The Worst Yet to Come? Why Nuclear Experts Are Calling Fukushima a Ticking Time-Bomb
May 4, 2012
[...] Alarmed by the precarious nature of spent fuel storage during his recent tour of the Fukushima Daiichi site, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon subsequently fired off letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko and Japanese ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki. He implored all parties to work together and with the international community to address this situation as swiftly as possible.
A press release issued after his visit said that Wyden, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources who is highly experienced with nuclear waste storage issues, believes the situation is “worse than reported,” with “spent fuel rods currently being stored in unsound structures immediately adjacent to the ocean.” The press release also noted the structures’ high susceptibility to earthquakes and that “the only protection from a future tsunami, Wyden observed, is a small, makeshift sea wall erected out of bags of rock.” [...]
AlterNet asked Sen. Wyden if he considers the spent fuel at Fukushima Daiichi a national security threat.
In a statement released by his office, Wyden replied, “The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.” [...]
Read the in-depth report here
Published: May 5th, 2012 at 9:33 am ET
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- NYT: Threat of catastrophic radioactive release from a spent fuel pool at Fukushima is dwarfed by risk posed by pools in U.S., study says May 24, 2011
- Quake caused massive containers of spent fuel to shift at Virginia nuke plant — “We’re trying to learn as much as possible” says NRC September 1, 2011
- NRC: Spent fuel pool cooling lost at NJ’s Oyster Creek nuclear plant during Hurricane Sandy November 2, 2012