HuffPo: Large amounts of radioactive materials could be deposited across 1,000s of miles if water lost at Fukushima fuel pool — Media just beginning to grasp that danger to world is far from over -Nuclear Expert

Published: April 22nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm ET


Title: Robert Alvarez: The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over
Source: Huffington Post
Author: Robert Alvarez*
Date: Apr 22, 2012

More than a year after the Fukushima nuclear power disaster began, the news media is just beginning to grasp that the dangers to Japan and the rest of the world are far from over. After repeated warnings by former senior Japanese officials, nuclear experts, and now a U.S. Senator, it’s sinking in that the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools amidst the reactor ruins pose far greater dangers than the molten cores. This is why:

• Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl

• Several pools are 100 feet above the ground and are completely open to the atmosphere because the reactor buildings were demolished by explosions. The pools could possibly topple or collapse from structural damage coupled with another powerful earthquake.

• The loss of water exposing the spent fuel will result in overheating and can cause melting and ignite its zirconium metal cladding resulting in a fire that could deposit large amounts of radioactive materials over hundreds, if not thousands of miles. […]

*Robert Alvarez, an Institute for Policy Studies senior scholar, served as senior policy adviser to the Energy Department’s secretary and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999. He is an award winning author whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Nation, Technology Review, and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He has also been featured on”60 Minutes”, Nova and All Things Considered.

Read the report here

Published: April 22nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm ET


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47 comments to HuffPo: Large amounts of radioactive materials could be deposited across 1,000s of miles if water lost at Fukushima fuel pool — Media just beginning to grasp that danger to world is far from over -Nuclear Expert

  • arclight arclight

    "..What both accidents have in common is widespread environmental contamination from cesium-137. With a half-life of 30, years, Cs-137 gives off penetrating radiation, as it decays and can remain dangerous for hundreds of years. Once in the environment, it mimics potassium as it accumulates in the food chain. When it enters the human body, about 75 percent lodges in muscle tissue, with, perhaps, the most important muscle being the heart…."

    THE HEART!! hear that geraldine thomas.. cesium 137 and the heart!! havent heard from her recently, expected a happy nuke easter (everythings ok) show!! 🙁

    goto the Chernobyl Heart website for more confermation of this statement.. how can imperial college university london get it so horribly wrong?? its cost people their lives and their health..!!/rant

    • arclight,
      This new incident will hasten so much death and make it much harder to pinpoint who's poisons killed who !
      Lawyers have it made on both sides now, no one is going to see how horrific this is going to get nut many of the lawyers will die before they get paid !

  • Chelsea_

    Wow, breaking news!!! Not. I doubt this will even "wake" anyone up.

  • Enenewsers figure this out (all the isotopes) in the first days, others were calling us doomsday crazies, … well !

  • People have been pointing to the dangers presented by fuel pools requiring constant cooling for decades. It is one of the biggest open secrets of the nuclear industry that sfp cooling and core decay heat cooling after emergency shutdown are serious weak-links in their systems. Hopefully the horrible ongoing tragedies of Fukushima will at least help the public to see the danger in our midst… before we finish the job of killing entire future generations instead of merely killing and maiming millions of humans, animals, and plants.

  • dave14139

    More likely the media was silenced by direct order of the Federal Government. I do not like the silence of the main street media on this issue.

  • Geiger Counter Interpretation Simplified
    This pretty much kicks some serious butt, this little chart that I made. Chart in Japanese is at the Bottom

    A super condensed table on how to interpret Geiger Readings

    And seriously, if you take this radiation stuff at all seriously, then get a Geiger. All the rest is guesswork.

    Radiation Alert Inspector, $530 to $600 Amazon

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    ReTweet Please – Not my Tweet but anothers:
    @enenews @FukushimaDiary deserves #Global applause 4sticking w/& exposing desperate #Fukushima situation #genpatsu #BBC #PBS @maddow #LAW #HumanRight

  • StillJill StillJill

    That IS WAY cool of her!
    But, even cooler of YOU Whoop's,…for bringing her 'salutation' to such deeper corners than even her tweet!

    I'm encouraged to read this–thanks friend! 🙂

  • The endgame of the Keynesian experiment started around 1980

    Lots of infrastructure was built around that time. Money started flowing, taxes started increasing.

    Lots of facilities work well for around 30 to 40 years.

    All that stuff, the nuke plants, the electrical grid itself is reaching the point of being just too old.

    Look at the amazing increase in severe power outages.

    Nukers tell me how the power grid is "robust" and how that it could easily handle a Carrington event, and that things can and would be disconnected in time.

    What a bunch of hogwash. Do you think that a corporation will shut down their grid pre-emptively on a "maybe" No way. Swing for the fence and if they strike out….well then the public pays the cost.

    In the case of nukers, that means a good portion of 450 nuke plants will melt down on a massive grid failure. And that will be the end. The Mad Max days won't even last long, probably not even 6 months.

    Review the Carrington here”

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Stock, that comment is FULL OF HISTORY I did NOT KNOW! Wowzer! Posted on the Robert Alvarez thread. Normally, I love history but this history IS MESSED UP. Thank you so much!

