The Intel Hub
By Alexander Higgins
April 9, 2012
A former UN Adviser has warned that Fukushima has the potential to destroy the world, the environment, and our civilization with nuclear fallout taking up to 50 years to contain.
Experts are now coming forward with their opinions on the real implications of the Fukushima disaster. More and more scientists continue to report that Fukushima has the potential to make Chernobyl look like a drop of water compared to a massive lake.
For starters, experts are admitting that the nuclear fallout is already near or above Chernobyl levels.
Then there is the acknowledgement that the levels of cesium at the plant is 85 time more than that contained at Chernobyl. On top of that, there is the major problem of the plutonium Mox fuel.
Now, a former UN Adviser, has come forward to warn that Fukushima has the potential to “destroy the world, the environment, and our civilization.
Via: Akio Matsumura:
Japan’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.
(ENENews) – Statement by Akio Matsumura:
The crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plants has not ended. While the first three reactors contained fuel and presented a serious threat since March 11, 2011, they have largely been contained. Reactor 4 contained no fuel when the earthquake hit. Instead, the spent fuel rods had been moved to a cooling pool on the second floor of the containment unit. [...] If another high level earthquake hits the area, the building will certainly collapse. Japanese and American meteorologists have predicted that such a strong earthquake is indeed likely to hit this year.
Japan is Poisoning Other Countries By Burning Highly-Radioactive Debris
Fukushima to Burn Highly-Radioactive Debris
Fukushima will start burning radioactive debris containing up to 100,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram. As Mainchi notes:
The state will start building storage facilities for debris generated by the March 2011 tsunami as early as May at two locations in a coastal area of Naraha town, Fukushima Prefecture, Environment Ministry and town officials said Saturday.
About 25,000 tons of debris are expected to be brought into the facilities beginning in the summer, according to the officials.
If more than 100,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium are found per kilogram of debris, the debris will be transferred to a medium-term storage facility to be built by the state. But if burnable debris contains 100,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium or less, it may be disposed of at a temporary incinerator to be built within the prefecture, according to the officials.
Within the 20-km-radius no-go zone spanning across Naraha and five other municipalities along the coast, debris caused by the magnitude 9.0 quake and the subsequent tsunami has amounted to an estimated 474,000 tons, much of remaining where it is.
How much radiation is that?
It is a lot.
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen has said that much lower levels of cesium – 5,000-8,000 bq/kg (20 times lower than what will be allowed to be burned at Fukushima) – would be sent to a special facility in the United States and buried underground for thousands of year. See this and this.
And even the Japanese – who have raised acceptable levels of radiation to absurd levels – would normally demand that material with this radioactivity be encased in cement and buried:
According to plans by the Ministry of Environment, if the radioactive cesium concentration is less than 8,000 Bq/kg, then it is possible to dispose of it by burying it. Rubble that has 8,000 ~ 100,000 Bq must be encased in cement in order to prevent contact with water before being dumped. For rubble that exceeds 100,000 Bq, it must be encased in concrete walls and stored temporarily. The disposal place must be approved of by the Prefectural Governor.
In addition, some allege that debris surpassing 100,000 bq/kg of cesium will be burned, after being mixed with less-radioactive materials.
And many of the incinerators are located smack dab in the middle of crowded cities, and are not equipped to contain radiation.
Other Parts of Japan Are Also Burning Radioactive Debris
And it’s not just Fukushima.
Burning to Continue for for Years
Mainichi reports that the radioactive debris will be burned for years … through at least March 2014.
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