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Fukushima’s Apocalyptic Threat Demands a Global Response

8:56 pm in Uncategorized by solartopia


Fukushima may be in an apocalyptic downward spiral.


Forget the corporate-induced media coma that says otherwise…or nothing at all.


Lethal radiation is spewing unabated.  Emission levels could seriously escalate.  There is no end in sight.  The potential is many times worse than Chernobyl.


Containing this disaster may be beyond the abilities of Tokyo Electric or the Japanese government.


There is no reason to incur further unnecessary risk.  With all needed resources, it’s time for the world’s best scientists and engineers to take charge.


Even then the outcome is unclear.


For a brief but terrifying overview, consult Dr. Chris Busby as interviewed by RT/TV ( ).


Fukushima Units One, Two and Three are all in various stages of melting down.


Molten fuel at Unit One may have burned through its reactor pressure vessel, with water poured in to cool it merely pouring out the bottom.


A growing pond of highly radioactive liquid is softening the ground and draining into the ocean.


There is no way to predict where these molten masses of fuel will yet go.


Especially in the event of an aftershock, steam and hydrogen explosions could blow out what’s left of the containments.


The extra plutonium in the MOX fuel at Unit Three is an added liability.


At least one spent fuel pool may be on fire.


The site has already suffered at least two hydrogen explosions.  Some believe a fission explosion may also have occurred.  ( )


All have weakened the structures and support systems on site.


These shocks and the soft ground may be why Unit Four has partially sunk and is tipping, possibly on the brink of collapse.  Even a relatively minor aftershock could mean catastrophe.


More explosions are possible.  More leaks are virtually certain.


Escalated radiation levels from any one of the reactors could force all workers to evacuate, leaving the entire site to chance.


The New York Times has now reported that critical valve failures that contributed to the Fukushima disaster are likely at numerous US reactors.  ( )


Significant radioactive debris has been found thousands of yards from the plant. Radiation levels in Tokyo, nearly 200 miles away, have risen.  Fallout has been detected in North America and throughout Europe.


Radiation pouring into the sea has begun to spread worldwide.


There is much more, none of it good.  ( )


Japan and Germany have had the good survival sense to abandon future reactor construction, and to shut some existing sites.  ( )


But here, the corporate media blackout is virtually complete.  Out of sight, out of mind seems the strategy for an industry desperate for federal loan guarantees and continued operation of a rickety fleet of decaying old  reactors.


The Obama Administration has ended radiation monitoring of seafood in the Pacific.  It does not provide reliable, systematic radiological or medical data on fallout coming to the United States.


But we may all be in unprecedented danger.


A national movement is underway to end atomic give-aways and turn to a green-powered Earth ( ).


Now we must also move ALL the world’s governments beyond denial to focus on somehow bringing Fukushima under control.


After two months of all-out effort, four reactors and at least that many spent fuel pools remain at risk.


Our survival depends on stopping Fukushima from further irradiating us all.


The world community has come together to put a new sarcophagus around Chernobyl.


A parallel, more urgent effort now needs to focus on Fukushima.


Whatever technical, scientific and material resources are available to our species, that’s what needs to go there.





Harvey Wasserman edits and co-authored KILLING OUR OWN: THE DISASTER OF AMERICA’S EXPERIENCE WITH ATOMIC RADIATION, available free on the internet ( ) .   His SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at



Japan’s Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

2:51 am in Uncategorized by solartopia

Japan’s Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US, by Harvey Wasserman

MAR 11, 2011

Japan’s Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

By Harvey Wasserman, Editor

Had the massive 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake that has just savaged Japan hit off the California coast, it could have ripped apart at least four coastal reactors and sent a lethal cloud of radiation across the entire United States. (… )

The two huge reactors each at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon are not designed to withstand such powerful shocks. All four are extremely close to major faults.

All four reactors are located relatively low to the coast. They are vulnerable to tsunamis like those now expected to hit as many as fifty countries.

San Onofre sits between San Diego and Los Angeles. A radioactive cloud spewing from one or both reactors there would do incalculable damage to either or both urban areas before carrying over the rest of southern and central California.

Diablo Canyon is at Avila Beach, on the coast just west of San Luis Obispo, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A radioactive eruption there would pour into central California and, depending on the winds, up to the Bay Area or southeast into Santa Barbara and then to Los Angeles. The cloud would at very least permanently destroy much of the region on which most Americans rely for their winter supply of fresh vegetables.

By the federal Price-Anderson Act of 1957, the owners of the destroyed reactors—including Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison—would be covered by private insurance only up to $11 billion, a tiny fraction of the trillions of dollars worth of damage that would be done. The rest would become the responsibility of the federal taxpayer and the fallout victims. Virtually all homeowner insurance policies in the United States exempt the insurers from liability from a reactor disaster.

The most definitive recent study of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster puts the death toll at 985,000. ( ) The accident irradiated a remote rural area. The nearest city, Kiev, is 80 kilometers away.

But San Luis Obispo is some ten miles directly downwind from Diablo Canyon. The region around San Onofre has become heavily suburbanized.

Heavy radioactive fallout spread from Chernobyl blanketed all of Europe within a matter of days. It covered an area far larger than the United States. (… )

Fallout did hit the jet stream and then the coast of California, thousands of miles away, within ten days. It then carried all the way across the northern tier of the United States.

Chernobyl Unit Four was of comparable size to the two reactors at Diablo Canyon, and somewhat larger than the two at San Onofre.

But it was very new when it exploded. California’s four coastal reactors have been operating since the 1970s and 1980s. Their accumulated internal radioactive burdens could exceed what was spewed at Chernobyl.

Japanese officials say all affected reactors automatically shut, with no radiation releases. But they are not reliable. In 2007 a smaller earthquake rocked the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki site and forced its lengthy shut-down.

Preliminary reports indicate at least one fire at a Japanese reactor hit by this quake and tsunami ).

In 1986 the Perry nuclear plant, east of Cleveland, was rocked by a 5.5 Richter-scale shock, many orders of magnitude weaker than this one. That quake broke pipes and other key equipment within the plant. It took out nearby roads and bridges.

Thankfully, Perry had not yet opened. An official Ohio commission later warned that evacuation during such a quake would be impossible.

Numerous other American reactors sit on or near earthquake faults.

The Obama Administration is now asking Congress for $36 billion in new loan guarantees to build more commercial reactors.

It has yet to reveal its exact plans for dealing with a major reactor disaster. Nor has it identified the cash or human reserves needed to cover the death and destruction imposed by the reactors’ owners.

Harvey Wasserman edits  He is Senior Advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service.  He co-authored KILLING OUR OWN: THE DISASTER OF AMERICA’S EXPERIENCE WITH ATOMIC RADIATION.