Akio Matsumura, a former UN diplomat, makes a case that the reactor 4 spent fuel pool poses a serious threat within a 2-3 year time frame.
Matsumura argues there are four things that leave 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.
I wonder what they will do now.
Sorry Ruth that I'm so behind on all your wonderful discussions.
But not to worry, I'll get caught up.
Here's a Fukushima update.
Reactor 4's spent fuel pool continues to pose the major risk.
... the Japanese Science Ministry reported that long-lived radioactive cesium had contaminated 11,580 square miles (30,000 sq km) of the land surface of Japan.[i] Some 4,500 square miles – an area almost the size of Connecticut– was found to have radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s allowable exposure rate of 1 mSV (millisievert) per year.
About a month after the disaster, on April 19, 2011, Japan chose to drastically increase its official “safe” radiation exposure levels[ii] from 1 mSv to 20 mSv per year – 20 times higher than the US exposure limit. This allowed the Japanese government to downplay the dangers of the fallout and avoid evacuation of many badly contaminated areas.
... 159,128 people had been evicted from the exclusion zones, losing their homes and virtually all their possessions. Most have received only a small compensation to cover their costs of living as evacuees. Many are forced to make mortgage payments on the homes they left inside the exclusion zones.
... radioactive cesium ... has been detected in a large range of Japanese foodstuffs, including spinach, tea leaves, milk, beef, and freshwater fish up to 200 miles from Fukushima.
Routine ingestion of foods contaminated with so-called “low levels” of radioactive cesium has been shown to lead to its bioaccumulation in the heart and endocrine tissues, as well as in the kidneys, small intestines, pancreas, spleen and liver.
... the Fukushima disaster produced the largest discharge of radioactive material into the ocean in history.
Fifteen months after 733,000 curies of radioactive cesium were pumped into the Pacific, 56 percent of all fish catches off Japan were found to be contaminated with it.[vii] Fishing continues to be banned off the coast of Fukushima, where 40 percent of bottom dwelling fish (sole, halibut, cod) were recently found to have radioactive cesium levels higher than current Japanese regulatory limits.[emphasis mine]
Personally I take offense to evacuees being forced to make mortgage payments on exclusion zone abandoned homes. That's salt in wounds.
Decommissioning will cost $100 billion! Tell me again how nuclear energy is cost effective.
Inside the heavily guarded gates of Fukushima Daiichi, work is about to begin on a decommissioning operation that could cost at least $100 billion and last 40 years. [emphasis mine]