that need to be taken seriously (global warming, ocean acidification, rain forest destruction, ground water contamination through fracking, etc).
+36 # Corazone 2012-04-11 11:03
So #Buddha, have you ever read about the effects of Chernobyl on Europe? Are you a nuclear engineer or environmental scientist? As I see it, you're attempting to poke holes in someone else's statement with fewer facts and expertise than they do.
+12 # 666 2012-04-11 11:30
Buddha, I too am a bit confused by the numbers - which the writer has failed to present to non-physicists in a coherent fashion. When I think of radiation and 'armageddon' I think of nuclear war. I don't doubt it is serious but I have no basis for understanding how these fuel rods present as much or more of a threat than nuclear weapons... can someone please put this in perspective?
+50 # vicnada 2012-04-11 11:47
I think the author was trying to point out that this release could be a one-time catastrophic event. Now if you were to take all the punishment that has been physically dealt you incrementally over your lifetime from the first bang of your baby head on the table or floor--injuries you healed from time and again--if you were to accumulate all that into one sudden physical impact, then I think you will get the point...
...just before you died.
+43 # AndreM5 2012-04-11 11:51
Please, you are having a problem of scale here. The article is comparing the potential INSTANTANEOUS release of Cs-137 from No. 4 to the TOTAL released from 7 DECADES of man-made sources. Concentration and exposure rate are the critical differences.
0 # densely 2012-04-12 11:48
The history of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons spanned less than one half-life of Cs137, so the environment contained that radiological load pretty much all at once. I don't see a reason to distinguish between these two cases.
+7 # sameasiteverwas 2012-04-14 20:54
Long-lived radioactivity from spent fuel rods and fallout from even above-ground nuclear testing are apples and oranges. Two good websites:



Think of it like the escalating scale of earthquakes, where a 6.0 is exponentially more powerful than a 5.9, not just one per cent stronger. Spent fuel rods have always been the weak link of nuclear power. Try to picture that kind of long-lived radiation drifting its way around the world, contaminating the food sources, the water, the air, of everyone in the Northern Hemisphere. Half-life of 24,000 years. And while the bombs detonated at Hiroshima & Nagasaki released nearly all of their energy in the first split-second, a leaking nuclear reactor continues to release radiation. The radiation release from Chernobyl was 200 times that of the WWII-era bombs that killed hundreds of thousands, and continued for state that a release at the Dai-Ichi site would 85 times more lethal than that, with prevailing winds headed toward geographic areas hat are considerably more populated, and without any ability to contain the leak at all, ever, is pretty scary.

I think it's worth a shudder and a prayer or two -- for someone with the balls to stand up and attack the problem and TRY to come up with a solution, before the worst happens.
+15 # rosan 2012-04-11 14:57
The No.4 reactor barely escaped the serious accident of explosion due to lucky mishaps: delay of inspection schedule; water remained in the well above the pressure vessel;partitio n door of the well accidentally opened due to the decreasing water of the spent fuel or the earthquake shock; water in the well went into the SFP to avoid it drying up until the rescue crane hose water supply.

If those mishaps hadn't occurred, the No.4 reactor SF could have melted, exploded, too dangerous to approach, and created the chain reactions of all six reactors nearby. Imagine all six reactors exploding and emitting radiation - more that six Chernobyl disaster forcing all Tokyoites (10 of Japan's population), et al to evacuate (how and whereto?) - the country smaller than California with about a half of the U.S. population!!! The radiation should have covered the whole world contaminating air, water, earth, food, fauna and flora including homo sapiens (?). The No.4 reactor is still too dangerous to work - reinforcing the pool support much less transferring SF to the safer place (is there? is there any safe way to store all SF in a safe way for millions years?) with more and stronger megaquakes active now.
+19 # John Locke 2012-04-11 16:14
Have you not read about the increase in cancer rates because of the radiation? a 13% world wide increase! Up to 10% of invasive cancers are related to radiation exposure, including both ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Additionally, the vast majority of non-invasive cancers are non-melanoma skin cancers caused by non-ionizing ultraviolet radiation.
radiation-induc ed leukemias typically require 2–10 years to appear. Some people, such as those with nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome or retinoblastoma, are more susceptible than average to developing cancer from radiation exposure. Children and adolescents are twice as likely to develop radiation-induc ed leukemia as adults; radiation exposure before birth has ten times the effect

Sources of ionizing radiation include medical imaging, and radon gas. Radiation can cause cancer in most parts of the body, in all animals, and at any age, although radiation-induc ed solid tumors usually take 10–15 years, and can take up to 40 years, to become clinically manifest...

