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Posted by on Aug 5, 2011 in Energy, Science & Technology, Society | 11 comments

Remembering Fukishima

Here in the US of A we have all but forgotten the nuclear disaster in Fukishima because our own political kabuki dance is less threatening and more entertaining.  But it’s not forgotten in Japan and it shouldn’t be here either.  The reality is the situation at Fukushima Daiichi is still out of control and no one knows what’s going on or what to do about it.

August 3, 2011:

Highest indoor radiation level detected at Fukushima Daiichi plant

Radiation dosages of 5 sieverts per hour were detected indoors on the second floor of the No. 1 reactor at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Tuesday, the highest figure yet indoors, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The figure was detected in front of a pipe in an air-conditioning machine room, the utility said, adding the dosage may be larger than the measured amount as it exceeds the capacity of measuring equipment.

August 4, 2011:

Tepco Reports Second Deadly Radiation Reading at Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported its second deadly radiation reading in as many days at its wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo.

The utility known as Tepco said yesterday it detected 5 sieverts of radiation per hour in the No. 1 reactor building. On Aug. 1 in another area it recorded radiation of 10 sieverts per hour, enough to kill a person “within a few weeks” after a single exposure, according to the World Nuclear Association.

This comes as no surprise to Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama.

Fukushima radiation equals 20 nuclear bombs but will stay dangerous much longer

Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama, head of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo, testifies before the Committee on Welfare and Labor in the Lower House of the Japanese Diet. Very emotional — yet clear and rational —testimony.

“Based on the thermal output, it is 29.6 times the amount released by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In uranium equivalent, it is 20 Hiroshima bombs.

“What is more frightening is that whereas the radiation from a nuclear bomb will decrease to one-thousandth in one year, the radiation from a nuclear power plant will only decrease to one-tenth.

“In other words, we should recognize from the start that just like Chernobyl, Fukushima I Nuke Plant has released radioactive materials equivalent in the amount to tens of nuclear bombs, and the resulting contamination is far worse than the contamination by a nuclear bomb.”

Several months after the earthquake no one knows what damage occured, how bad it is or what to do about it.  Japan is a small island that has lost some of it’s most productive agricultural land for generations.  We can’t even estimate how the fisheries in the Pacific Ocean have been impacted.  The economy of Japan was damaged by the earthquake but may not be able to recover from the nuclear incident.

But it can’t happen here!  There had been an active government and industry program to convince the people of Japan that nuclear power was safe – it couldn’t happen there but it did.  We have had the same propaganda effort here in the US.  Just a couple of months ago we were one dam failure away from a Nuclear disaster at Fort Calhoun on the Missouri River in Nebraska.  However unlikely a nuclear accident is the long lasting impact of that accident  make the risk unacceptable.  If nuclear power is the only solution there is no solution.