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Intro: "The highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plants present a clear threat to the people of Japan and the world."

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)

Fukushima Daiichi: It May Be Too Late Unless the Military Steps In

By Akio Matsumura, Finding the Missing Link

17 May 12


he highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plants present a clear threat to the people of Japan and the world. Reactor 4 and the nearby common spent fuel pool contain over 11,000 highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies, many of which are exposed to the open air. The cesium-137, the radioactive component contained in these assemblies, present at the site is 85 times larger than the amount released during the Chernobyl accident. Another magnitude 7.0 earthquake would jar them from their pool or stop the cooling water, which would lead to a nuclear fire and meltdown. The nuclear disaster that would result is beyond anything science has ever seen. Calling it a global catastrophe is no exaggeration.

If political leaders understand the situation and the potential catastrophe, I find it difficult to understand why they remain silent.

The following leaves little to question:

  1. Many scientists believe that it will be impossible to remove the 1,535 fuel assemblies in the pool of Reactor 4 within two or three years.
  2. Japanese scientists give a greater than 90 percent probability that an earthquake of at least 7.0 magnitude will occur in the next three years in the close vicinity of Fukushia-Daiichi.
  3. The crippled building of Reactor 4 will not stand through another strong earthquake.
  4. Japan and the TEPCO do not have adequate nuclear technology and experience to handle a disaster of such proportions alone.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote a letter to Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, on April 16, 2012, discussing his fact-finding trip to the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Senator Wyden, senior member of the United States Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, mentioned that “the scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what [he] expected and the scope of the challenge to the utility owner, the government of Japan, and to the people of the region are daunting.” He also mentioned that “TEPCO’s December 21, 2011 remediation roadmap proposes to take up to ten years to complete spent fuel removal from all of the pools on the site. Given the compromised nature of these structures due to the events of March 11, their schedule carries extraordinary and continuing risk if further severe seismic events were to occur.”

Many of us echo Senator Wyden’s concerns.

Has the government of Japan and other world leaders considered the facts above that would lead to a global catastrophe, and do they have a clear strategy to prevent this worst case scenario? Are there any means to shorten the period for the completion of removal spent fuel from all of the pools, in particular of Reactor 4, within two years or so? Are we able to trust such extraordinary tasks to TEPCO and the private sector?

I believe that the government of Japan should lead the way and embrace all means at its disposal in order to prevent a disaster that would affect our dozens of generations of our descendants. In this context, I cannot help but consider the role of the military in addition to the international technical support team. They possess the technological and logistical capacity that a company such as TEPCO does not.

Deploying the Japanese self defense force (military) inside the country’s borders would be an incredibly controversial political decision, but the political fallout for the government from this step would pale in comparison to having such an immense global catastrophe occur on its watch.

For this reason, I flew to Japan from New York in April to convey my concerns to Japanese political leaders. Ambassador Mitsuhei Murata and I met with Mr. Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary, who assured us he would convey our message to Prime Minister Noda before his departure for Washington to meet with President Obama on April 30. Both leaders might have discussed the Fukushima nuclear accident issue at their private meeting, but the idea for an independent assessment team and international help for the disaster were not mentioned publicly. I am old enough to understand the politics of the matter, but I cannot accept them. It will be an irreversible mistake that affects our population for thousands of years if they do not take action now.
If this catastrophe occurred, regardless of policy and politics, all 440 nuclear power plants throughout the world would be forced to shut down, yet our descendants no matter what will have to carry the risk of radioactive materials in the nuclear waste repository for 100,000 to 200,000 years.

This is a long amount of time to conceive of, so let me put it in context. It is said that our anscestors might have made their journey to the rest of the world from South Africa about 100,000 years ago, and crafted our first tools of the Stone Age about 20,000 years ago. We will need the same amount of time that our human species has existed for in order to safely deposit radioactive material! How come do we envision the poison to be transferred on to our descendants for so long and how will we find a way to indicate the location of the radioactive repository? Are we sure that the hundred radioactive repositories throughout the world be protected from severe seismic events for this incredible period of the time?

If this global catastrophe occurs, the best we can hope is that the memory of our disaster might be passed on to our future generations in the hope that they might invent the new technology to prevent them from another such catastrophe.