Our children are more at rish then we are because of the time to develop the disease...
+2 # JCM 2012-04-13 08:17
Where did you get this information?
+2 # John Locke 2012-04-13 09:35
Look it up its all over the net try wiki
0 # JCM 2012-04-13 09:51
I did and very little came close to substantiating your numbers.
+3 # John Locke 2012-04-13 13:55
Then you haven't been really looking! I found several sites with this information! Try looking!
0 # JCM 2012-04-13 14:04
I did a general Google search and didn't come up with much. What sites are you referring too?
+2 # John Locke 2012-04-13 14:03
+3 # John Locke 2012-04-13 14:02
HCM I will make it easy for you, go to:
+1 # JCM 2012-04-13 14:42
This covers the 10% of cancers are caused by radiation but still haven't come up with a 13% increase in cancers due to radiation.
+1 # John Locke 2012-04-13 15:36
Read the is right there, maybe put on your reading glasses?
+1 # JCM 2012-04-13 17:09
I put in a Find 13% at the article and got two hits, neither relating to an increase in deaths due to Fukishema as you imply. If there is an increase of deaths due to Fukishema I would like to know where the reference comes from.
-1 # John Locke 2012-04-14 19:40
JCM Come on Re-read my posts...No where did I specifcally say the increase was from the Japanese facility...I only referred to the 13% spike in Cancer from Radiation...Ple ase read my posts then read the article the language was copy paste from it!
+12 # CaptD 2012-04-11 18:21
Get real. if SFP melts down then the entire Complex will be a No Go Zone and will create a Hydro-Corium(s) Steam"Event" that will change life as we know it...
+11 # Robert Alexander Dumas 2012-04-12 11:32
I first saw this article here :

If you follow and read the source links there, and perhaps read selected others from the archives there for the past year, you could get up to speed.

The damage being done is cumulative to begin with......other than that I think what I hear you saying is you don't believe it. This disaster isn't a matter of belief......and I fail to see any hyperbole whatsoever, perhaps it just seems so when compared to the lies of the governments, corporations, and regulatory agencies.
+2 # Robert Alexander Dumas 2012-04-14 10:17
Here is a segment from Japanese TV and a blog worth reading from Lambert Strether at Correntewire (H/T to Naked Capitalism for the heads up):
+1 # Robert Alexander Dumas 2012-04-14 10:53
I don't think that shortened URL took, here's the full:
+4 # densely 2012-04-12 11:47
The author of this piece seems to conflate the total amount of Cs137 in a spent fuel pool with the amount that would be released by pool collapse followed by a fire. The risk is shockingly high by either measure; there's no need to exaggerate.
+15 # GabbyHayes 2012-04-13 07:30
it's not hyperbole. japan is one of the largest contributors to the global economy. its economy is roughly half ours and its population is roughly a quarter of ours. there is no end to the contamination that might spread from fukushima. reactor 2 is hot enough to kill human beings within seconds and any electronic equipment sent in to be a surrogate for a human operator would be rapidly fried. reactor 2 is the reactor in least jeopardy. a plume of exploding radioactive material (depending on the wind) could contaminate tokyo, south korea, north korea, and large parts of manchuria, mongolia, and china. or it could go out over the ocean rendering seafood from the northern pacific inedible for decades to come. forget the loss of life for a moment and instead concentrate on some 50 million suddenly unemployed japanese, alaskan, and russian people. economies and trade are the backbone of our civilization. without them, with 50 million wandering refugees searching for food and a place to pitch a tent, the rest of the economies of these places, and let's include canada and the mainland u.s. as well, would collapse. people would have to be conscripted to work in these areas, facing slave labor conditions and sterilization, nuclear irradiation and radiation sickness, and (if they do manage to reproduce) horrific genetic mutations. it would collapse the economies of the western world, taking civilization with it.
-1 # paulrevere 2012-04-27 21:30
I am very, very, very glad that you appear to have intentionally mispelled your handle sir et ma'm for your pov shows not an iota of the compassion and insight of he who you are so arrogantly naming your posts for.

