Fukushima update - 10/29/13

I wish I were writing about something more pleasant. It takes real spiritual fortitude to face the problem of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The sad fact is, that the disaster that began there several years ago continues, with little news coverage and much denial by our own American government as well as the Japanese government. At a time when we need more transparency and international expertise involved in solving this problem, the Abe Japanese government is preparing to pass a national censorship law that makes it impossible to find out what is going on at Fukushima.

Two typhoons, and a recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake off of Fukushima underscore the urgency of decommissioning the remaining reactors at Fukushima. The unit 4 reactor is badly damaged, and needs to be taken down safely.

Tepco, the corrupt and incompetent Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to begin removing 400 tons of radioactive rods from unit 4 as soon as November 8, 2013. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before. In the past rods would be removed by computers, but because the unit and the rods are so badly damaged, they will have to be removed manually. This is a very delicate and dangerous engineering operation. Tepco has not inspired any kind of confidence in their ability to do such an operation safely.

If these cesium fuel rods touch, setting off a chain reaction, radiation, 14,000 times what was released in Hiroshima could be released into the environment, almost surely causing the evacuation of 10 million people in Tokyo. It would be a disaster for Japan and the world.

Arnie Gunderson, one of the few nuclear experts in the West who is raising his voice to warn the world of the seriousness of this situation, says the world should be hiring a large global engineering firm to undertake this operation.

But the Japanese government shows no signs of receiving outside help. And truth be told, with over 100 nuclear power plants in the U.S., the American government is equally in denial and seems to have no incentive to draw more attention to the seriousness of this problem.

If you haven't already done so, please sign the following petition which will be delivered to the United Nations and President Barak Obama.

Here is what the petition says:

At Fukushima Unit-4, the impending removal of hugely radioactive spent fuel rods from a pool 100 feet in the air presents unparalleled scientific and engineering challenges. With the potential for 15,000 times more fallout than was released at Hiroshima, we ask the world community, through the United Nations, to take control of this uniquely perilous task.”

Please consider signing this petition.

Click here to add your name to the petition. (http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/the-world-community-must?source=s.fwd&r_by=1391209)

Green Action also has a petition which is being sent to the Abe Japanese government which needs to be signed by October 30. It reads as follows:

To: Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Shunichi Tanaka, Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA)

Urgent international petition calling for immediate action on the uncontrolled radioactive discharges at Tepco’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

  • This is clearly not an appropriate time for Japan to restart nuclear plants or export nuclear technology
  • The ocean, the source of life, must not be contaminated further

We hereby petition the Japanese national government and related entities to undertake the following commitments.

  1. Clarify the Japanese government’s responsibility concerning the radioactive discharges into the ocean. Concentrate fully on dealing with this issue, and suspend all activity aimed at restarting nuclear plants in Japan and exporting nuclear power reactors to other countries. Japan’s new post-Fukushima regulatory standards do not take into account the possibility of uncontrolled radioactive releases into the ocean. Processing applications to restart nuclear plants in Japan under these conditions can result in additional uncontrolled releases and must be suspended.
  2. Implement maximum efforts to prevent further contamination of the ocean. Install tanks for the storage of the contaminated water that are more robust and sustainable in order to prevent leakage. Deliberate discharge of the contents of the radioactive water in tanks into the ocean absolutely must not be permitted.
  3. Bring together the combined wisdom of independent experts with no vested interests from within Japan and internationally (i.e. domestic and international independent expertise) and ensure its practical implementation.
  4. Ensure transparency. Make all government meetings concerning this issue public, including the meetings of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Radioactive Contamination Discharges Countermeasures Committee. Immediately hold a public assessment of the proposed ice wall strategy.
  5. Retract Prime Minister Abe’s following statements made at the International Olympic Commission (IOC): “The situation is under control.” “The effects of the [radioactive] discharges are completely blocked within the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s harbor.”

The petition deadline has been extended to 30 October Petition deadline: 30 October

Please sign this petition by clicking here:



Please pay attention to this story. If you hear that a meltdown has occurred at Fukushima, it will already be too late.

thank you for reading this,

Robert Joshin Althouse