Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A guide to the ongoing disaster called Fukushima Reactor 4!

Update May 27th, 2012: Hosono visits Fukushima No. 4 reactor amid concern over fuel pool (Source)
Seismic Activity Near Fukushima

The Fukushima nuclear power plant is already a Japanese disaster, but the rest of the world is by no means out of the woods!

Recently I posted an article that made the simple statement, "Remembering Fukushima".

Why is it necessary to "remember" a nuclear disaster that surpasses the marker of all nuclear accidents, Chernobyl?

Is it because the danger has passed and it's therefore out of the news, or is it because the potential danger Fukushima Reactor 4 poses is so great that to discuss it would be to create to much fear and anxiety over a problem that may have no reasonable solution?

The use of "terms" can sometimes be an exercise in hyperbole! And then again sometimes not!
  • The term "meltdown" is used loosely to describe the mess of the financial crisis in the EU.
  • "Potential disaster" is used to describe full implementation of Obamacare or the possibility for an Obama second-term in office.
  • "Hopelessness" is rightly used to describe the U.S. economy and level of joblessness.
  • Crisis is used to describe the Iranian nuclear weapons program!
  • Crash refers to the Facebook IPO and what could happen to the global markets if Greece leaves the EU to be followed by others!
  • But what term or phrase would you apply to the Fukushima nuclear complex and specifically Reactor 4 that poses a real danger for global nuclear contamination?
I suppose the term for that last one would go something like "out of sight, out of mind!"

Here are two articles that discuss the potential outcome from Fukushima if the situation were to escalate any further. While the Japanese government appears to be trying to minimize the problem and may in fact be helpless to stop it, better to be aware than in the dark.

Reactor 4, earthquake risk, global risk!

"...The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements," Alvarez said in his response. "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 Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl accident."
Mitsuhei Murata, Japan's former ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal, has also made it his mission to convince the UN and the world that urgent action is needed.
"It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No. 4 reactor," Murata said in a recent letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in which he urged him to back efforts to address the problem..." (Source)
"...The region around Japan is VERY seismically active. This fact alone should be cause for great concern of the horrifically damaged and exposed nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Could this current earthquake swarm be the one that proceeds to finish it off? Hopefully not. But one thing’s for sure… one day, if the situation there isn’t fortified, there will be a quake that is strong enough…" (Source)

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