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        Oops! Meant your link is full of history. Thank you so much. Dang, CAN WE JUST SHUT THE SUCKERS DOWN NOW, PRETTY PLEASE?!?!? 🙁

        • richard richard

          Sorry whoopie, i don't think 'pretty please' will work.

          i think, start with a baseball bat, and work upward to atomic bomb from there. that's the only way to top them.

          the nukers are too thick headed and foolhardy and up their own clackers to listen to any meaningful debate.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Our research team talked with an engineer that is an expert with EMP pulses. He said there is no way to protect electrical circuits from EMP generated damage or destruction unless they are behind six inches of LEAD, even if they are DISCONNECTED and OFF.

      If true, it does not bode well for what is coming.

      Even if the pro nukers can do as they say and disconnect a nuke plant from power during a Carrington Effect, what happens to a nuke plant without ANY POWER?

      What if this EMP PULSE/Solar Storm lasts for eight hours or longer?

      We know that Fuku melted down within 8 hours of NOT HAVING ANY POWER..

      None of the spent fuel pools will last much longer than that. They can no longer be passively cooled.

      They all take electricity and pumps working to keep cool. Fuku again proved this fact by actual example.

      • Anthony Anthony

        Fukushima revealed that every plant needs to have multiple layers of contingency plans in place for continued cooling.

        Even if that means the plant owners and operators need to develop and implement batterypacks-a-plenty just-in-case then sobeit.

        And the Govt has a duty in due diligence to enforce the additional layers of safety for its citizens, since 311, more than ever.

        For any other troubled plant to lose their cooling ability post Fukushima is gross negligence.

      • I wrapped an existing top secret SatCom center in stainless steel sheet to protect against EMP. We didn't "test it" LOL. 4 year, $10M project. The wrap was continous, inside, outside, underside, welded to the rebars too.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      You mean Fluffpo. Good link – will post it at HP.

    • irradiatedinbako

      Yes thanks eyechix .. +++

      This is recent editorial from Washingting Post today:

      Obviously pronuke lobby and protecting their investors .. I doubt the Washington Post has been too worried about greenhouse emissions or even recognized manmade global warming much at all .. except to laugh out Al Gore as the "inventor of the internet" ..

      At least they recognize Fukushitty as scary .. but bury their heads in the sand otherwise. It is a lamo argument but is meant to divide the ignorant and. so called "greens" ..

      Maybe they really are desperate which is a sign in itself. Greenhouse we have time to deal with .. Fukushitty as an ELE we do not.

      I would say thanks for making my day .. well maybe I will anyway cause that's aboput as much time as we may be able to count on to mitigate.

      Peace all.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Your piece?

  • StillJill StillJill

    Most excellent article eyechix!
    Thanks,…I sent it on to the family in S. Cal.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    2010 Huffington Post Hits Record 26 Million
    Not blaming YOU, just saying.
    Alvarez has such a IMPORTANT ARTICLE at HP!
    By the comments, HP musta buried it quick.
    Pls write something, thanking him for his report!
    (TY too Admin…as usual!)

    • irradiatedinbako

      Keep up work all. Let us keep faith until the final hour and bell tolls. It is the least we can do.

    • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

      Whoopie I left a messg on Alverez's story last night before bed. I will go back and leave some more this afternoon after work. If you have a chance fan me there(same screen name)I might reach more people if I have more than one fan. LOL

  • howardtlewisiii

    We are way past danger. The jerks that set up Reactor 4 and the rest of the lot performed an act of hate and stupidity which surpasses any act previously carried out by a biped. Now we must work to stay away from radioactivity and try to help those already stricken. Danger now is manifested as woe and sickness and loss. To bad the American president is such a lame brained placebo.

    • demo demo

      Hello dear souls,
      I've finally made the leap from lurking to log in. My heart goes out to you who are trying to make sense of these tragedies, as well as to all who suffer (or will).
      Altho it neglects to warn readers to avoid using products or foods from contaminated areas, this is the best advice I've found thusfar re mitigating radiation health risks:

      I'm an activist, wondering if it's worth staying in the belly of the beast (usa) and keeping up the good fight, or if I'd be of more use to the world (ie alive) if I bail to the southern hemisphere.
      What do you think?

      East of San Francisco, yesterday I learned of a 7 year old who has a tumor on her kidney.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Hi demo, a big WELCOME! It's great to "see new faces" around! Regarding your question: as you describe yourself as an activist, I'd guess you could do more important work "poking the belly of the beast from inside" than being abroad? Folks in the US need you!


  • The media has known the truth since the beginning, but they don't report it because if they do, they won't get any more bailouts from their government masters.

  • dodge

    Spent fuel is a danger… not just the damaged spent fuel pool #4, but our spent fuel pools all across the nation, and around the world. The design and plan was to be temporary storage, cooling recent spent fuel to a safer temperature, removing it to sealed isolated dry casks, in a guarded environment. The temporary storage has become permanent, the temperatures higher, the facilities over crowded, the pools themselves older, and many areas virtually impossible to maintain as the radioactive levels just continue to climb. We refuse even to debate possible solutions this problem we just deny it, make it worse and go forward. Help Japan? Certainly we need to be part of the process to help them through this crisis, but that is just the warning sign of the real dangers ahead.