Moral Outrage
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Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan are a “ticking time bomb”

Dr. Michio Kaku, a Japanese American physicist, professor of theoretical physics at City University of New York and the City College of New York, and a bestselling author, shared the following in an interview:

There’s a mathematical formula, by which you can determine what level this accident is. This accident has already released something on the order of 50,000 trillion becquerels of radiation. That puts it right smack in the middle of a level 7 nuclear accident. Still, less than Chernobyl. However, radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors. The situation is not stable at all. So, you’re looking at basically a ticking time bomb. It appears stable, but the slightest disturbance—a secondary earthquake, a pipe break, evacuation of the crew at Fukushima—could set off a full-scale meltdown at three nuclear power stations, far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl.

Think of driving a car, and the car all of a sudden lunges out of control. You hit the brakes. The brakes don’t work. That’s because the earthquake wiped out the safety systems in the first minute of the earthquake and tsunami. Then your radiator starts to heat up and explodes. That’s the hydrogen gas explosion. And then, to make it worse, the gas tank is heating up, and all of a sudden your whole car is going to be in flames. That’s the full-scale meltdown.

So what do you do? You drive the car into a river. That’s what the utility did by putting seawater from the Pacific Ocean, in a desperate attempt to keep water on top of the core. But then, seawater has salt in it, and that gums up your radiator. And so, what do you do? You call out the local firemen. And so, now you have these Japanese samurai warriors. They know that this is potentially a suicide mission. They’re coming in with hose water—hose water—trying to keep water over the melted nuclear reactor cores. So that’s the situation now. So, when the utility says that things are stable, it’s only stable in the sense that you’re dangling from a cliff hanging by your fingernails. And as the time goes by, each fingernail starts to crack. That’s the situation now.

The tragedy is, this accident has released enormous quantities of iodine, radioactive iodine-131, into the atmosphere, like what happened at Chernobyl. Iodine is water soluble. When it rains, it gets into the soil. Cows then eat the vegetation, create milk, and then it winds up in the milk. And let’s be blunt about this: would you buy food that says “Made in Chernobyl”?

The radiation levels are so great, workers can only go in for perhaps 10 minutes, 15 minutes at a time, and they get their year’s dose of radiation. You’re there for one hour, and you have radiation sickness. You vomit. Your white corpuscle count goes down. Your hair falls out. You’re there for a day, and you get a lethal amount of radiation. …Many areas around the site have no monitors. So we don’t even know how much radiation many of these workers are getting.

In the best-case scenario—this is the scenario devised by the utility itself—they hope to bring it under control by the end of this year. …We’re in totally uncharted territories. And we are the guinea pigs for this science experiment that’s taking place. Then it could take up to 10 years to finally dismantle the reactor.

[From an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!]

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4 Responses to “Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan are a “ticking time bomb””

  1. RENEWABLE ENERGY NOW!

    RENEWABLE ENERGY NOW!

    RENEWABLE ENERGY NOW!

    Stupid

  2. In June 2011, CNN reports:
    Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said. The nuclear group’s new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

    Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced a full meltdown, it said.

    However, Tokyo Electric avoided using the term “meltdown,” and says it was keeping the remnants of the core cool. But U.S. experts interviewed by CNN after the company’s announcement in May said that while it may have been containing the situation, the damage had already been done.

  3. […] discovery raised concerns that leaked radiation from three Fukushima reactors that suffered meltdowns after the March earthquake and tsunami may be more widespread than […]

  4. […] authors write that that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks following the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. […]


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