Paper: Physicist warns even if No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool survives another major quake, “failure of jury-rigged inadequate piping installed after disaster could put cooling system out of commission”

Published: May 3rd, 2012 at 1:11 pm ET
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New Worries at Fukushima
Birmingham Weekly
May 3, 2012
By Richard Schiffman

The story of Japan’s natural/nuclear disaster has faded from the headlines, but it is still relevant in the state of Alabama [...]

[...] nuclear experts say their biggest concern involves Reactor 4 which sustained severe structural damage [...]

A report released in February by the Independent Investigation Commission on the nuclear accident called this pool “the weakest link” at Fukushima. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy warns that, “If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain it could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.”

How likely is this? While the structure of Reactor 4 is stable for the moment, the Dai-ichi plant lies miles from a big earthquake fault– as large as the one that caused last year’s quake, but much closer to Fukushima. According to a study published in February in the European Geosciences Union´s journal Solid Earth, that fault is now overdue for a quake.

Whether or not the critical pool at Reactor 4 would survive another major quake intact, Edwin Lyman a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists warns that a failure of the jury-rigged inadequate piping installed after the disaster could put the cooling system out of commission.

These dangers have led two former Japanese diplomats on a crusade to avert what they see as a disaster waiting to happen. UN veteran Akio Matsumura and former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland Mitsuhei Murata attended the Nuclear Security Summit Conference in Seoul Korea at the end of March “to inform the participants from 54 nations of the potential global catastrophe of reactor unit 4.” They called on the international community to set up an independent assessment team of structural engineers and nuclear scientists to study conditions at Reactor 4 and recommend a course of action. [...]

It appears the reporter interviewed Lyman, as he later writes of Lyman, “He told me that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has failed to fully implement the recommendations of its own post-Fukushima task force.”

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Published: May 3rd, 2012 at 1:11 pm ET
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18 comments to Paper: Physicist warns even if No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool survives another major quake, “failure of jury-rigged inadequate piping installed after disaster could put cooling system out of commission”

  • ruth

    Now that it is clear that the Japanese officials and TEPCO cannot contain the radiation at Fukushima more and more experts are willing to speak out about the catastrophic dangers. I think that the two former Japanese diplomats are making their plea for worldwide help with SFP4 with the full knowledge and approval of their government who will not openly admit that this crisis is beyond their capabilities. They are begging for help and if the UN turns their back on Japan then we will know that the UN doesn't care about people only about their corporate masters. God help us all.


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  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    This is also not the problem. "This" being whatever this article is babbling on about. The problem, the most important problem(and associated) PROPORTIONATELY speaking, is the daily release of tera-bequerels or quadrillions of bequerels of diverse radionuclides from continuously or cyclic excursions (criticalities) of three absolutely uncontained nuclear coriums at FukuDai and likely at least a dozen other nuclear reactor sites in Japan, if not perhaps a number more in other parts of the world. Also, the burning of nuclear waste, including high-level nuclear waste, by Japan is another part of this main part of the problem. Asking the UN for this or that is BS. It's revolution time, as time is not on our side and it's not the 350 years with a crescendo of 40 years for an 18C rise timeline we are currently in for anthropogenic thermal maximum; but now is the time of our demise without revolution. The solution, the beginning of any solution, is to revolt against the extant power elite immediately. What does that look like? Chop from the top. Don't like the terms? Think about it.


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    • ruth

      Who are you proposing do this revolting? The Japanese? Not likely given their culture. In my opinion revolt against the elite is just another form of suicide. How do you define the elite to revolt against? Each to their own.


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      • el

        Hi Ruth.

        I too asked these same questions. These bad people have names, and are part of groups and think tanks that have rosters. Many of these people are really in the shadows, but many are not. Look to the Commitie of 300, Club of Rome, Royal Society. Many Many many of these people have written openly of their planned conspiracy to eliminate certain people or groups for various reasons.

        If you cant put a face and a name on what is happening with Fuku and other events right now, I beg you to look into these groups on your own.

        It will clarifiy how the events we experience are not coincidental. Not in the least.


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        • ruth

          El, I understand what you are saying and even agree to the reality of what you are saying. What I am saying is that even though "they" operate outside the law, we as a society still give an appearance of operating within the law. Crimes against humanity need to be charged and prosecuted. This is not likely.


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      • Not to mention that a popular revolution isn't going to do sh*t about Fukushima or any other dumping nuke anywhere in the world. In fact, it would PREVENT THAT FROM HAPPENING FOR YEARS, thereby guaranteeing the worst possible outcome.

        Not that we don't need some popular revolutionizing. It's just never going to solve the big problems with our most dangerous technologies.


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      • demo demo

        The Japanese are rising above their conformist culture, given that their gov't has betrayed them and has them up against the wall. More and more of them are making mega NOISE about this genocidal injustice. More (sun) power to 'em! I'd always wanted to go there. Post-fuku I'd thot, "Never." But maybe now IS the time to go there and help foment change/resistance/sanity.


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  • el

    I hat to say it, but we People were warned that the Shadow Govt would use an Event to implement World Disarmarment. The UN cant tell Japan or any Govt to do anything unless the UN is ASKED to become involved. On the surface this sounds good, but they really just mean THEY can have Nukes and NO ONE ELSE! In asking for a little safety you GIVE UP NATIONAL SOVEREIGNITY! This is how the World becomes OWNed…..this is another step for Global Domination.

    We were warned.


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    • ruth

      I thought of this too when I read about the request to the UN. There is the very real danger that if the UN does help Japan that it will be in exchange for Japan starting their other nuclear reactors again. Given the UN's track record they will do too little too late.


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    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yep Esinhower warned us about the military industrial complex and look what has happened. Oh well, back to 'Dancing with the stars" and a bottle of beer.


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  • "the structure of Reactor 4 is stable for the moment" I don't buy that for a moment.

    And I doubt it will take a strong quake to bring it down.


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  • howardtlewisiii

    LISTEN to the physicist. I told you of the rockefellers and the Bush cabal installing the demolition and retrigger system at the WTCs. I told you of how the senate determined Halliburton(40%Bush) and BP(managed by the Skull and Bones Blackstone investment group) blew out the Deepwater Horizon and sprayed GMO bacteria disease and cancer causing Corexit all over the Gulf of Mexico to kill it instead of president B.O. allowing dozens of the largest skimmer ships on earth to clean up the mess, thus killing the Gulf slowly, as we see. Now president B.O. hides GE and the other parties who built this inevitable disaster and then mininuked it during a detonation of a small number of set nuclear charges interred a few miles off shore.(Note the absence of damage and concern before the water hit.)The same cabal carried out all three attacks.Please advise to get them the hell away from Fukushima and the Deepwater Horizon mess.Our congress is too busy prancing and mewling the Dirty Poltroon and the net censors are too bloody stupid to lay off.


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