Per your naive e you paying attention to world wide cancer rates? Are you paying attention to the world wide birth defect rates?
Radiation sickness by definition is slow in gestation, like decades. You, my fellow human being, are apparently paying attention only to yourself.
+20 # dick 2012-04-11 11:38
Yes, of course, some alarmist environmentalis ts, believing the ends justify the means, & believing that only SCREAMING will be heard, have counterproducti vely cried "wolf." I know NOTHING of radiation, but perhaps releasing a lot ALL AT ONCE is far more dangerous than spread out over decades, even though radiation lingers. I fear that Japan's reactors should be the #1 issue in AMERICAN politics.
-5 # hasapiko 2012-04-11 11:57
I tend to agree with Buddha. This is probably not going to destroy the planet, rather the planet is being destroyed by a thousand cuts such as this. Unfortunately our leadership tends to respond only to disasters.
+15 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-11 12:12
If you have have only one 'go-to' for info on this the best one may be Arnie Gundersen at
+13 # SOF 2012-04-12 00:20
Thanks bluepilgrim. I was about to pull up that site for people to get informed. Gundersen has been warning about Reactor #4 for a long time. Also, we have no idea how the leaking into the ocean will affect ocean life (I've seen photos of new 5-6' sponges in nearby waters!) As one involved since 3MileIsland, I can say that radiation related mutations were never reported in US. The industry and media has tried hard to squash interest in the matter. We knew from the first day that winds carried fallout directly to our CA NW coast where our food is grown? Measurements concur. We have lost our Free Press.
+22 # paulrevere 2012-04-11 12:51
BRAVO to RSN for publishing this profound piece of a commenter said on a site where it was posted a few days ago, 'TEPCO must step aside, forget saving face and THE COST, and bring in the international community and all elements with any kind of realistic fix and let them run this thing...AND SMOTHER IT...NOW!!'
+27 # Mamazon 2012-04-11 12:59
And so our survival on the planet is much closer to coming to an end than we would like to know... But if we do not raise the alarm now -- then when? How can we be this close to dropping a fullscale assault on every living thing on the planet we live on and no one knows about it? When has reality become optional? We must demand that this Fukushima situation be dealt with by the smartest minds of the world immediately -- or guess what folks, there is no tomorrow. Are there words to describe the direness of this situation that will wake up the slumbering American people as well as the rest of the world so that together we choose LIFE and sustainable everything to DEATH and radioactive mutation.
+19 # oakes721 2012-04-11 13:43
One of the early 'after-shocks' is denial. Already something that we cannot directly see, feel or touch, the threat of global extinction of our species is too great a sorrow for us to fathom ~ an so we try and dismiss it ~ accepting the glib sidesteps of pandering diversions until we're all political roadkill.
+12 # noitall 2012-04-11 14:21
We can forget about this, keep it out of the main-stream news, choose to 'vote no' nuclear disaster, but this is REAL and won't go away. In the meantime, how about more subsidies for new 'clean' nuclear construction in our back yard? AND, those "depleated" uranium bullets? they're 'depleated'...w hat's the problem?
As is usual, we get what we deserve and we must face it, WE'RE GETTING IT (present tense).
+20 # dick 2012-04-11 14:23
This situation highlights the limitations of absolute national sovereignty in the modern world. Nations can create absolute CATASTROPHES for innumerable neighbors while saying, "Keep out. It's NONE of your business." The US is a world leader in this regard, smothering eastern Canada in deadly pollution, filling the Earth's atmosphere with poisons. A brand new nuclear power generating facility in Michigan had to mothballed because it was so dangerous. And Canada would have been the main victim. Reactionaries want to drag us back to the 1950s, 1850s, witch burning era, when we need to be figuring out how to cope with an unprecedented future. This really is a time for All Hands on Deck.
+10 # rosan 2012-04-11 14:29
No. 4 reactor escaped a serious disaster due to quadruple fortunate mishaps: delay of inspection; water was in the well above the pressure vessel; partition wall accidentally opened due to the decrease of cooling water of the spent fuel decreased;coole d spent fuel until the crane water supply started. Otherwise the fuel rods were exposed and exploded preventing anyone to approach. This could trigger the chain reaction explosions of all six reactors nearby. Imagine six reactors - bigger than the exploded Chernobyl reactors - exploding with no ways to approach and extinguish melting reactors! Tokyoites, et al would have been evacuated, but where - the nation, smaller than California, has no safe place!! The whole world would have been contaminated, air, water, earth, food, fauna and flora - of course humans. The No.4 reactor is too dangerous to approach and reinforce the pool and much less transferring spent fuel rods to safe places - are there safe places and method to keep 'death ash' for million of years with more and bigger earthquakes are now active?
+4 # CaptD 2012-04-11 15:07
I agree and also posted this:
+26 # ozonekid 2012-04-11 16:41
Radiation is analogous to light; finely divided particulate matter that emits radiation is called contamination. Massive radiation is very bad, but falls off as the square of the distance. Contamination that gets ingested, and we're talking at the molecular level, continues to emit radiation especially beta. Nearby cells get fried and the genetic material destroyed or scrambled at this micro level. Cancer can occur in a single cell, then spread. The argument as to total amount of radiation released is interesting but moot: should the radioactive materials get transported in the atmosphere or the ocean, bio-concentrati on will assure that humans will ingest some over the years the contamination is active. Cs-137 has a half-life of 30 years, or so. Many other isotopes are in the mix of spent fuel, including Plutonium, which half-lives at approximately 25,000 years, and is the most toxic stuff around, and does not exist naturally. It is insane to suggest that it could be contained as it is spewing into the Pacific, and into the air currents headed toward the Pacific Northwest. Thanks GE. Thanks TEPCO. Hope your profits buy you a few extra years.
+12 # CaptD 2012-04-11 18:17
Japan's continued burning of radioactive waste will continue to pollute the Planet with much of it falling on North America!

