Thursday, 15 August 2013

"It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No. 4 reactor."

So said the former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland Mitsuhei Murata to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April 2012; so what has happened since, and why the silence?
The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove, beginning this November, 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale.
Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is already in a losing battle to stop radioactive water overflowing from another part of the facility, and experts question whether it will be able to pull off the removal of all the assemblies successfully.
The operation at the plant's Reactor No. 4 is fraught with danger, including the possibility of a large release of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks, gets stuck or gets too close to an adjacent bundle.  That could lead to a worse disaster than the March 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, the worlds most serious since Chernobyl in 1986.   To see the possible problem see 1) 
Each fuel rod assembly weighs about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and is 4.5 meters (15 feet) long. There are 1,331 of the spent fuel assemblies and a further 202 unused assemblies are also stored in the pool.   Almost 550 assemblies had been removed from the reactor core just before the quake and tsunami set off the crisis. These are the most dangerous because they have only been cooling in the pool for two and a half years.
“The No. 4 unit was not operating at the time of the accident, so its fuel had been moved to the pool from the reactor, and if you calculate the amount of caesium 137 in the pool, the amount is equivalent to 14,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs," said Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute.
The seawater around the nuclear plant has been contaminated from the water pumped into the plant and dropped from helicopters used to cool the radioactive fuel rods which has the leaked out into the Pacific Ocean.   See (2
So, why is there the silence from the National News and Government sources, remembering the news that was released after Chernobyl?   There have been no rebuttal of these facts from the US authorities, see (3  
And for a full update see(4
      3)  health-impacts-on-american-children/5329553