Akio Matsumura is a renowned diplomat who has dedicated his life to building bridges between government, business, and spiritual leaders in the cause of world peace. He is the founder and Secretary General of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival with conferences held in Oxford, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto, and Konya. Akio has proven time again that these barriers can be transcended, even in the most unlikely circumstances. Both the power of his ideas and his tremendous organizational ability were first on display in the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, which he founded with support from the MacArthur Foundation after several decades of work within the United Nations. your social media marketing partner


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-16 # Dion Giles 2012-05-17 09:03
The military may be less able than the company to deal with the problem. The company has experience with handling radioactive materials, the military probably doesn't.
+43 # dkonstruction 2012-05-17 09:24
Quoting Dion Giles:
The military may be less able than the company to deal with the problem. The company has experience with handling radioactive materials, the military probably doesn't.

The company has the experience of protecting its profits and for covering up the real extent of the problem (and this is not just a problem with this Japanese company...the same is true for US companies) not to mention the fact that the company does not have the financial resources to deal with the problem (and it's questionable whether Japan alone does as well which is why there have been calls for a massive international effort). How many "accidents" is is going to take before governments stop relying on the very same private corporations who caused the problem in the first place to take the lead in fixing the problem (the BP spill in the gulf is another prime example)...the first priorities for these companies are protecting their profits and their public image and not public safety or the environment.
+2 # soularddave 2012-05-17 23:09
Russia's Gorbachev stated in his memoirs, that it was likely that it was Chernobyl, more than anything else, that caused the demise of the USSR. That is to say that *even the government couldn't properly handle the disaster.
Per the comments of Arnie Gunderson. He also stated that Fukushima-Daiic hi is on the order of 85 times more dangerous, in terms of the Cesium situation. Does the Japanese government have the half TRILLION dollars that may be needed to stabilize the situation?

Note to self: If Fukushima-Daiic hi does self destroy, I'm on my own - like everybody else in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
+5 # noitall 2012-05-17 11:58
"...the military probably doesn't" (have the experience). Does this "probably" mean that you're talking out of your ass? Americans are conditioned to believe that the private sector has it all together and the govt. or military are inept. Look around to see who has made the biggest fuckups recently, and who is maintaining this story, this line of thinking among the public, in order to pull off even more debacles: Arctic drilling, XL pipeline, Coal trains, more nuclear plant development, etc. Assumptions make an ass out of you.
+1 # Dion Giles 2012-05-18 00:47
Nuclear weapon deployment is the experience of the military (and not the Japanese military by the way). Nuclear power technology - building, operating, repairing plants - is the experience of civilian organisations. Some of you folk seem in an all fired hurry to sheet the job home to the public sector - taxpayers rushing to clean up the mess created by private industry. And to order the soldiers in to do the deadly on-site work. Is it because of being so used to the 1% collecting the profits and the 99% paying for the cleanup?

OK - the threat is to everyone, and if an army somewhere did have atomic power technology up its sleeve it should be used as well.

But it does seem realistic to suggest that people who do atomic power will probably know more about it than people who don’t. To dismiss this in a scandalised “how dare you” tone really IS verbal flatulence.
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-19 07:43
...And 9-11. None of these things happened in a vacuum, were accidental, not by design, due to "incompetance", or occurred "by mistake", as in the case of 9-11, in the country with the most powerful national defense apparatus in the entire world. Look at the fact that "9-11s" usually occur, as 9-11, the London bombing, the Italy bombing, etc., whenever government drills practicing for the very same scenarios are taking place. How do all these terrorists know about all of the governments' top secret plans for drills, and how to overcome all the individual country's national defenses, as they supposedly overcame the national defenses, across the board, of the U.S., that has the most powerful national defense system on the planet? Thus, all of these major terrorist events have to have (had) intelligence agency involvement, all connected with the CENTRAL Intelligence Agency (CIA), aka "al-CIA-duh(!)" ; for no other intelligence agency(ies) on earth operates, with any clout outside their own borders, without the control of the central agency for "intelligence", the CIA. In fact, all of those "extra-national " 'intelligence' agencies are agencies cooperating with "al-CIA-duh(!)" . Therefore, 9-11 in particular could not have happened without coordination of the "intelligence" agencies through "al-CIA-duh(!)" ; and, if they let it and similar events happen, they certainly didn't do so out of "incompentance" . Wake up and face the "intelligence" agency and corporate fascism.
-28 # DaveM 2012-05-17 09:35
Is there in fact a military unit which specializes in removing material from damaged nuclear reactors? If so, yes, perhaps they could help, but I am unaware of any such unit.

