Fukushima Reactor 4 poses massive global risk

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The material below is excerpted from the CTV article By Andy Johnson (May 19, 2012).

(Image courtesy of World Nuclear News)

More than a year after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a massive nuclear disaster, experts are warning that Japan isn’t out of the woods yet and the worst nuclear storm the world has ever seen could be just one earthquake away from reality.

The troubled Reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is at the centre of this potential catastrophe.

While Reactor 4 poses the greatest risk, the others are not far behind – particularly vulnerable is Reactor 3. Containment is questionable. Particularly in the event of another significant earthquake. Regardless, “Japan is sitting on a ticking bomb.” But that bomb will have dramatic consequences for the entire planet.

“The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements,” Alvarez said in his response. “If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.”

Mitsuhei Murata, Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal, has also made it his mission to convince the UN and the world that urgent action is needed.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No. 4 reactor,” Murata said in a recent letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in which he urged him to back efforts to address the problem.

This is a global problem that requires a global response. It is not something that should just rest in the lap of the Japanese, and I imagine they want all the help they can get.

I recommend reading the entire article. It is not that long, and it is a good place to start looking at the Fukushima situation.

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