Fukushima Radiation a Serious Threat to North American Coast
The Turner Radio Network (TRN) has recently issued a report on the Fukushima radiation being a serious threat to the West Coast of North America and others in the entire northern hemisphere. The report calls for anyone residing on the west coast to immediately start preparations for another round of dangerous atmospheric radiation. The radiation is coming from Reactor 3 in Fukushima’s nuclear disaster site in Japan. The nuclear reactor was damaged in Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
Tokyo Electric and Power Company (TEPCO) have confirmed through surveillance cameras that steam has begun to rise out of the severely damaged Reactor 3. This is not the first time steam was observed escaping the facility, there were four sightings of steam rising since December 19th and other reports from back in July 2013.
TEPCO is uncertain what details surround the steam plumes or why the change occurred. They are unable to investigate further due to the lethal radiation levels in building 3.
Some nuclear experts are saying that the steam could signify the start of a spent fuel pool meltdown. Building 3 still contains 89 tons of nuclear fuel that could potentially burn up and head into the atmosphere for North America. After the earthquake, Fukushima had three reactor meltdowns roughly 60 hours after the earthquake as reactors 4, 5, and 6 were currently off-line for maintenance. Building 3 exploded a few days after the earthquake from a build up of hydrogen gas.
Reactor 3 is slightly different from the other Fukushima reactors. It is a mixed-core reactor containing both uranium fuel and a uranium-plutonium oxide fuel mix (MOX). Building 3 still houses 514 MOX fuel rods making up the total of 89 tons.
TEPCO has started the decommissioning of the nuclear plant in November. Workers began the recovery and removal of over 1,500 possibly damaged nuclear fuel rods currently inside Building 4. The operation will see a total of 22 rod assemblies removed, transported, and safely stored with each assembly containing 50 to 70 nuclear fuel rods.
Not all experts are saying there is a serious threat to North America from Fukushima radiation. TEPCO says that radiation levels don’t increase when the steam is being released. Officials at the company say that the steam can be caused by rain or moisture in the air that has found its way to the hot reactor. This would explain the location of the steam arising from the reactor as it was observed escaping from the fifth floor of the building just above the reactor containment structure.
TEPCO also suggests that steam may be created from pellets of nuclear fuel that were possibly ejected during the explosion. If the pellets of fuel landed in the spent fuel pool which is located above the reactor, they have likely started to melt down and are now boiling off the pool’s water. However down-played, this has some worried that the situation can escalate out of hand very quickly with 89 tons of fuel being released into the atmosphere.
The warning that was issued suggested some preparatory measures for those living on the West Coast of North America. People on the western coast should make sure they are up to date with all the news. They also suggest sealing off doors, windows, and any light switches and wall outlets with plastic and tape. Any vents should also be covered and to protect one from the outdoors use TYVEK disposable suits and NIOSH N100-certified filter masks for all family members. Residents of the west coast should also wash obsessively to reduce any possibility of radiation contamination. Radiation will take two to three days to reach the West Coast from Japan.
Years after the disaster, radiation from Fukushima still poses many serious threats to the North American Coast. Threats may continue many years into the future as well. Recently $35 billion has been allocated for the rebirth of Fukushima.
By Brent Matsalla