Former Japan Ambassador Warns Gov’t Committee: “A global catastrophe like we have never before experienced” if No. 4 collapses — Common Spent Fuel Pool with 6,375 fuel rods in jeopardy — “Would affect us all for centuries”

Published: April 6th, 2012 at 11:27 am ET


Title: Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident
Source: Akio Matsumura
Date: updated on 4/5/12


Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4—with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground—collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4. In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375). […]

h/t Anonymous tips

Read the report here

See also:

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Published: April 6th, 2012 at 11:27 am ET


Related Posts

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81 comments to Former Japan Ambassador Warns Gov’t Committee: “A global catastrophe like we have never before experienced” if No. 4 collapses — Common Spent Fuel Pool with 6,375 fuel rods in jeopardy — “Would affect us all for centuries”

  • arclight arclight

    "If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident."

    in such a small country with a large population!

    and no mention on the main stream news??

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    " if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 with 1,535 fuel rods…."

    Nice try. Everyone should assume it should actualy read –

    " when the crippled building of reactor unit 4 with 1,535 fuel rods…."

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    Does anybody on this board believe that the SFP at reactor 4 will stand for another year? We should start a 'dead pool' for it. Everyone can hazard a guess as to how long it will be before it either tips over or burns up…..

    My guess. It's got another 18 months and then…….

  • Plan Nine

    While I may at times become numb from the ever-more-dire news here, I retain a curiosity about the degree of the US Empire's involvement in the Fukushima ELE. The lack of comments at are surprising to me – thoughts, anyone?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    It can't be done..Fuku is sitting on a fractured shoreline..the corium is in a downward motion. use.

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Murata has been speaking out about nuclear dangers for some time. From a speech on October 5, 2011:

    "Seven years ago, I sent out a message in all directions ,

    including top political leaders, warning that electric companies

    would be deciding the fate of Japan. It enumerated concrete cases

    reflecting the lack of ethics and responsibility like careless management and supervision, false reports, arbitrary decisions

    like extending by 20 years the life of a reactor.

    If the nuclear dictatorship is allowed to survive, as is at present, electric companies will be deciding the fate of the world."

    If you find the quotation above interesting, then you will probably be fascinated by the whole speech (link above).

  • omniversling

    Thankyou admin for this concise and urgent post. This is the 'arter pack' for the entire population of the planet to speak up and stand up. This must go viral. With more to come..excellent related posts off this page as well.

    And thank you, thank you Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, for your delivery of the core need for attention to avert a catastrophe of unimaginable proportion and consequence…

    Why, when urgent action is needed, are there decoy meetings like that last week on 'preventing terrorist from acquiring nuclear material' ?

    The terrorists already have it, and they are now liberally sharing it around with ALL of us..they are the NukePuke Industry, and the perverted arm of 'defense' that condone and have used against civilians – unnecessarily for strategic purposes – such brutal weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction.

    This is a civilian terror campaign…of lies. Unaware and innocent people being condemned to permanent DNA corruption, ill health, and worse. Children most vulnerable. This is unconscionable. This is roulette with the human race and the planetary biosphere.


    • omniversling


      At this point they cannot contain it. And they are not even CLOSE to doing enough. But they/we MUST contain what is left of it. That starts with SFP4, and the common fuel pool (as far as we can ascertain from TEPCO announcements, and posts and info from people on the ground and essential blogs such as this. Firstly THE TRUTH of what is how bad. Priorities, resources, experts, supports under SFP4, lots of backup pumps, and cooling system hardware and and..

      Already Unit 2, is 10 times lethal dose rate inside, and location of corium unknown. Unit 3 and SFP3 for the most part aerosolised. SFP4 have burned, rods damaged, extremely difficult to remove, perhaps for decades…

      Stop every war on the planet now, and concentrate on improving our chances of survival as a viable species. Or it will be too late. We will not evolve fast enough to accommodate the physical changes that are overtaking us.

      Shout out, and forward to your local politician or representative on local, state and federal levels, the link to his page. Every decision maker must be alerted

      Do not fail the intelligence experiment. All that is divine and godly is at risk, as well all earthly comfort.

