Japan’s Ex-Industry Minister: Neutron radiation is degenerating reactors — Admits he was playing a role when saying nuclear plants were safe

Published: May 18th, 2012 at 12:01 pm ET


Subscription Only: Ex-industry minister blasts Kan’s handling of nuclear crisis
AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
May 18, 2012


In June, [Banri Kaieda, the industry minister during the early stages of the Fukushima nuclear accident,] declared that nuclear power plants were safe and said he would approve the restarts of nuclear power plants, with the exception of the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture.

But [yesterday May 17, 2012] he told the Diet investigation panel that he did not believe all plants were problem-free, partly because reactors degenerate due to neutron radiation.

Still, he defended his decision to allow operations to resume at nuclear plants, saying he had a “role to play as industry minister.”


More of yesterday’s statements from Kaieda: [intlink id=”former-top-official-at-hearing-told-that-all-6-fukushima-reactors-would-explode-if-workers-left-plant-entire-eastern-japan-might-be-lost” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: May 18th, 2012 at 12:01 pm ET


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17 comments to Japan’s Ex-Industry Minister: Neutron radiation is degenerating reactors — Admits he was playing a role when saying nuclear plants were safe

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    This seems so much like the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials.
    "I was just following orders".

    Only far worse.

    The pathology of greed seems to have no limits.

    • You need to open your mind to another possibility besides "GREED." The possibility is the fact that people NEED money to live. They can justify doing great evil in order to get what they NEED. Especially if they have children.

      Money is the tyranny of our lives. Most of us compromise our moral integrity for the sake of money. It's not about greed most of the time. It's about the fear that we will DIE if we don't obey the "rule of money."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    role playing?..a "yes" man..
    ….weak and corrupt to the very core.

  • Bobby1

    he had a “role to play as industry minister.”…

    This is reality, it ain't Barbra Streisand playing "Funny Girl."

    I have wondered why this whole situation sometimes strikes me as a bad movie.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    I think the bigger problem is "…he did not believe all plants were problem-free, partly because reactors degenerate due to neutron radiation."

    What the hell is 'neutron radiation', and what kind of damage does 'reactor degeneration' entail?

    Holy crap, this gets worse.

    • bincbom

      Neutrons, which are produced by nuclear fission, damage any materials they come into contact with. This process is sometimes referred to as "neutron embrittlement".

      Basically, at the microscopic levels, steels and other materials lose their ductility and become brittle. Over time, this leads to situations at nuclear plants where steel pipes and other structures lose their strength and literally fall apart or crumble.

      This is why "old" nuke plants are such a big issue. Their once-strong, once "relatively safe" pipes and structures become quite weak when bombarded by neutrons over a long period of time.

      • Cranes and their cables are a couple of 'metal' things that come to my mind.


        These types of things are 'most likely' all beyond needing replacing. It's like bailing water from a boat where the intake of water through the hole is greater than what can be bailed.

        At some point. Some CRITICAL item, somewhere, will FAIL. The odds are no longer in our favor, they never have been.

  • A little chuckle, from the article below:

    GE told ABC News the reactors have "a proven track record of performing reliably and safely for more than 40 years" and "performed as designed," even after the shock of a 9.0 earthquake.

    Fukushima Mark 1 Reactor Design Caused Engineers To Resign From GE In Protest: Thirty-Five Years Ago:
    (March 15th, 2011)

    ABC News


    Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing — the Mark 1 — was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.

    Questions persisted for decades about the ability of the Mark 1 to handle the immense pressures that would result if the reactor lost cooling power, and today that design is being put to the ultimate test in Japan. Five of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been wracked since Friday's earthquake with explosions and radiation leaks, are Mark 1s.

    "The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant," Bridenbaugh told ABC News in an interview.

    • Longjohn119

      I'm tellin' ya. If we really dislike Iran as much as we claim we shouldn't be stopping nuclear power, we should just sell them 40 or 50 of these GE hunk of junks and sit back a wait a few years ….

      GE – We bring good Peoples to Death

  • Paul Gunter, with Thomm Hartmann – ramping it up, confirming our worst nightmares:
    Published on May 18, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT
    Is nuclear catastrophe imminent at San Onofre, CA?
    (mistitled – doesn't talk about San Onofre)


    – we're looking at a possible ELE
    – we need urgent international attention on this
    – watch also the Common Spent Fuel Pool – it could be set off by SFP4
    – current technology to fix it is only "groping in the dark"
    – the only relevant protection is prevention – we have to end nuclear power
    – they've known since 1972 that the MkI BWR is a "time bomb" waiting to fail
    – Mk I and II have a 100% failure rate in a severe accident
    – 23 Mk I's and 8 Mk II's in the U.S.
    – 31 reactors vulnerable to failure
    – Japan HAS NOT yet officially asked for international help
    – an international effort needs to be mounted
    Today: article on counterpunch
    Linda Pentz Gunter is a founder of Beyond Nuclear and its international specialist. For more, see http://www.beyondnuclear.org.

    “When there’s a huge solar energy spill, it’s just called a ‘nice day.’”

    • Sam Sam

      Japan is gone. just a matter of time. there is no end resolution to
      the cascading nuclear holocaust on going there and coming our
      way on the jet stream and from the Pacific Ocean. Our PROMETHEAN

      As Tacomagroove so rightfully said last night, the end game is there
      just a few changes in how we are getting there. Now it is the
      corium radioactive steam fog which is unstoppable. Tomorrow and sometime in the
      future is may be the SFP"S.

      As Pu 239 quoting M.Kaku." A MELTDOWN IS FOREVER. "

      As we all say to each other, Have a nice day and How is it going?

  • Neutron Radiation


    "Neutron radiation is a kind of ionizing radiation which consists of free neutrons. A result of nuclear fission or nuclear fusion, it consists of the release of free neutrons from atoms, and these free neutrons react with nuclei of other atoms to form new isotopes, which, in turn, may produce radiation. This will result in a chain reaction of nuclear radiation, which makes radiation dangerous and harmful over great areas of space."

    "In health physics neutron radiation is considered a fourth radiation hazard alongside the other types of radiation. Another, sometimes more severe hazard of neutron radiation, is neutron activation, the ability of neutron radiation to induce radioactivity in most substances it encounters, including the body tissues of the workers themselves. This occurs through the capture of neutrons by atomic nuclei, which are transformed to another nuclide, frequently a radionuclide.

    This process accounts for much of the radioactive material released by the detonation of a nuclear weapon. It is also a problem in nuclear fission and nuclear fusion installations, as it gradually renders the equipment radioactive; eventually the hardware must be replaced and disposed of as low-level radioactive waste."

    • gottagetoffthegrid

      an interesting point is that Geiger counters and most dosimeters do not detect neutron radiation. you need a neutron scintillator for that.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Doesn't tritium release neutron radiation as a decay product?

      ALL nuclear power plants release huge quantities of tritium…

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road Blog http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-dangerous-is-400-600-pounds-of.html

  • RutherfordsGhost

    They are just drip feeding the news to you slowly – but you already know that materials lose their integrity from neutron fluence.
    This is not news people.
    You are being hoodwinked.
    Learn to ask the right questions.