If Iran did anything like this we would be at WAR...

What a Nuclear Waste!
+4 # rosan 2012-04-11 20:05
Money bought people's minds to go along with radiation constantly leaking to air, water, and earth and accumulating with the waste 'death ash' without any safe storage method.

Nuclear waste is in our nuclear minds. So, how can we stop nuclear waste of the wholly wholesome world life system?
+25 # CandH 2012-04-11 19:03
Dr. Helen Caldicott, Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said that she will move her family from Boston, and out of the Northern Hemisphere if No 4 pool breeches. Dr. Arnie Gundersen has said that should No 4 pool be breeched, by whatever method, he strongly suggests that Tokyo and the entire northern half of Japan be evacuated, and that the West coast of North America shut their windows/doors and stay inside for awhile, as science hasn't thought about how handle this kind of radiation exposure.

The C-137 that is in No 4 pool is 85 times the Chernobyl release, meaning that there is no way to contain a total release of it should the water that is absorbing much of that now, suddenly drain from the pool, totally exposing the radioisotope content of the rods to the atmosphere, causing the chemical induced explosion and subsequent release into the atmospheric jet stream as a result.

Add to all that: scientists now can predict with 70% certainty that a 7 or larger quake will hit northern Japan within the next year, and a 90% probability within 3 years. Gundersen has said this magnitude will collapse the compromised structure of the pools (No 3 is worse that No 4, structurally.)

This is not fear mongering. This is your wake up call from the disneyesque realities of teevee news, only telling you that you're great and to shop. At a minimum, you need to be an informed public to vote based on policy positions for bloody sake!
+3 # Firefox11 2012-04-11 20:00
At a minimum, you need to be an informed public to vote based on policy positions for bloody sake!