      Cancel the industry, before it cancels us…

    • Your local politician or representative on local, state and federal levels all have holes in the ground to go to !

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The containment..the walls of SPF ..were destroyed.
    The nuclear material is burning…(debris)
    They are worrying that the building will collapse into the mess below..and make a big boom.
    Never mind it is "melting" do to the effects of radiation on the structural materials.

  • Dr.Strangelove

    The Japanese goverment is either too cheap or a bunch of cowards to address the ongoing problems at the plant, or perhaps a combination of both. Why wont they march in their entire military to try and contain this disaster?? You gotta give the ussr credit for marching in over a 100,000 troops to build a sarcaphagous after the chernobyl disaster. In japan we get a handful of people at the plant with a shotty cooling sytem rigged to some of the reactors, is it so hard for them to build some sort of new containment building??? We all need to raise awarness on this issue, i challenge someone to make a KONY like viral video to get everyone fired up about fukushima.

  • ruth

    I am highly skeptical of all TEPCO news as it has been irrefutably proven that they consistently lie. After not talking about SPF4 for a year now they are talking disaster.

    I think there is a good possibility that the SP fuel is already gone. The NRC thought it was gone in 3/11 so why is TEPCO a year later talking about it like it is intact?

    Whatever is in SP 4 is likely no where near what was in in before the triple meltdown. I am skeptical of the sudden MSM attention to SP4. I m not trying to minimize the ongoing risk emitting from Fuku but methinks something else is going on not evident to the eye.

    • evendine

      Well said Ruth – the NRC chairman accepted the loss of the SP4 walls and thereby water / contents on 15-03-11 – how is it possible that this situation is any different now?

      More TEPCO lies and 'double-think', i expect – what are they preparing us for? Has another pool burned? Unit 2 was smoking heavily last week, i believe…

    • WorseThanChernobyl

      This is what I have been saying too. In the NRC transcripts one person says that the walls of the spent fuel pool 4 have collapsed. I don't see how you can have a pool with no walls.

  • shiverca shiverca

    WHY THE F**K HAVEN" T they hoisted a temporary metal ROOF on the blown out reactors over the fuel?

    1 year not long enough to plan it?

    It's like they have no idea what they're doing AT ALL.

    Just spewing radiation DAILY into the atmosphere…

    • Bobby1

      shiverca, hydrogen would accumulate in them, causing an explosion. Besides, steam and smoke are rising from the ground away from the reactors anyway.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    It is important to ..draw the publics various portions of the disaster..lest anyone ask about the general conditon and total radioactive emissions of the whole plant.

  • It begins…

    "The number of parents deciding to abort fetuses because of prenatal tests indicating congenital defects is rising rapidly in Japan"

  • dodge

    It is possible that we will make it beyond this crisis, and they will recover and relocate these spent fuel rods without major additional disaster. What however is far greater in magnitude is the existence of spent fuel pools filling up all around the world, although my specific concern are those in the United States. While the world has not been called in to act decisively in Japan (a major mistake by both the Japanese government and the world community) far worse is our failure to act at home. For a couple of generations already, we have failed to address the problem of nuclear waste, still we find it "desirable" to approve new construction and license renewal and extensions beyond their original life expectancy. We make a mistake if our focus in only of the canary in the coal mine, Japan's nuclear crisis is but a warning of what could happen without active and careful governmental oversight. Indeed, this is a world problem, and an a international oversight group, not subject to corporations, politics, or local economy should set and enforce standards.

  • Cdog Cdog

    It's a death sentence to work their, so anything Tepco spends time on has to be worth the value of a humans life! I mean your not going to find a crew willing to work for four months, 12 hours a day, to build another pool. One hour their and your going to die!
    I agree that we have to assume that the SPF4 is going to go up either because of the rickety structure or because they cannot maintenance it, and thus they have to figure out a way to capture and contain the future SPF4 releases. If not, then Japan will surly be done, again another 400+ tons will be released, which is approx. what has been lost so far. How can a shared fuel pond be protected, moved, or cared for after another 400+ tons with zero containment is 50 meters away? Impossible! Almost 7000 more rods…maniacs!

