Watch this interview on the comparison between Fukushima and the Chernobyl Plant and what experts are saying:
This report “Radiation up 400 times in Miyagi, new blast feared at Fukushima” can be watched at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE_Au0J-gqw
Statement re the Nuclear and Earthquake Disaster Unfolding in Japan
The Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) is deeply concerned for the health and safety of the people affected by the earthquakes and tsunamis that have struck Japan over the last two days. We are particularly concerned for the people in the vicinity of nuclear power plants, including workers who are trying to minimize the scope of the disaster.
Unit 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is in a state of meltdown. A nuclear disaster which the promoters of nuclear power in Japan said wouldn’t happen is in progress. It is occurring as a result of an earthquake that they said would not happen.
This could and should have been predicted. It was predicted by scientists and NGOs such as CNIC. We warned that Japan’s nuclear power plants could be subjected to much stronger earthquakes and much bigger tsunamis than they were designed to withstand.
Besides the question about how this accident will unfold, the big question now is, will the government and the nuclear industry acknowledge its mistakes and change track?
Last December the Japanese government began a review of its nuclear energy policy. The review was commenced in the spirit of essentially confirming the existing policy. That approach is no longer viable. The direction of the policy review must be completely reversed. It must be redirected towards developing a policy of phasing out nuclear energy as smoothly and swiftly as possible.
International Liaison Officer
Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center
Phone: 81-3-3357-3800 (office)
Phone: 81-3-3708-2898 (home)
Web (will be updated on Monday):
Japan’s nuclear legacy, Earthquakes and Nuclear Energy, and the never-ending problems and cover-ups of Japan’s nuclear industry.
FACT SHEET ON FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
UPDATE 2:30 pm, Sunday, March 13, 2011 from NIRS:
Tokyo Electric Power is reporting that some six feet of the core of Unit-3 remains uncovered and has been for some time despite efforts to pump water into the core. Tepco speculates there may be leaking pipes and water is not remaining in the core. A translation of part of the statement from our Japanese colleagues:
“The fuel’s integrity has been considerably compromised. We are assessing a considerably serious situation.”
Full Fact Sheet available @:
Core is uncovered at Unit 3; Tokyo Electric Power calls it “a considerably serious situation.”
There are currently 23 General Electric Mark I reactors in the U.S.–the design that exploded at Fukushima. A top Atomic Energy Commission official first proposed banning this design nearly 40 years ago. List/fact sheet.
Link to video of press conference in Japan by Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (in Japanese with English translation), March 13, 2011.
Statement of Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, March 12, 2011
Green Action blog on Japan nuclear crisis, includes updates, video links.
2002 report from Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center on cover-ups of safety problems by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Nuclear Disaster in Japan – workers and citizens at high risk
The massive explosion following a cooling problem at one Fukushima’s nuclear reactors, Daiichi, has not only released radiation and other toxic compounds, but has created an untenable situation for workers at Fukushima’s other nuclear reactors nearby, called Daini, especially given that a state of emergency has been declared for five reactors at the two plants. Latest news is that a hydrogen explosion is now possible at the No. 3 reactor at Fukushima 1.
“Workers are being exposed to the ‘allowable’ annual dose of radiation every hour that they remain on site. Our hearts go out to them,” said Muna Lakhani, co-ordinator of Earthlife Africa’s Unplug Nuclear 1 campaign. The danger is not over. There are fears of another explosion as the cooling system at a second reactor has also failed, as of Sunday morning. “The measuring of Caesium at the plant indicates that a meltdown has indeed taken place, which raises the levels of radiation released to catastrophic proportions” suggested Lakhani. Latest news on Sunday confirms fears of a multiple meltdown.
The reactors have all been shut down. The reactor core remains hot for days after shutdown, however, so workers have been busy ensuring that the fuel rods do not melt down. For this the cooling systems need to be operational requiring a power source. The quake has disrupted the backup supplies of power including diesel generators. The IAEA supplied batteries and coolant in the interim. They are now flushing the highly radioactive core with seawater which will cause massive seawater contamination whilst preventing a full scale Chernobyl type meltdown. This is an act of desperation and unprecedented.
Platitudes by the Japanese government and nuclear industry suggesting that the radiation threat is minimal must be treated with great caution, as reports confirm that not only has the containment been breached, and that ‘venting’ is taking place, but also that radiation levels at about 1000 higher than normal have been measured. The 24 hr monitoring that is supposed to happen as a matter of course, has been shutdown (www/nu/pamp/index-j.html) – Japanese activists suggest that this is so that the public and the world at large will not be told how much radiation has and is being released” said Gray Maguire, ELA branch secretary.
It took local activists many hours to get the exclusion zone expanded from the initial 10km to 20 km, which, while not completely safe, helps limit harm to local residents.
“We call upon the nuclear industry, and the South African government, to take this disaster seriously, and abandon all nuclear plans for our country. Given that proposed sites are all along the coast, we believe that this gamble is unacceptable. Not only are sustainable and safe alternatives cheaper than nuclear power, but they are also better solutions to the creation of decent work and energy security, as well as the best solutions to limit climate change,” Lakhani states. The public should note that our existing nuclear power plant Koeberg is on a geological fault on the Cape Fold Belt with the last destructive large earthquake occurring in 1809. Interesting also is that if we were to apply the 20km exclusion/ evacuation zone (which has been applied to Fukushima) to Koeberg this would mean evacuating most of Cape Town.
There has been a history of safety problems and cover-ups by TEPCO at the Fukushima reactor complex. (http://cnic.jp/english/newsletter/nit92/nit92articles/nit92coverupdata.html).
South Africa is considering a ‘fleet’ of nuclear reactors, at Thyspunt, Bantamklip and additional reactors at Koeberg, at a potential cost of hundreds of billions of Rands. Yje National Nuclear Regulator has also come under fire, for not mobilising a “hazmat” team, with local activists questioning their ability to respond to a disaster at Koeberg.
Earthlife Africa Cape Town
Unplug Nuclear 1 Campaign
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