Which will collapse first, the economy or the spent fuel pool at Fukushima?
By Christina Consolo
[Editor’s note: it is worth pointing out that the attention Christina’s article received was unprecedented in the history of End the Lie.]
Although, there was a somewhat promising appeal made on April 30, when seventy-two Japanese Non-Governmental Organizations sent an urgent request to the United Nations and Japanese government urging immediate action to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel. The letter was also endorsed by numerous nuclear experts.
The letter warned the UN and Japanese government that if an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain, a catastrophic radiological fire could ensue.
The letter urged the United Nations to organize a Nuclear Security Summit to take up the crucial problem.
The letter stated that the United Nations should establish an independent assessment team, and coordinate international assistance to stabilize reactor 4′s spent fuel pool in order to prevent a radiological release with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Letters were sent to both UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the latter asking that Japan ask immediately for the UN’s help.
So that’s good news.
Now, we just have to wait for the UN to have a meeting about it, form some committees, investigate, send a team to Japan, schedule another meeting, go over the committee results, then maybe form some more committees, go over more results, then send a response, and then finally implement a plan of action, if that is what they even decide to do in the end.
And of course all that is dependent on if the spent fuel pool hasn’t fractured, fallen, caught fire, or exploded by then.
For a “downwinder” of a spent fuel pool fire or explosion and large scale radiological release (or in the case of Fukushima, a “northern hemisphere resident”) you will need anywhere from 2 weeks to a 2 year supply of food, water, toiletries, medications, diapers, pet food, and a designated area for pets to go to the bathroom inside your shelter, among many other things.
The amount of time spent sheltering in will vary greatly on a wide array of variables, such as, how long it takes to put the nuclear fuel fire out, or burn itself out.
That being said, nuclear fuel is essentially “a fire that never stops burning.”
Don’t worry about stockpiling gas, you won’t be going anywhere. That is of course if you lack the financial resources to leave everything behind and bug out to the southern hemisphere.
It may be advisable to have weapons in case your neighbors run out of supplies, and want yours.
So essentially, you will need all the same things you would for a collapse of the economy, it’s just that you won’t be able to go outside.
As a downwinder, one of the only differences in your “shelter” will be the further down you go into the ground, the better off you will be due to gamma rays.
And speaking of gamma rays, in Arnie Gundersen’s recent interview with KGO Radio, he said in regards to spent fuel pool 4:
“Let’s assume that it didn’t fall, but went dry a hundred feet in the air, it would be a beacon, but instead of a beacon of light, it would be a beacon of radiation, and bathe the site in high levels of radiation. That’s not something that you want because it would make work on other units darn near impossible…The gamma rays, forget the particles that get caught in your lungs, but the gamma rays would go up and bounce off air molecules and come down as a shine of radiation over the site, and it would go right through those suits and the guys would be exposed from the ‘sky shine’ …”
So let’s talk about that for a minute.
When I wrote my first piece for End the Lie “Fukushima is falling apart: are you ready?” I withheld some important information. Sort of like Tepco always does. They feed you little bits of information here and there, because they knew you couldn’t take it all at once.
The real danger with this precarious spent fuel pool situation is not just the spent fuel pool in reactor 4. It’s all the reactors, and all the spent fuel pools, including the granddaddy common spent fuel pool which is only about 50 meters from reactor 4.
If the spent fuel pool goes up, the radiation release would be so high that the workers would have to abandon the site, which means no one is holding the hoses watering down everything and keeping it from going up in one giant fire or explosion or radioactive cloud of death.
Need some verification of this?
Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident.
Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 – with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground – collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4.
In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel. Indeed, they are open to the air, which is quite dangerous.
This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced.
He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries.
Ambassador Murata informed us that the total number of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).
As the eminent German physicist Dr. Hans-Peter Durr said ten months ago, if the spent fuel pool spills, we will be in a situation where science never imagined we could be.
And Former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura – whose praises have been sung by Mikhail Gorbachev, was told that if the fuel pool at unit 4 collapses or the water spills out, so much radiation will spew out for 50 years that no one will be able to approach Fukushima.
It gets, if you can believe it, just a little worse. Because you see, if no one in the path of this plume can leave their houses, or go to school, or go to work and of course some of us work – you guessed it – at nuclear plants in the United States and in Canada and in Europe.
Well, I’m sure you can see where that is heading.
The other option is, that our wonderful sources of nuclear power could all be shut down in advance, which means you’d be smart to add all the items you could possibly need for 2 weeks to 2 years without electricity to your supply list.
Or, make a reservation at your friendly neighborhood FEMA camp instead. This is the reality of our choice to let nuclear power into our lives. And you thought we were FUBAR just from the one little spent fuel pool?
Whatever sense of urgency you had about this situation in the past few weeks, multiply that by 104 or so, if not more.
Call, post, email, protest, and do whatever it takes to get someone to listen.
In the meantime mitigate for radiation exposure, and keep sending pictures of mutated flowers, trees, fruit, and vegetables.
Economic collapse would be a walk in the park in comparison to what humanity is facing with Fukushima. At least, you could have one there if you wanted to. Just don’t pick the mutated dandelions.
Please send mutation images to [email protected]. Shoot at the highest resolution possible, and include your name, location, and date the mutation was found, for proper credit if the images are published. If it is from store-bought produce, include the location where it was grown and purchased. The more information you provide, the better you will be helping the rest of us.
Please help Christina purchase a spectrometer in order to get the most accurate radiation readings and thus get you the most precise information possible by shopping through her Amazon link or donate directly via PayPal to [email protected] Keep in mind, this is expensive equipment and it is the only way that specific isotope readings can be obtained from food items.
Minor editing by End the Lie
Christina Consolo is a former clinical researcher supervisor with NIH credentialing; a former Member-at-Large for the Board of Directors, Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society; A peer reviewer for the Journal of Ophthalmic Photography; She has written, published, and contributed to numerous scientific research in retinal imaging and ophthalmogy for the past 24 years; She is also an award-winning biomedical photographer and maintains several websites to teach people about radiation, mitigation, and other nuclear issues. She is also the host of “Nuked Radio” Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12-1:00 pm EST on the Orion Talk Radio Network.
For more info including mitigation for radiation exposure, please visit FukushimaFacts.com, where you can sign up to receive Fallout Forecasts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.