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My assessment of the Fukushima nuclear disaster [View All]

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:41 PM
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My assessment of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
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Several DUers have asked me to post the following comments I've made on the Fukushima nuke disaster as a separate thread. So here they are.

The first appeared as a comment in this thread:

TEPCO Confirms Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool Is Now An Uncontrolled, Open Air Fission Process (post by Talking Dog)

The DUer named "The Backlash Cometh" asked the following:

(Comment 7) For us people who missed our Advanced Atomic classes,
what does this mean to us? Do they dome the place up? Or wait for it to blow up?

I answered this...

(Comment 19) From this "steep learning curve" student of the atom, as I understand it, the plant won't "blow up"

but instead will continue leaking deadly radiation into the air, the sea and the soil--some part of it lasting for a thousand years--and the most hideous immediate danger is out- of-control fire spreading from the highly volatile "spent fuel rods" stacked above the six reactor containment vessels, incinerating the whole site and sending all of its radioactive material into the atmosphere, to blow hither and yon on the Pacific winds.

The main problem-as to volume of radioactive material already released and to come-- is the DESIGN of this nuke site, which packed SIX nuclear reactors close together at ONE site, with SIX "spent fuel pools" (highly flammable) positioned ABOVE the nuclear cores, in the same buildings, with no other containment around the pools. Fires in the "spent fuel pools" and attempts to cool them with water have already caused the roofs of two plants to be blown off, exposing all that radiation to the open air and potentially quite a bit more from damaged cores (damage to their containment vessels). This design was presumably done to SAVE MONEY (maximize profit) with common power and water-pumping infrastructure. And it was placed at the coast (vulnerable to tsumami and a great danger to Pacific fisheries) to capture fresh river water for cooling the reactors and the "spent fuel rods" and to be able to use sea water in an emergency, which they have done, dumping the radioactive sea water right back into the ocean.

So--if my understanding is correct--there isn't going to be a "mushroom cloud"--but rather a slower dreadful poisoning of the air, water and soil--which has already occurred in the immediate area, and can and will spread. (It's already been detected on the EAST coast of the U.S.--at not dangerous levels, according to the government.)

One reason that the "spent fuel rods" were present in the reactor buildings--greatly complicating the situation and greatly escalating the danger--is that THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THESE HIGHLY TOXIC, HIGHLY FLAMMABLE RODS. Who wants them buried in their back yards? Nobody! Send them to Mars? Maybe that's the solution. I don't know. They can't stay anywhere on earth without poisoning the area (including underground water tables). So they keep them in these sort of open bathtubs and, for convenience and "cost-savings," NEAR THE REACTORS, and keep pouring water on them. And, of course, THAT water is then radioactive, as is all the water that has been used in routine cooling and in this dire emergency.

Several experts have said that the "spent fuel rods" should NEVER have been so positioned--and should have been sealed in cement/steel containers far away from the reactor cores (--until shipment to Mars becomes possible, I guess). That would have made this less of a disaster but it does NOT solve the problem of creating EXTREMELY DANGEROUS radioactive materials, with half-lives of thousands of years, as an energy source.

And it does not solve the problem of the stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID and greedy human beings behind all this--and our inability to control THEM.

One of the many things that I find outrageous and criminal in this disaster is officialdom's view of the Pacific Ocean as a convenient toxic waste dump. They've been pouring megatons of radioactive water into the ocean and saying it will dissipate. This cavalier attitude toward Pacific fisheries is bad enough, but if you believe as I do that dolphins are sentient beings and that whales may be sentient beings, it is unconscionable.

The Pacific fishery is a main source of protein for Japan and numerous other countries. This disaster has the potential of causing mass starvation in the human population of the Pacific Rim, in addition to a great escalation in cancer rates, cancer deaths and other medical impacts from ingesting radioactive sea food. It is a DIRE danger to dolphins and whales--genetic mutations, spontaneous abortions, cancer and potential extirpation of species. And, GIVEN the EXISTING impacts on the oceans of human activity--vast dead zones, vast coral death (corals being main centers of sea life), vast oil, plastic and other pollution, melting of the polar ice caps (flooding salt water environments with fresh water; vast loss of habitat to arctic wildlife and sea life, including migrating and birthing whales) and more, the ADDITION of high levels of completely unnatural radioactive material to water and air (which, of course, intermix) is a gravely criminal act.

A natural system doesn't die from this impact or that impact. It dies from CUMULATIVE impacts. Nature is very resilient but it really cannot take the level of CUMULATIVE impacts that we are inflicting upon it. The World Wildlife Fund gives us less than 50 years--at present levels of consumption, pollution, deforestation and loss of biodiversity--less than 50 years to the DEATH of the planet.

The. DEATH. Of. The. Planet.

This is one more impact, of many.


I also made a comment in this thread:

Fukushima: A Month of Media Disinformation (post by Flamingdem)

Here is my reply:

(Comment 5) Yup. It's contained. It's about to be contained. It's partially contained. It's soon to be

partially contained. Containment is in the cards. Containment makes you happy. Believe in containment. It's happening. And God said "containment" and it "was contained." Units 5 and 6 contained. Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 not so contained but soon to be contained. Explosive blowoff of roofs contained. Sea water magic containing the containment. Be not afraid, containment is the thing. Sing it! "Con-tain-ment, con-tain-ment, I love you, Containment!" Dig it. Containment is groovy and full of love. Enjoy containment. Whew! CONtroversy CONtained! Lid on it. CON-fusion of CON-tainment and CON-entertainment CON-founded and CON-troversy washed out to sea.

Believe. Containment. It's you.

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