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Fukushima: A Nuclear Threat to Japan, the U.S. and the World

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Playinghardball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:58 AM
Original message
Fukushima: A Nuclear Threat to Japan, the U.S. and the World
Source: ABC News

For several weeks, radioactive leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plants have been incapacitating a large part of Japan. Information from the Japanese government and TEPCO, the power company that operates the site, has been sparse, often incomplete and sometimes contradictory. A confidential assessment by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission obtained by The New York Times suggests that the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is far from stable. The report concludes that the Fukushima plant is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely.

The Fukushima disaster has become more than a local, regional or national Japanese event. The worldwide implications of the event are becoming apparent: though a major leak in a maintenance pit of the plant has been plugged, there is still a great likelihood that significant amounts of radioactive water will continue to be released into the Pacific Ocean; the worldwide Just-In-Time manufacturing cycle has been interrupted; and increased levels of radiation have been detected on the U.S. East Coast. Though the amount of radiation to reach the U.S. is small and poses no present danger, its presence demonstrates that the Fukushima event has global impact.



Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/fukushima-leak-threat-japa...
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Has anyone considered the possibility of the entire country having to evacuate?
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. yes, I have
And of course folks around here have been thinking I'm nuts. Nope, not nuts; a realist! :scared:

:kick:

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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. i thought we should offer them wyoming
i dunno, at least its something?
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. What about all of the empty houses?
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 10:07 AM by CountAllVotes
I'm sure they might be more than happy to afford one of the many houses that are available here in the USA.

It would be the right thing to do!

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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. The right thing to do is let our homeless have the empty homes 1st.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. I agree!
It would beat living in a tent somewhere no doubt (or a shelter or any other sort of not acceptable housing!).

:dem:

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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. thanks for the update
It seems to me that we aren't hearing as much about this is we should be hearing. Can you say the word "cover-up"?

Thanks again & welcome to the DU!! :D

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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. Increased radiation on the EAST Coast? Don't they mean WEST Coast?
:wtf:
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. they have detected higher radiation in the eastern US
I read levels were high in Massachusetts! Yikes!
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I was aware of the rain water story, but not increased radiation in the Atlantic.
Unless I misunderstand the point, and that's what they meant. Cheers.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. and that begs the question...
...if they've found higher radiation levels on the West Coast, and radiation
in the rain and in the air on the east coast--what about the Midwest and the
South? Can we assume that the radiation has swept across the US?

Also, I'd be interesting in hearing about more than just "radiation levels".

These levels vary from hour to hour, and day to day.

Let's hear about the presence of Cesium or Iodine-129 (which has a half life
of hundreds of years) and also Iodine-131.

There's radiation. Then there's radioactive fallout. We sure as hell
deserve to know if these materials are in our grass, in the air and in
the rain. We've hear NOTHING so far. We need answers NOW!
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. The EPA is slowly, grudgingly, addressing the rain and water, etc. issue:
If you can live with having results from a once a week- or once a month- sample, that is:

http://epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-sampling-data.html
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks for posting this very important information!
Welcome to DU Playinghardball!
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. Wow. Such a clean energy, those nukes.
:sarcasm:
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
12. The updates always finish with "but the levels post no threat to human life" --
I always think they should add "yet". And what about the oceans? The earth? The air? The animals?

As always, they discount it to justify their continued pursuit of nuclear power. :grr:
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Raschel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. That's what I've had an issue with from day one. How can they say it poses no problem, when it
it's an ongoing thing, and nobody knows when it can be stopped?
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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. Despite what the pro-nukers exclaim, I do care about those Japanese who perished
in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, but many would probably have been injured and killed anyway, regardless of their proximity to the Fukushima Daiishi plant. No, I do not want to appear to be a chicken little and post replies going overboard about the potential or looming health consequences of continued internal/external radiation exposure to the Japanese people, as well as the possible consequences to their environment, economy, and the marine ecology of the ocean and seas surrounding Japan.

But, there appears to be no middle-ground to stand on, either you believe that few outside of the plant will be affected, or many, as well as the rest of the planet. It is either none or many if not most...

Sorry, but as long as the reactors remain largely uncontrolled, and not a single one of the four have been rendered safe, neutralized, and secured, there is deep and reasonable cause for continued grave concern, especially with the #2 and #3 reactors, that from HD images the I have viewed that were taken by satellite, appear to be so damaged that IMO, both of their spent fuel rod storage pools that "were" attached to the upper half of their interiors cannot possibly be intact. #3's upper half is just not "there" anymore, and it has been blasted away or collapsed down to the floor of the reactor. Likewise #2, the upper half of the interior walls of the reactor appear to be barren of anything resembling a rectangular/reinforced cement pool spanning two or three sides, and probably is in chunks or pieces, along with its tons of stored spent fuel rods, (that may or may not still be in the "shape" of rods, and only if most or all of their zirconium cladding remains intact) within the debris on the reactor floors. Since the roofs of #1 and #4 reactors are mostly intact, we cannot view their interiors from outside, to see the extent of any damage that has occurred and may still be happening within them.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
18. They obviously didn't get the memo about the spin being "all about reassurance"
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 12:41 PM by Warren DeMontague
C'mon. Panic is bad for business.

:eyes:
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. Near the end of the article the authors state...
..."Looking to the future, as fossil fuels are depleted and become more costly, the world inevitably will become more dependent on nuclear power."

AARRGGHH! No mention of renewables -- wind, solar, biomass...

Their recommendation:

"What is needed, in our opinion, is a permanently staffed, international nuclear rescue team. The team could have a core staff of full-time team members with stand-by team members, drawn from government and industry experts, who would be activated in the event of a disaster. The team would be furnished with the scientific, technical and equipment resources necessary to address an equivalent or a worse level of nuclear disaster than Fukushima. It would create scenarios, plans and tactics for remediating disasters when they occur. It would train to prepare to respond to a nuclear accident as a cohesive unit."

Note their affiliation:

"Steve Brozak is President of WBB Securities, an independent broker-dealer and investment bank specializing in biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceutical research. Henry Bassman is a Managing Director at WBB Securities."

Well I agree the international nuclear rescue team may be a good idea. However, they seem unable to imagine a world without nukes, which is IMO a failure of vision, due to being bought into the current system.

Nevertheless a very interesting article and well worth reading. The economic effects are just starting to be felt and may have long term consequences. I found it interesting that we are already seeing disruptions in the "Just-In-Time" supply chain, yet another illustration of why we should look at decentralization and also showing that just-in-time has its pitfalls. The effects on Japan's food supply may be devastating, and there will be a consequent effect on world food prices, which will be devastating for the world's poorest people. And that doesn't even count the straight health effects from radiation, in Japan and potentially much farther afield.
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