Amen, yes, yes, yes. "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom."
+2 # PlanB 2012-04-13 16:58
Quoting CandH:
...Dr. Arnie Gundersen has said that should No 4 pool be breeched, by whatever method, he strongly suggests that Tokyo and the entire northern half of Japan be evacuated, and that the West coast of North America shut their windows/doors and stay inside for awhile, as science hasn't thought about how handle this kind of radiation exposure.

A couple of helpful links for those who may find themselves among those "advised" to shelter in place (close the windows/doors and stay inside for awhile). And those careful enough to take precautions whether "advised" or not...

15 ways to limit radiation exposure

Surviving a Nuclear Holocaust
+11 # CL38 2012-04-11 21:47
The most important 3 sentences in this article for me: "85 times more Cesium-137 than the Chernobyl"... would mean the destruction... "of the world environment and our civilization. This is not rocket science, nor does it connect to the pugilistic debate over nuclear power plants. This is an issue of human survival.
+10 # CaptD 2012-04-12 09:08
How many here have called and or written their Leaders asking them what they think about this?

I know I have.... How about you?
+4 # Anarchist 23 2012-04-12 10:45
Wow-I read this novel back in early 60's-so it looks like 'On The Beach' is likely to win the Armageddon Sweepstakes currently being lined up at the starting gates! Too bad the Las Vegas betting parlors will be destroyed with everything else since I could clean up, big time! BTW-the Oceanside Nuclear reactor in CA is already leaking nuclear steam into the air-has been for several weeks-so we are also in a bad position-of course ConEd is denying any problem....mayb e I should just abandon the pets and move to my safe house in Argentina within the week-given that nasty 8.6 EQ in Indonesia yesterday! Did you all ever think we would be extras in a 3D disaster movie? Wow-2012 -it's why we bought the tickets! More thrills, spills and mayhem yet to come.
+9 # Max Demian 2012-04-12 11:25
This is truly how dire the Fu(c)kus(all)hi ma situation really is. And, forgive my speculation---f or, considering the extreme level of the cover-up of how dire the situation truly is, speculation is all we really have to a great extent---it would not surprise me at all if, in truth, the spent-fuel rods spoken of in this article have already ceased being covered in water, already caught fire and melted-down, and that they are already releasing the monstrous levels of radiation warned about in the article.

But leave it to typical "Americans", like some commenting in this thread, to claim that how serious this situation really is, is supposedly "hyperbole", etc. Nope, no facing of facts for them. They will bury their heads in the sand, and disingenuously criticize the truth, until they're dying of cancer; and probably won't even cease their avoidance and denial of the truth even then, but will keep on lying to themselves to their last breath.
+1 # Max Demian 2012-04-27 08:43
Fukushima Is Falling Apart: Are You Ready … For A Mass Extinction Event?

According to the foregoing and many other articles, and from the reports of nuclear experts all over the world, Fukushima is FAR WORSE, and is still an ongoing event that continues to get worse and worse, than we are being told in the mainstream. Wake up and face the music, and take precautions such as you and everyone in your family(ies) wearing HEPA filter face masks when out of doors, and going outside as little as possible; and, especially, do NOT go outside AT ALL during precipitation of any kind, particularly rainfall. If you can, move to the Southern Hemisphere immediately, further south than Central America, south of the Equator. This is absolutely no joke; this is truly how serious the situation already is, and it is very likely to get much worse if it already hasn't.

0 # Max Demian 2012-04-27 09:10
To give you a personal example, I have had a constipation and hemorrhoid problem for several years, but they didn't start rupturing and bleeding until the past year. The last major time they bled, ugly black material, probably cancer cells, came out with the blood. This occurred from a ruptured EXTERNAL hemorrhoid, so it was not from fecal matter. I rarely go outside (about once every three weeks or so), and every time I go out I wear a HEPA face mask at all times. I started the practice of wearing the face mask within ten days of March 11th, 2011 when the Fukushima disaster began.
0 # Max Demian 2012-04-30 04:32
Further very important information concerning Fukushima:

Urgent Warning: Fukushima Estimate of Situation
+4 # Grinder Monkey 2012-04-12 14:51
I watched Dr. Helen Caldicott's hour long video on this subject at some obscure website. At the end, ironically, the website suggested an old Hiroshima/Nagas aki remedy for radiation poisoning, miso soup. Of course miso is fermented soybean and produced in Japan which is scheduled for vaporization along with the rest of us. Problematic, so buy some now for that old fallout shelter.

