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Big quake near Fukushima would ‘decimate Japan, lead to US West Coast evacuation’

Published time: November 06, 2013 11:21
Edited time: November 07, 2013 18:17
An aerial view shows the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Reuters/Kyodo)

An aerial view shows the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Reuters/Kyodo)

The stricken nuclear plant at Fukushima in northern Japan is in such a delicate condition that a future earthquake could trigger a disaster that would decimate Japan and affect the entire West Coast of North America, a prominent scientist has warned.

Speaking at a symposium on water ecology at the University of Alberta in Canada, prominent Japanese-Canadian scientist David Suzuki said that the Japanese government had been “lying through its teeth” about the true extent of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

He attributed the cover-up to the Japanese government’s collusion with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that administers the plant.

“Fukushima is the most terrifying situation that I can imagine,” Suzuki said, adding that another earthquake could trigger a potentially catastrophic, nuclear disaster.

“The fourth [reactor] has been so badly damaged that the fear is if there’s another earthquake of a 7 or above then that building will go and all hell breaks loose,” he said, adding that the chances of an earthquake measuring 7 or above in Japan over the next three years were over 95 percent.

“If the fourth [reactor] goes under an earthquake and those rods are exposed, then it’s bye, bye, Japan and everybody on the west coast of North America should be evacuated. And if that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is,”
Suzuki said. 


‘Too proud’

Addressing the Japanese government’s attempts to bring the crisis under control, Suzuki said the scientists charged with the plant’s safety “don’t know what to do.”

“The thing we need is to let a group of international experts go in with complete freedom to do what they suggest,”
Suzuki said, adding that the only thing impeding this was the “pride” of the Japanese government that was refusing to admit this was necessary.

Suzuki referred to the current scheme of freezing the soil around the reactor to prevent radioactive leaks as “cockamany.”

TEPCO has accepted the US government’s help in undertaking the risky cleanup operation of the Fukushima site. Teams of experts will begin the removal of fuel rods from the fourth reactor in mid-November in a decommissioning process that is likely to take decades. One wrong move in the delicate operation could result in horrific quantities of radiation being released into the atmosphere or trigger a massive explosion. 

Dr Helen Caldicott described the risks of removing the rods to RT as “terribly serious” because of the danger of releasing a large amount of radiation.

“Two rods could touch each other in this process which has been done before and there could be a fission reaction and a very large release of radiation.”

Suzuki, a prominent environmental campaigner and scientist from the University of British Columbia, whose television science programs and books have gained a wide international audience, has been very vocal in his criticisms of Japan in its handling of the disaster. 

Despite his prominence in Canada, Suzuki has been criticized in the past by the media for double standards and his credentials as a scientist have been queried. While his television programs encourage society to consume less fossil fuel and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, Suzuki reportedly lives in one of Vancouver’s most exclusive areas and has faced criticism over his globetrotting airplane travel.

However, with regard to the current situation at Fukushima, a number of scientists have echoed Suzuki’s concerns. Nuclear technology historian Robert Jacobs told RT that there could easily be more destruction at the plant’s fourth reactor.

“If this building were to collapse, which could happen, it would spill these spent nuclear fuel rods all over the ground which would make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics impossible and could threaten all kinds of health problems throughout northern Japan and Tokyo itself,” Jacobs said.

Comments (70)

 

Serenity Munoz 26.08.2014 21:56

Serenity Munoz 26.08.2014 21:55

The main reasin they had to leave Northern Japan, because they probably didn't know how to away trash in the trash can but it is very sad what happened to the people who died.

  


 

Serenity Munoz 26.08.2014 21:55

The main reasin they had to leave Northern Japan, because they probably didn't know away trash in the trash can but it is very sad what happened to so of the people who died

 

Berke Beenhouwer 20.08.2014 09:50

Mel 20.08.2014 06:41

Fear mongering. Rabble rousing. Hysterical. Exaggeration. No one has died from Fukushima. Few actually died, subsequently, from Chernobyl whereas today at least 18 died from a mudslide in Hiroshima because of weird-weather maybe because of global warming. The environmental disaster that could happen if we continue to burn fossil fuels before alternatives are ready is a much, much bigger catastrophe before us.

  


Absolutely correct. We'd better stop fracking and buy clean Russian gas instead too, but hey, that would be to logical. Anyway, China will.

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