This seems like yet another attempt to pass the buck and demand that other nations devote personnel and money to a problem created by the Japanese when they built a nuclear power plant near a fault line. Yes, I know the United States has done much the same, and we may pay the price for it someday. But I doubt that Japan will step forward to offer assistance should that happen.
+30 # pbbrodie 2012-05-17 10:06
How short sighted can you get?
What difference does it make whose fault it is? We will suffer the consequences regardless.
As for military experience with dealing with a disaster of this sort, no one has any experience, other than the former Soviets who handled the Chernobyl disaster. The US Navy has considerable experience with nuclear reactors and nuclear technology but the main thing is the overall capacity of the enormous US military to address anything of this magnitude, whether nuclear or not.
The primary issue is to resolve this problem before it creates a disaster that will affect the entire world.
+8 # noitall 2012-05-17 12:01
So you say "tit for tat"? Only problem is that Japan's problem is the northern hemisphere's problem.
+24 # PoetForPeace 2012-05-17 10:07
In the face of global disaster and the coming cancers associated with it, it sounds insane that image or profits must forever take first priority. Money and cost ought not to be in such equations of life or death. Clean it up by any means necessary and protect life! But then again, I am one of many who find the capitalistic predatory nature of business beyond ordinary comprehension! IT IS Sociopathic!
+8 # readerz 2012-05-17 10:50
I agree on all counts!
And read the comment under the little article on Romney: one poster knows a vet that treated Romney's dogs; speaking of sociopaths.
As to cancers: leukemia goes up, proven in the 1960s during nuclear testing. I've been to too many funerals in the past few years of young adults who died of leukemia. A beautiful young woman this spring. Say thanks to all the tests, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima Daiichi; big, homicidal governments.
+5 # noitall 2012-05-17 12:06
Big homicidal Private Sector. Don't think that the Gulf spill is over, or the 20?year old EXON Valdez spill (its still oozing out of the sands) or the dozens of spills around the world. They're all there contributing to Man's effort to make this planet unsuitable for Humans. Their only hope is that they'll have enough time and money to get their space stations intact to wait out the thousand years before they could return. I'd be surprised if they didn't have such an insane fall-back plan, what else they going to spend that money on?
+16 # dkonstruction 2012-05-17 10:17
the issue i think is not whether the military has direct experience cleaning up nuclear accidents (i suspect they don't)...the point is they have the resources (given that they have the weight and the budget of a national government behind them) to do the job as quickly as it can be accomplished and the muscle to ensure that those working under them (the company and other subcontractors) do what they are supposed to do rather than what will protect their future profits (for, as we now know, it was, one lone japanese worker that decided, against company orders -- they were more concerned with trying to protect the reactors for future use..i.e, future profits, then they were with public safety -- to flood (forgetting if it was one or more than one) a reactor with sea water and which we now know is the only reason there wasn't an even worse melt down).

Since when do we trust private corporations to deal (unsupervised, uncontrolled and on their own) with disasters? I'm not saying i have much more faith in governments but in the case of disasters of this magnitude i just don't see how or why we should simply trust the private company who caused the problem and who at the very least has competing interests (profit and image damage control as well as clean-up and public safety) or that has the resources to be able to mount the kind of effort that is surely needed.
+15 # PGreen 2012-05-17 11:20
You have beautifully pointed out the danger of assigning private companies the responsibility of addressing problems of world wide importance: it conflicts with their self-interest.
This scenario also raises the issue of why it is so difficult to compromise on the use of (even safe) nuclear power: nukes recognizes no boundaries, political or economic. I've talked with many people who advocate the use of nuclear energy as being cleaner than coal or oil, but fail to see the consequences of what even one major accident might bring. So far we've been lucky (if you can call Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima#1 lucky) but eventually luck will run out.
+8 # readerz 2012-05-17 11:34
Coal also produces nuclear waste: there is plenty of uranium dug up with the coal, and it ends up in slag heaps, which leach into the water supply. And fracking causes water pollution too; oil drilling ruins oceans. Most of these methods are not clean. There are many cleaner sources of alternative energy, and there is no reason to believe that the solar energy of Death Valley will run out any time soon.
+7 # readerz 2012-05-17 10:17
It might be possible to train people to act as "jumpers" that run in and out of a radioactive area; the trouble is, these would all be kamikaze, because it would be suicide. Most military will not send their troops into a suicide mission, and the military might have a threat of courts-martial. A corporation has no such threat; there would be few recruits for such work.

