Japan’s Nuclear Disaster: An Update

As I write this, on May 18, 2011 news about Japan’s nuclear situation, with regards to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is re-surfacing. After writing about the misconception most people have about nuclear power plants , and the hysteric fear people assume because of calculated slandering by invested interests, I feel obligated to provide an update to the situation at hand.

It appears that there are a few events that really don’t favor mankind at all that are occurring in Japan right now.

With regards to the plant itself, as one would expect from such an organization such as Tokyo Electric’s (TEPCO), who run Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, we are experiencing a layer of secrecy and deceit, with the true details trickling out slowly.

From World Nuclear News (WNN) on May 16, 2011: “Investigations at unit 1 at Fukushima Daiichi suggest that most of the fuel in the reactor core melted and dropped to the bottom of the reactor vessel in the early stages of the accident. Work has started on installing a structure to cover the damaged reactor building. ”

TEPCO’s news release states: “We would like to emphasize that due to the limitation of available data and information, the result of this analysis should be considered as provisional.”

As it stands, it seems the TEPCO really doesn’t know the extent of damage, I suspect it’s because of the hazardous effects investigating the zone would be to any human attempting it.

From WNN: “Tepco still aims to achieve a steady decline in radiation levels at and around the plant by mid-July. It also aims to have the release of radioactive materials under control and for the radiation dose to be “significantly held down” in around three to six months. However, it said there will still be “various uncertainties and risks” that could affect those timelines.”

TEPCO believes, due to the fact that pumping in water to the containment vessel does not raise the level of water inside the containment vessel, that their may be a leak of the cooling water being pumped into the containment vessel. This is bad because the water that gets pumped into the containment vessel becomes radioactive. If this water is leaking out, into the land, it can then seep into the easily accessible ocean or underground rivers.

Reports from Greenpeace, who I will note have a rather knee-jerk reaction to this event, calling for all nuclear facilities to be immediately shut down, have indicated that levels of radiation on the tested kelp and seaweed in the surrounding areas is hugely increased, reaching hazardous levels. This is doubly bad because the fishermen and the seaweed harvesters have no intention of halting their businesses because of this, which their spoils will then be fed into the mouths of millions of Japanese, and worldwide for that matter.

With regards to the waste pools: “The roadmap previously called for the construction of a support structure for the used fuel pool of unit 4 as the walls of the building supporting the pool have been damaged. The construction of this is set to begin next week. In addition, Tepco said it is now considering reinforcement work at each of the other units.”

So, it appears that we still have not had a nuclear meltdown as comic strips would portray it, comparable to Chernobyl. We do not have a nuclear fallout  cloud hovering above the world. But we do have nuclear radioactive waste water seeping into the earth, and the geiger is going off in the vicinity like the 3 o’clock alarm at the local high school. We also have suspicion there are cracks in the containment vessel with leaking radioactive water.

How much can we worry? Is this as bad as nuclear fallout? I don’t think so, but it is still devastating to the surrounding area.

We must demand that TEPCO gets control of the runoff.

Does anybody have any ideas how we can voice our concern?

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