Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a Real Possibility

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a Real Possibility

Commentary by James Turnage

While the world focuses on Syria and chemical weapons stockpiled by both sides in the conflict, other important issues are being ignored by the press.

First, although Assad is a ruler who needs to be deposed, the rebels offer a grim future for the war-torn country.  They are supported by al-Qaeda, and would create a terrorist country if they came into power.

Secondly, and possibly the most important story no one’s paying enough attention to, is the very real possibility that the Fukushima power plant could become a greater nuclear disaster than Chernobyl.

After the earthquake, and ensuing tsunami, a meltdown occurred at the plant, virtually destroying any hope of making it operational again.  The plant has been under a dismantling program since the disaster in 2011.  However, the Tokyo Electric Company, which is in charge of the removal of radioactive material, appears incompetent.

Radioactive water has been leaking from the plant at the rate of 300 gallons every day.  They have no way to contain it.  There are 3,000 pounds of extremely radioactive fuel rods which must be removed from reactor number eight.  Each rod must be removed individually and by human beings, not machines.  One minor accident with the removal of these rods would cause an unstoppable meltdown, the ramifications of which are unpredictable and inconceivable in possibility.

This weekend it was reported that even more radioactivity is leaking from the plant.

Is the extreme danger of the very real possibility of a meltdown at Fukushima being covered up by the governments of the world?  Are they suppressing the story, preventing the major news services from reporting the true conditions at the plant?

Governments around the world support nuclear power, even though Chernobyl and Fukushima prove that they have no knowledge of how to control the hazard after an accident.

The Japanese government has admitted that they have little confidence in the Tokyo Electric Company’s ability to dismantle Fukushima.  The have used makeshift tanks to control the contaminated water, which is increasing in the amount of leakage, and the level of radioactivity.

Local residents in the area of the plant will never be able to return to their homes.  They are not able to remove personal items such as family photos, etc., because they contain a dangerous level of radioactivity.

Reports say that a secondary meltdown at Fukushima would be greatly more destructive than the original in 2011.  The fact is that nuclear power remains a dangerous option.  The ‘experts’ have only been able to guess at the ‘what ifs.’

The truth about nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is that one accident is one too many.  The destructive force creates an entire area that is uninhabitable and useless for any purpose.

I recently saw some aerial photographs of Chernobyl.  It was reminiscent of the pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The American public was told after Three Mile Island that nothing of a serious nature could happen again.  They told us that technology had advanced, and they knew how to control such a great force of nature.  They lied.  That was their job, and some of us believed them.

We will see the major news services report on Fukushima, but only after there is another nuclear disaster.

James Turnage

Op-ed

12 Responses to "Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a Real Possibility"

  1. sam   November 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Bert go and google hydroelectic power stations, they are basically a dam on a natural water source that uses the power of the water to turn turbines and then it exits the plant as safe and as clean as it went in to continue down the natural water course.Scotland where I live has quite a few of them and they work really well and are safe and mostly environmentally friendly(especially compared to nuclear plants). Ank from everything I have seen/read/researched they never even got round to trying the liquid nitrogen at chernobyl, they tunneled under the reactor with plans of putting a refrigeration unit using liquid nitrogen in but never actually installed it as the money run out, they just filled the room with cement!

    Reply
  2. ank   October 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    They tried to freeze the ground under Chernobyl by pumping in tones of liquid nitrogen but they quickly gave up on that idea. I heard a US nuclear watchdog spokesman say in a TV interview that the Japanese mafia have been recruiting no hopers to work at the site. Maybe there’s an idea there. Take every criminal and offer them a reprieve in exchange for time in the fukishima work force.

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    • bert   October 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Well, Neal, about that ‘forget Syria’ part, problem is the Government Propaganda Division doesn’t want you to forget about Syria, they want Syria to be the Big Thing, all the news, all the time, etc.

      Fukushima: I don’t think putting liquid nitrogen in the ground is going to do it, I think you build a heat exchanger into the wall of the place, and run your liquid nitrogen through that. Get one end of the apparatus down to a working temperature, and start taking our core pieces. Literally core them out, right through the wall, cut another and another and another, then plug the access hole, and drill a new hole, and eventually, the radioactive middle stuff will be in small pieces in radiation-proof containers, and ready to send someplace else. then, you use your automation to run demolition equipment, drop the building like a bad habit, and make the bad thing go away and dump it down the same hole with all your containers. If they can run a robot on Mars, they can run stuff at Fukushima without endangering people.

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      • Ank   October 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        Well, robots were tried at chernobyl but they were fried by the radiation. The real problem as I understand it is the collection of rods stored in building 4. The great nuclear thinkers made the interior of these rods in a metal that combusts with oxygen. If any of them get exposed to air and break they will catch fire. You need robots that can withdraw one rod at a time without breaking it and remove it to a safe location all under water or in an inert atmosphere while withstanding thousands of rads per minute. This is a job no one can yet do.

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  3. Neal Grandstaff   September 13, 2013 at 5:37 am

    All of this is well and good but, when are the talking monkeys on this sorry planet going to quit building nuclear power plants and start using hydro electrical power.

    You fellows seem to be intelligent, even experienced and well read. Why don’t you spend some time explaining to your readers how using a fission reaction to create a steam powered electrical generator is like using a plasma cutter to light a cigarette.

