TV: Fukushima Radiation Alert — Concern ‘nuclear chain reaction’ could occur at plant — Reactors are still melting down and spewing radioactivity — Fuel has burned through containment — Expert: It’s unprecedented… could’ve been 12 Chernobyls (VIDEO)

Published: April 24th, 2017 at 10:34 am ET
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TRT World transcript excerpts (government-funded public broadcaster of Turkey), Apr 14, 2017:

Martin Stanford, host of ‘Insight’ (emphasis added): Radiation Alert — a nuclear scientist tells us the cleanup at Japan’s Fukushima plant could take 100 years… The decommissioning process has barely begun… A British nuclear scientist who’s just come back from Fukushima has told this program it could take up to 100 years.

1:15 in – Dana Lewis, senior correspondent: In three years Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics, and ironically one of the commercial slogans asks ‘Is Japan cool?’ It would almost be funny if the situation wasn’t so serious. 150 miles from Tokyo is the Fukushima nuclear power station where the situation is not cool — it’s a super-heated atomic catastrophe ever since a powerful earthquake rattled Japan in 2011 a 15-metre tsunami engulfed Fukushima and caused three reactors to melt down and they still are.

1:45 in – Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear: It’s unknown where those cores are at… There is some possibility that it’s burrowed completely through the containment, and is sitting in groundwater.

2:30 in – Lewis: Deep inside Fukushima there is a molten mess… But exactly how deep are those cores? And that is a burning question. These close-up photographs show that it has burned through some of the containment structure and burrowed deep in the foundation of the reactor. Until those cores can be retrieved, the radiation will keep spewing into groundwater and leaking — no one knows for sure where… Neil Hyatt is a professor of nuclear materials chemistry. [He's] back from touring Fukushima — well at least the storage areas… and he admits the situation will haunt Japan for generations.

3:45 in – Neil Hyatt, nuclear scientist: Somewhere between 40 and 100 years for the Fukushima cleanup and complete decommissioning is probably a reasonable estimate…

4:00 in – Lewis: But while they plan to get to those cores Tokyo Electric is struggling with a lethal radioactive dragon

4:45 in – Hyatt: One concern is that there could be a resumption of the nuclear chain reaction

7:00 in – Mark Whitby, engineer: This was an unprecedented accident, it was very close to being much worse than Chernobyl… It wasn’t so much the reactor cores which were melting – there was nothing they could do to to retrieve that situation. The real problem was that one of the reactors had been recently taken offline, it had a fuel pond which was very hot, stacked with 20 years worth of fuel rods and that was beginning to boil dry… Had that fuel pond boiled, and Prime Minister Kan was very aware of this, this would have been 12 Chernobyls

Watch the broadcast here

Published: April 24th, 2017 at 10:34 am ET
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63 comments

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