I hate the entire idea, but the only possible solution (other than robots which should have been invented before these poorly planned nuclear facilities) would be to actively recruit people with a prize of a million dollars (or equivalent) going to their bereaved families. I think it would be too little to pay for a human life personally, but there is almost no solution to this horrible mess, and it is necessary to do something.

Other nations? We have nuclear facilities over fault lines too, in case anybody is too naive to know. Back in 2011 some people made a list of America's most dangerous. And there are many more around the world. You know, don't you, that there are volcanoes in Europe? A super-volcano like Yellowstone near Bonn Germany? A little one even in France? Currently active ones in the Mediterranean? Lots of poorly-charted earthquake zones? It is a world-wide problem, and the world should respond.
+6 # noitall 2012-05-17 12:23
Ah, the "Hunger Games"; sacrifice your life and your family gets to live with the rich who profited from the enterprise that caused the problem. Not for me. Nuclear whatever should be controlled world-wide. Private enterprise (financial ability) shouldn't determine where, when, if nuclear development occurs for this fukishima reason. Shit happens (Murphy's Law). Can WE afford this "freedom"? If Lloyds of London (or anyone else for that matter) won't insure it and Wall Street won't fund it (U.S. just gave a $8.5 billion loan guarantee to who?, S. Carolina? for two Nuke plants) then it shouldn't happen. Like GMOs, if it isn't proven safe, it isn't ready for the mainstream market.
+11 # mrbadexample 2012-05-17 11:01
The disaster is covered under the Law of the Sea Treaty, and any signatory could demand sanctions and emergency action for Japan’s dumping (even inadvertent) of radioactive debris into the shared resources of the sea. I’m surprised the Chinese haven’t already done so. International Law professor Francis Boyle has demanded a World Court session to address this issue—among other things, the Japanese need to come clean about MOX fuel and other problems that are interfering with cleanup.
+3 # noitall 2012-05-17 12:24
You got that right!!
+2 # soularddave 2012-05-17 23:24
The Chinese are poised to take on several million new residents, should an evacuation of Tokyo become necessary. Things could get very interesting very quickly, should there be a large earthquake. I sure hope it doesn't happen, but then, again, I don't bet against Mother Nature.
+1 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-18 09:54
Yes, I imagine that the Chinese people would welcome Japanese refugees with flowers! China would have to create a Japanese colony in Tibet.
+3 # tedrey 2012-05-17 12:12
Is it necessary to send people in there? We certainly have the technological skill to cover the whole area with an Olympic-stadium -sized structure, and fill that with water. If there was profit in it, it would have been done already!
-1 # soularddave 2012-05-17 23:29
Trouble is, that an Olympic sized structure won't cover all four plants. Those structures take years to build, and then it would take years to transfer the hot waste.

Time is running out, and though progress is assured, there are no guarantees not fall-back plans that are fool proof.
+1 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-18 09:56
Yes! Yes! And surround it with little Dutch boys ready with their fingers to plug any leaks that develop!
+4 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-17 13:24
Don't expect much from Barack Obama, who has Excelon, Inc. among his better funders. Obama is pushing nuclear power in Georgia and in N. Carolina with federal loan guarantees and licenses.

In almost every area of government, we have the most insane and corrupted people determining our destiny and that of the rest of the world.

As for Japan, it has been the US's little brother since WWII. TEPCO is just an offshore relative of the US nuclear power industry.

Many cancers to come, even if Bldg 4 were to hold up for the next hundred years. Plenty of cesium 137 falling out, right now. Is your county measuring it?
+5 # Smiley 2012-05-17 13:54
I believe that this is a situation that the UN was created for. There should be a convening of nuclear, radiation, engineering experts form all over the world to come up with the quickest and best way to bring this under control. All information should be made public to bring more minds to bear on the solution.
+1 # soularddave 2012-05-17 23:31
It's an engineering problem at this point, but some entity has to organize the response.
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-17 15:16
Right-on, my Japanese "brother of another mother", Akio Matsumura, in Japan! You keep completely telling it nothing but like it is, my friend!