  • Ron

    I've asked this before, and I'll ask again. WTF is Tepco and the gov't doing besides twiddling their thumbs? Apparently just cleaning up the outside for PR reasons.

    It's clear they are not in control, and are in fact completely impotent, evidently waiting for someone else to step in and take control. How long will the world wait?

    Those rods have to be taken out of there and to a safe site ASAP.

    • Ron

      I volunteer all those diehard nuckees who insist that power NPP radiation is harmless, even beneficial. Really if they had an ounce of decency they'd volunteer themselves.

      Let's start with Ann Coulter.

  • Ron

    What about digging a really huge hole next to, then under the plant and letting it fall in, then pouring borax or whatever on top and burying it? Monumental task I know.

    Anyway they need to remove those rods now. Even if one by one.

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Got a money-making idea, looking for investors – get a bunch of baseball hats made up, printed with the slogan "I (didn't) live through TEOTWAWKI – but I was there!"

    Might be collectors' items someday….

  • I hate it when they say "fuel rods" when they really mean "fuel assemblies." Per the pdf below from the Blue Ribbon Commission, there are 1,535 fuel assemblies in the #4 SFP. That's more than 145,000 fuel rods. Nearly 600,000 fuel rods in the 6,375 fuel assemblies in the common spent fuel pool.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      JoyB…Important correction. TPTB really love to minimize.

      • Sometimes I think the speakers just don't know the difference, then I remember who we're dealing with – nukes, nuke protector/defenders, and nuke-pushing government flunkies. Very few of whom would not know the difference between fuel rods and fuel rod assemblies. So yeah, it's mostly deliberate minimization. 1500 pencil-thin rods is a lot different from 1500 metal boxes containing 96 pencil-thin rods apiece. Many, most or maybe even all of which have suffered significant damage from overheated and/or melted fuel in those pencil-thin rods, plus damage from huge roof and equipment beams and big chunks of concrete crashing down upon them from above.

        For the necessary task of removing those assemblies from the #4 pool before it falls, condition matters. Many will break and spill contents when brought out of the water, and this will cause big atmospheric releases over time (which they may not have). If they simply let it collapse and burn they'll have to evacuate the entire reservation and leave the 5 other units plus common pool to burn. Much bigger releases way beyond what we've seen so far.

        Either way (the inescapable reality) they should be expanding evacuations, not be encouraging return. And the rest of the world needs to get prepared.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Good point for sure.

  • bleep_hits_blades

    I've heard that TEPCO and the Japanese govt. have ordered a whole bleepload of tasteful little notecards with a Hokusai woodcut (guess which one)on the cover, extending most humble and sincere apologies… (legal addendum in fine print at bottom stating that this communication is not to be construed as legal evidence and/or admission of ANYTHING…)

  • bincbom

    Still wondering why Japan and the West aren't doing something about this. The Russians were – and are – far more responsible about dealing with their nuclear disaster.

    It is time to do something drastic to secure that #4 FP. It is time to spend big money and start building something that can address the problem – like the brave Russians did.

    I never thought the West would cower like this when our big nuclear disaster came.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Power to you Ambassador Murata.

    This is the first time since 311 where I actually feel a sense of hope.


      Watched a really good video that was gracious enough to put-up the link to (see below). One of the most interesting things I came away with was how one of the Fukushima managers said that they were running out of 'qualified' site technicians; that they were approaching their limit for cumulative radiation exposure. This got me to thinking, they're running out of time to do anything about this; that it's going to become a suicide mission.

      If you bother to watch this video (and you should), make sure you hit the "CC" radio-button for translation to English subtitles…

      • Anthony Anthony

        I know and agree Aftershock – its an EXCELLENT must see video.

        There has been information pouring in one direction lately.

        I'm equally concerned about Japans attention being diverted as it is becoming against\towards an aggression with North Korea.

        This is the last thing Japan needs to be focused on.

        We are so fucking vulnerable it makes my teeth hurt.

        Why cant everyone else just be happy living a happy life like I'm trying to do?

        I have surrendered to the *whatever* is coming before us. That doesn't for one second suggest I am not mad about it or unwilling to die trying to survive and defeat it.

