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FUKUSHIMA DAI NO.1 OPENED A “ PANDORA’S BOX” OF NUCLEAR PERDITION

08 Feb 2012

This article is a sequel to JAPAN’S GOV. AND TEPCO ARE LYING AGAIN ABOUT A “COLD-SHUTDOWN” AT FUKUSHIMA NPPs      http://energymaters.com/?p=480

SEE THERE! WE TOLD YOU THEY WERE LYING – THEN, AND THEY ARE LYING STILL.  A former special adviser to Naoto Kan, who was prime minister when the crisis started, warned that the situation is far from resolved and said Fukushima has exposed a multitude of serious nuclear problems that Japan will have to confront for years. Dr. Hiroshi Tasaka (who has a doctorate in nuclear engineering) and is now a professor at Tama University, said in a recent interview with The Japan Times: “I would say (the crisis) just opened Pandora’s box”

DR. TASAKA SAW THE SECRET DOCUMENT. He recalled viewing the government’s FUKUSHIMA DAI NO.1 “WORST CASE SCENARIO” late March 2011, When he was officially appointed “special advisor to the prime minister” on March 29.  The document detailed a hypothetical Fukushima crisis worst case scenario: 1. Eventual contamination from the plant would require the government to assist residents in the Tokyo area to evacuate if they wanted to voluntarily “migrate,” based on the same evacuation protocols adopted for the 1986 Chernobyl accident. 2. The scenario assumed another hydrogen explosion would occur in the reactor #1 building, and radiation would force all of the workers at the plant to evacuate.  3. All of the pools storing hundreds of nuclear fuel assemblies would eventually lose their cooling ability, and the assemblies would melt down and breach the pools (spill on the ground, and most probably initiate an uncontrollable chain reaction of unimaginable magnitude).  SCARY, IS IT NOT!

“SPENT FUEL POOLS” STILL THE BIGGEST DANGER according to Dr. Hiroshi Tasaka who was one of a select group allowed to glimpse the secret “WORST CASE SCENARIO” document written up by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC).  According to the scenario, the biggest risk during the meltdown crisis wasn’t the reactors themselves, but the spent fuel pools sitting atop them, particularly the one above reactor 4, which still contains about 1,500 nuclear fuel assemblies.  Unlike reactors 1, 2 and 3, the No. 4 unit was “offline for regular checks” when disaster struck on 11 Mar 2011, and thus the reactor (NUKE) didn’t suffer a meltdown. But its fuel rods were in the pool outside the reactor, and the pool’s coolant water fell dangerously low. Adding to that danger, the fuel pool was (is) now directly exposed to the outside environment after a hydrogen explosion blew off the upper part of the reactor building on 15 Mar 2011. The Spent Fuel Pool still appears to be dangling over the edge of the reactor building.  Dr. Tasaka added ominously: “The potential heat from the pool was also much higher than other pools because 204 of the 1,535 assemblies were still “new ones” that had been temporarily removed from reactor 4 for regular checks”

IT’S THE POOLS – FOOLS! The Fukushima No.1 Triple meltdown has highlighted the dangers of spent fuel pools, which are outside the robust primary containment vessels of the reactors themselves. Dr. Tasaka said: “Under the current circumstances, the nation has no prospect of starting up the experimental high-level nuclear waste processing facility in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, because of both technical difficulties and the sentiments of antinuclear activists: This means utilities must (continue to) store their spent fuel assemblies in cooling pools at their respective reactor sites as a “temporary measure…That situation greatly increased the danger at Fukushima No. 1 on March 11…The storage capacities of the spent fuel pools at the nation’s nuclear power plants are reaching their limits”. According to Dr. Tasaka: “The utilities’ fuel pools were about 70 % full on average in 2010, but the figure was 80 % at Fukushima No. 1. The makeshift cooling systems set up at Fukushima No. 1 to stabilize the stricken reactors and fuel pools have greatly reduced the possibility of another catastrophe; Even so, the improvised system for decontaminating the coolant water, is nevertheless generating large amounts of highly contaminated waste every day… Making matters worse, the government (OR INDUSTRY ?) doesn’t have any place to permanently store it”.

WORST CASE SCENARIO “SO SHOCKING” IT NEEDED SECRECY. The simulation was “so shocking” that top government officials decided to keep the paper secret by treating it as a “mere personal document” of JAEC Chairman Shunsuke Kondo, who compiled the simulation. The government only gave it official recognition at the end of Dec 2011 – More than 10 months after Tasaka saw the worst-case scenario paper.  Dr. Tasaka is still not sure if such scary information should immediately be made public during a nuclear plant crisis; He said: “The assumed worst case was extreme and people did not need to immediately flee the Tokyo area even in March or April” Dr. Tasaka added that disclosing the simulation could have caused panic in the capital”  Dr. Tasaka was obliged to keep secret the “worse case scenario” learned at the prime minister’s office, and did not feel in a position to decide “what information” was to be made public during the crisis.

“GROUNDLESS OPTIMISM” – A SOURCE OF CONCERN Dr. Tasaka is also deeply concerned about the “groundless optimism” displayed by bureaucrats and business leaders as they rush to restart dozens of reactors that remain halted for safety checks since March 11. He said: “I understand quite well the intentions of the government, which now wants to send out a message of hope. But at this stage, all the risks should be put on the table…The nation’s nuclear regulators must carry out drastic reforms to regain the people’s trust. This is an imperative for the government if it wants to keep pushing nuclear power”.

WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC ?. That is still an unanswered question that crosses moral, ethical, and “salvation of the many” grounds not yet broached satisfactorily by “nuclear” countries.  Dr. Tasaka said he decided to start talking about the “worse-case scenario” only after Prime Minister Kan mentioned some of its highlights during an interview with the media in Sep 2011. Dr. Tasaka recently wrote in a new book, “Kantei Kara Mita Genpatsu Jiko No Shinjitu” (The Truth About the Nuclear Accident as Viewed From the Prime Minister’s Office). Dr. Tasaka now believes the media and government should lay some ground rules in advance, on what sensitive information should be made clear in a nuclear crisis.  A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK!  BUT CRACK IT WE MUST – IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST !

Thanks to The Japan Times (online) for quotations,  08 Feb 2012  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120208f1.html

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MY TAKE:

IT’S THE POOLS – FOOLS!!!  Even though this article is self-explanatory, the concerns expressed herein bear careful scrutiny, and the realization that Japan is not alone in its plight with “Nuclear waste” produced by Nukes, and with nowhere to go.  There are literally thousands of Nukes worldwide (mostly old ones) with “Spent Fuel Pools” being used as  “Nuclear Waste Repositories”;  Unfortunately, most spent fuel pools are located on the same building with the Nukes, and above the Nuke itself to facilitate spent fuel removal, and re-installation by the use of remotely controlled davit/cranes.  Convenient location, but potentially deadly, because ” SPENT FUEL POOLS” MAKE POOR “NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORIES ” FOR MANY REASONS TO BE EXPLORED LATER.

WHO ME ? ? We noticed Dr. Tasaka too(also) avoids responsibility for the “release of information question” “He was just an advisor” THEY ALL SAY THAT! Even so, the IAEA could perform a useful function (for once) in writing proposals regarding the release of information, critical to the survival of potentially thousands of innocent victims of nuclear catastrophes; Unfortunately they, and most of the Nuclear Regulatory Agencies of the world, consider it their primary duty to hide such information to protect powerful financial interests. – Yes, here, there, and everywhere!  IT IS A HELL OF A WAY TO RUN A RAILROAD!!!   

Edward Oliver Gonzalez(gonzedo)

 

 

 

February 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM
15 comments »
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