Fukushima Is Falling Apart: Are You Ready … For A Mass Extinction Event?

According to nuclear experts all over the world, "Fu(c)kus(all)h ima" is FAR WORSE, and is still an ongoing event that is getting worse and worse, than what we're being told in the mainstream. Face the music and take precautions, such as you and everyone in your family wearing HEPA face masks when out of doors, and only going outside as little as possible; and, especially, NOT going outside AT ALL during precipitation of any kind, particularly rainfall.

If you can manage it, 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 hasn't already.

0 # Max Demian 2012-05-17 17:24
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. And I rarely go outside (about once every 3 weeks), and every time I go out I wear a HEPA mask at all times. I started wearing the mask within ten days of when the Fukushima disaster began.

Let me clarify a couple of things in order to make it clear that taking precautions is NOT a waste of time:

Due to Fukushima, I will probably die from cancer within the next couple of years because I have three autoimmune diseases and therefore have a compromised immune system. But for many if not most of you who do not have compromised immune systems, the precautions are NOT a waste of time; and, if you "religiously" carry them out, you WILL lower your chances of developing cancer(s).

+1 # Max Demian 2012-05-17 22:57
Also, here's a couple of other examples of necessary precautions, even if you have not been doing them for the past year, which will lower your chances of developing cancer(s)]:

Don't take showers (because, while you're taking showers, you're breathing in the radioactive dust that is now in the water, and the lungs are one of the worst places for it to lodge; almost guaranteeing, especially in the case of the plutonium that has been and continues to be released by Fukushima, that you will, NOT "may", develop cancer(s).

Take baths instead, but only lukewarm or body-temperatur e baths so you don't open your pores allowing more of the radioactive dust in the water to get into your body(ies) through your skin.

Be sure to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables to wash the radioactive dust off of them before consuming them.

Purchase and consume lots of organic high-antioxidan t foods and supplements.

Purchase and consume eight apricot kernals (a cancer preventative) per day; and/or apricot kernal oil, both available from If you develop cancer(s), consume more kernals per day; because, in cancer patients, they are also an excellent natural cancer treatment.

+2 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-18 09:51
Your situation makes me sad. You are good to think about helping others.

Another idea: keep potassium iodide tablets in your medicine cabinet, folks, especially for any children in your family. They will pick up radioactive iodine more quickly than adults. Saturating the thyroid with harmless PI will prevent the absorption of the radioactive kind.

Buying a radiation detector, a few hundred dollars, would be a good idea if you have the cash. I don't think anyone is widely monitoring or reporting on radioactive fallout in our communities. The federal government will not let you know.
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-18 19:25
Right-on comment, "Innocent Victim"; except one thing: There are radiation monitoring sites of individual, private citizens monitoring the radiation levels in our communities all over the U.S., and reporting them electronically in real time over the internet; and the site I'm about to give a link to (because I hadn't finished posting all of the continuations of my comment) for RadiationNetwor k(.com), is one of the best.
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-18 21:32
Examples of the best antioxidants and/or other cancer-preventa tive supplements include the following: Vitamin D3, Pau d'Arco, Melatonin (the latter two flush radiation from the body), Resveratrol (red wine extract), Grape Seed (or Resveratrol with Grape Seed), Milk Thistle (to flush the liver), and others.

In addition, you should use organic sesame oil in your food preparation, because it also helps flush radiation from the human body.

Take maximum dose Potasium Iodide (125 mgs) once per day, a day or two before going outside, and/or on the day of and just before going outside (do NOT take constantly, or daily, for more than a month).

0 # Max Demian 2012-05-19 07:19
As I do, watch the weather and keep track of the jetstream, and only go outside in non-inclement weather when the jetstream is not blowing right over and/or through your area, including the edges of it (experts say that the edges of the jetstream can carry the highest levels of radioactive dust). Use the following websites:

Any weather site for your area (MSN local weather is good) (refresh the page every time you want to check it, if you keep a window and/or tab open for it) (just refresh the page every few hours, if you keep a tab and/or window open for it) (automatically refreshes often)

And last but definitely not least, if you believe in God, pray daily for God's protection from the radiation, particularly when you bathe and when you venture outside; and pray for protection from the radiative dust in the air, food and water especially as well.