        I wished the other day that I received the local newspaper. I cannot explain why I received on my doorstep, true story, a newspaper for the last three days.

        I am wishing with all my might, all my power, all my heart for a miracle to save our souls.

        If a miracle occurs I will dedicate my life to something excellent and down a healthy human road.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Seems there's a giant piece of the puzzle missing here, regarding No.4

  • americancommntr


    While I wonder if it hasn't happened already, a statement like this truly makes Fukushima sound like Wormwood.

  • CBF

    I can't help but think it's all about the Japanese economy. Very short sighted, and maybe some of those in power do not understand fully what is happening. Nuclear Reactors account for about 30% of Japanese power needs. The whole process of cold shut was hurried along in an attempt to get the rest of the reactors up and running. And also try and restore confidence in the world nuclear power program. Money, the root of all evil

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    The artists are leading the way… All we need to do is follow them. Hope is always there.

    Anti-Nuclear Music/Songs; via A Green Road Blog

    Anti-Nuclear Poetry By Or-Well; via A Green Road Blog

  • dear jones

    As many as possible of you guy in American should ask your local MP to force the US government to do something.

    • ruth

      It has been awhile since the US politicians have paid attention to what the people want. They have been too busy voting in unison for new laws that reduce the constitutional rights of citizens. They give every appearance of not caring what the people think or want.

      Having said this I still think it is vitally important to continue to speak out about the dangers and to get as much truth in the news as possible, but I am not waiting for any useful action from the US government. Do what you can to care for yourself and help others because no humungous bureaucratic machine is going to be of much use to the ordinary citizen. All there actions are for the corporate body.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Food full of prob..
    Maybe that is what Maybus is about tell them to eat it anyway.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    PS..We Won't Forget.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      @Heart Of The Rose

      No, we won't forget or forgive those whose responsibility it was to enlighten the public in a timely way.

      Since we in the United States and Canada are bearing the brunt of the radiation from Fukushima, it is impossible to understand why our governments didn't act in our behalf. Someone needs to explain to me why we have a "defense" department that fails to defend us. If the President had spent as much time solving this problem as he has in creating a police state the world would be much better off. What gall our leaders have to stand for reelection. Vote them ALL OUT!

      Personally, I am convinced that the worst has already happened with the common SFP#4 at Fukushima. I believe TEPCO is hoping to hide that fact until reactor #2 explodes in order to persuade the public that the other shoe (which has already fallen) is about to fall. That would be the TEPCO way. At the very least they should be taking emergency action to deal with all the spent fuel pools in the U.S. Instead, they are giving the nuclear industry five years to address a few of the safety problems. What madness!

      Those who have treated the safety of the American public so cavalierly will eventually watch their own children die because of their inaction. Tragically, many of us will have to do the same.

      Ultimately, the fawning corporate media (FCM) will have to address the reality of many people dying in this country from radiation. There is no escape for the Japanese…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "The" agreement….
    If there has been any testing of food coming from Japan..the data has been kept secret..

  • mem mem

    The spent fuel pool at number 4 seems to have already burned according to various articles on this site. It seems to me to be equivalent to the fallout of many thousands of nuclear bombs. Can anyone here do the math of how many nuclear warheads are equivalent to the amount of fuel in 1500 fuel rods?

    And if there is an explosion that gets to the main fuel storage with 11 thousand spent fuel rods just 50 feet away, what is the equivalent number of bomb fallout that would be released in that fire?

    It's hard to fathom that an event which mutates the ecosystem of the whole planet may have already happened.

  • mem mem

    Sorry, I meant to say 6 375 rods in the common spent fuel pool 50 feet away. When I said 11 thousand, I was confused with the total number of rods at Fukushima.

  • KingofthePaupers

    Jct: And if that one above ground fuel storage pool leaks to destroy a part of the world, the radiation may affect US infrastructure where they have another 2 dozen nuclear storage pools above ground waiting to crack and leak. And the yankees are spending their money on what they think is the biggest threat, Terrorism! Gee, no money left to take the store the fuel below ground, how sad. Har har har. Warmonger nation with 2-dozen continent-destroying storage pools spending it's money chasing terrorists who I hear killed 3 Americans last year.