Japan Times, Jeff Kingston of Temple Univ., Apr. 4, 2014: Kyle Cleveland, my colleague [...] recently published a report […] a critical, but nuanced picture of a crisis that was closer to careening out of control than is generally acknowledged. […] Naval officers […] discovered the level of radiation was far worse than they anticipated. Radiation gauges on the [USS Reagan] measured levels of radiation at 100 nautical miles off the coast that were 30 times greater than normal. [Sailors report] significant health problems due to exposure to radiation […] Cleveland finds that there was considerable disagreement between various U.S. agencies about the severity of the risk […] Given that the U.S. government expanded the exclusionary zone in Fukushima to 80 km and developed contingency plans for a massive evacuation while shredding of documents continued for four days at the U.S. Embassy and military bases in Japan, somebody was obviously very worried. […] Some of his insider sources tell him that the crisis was actually far worse than anyone acknowledged at the time and that information was withheld to prevent a panic. Cleveland concludes that Japan’s nuclear reactors should not be restarted.
Professor Kyle Cleveland, Temple University Japan: “[The navy was] more risk averse than either the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) or State, and from day one was ringing alarms that were not entirely understood, not completely validated and not well received by the NRC and State. The navy was pushing the other federal agencies to take more aggressive actions because their radiation measurements were indicating dose rates that were more significant than what was implied by the abstract modeling […]”
Unidentified US Nuclear Expert: “Without a qualitatively different regulatory system, and in light of how Japan/Tepco responded to this crisis, Japan has not earned the right to have nuclear energy. No critically minded and informed person can evaluate this disaster and look at how Japan has responded in the aftermath and have any confidence that Japan will use nuclear energy safely. In the most seismically active country [...] even if Japan had a robust regulatory structure and thoroughly integrated crisis protocols, nature conspires against the best-laid-plans of human institutions. And what Japan has is certainly not the best plan by any measure.”
Published: April 5th, 2014 at 5:51 pm ET