0 # Max Demian 2012-05-19 07:46
There have not been releases in the Southern Hemisphere, to my knowledge, of large amounts of radiation like from Fukushima... yet anyway. So the Southern Hemisphere is MUCH safer right now, at least as far as radiation levels are concerned. For those considering leaving the U.S., North America and/or the Northern Hemisphere, now is the best time to do so; because pretty soon the U.S. government and/or other Western governments aren't going to allow people to leave the country, at least permanently. Obviously, stay away from Westernized countries like Australia and New Zealand, which are all turning into corporate-fasci st authoritarian police states like the U.S., U.K., etc., where human rights and civil liberties are being eradicated, and they are becoming more totalitarian and repressive; as well as staying away from countries which have nuclear power plants, and/or where you would be living directly east of them.

Further very important information concerning Fukushima:

Urgent Warning: Fukushima Estimate of Situation

Cesium in Fukushima Prefecture 122 Times Higher than in Belarus (Chernobyl) Evacuation Zone

Fukushima disaster is ‘nuclear war without a war’
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-25 18:04

Fukushima: If Number 4 Collapses, Japan Will Be Evacuated

The latter article above states that there were more, very recent, hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima 1 and 3 reactors, and that TEPCO wants to get the heck out of Dodge. Does anyone doubt anymore that this is an ongoing disaster that is undoubtedly continuing to spread extreme levels of radioactive dust all over the Northern Hemisphere, and that we in the U.S. are still being inundated with it right now?! This also further supports that the spent fuel pool at reactor 4 has probably already collapsed and melted down, or that it's just a matter of time before it does with all of these continuing explosions at Fukushima.
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-25 18:56
Further information:

U.S. Army General: The Whole Northern Hemisphere is at Risk of Becoming Largely Uninhabitable
-7 # ericlipps 2012-05-17 16:43
Here's the thing: no matter what we do, the spent nuclear fuel at Fukushima Daiichi will still exist. Either we just all hold hands and wait for The End, or we learn to handle this stuff safely. But given that doing the latter (assuming we can) would remove one huge objection to continued use of nuclear power, I wonder if the antinuclear mvement wouldn't prefer the former.
0 # propsguy 2012-05-17 21:47
don't worry, mr matsumura. mankind won't have to deal with the nuclear waste for another 100 to 200 thousand years. at the rate we're destroying the planet for immediate profit, i'd say we won't make it as a species for another 100 to 200 years
+1 # Daedalus 2012-05-19 12:39
The private sector can usually be trusted to handle such matters when the underlying material is really valuable. With the right technology, this "waste" is more valuable than gold.

What you need is something called an Integral Fast Reactor. It is an advanced nuclear reactor which uses liquid metal leftovers from light water reactors as fuel. The Department of Energy tested a design for some 30 years, and although the expanded project was cancelled, the DOE paid GE to work up a modern design called the S-PRISM.

Although the S-PRISM is a nuclear reactor, it is much safer and more efficient. It is designed so that it cannot go critical, and consumes 99.5% of the nuclear material put in it versus about 5% for a light water reactor. The leftovers are only radioactive for a few hundred years, and there is only about 1/20th as much.

As I understand it, the S-PRISM is fairly small and self-contained, and could be largely manufactured off site. It could then be transported near the facility, wired up to the grid, and then begin the process of turning the old fuel rods into electricity. Because it is so efficient, it is said to be cheaper than coal. When the old fuel is exhausted, it is said to be able to burn Thorium or U-238 once a reaction has been started, both of which are plentiful.

One of the beauties of these machines is that in the event of another earthquake, they can simply be turned off without a lengthy shutdown cycle.
+1 # haole guy 2012-05-21 01:53
0 # gaylagee 2012-07-21 10:54
Today I launched a new website, fo - for latest info and clear, documented answers to these questions:

-- What led to world-threateni ng problems at Fukushima?
-- What are the current world-threateni ng problems at Fukushima?
-- Why haven't we been told of this dangerous situation by authorities and media?
-- Who is/will be affected by Fukushima, and what effects are likely?
-- How can I protect myself and my loved ones?

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