It was one year ago that Japan was gripped with a meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power facility. It was nine months ago that this blogger stated that radiation levels where far worse than any reports and that it could be just a matter of time before cities as far as a Tokyo would need to be evacuated.
The plans for evacuating Tokyo’s 39 million residents are drawn up as you read this.
An editorial in one of Japan’s leading newspapers warns that the Fukushima crisis is still at a critical stage and that the Japanese government has drawn up contingency plans for the potential evacuation of Greater Tokyo’s 39 million residents.
Fukushima’s reactor number 4, which holds 75% as much nuclear fuel as the entire Chernobyl complex did prior to its meltdown, 460 tons in total, is at risk of collapse. With the roof of the complex blown away, if the storage pool for the spent fuel, which is housed on the 3rd and 4th floors of the building, were to fracture then the nuclear fuel would overheat and explode, spreading radioactive fallout over a wide area.
Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned that reactor number 4 is the “weakest link” out of the entire Fukushima complex. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has resisted calls to bury the spent fuel rods in concrete, citing the cost, but an editorial in Japan’s Mainichi Daily News quotes government insiders who warn that the potential collapse of the reactor is “a grave concern.”
“Because sea water was being pumped into the reactor, the soundness of the structure (concrete corrosion and deterioration) was questionable. There also were doubts about the calculations made on earthquake resistance as well,” said one government source familiar with what took place at the time. “It’s been suggested that the building would be reinforced, and spent fuel rods would be removed from the pool under those conditions. But fuel rod removal will take three years. Will the structure remain standing for that long?”
As part of contingency planning for the collapse of reactor number 4, the Japanese government has drawn up a blueprint for forcibly evacuating 39 million residents out of the Tokyo metropolitan area.
“The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate,” according to the editorial by senior writer Takao Yamada.
Read this direct quote from The Mainichi Daily News:
The storage pool in the No. 4 reactor building has a total of 1,535 fuel rods, or 460 tons of nuclear fuel, in it. The 7-story building itself has suffered great damage, with the storage pool barely intact on the building’s third and fourth floors. The roof has been blown away. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area. Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned about this risk.
Earthquakes in the neighborhood of level-5 on the seismic intensity scale continue to occur even now in the Tohoku and Kanto regions. We cannot accept the absurd condescension of those who fear the worse-case scenario, labeling them as “overreacting.” We have no time to humor the senseless thinking that instead, those who downplay the risks for the sake of economic growth are “realistic.” (By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)
We would be looking at one of the greatest evacuation in human history. 39 million people with little food, water, shelter, or resources, being shipped or flown where? It is an island, and if you have done your research and read my articles you know that a vast portion of it will be uninhabitable for a century of longer from the current radiation contamination.
I understand that there is “Fukushima Fatigue” within my readers, and heck most of the world at this point. I think we all want to just forget it has happened, and believe the false and misleading stories that TEPCO, and the Japanese Government continue to feed the world that everything is fine, and the reactors are in cold shut down. But believe me when I tell you they are not, reactors 1,2 and 4 continue to be in meltdown, radiation is continuing to be vented into our air, water, and food supplies every day. How many times do you have to hear “I told you so, to start to believe the gravity of Fukushima”. Will it take evacuating Tokyo to wake more people up? I hope within my heart it does not.
- Fukushima One Year Anniversary (faithandsurvival.com)
- Japan gov’t hid worst-case nuclear scenario (cbsnews.com)
- NYTimes: Core damage at No. 2 worse than thought? Reactor water could be flowing directly into ocean or under plant – Risk of fuel melting again, says nuclear engineering professor (enenews.com)
- Still critical: radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes (independent.co.uk)
- Tokyo Soil – Blanketed With Fukushima Radiation – Would Be Considered “Radioactive Waste” In the United States (zerohedge.com)
- Japan kept 10 trillion becquerel per hour calculations secret for over a year (enformable.com)
- Japan Considered Evacuating Tokyo During Nuclear Crisis (tightwind.net)
- The human cost of the Fukushima meltdowns, one year later [Fukushima] (io9.com)