    We have all been so conditioned not to talk about the endless supply of constant electrical energy that can be extracted from all of the rivers in the world, without dams or damaging the flora or fauna. Talk about a political/social agenda.

    Fukushima is a science project worth shouting about.

    The heck with Syria and the rest of the Fox news! Hey world!! Fix Fukushima and get with the program.

    I am afraid the arrogant bastards of this world have killed us all.

    Reply
    • bert   September 13, 2013 at 7:10 am

      Well, Neal, I think your sentiment is generally positive, but you need to expand some of your thoughts. Please illustrate your magic hydroelectric-thing, for example. I’d also like to read what you have to say about how to un-build the Fukushima mess, and submit proposals to various governments that don’t involve using nookers to generate electricity. Footnotes, if you can manage.

      Bert

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  4. ryan   September 3, 2013 at 1:41 am

    The picture posted on this article is not Fukushima

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    • bert   September 3, 2013 at 2:00 am

      They’re now saying they’re going to build a wall of frozen earth around the site, well, that’s great, but how about you freeze the inside of the apparatus, and, once frozen down, start coring out the Bad Stuff inside, and hauling it away, so that someday, there will be no more radioactive water source? I’m not a professional engineer, but it seems to me that there would be some kind of method of safely extracting the core material, containerizing it in small sections, and finally having done with the situation by tearing down the entire apparatus. Burial at sea is one way to address the situation, burial in whatever mine they originally took the stuff out of is another. Even when they do finally figure out and implement the process for demolition of the pile, and then the facility itself, then they’re going to have to shave 4 feet of dirt or more off the surface, and find new material to replace it, and then it’ll still be too radioactive for people for a couple centuries. This situation has Big Suck written all over it. Maybe concrete ‘eggs’ for burial? Dangerous stuff, hopefully, Fukushima will be inspiration for getting rid of nuclear power, or at least selecting an internationally certified and tested design for any future reactors, something that, if disturbed, will auto-scram without hesitation. There’s other ways to boil water with less potentially catastrophic risk.

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  5. sam   September 2, 2013 at 5:06 am

    This article would be more respected if the writter had actually got their facts right! There is no reactor number 8 at Fukushima and what they are talking about is actually trying to removed the fuel from the spentfuel pool in reactor number 4.Also Bert’s comment talks of using robots to do all the leathal work at fukushima, but it was discovered in the very early days of chernobyl that Robots die very quickly in highly radioactive environments, the ones they tried to used at chernobyl were designed and built to go on the moon but died within often a few hours but none lasted more than a few days so its not a viable option.It was very quickly discovered at Chernobyl that using people for short lengths of time was the best but most shocking way of getting the job done, the theory is to minimise the length of exposure by only doing often only a few seconds work at a time before getting another human to come and do the next few seconds.However the Russians used peopke again and again and didnt exactly stick to their theory but it worked as within a few weeks everything was more or less contained and it was just a waiting game.This method means thousands of men receiving risked doses of radiation and yes there is deaths in the long run, long term illnesses and depression/truma at what they have had to deal with but its better than half of europe or all of japan recieving leathal doses.As for cutting up fuel rods to make them “less radioactive” by the sheer design of a fuel rod any break in the zinconim casing actually masively increases radioactivity!

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    • bert   September 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Last news I heard, they’re considering the super-freeze idea. Woohoo! I hope they can get a handle on the situation, cut up that garbage, and figure out a way to dispose of it. Wouldn’t it be awesome, if they could work with Mitsubishi heavy, and/or Siemens, and/or G.E., and get into some wind power? Solar/geothermal/wave/tide power. Don’t know what the tides are like, there, but they’ve got some smart folks that can work on that that have more school than I do. Let’s hope for the best. Nukes are f’ing dangerous.

      Reply
  6. bert   September 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I think that the Fukushima issue can be resolved as follows: Set up a Big Heat Exchanger, and on one side, arrange to start supplying a lot of ‘cold’. Basically, we’re building a mega-freezer, here. Hook up to another reactor that’s still working, and draw power from that to start doing the circulation-stuff, and just refrigerate the heck out of the whole containment vessel, get it down into the 35F range, Dang Cold. On the other side, you’re building a circulation system, to work on that radioactive water inside, to take the hot to the cold. And then, you ARE using telerobotics to start harvesting out sections of these rod-thingies, and cut them up into transportable, less-radioactive pieces.

    They need to do an Apollo-grade program on telerobotics, learn everything there is to know about using this equipment under dire conditions such as Fukushima, so it can be utilized to full potential. Humans die in contact with radiation, robots, less quickly. Japan has organic industries that are pretty capable of working on this stuff, so does the US, so do some European countries. We’re talking servos, relays, sensors, optics, connectors, and probably not even that much voltage/amperage to run it. So, make the radioactively deconstructive magic happen, there, slice these things up like bologna, pack em in dirt or lead or whatever, and haul em off to wherever they can find on this earth to dump that garbage so it’ll never cause a problem, again. How about that trenchy-place in the bottom of the ocean, that’s not far away…and, when they’ve got a handle on all that, then start thinking about planning to shut down the rest of these things, eventually. Japan sits on 4 fault lines, multiple active volcanoes, exposed to the open ocean on all sides, what could possibly go wrong? Apparently, a lot.

    Reply

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