Additionally, these plants were designed by Ronald Reagan's old company GE. So why would they store exhausted fuel rods inside an operating nuclear plant? And in the attic to boot.
+4 # PlanB 2012-04-13 17:12
I looked into a lot of documentation on the Hibakusha from the Japanese angle (rather than the US military angle) years ago. Miso was what they had and it's good, but the point is to maintain as base a diet as possible. If you know a bit about acute radiation exposures, this can make sense.

The Hibakusha suffered intense gamma exposure from the bombs. Gamma ionizes electrons here and there on its way through the body, and this can destabilize atoms and chemical bonds. One of the most significant immediate effects is that water molecules get dissociated and re-bond as hydrogen peroxide. Biological tissues are mostly water.
+6 # JJS 2012-04-12 18:37
I must agree with those here who believe that we are "toast". We are "toast" and will be "toasted" by radiation relatively quickly. (50-100 years is my guess- 200 years at best if we are adaptable and the Miso Soup supply stays abundant, hahaha! Maitake 'shrooms are pretty good, too. I hope ya'll ate a bunch of iodized salt early in the release)

The powers that be are not revealing their investigations or studies because they do not want panic in the streets. The FDA is monitoring for radiation in the food supply but good luck finding the results of their monitoring. Trust me (grin)!-) I've seen some reports of a tide of Japanese contaminated radioactivity is moving along the Pacific Ocean towards the west coast of the US.

So don't worry your pretty little heads about it. There is nothing you can do anyway, REALLY. Stay calm and let's hope that civilization does not collapse too rapidly.
+5 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-14 08:50
Americans have been warned for decades about nuclear power, wastes, accidents, etc. The world had Three Mile Island and Chernobyl as warnings. People everywhere ignored the warnings. We shall have the consequences of our apathy. Even the 1% will die!
+2 # mgorfain 2012-04-14 19:17
Apr. 09, 2012
Radioactive particles from Japan detected in California kelp
Victoria Kim | McClatchy-Tribu ne News Service
Radioactive particles released in the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were detected in giant kelp along the California coast, according to a recently published study.
Radioactive iodine was found in samples collected from beds of kelp in locations along the coast from Laguna Beach to as far north as Santa Cruz about a month after the explosion, according to the study by two marine biologists at California State University, Long Beach.
Giant kelp, or Macrocystis pyrifera, is a particularly good measure of radioactive material in the environment because it accumulates iodine, researchers said. They wrote that radioactive particles released into the atmosphere, in particular radioactive isotope iodine 131, made its way across the Pacific, then was likely deposited into the ocean during a period of significant rain shortly after the meltdown in Japan.
The highest levels were found in Corona del Mar in Orange County.
Certain species of fish, including opaleye, halfmoon or senorita may be particularly affected because their endocrine systems contain iodine, according to researchers.
0 # JJS 2012-05-04 18:26
Quoting mgorfain:
Apr. 09, 2012
Radioactive particles from Japan detected in California kelp.

I eat kelp from Maine nowadays.
+2 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-14 21:20
The increased radiation will accelerate the mutation of genetic material. Maybe, the creationists will get the proof of evolution that they can understand!
+1 # mermaid 2012-04-16 12:36
It is well known that we have been lied to from the start regarding the severity of contaminationI' m sure we will never know the truth ,until it is too late .Or is it already???I hope you are all taking tour daily supplement of iodine!!!!
0 # kylgee 2012-05-07 07:46
Perhaps I am totally naive, trying to keep some hope alive for mself, and my fanily! However, for anyone else who feels a need to do something, anything, and who believes that the joining of many voices has the ability to make governments and corporations listen and act; read this petition and do something, anything...Ther e is nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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