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‘It’s a crime what’s happening at Fukushima’

Published time: November 08, 2013 19:15
AFP Photo / Kimimasa Mayama

It is beyond tragic that people resettling near Fukushima have to figure out how bad the contamination there is, with Japan’s government allowing it to happen, Kevin Kamps, a nuclear waste specialist from the Beyond Nuclear organization, told RT.

RT: According to experts, Reactor #4 was so damaged in the 2011 catastrophe that any major earthquake could now result in its collapse. How real is that risk – and what could the consequences be if they don't get these rods out?

Kevin Kamps: Yes, it’s been a strange race against time, that’s taken 2 1/2 years now, because they had to rebuild the infrastructure of the unit 4 building which was so badly destroyed by the explosion. Now they are ready to go with infrastructure and a crane to lift these hundred ton loads of radiated nuclear fuel assemblies out of the pool down to the ground and try to get them into a ground level pool. It’s a very risky operation, as your reporter reported, because the fuel itself could be bent, it could be damaged, it could be corroded. They used salt water at one point to cool the nuclear waste in this pool, which could have corroded the assemblies. They could break apart; they could crumble when they go to try to remove them. Even the director of the nuclear regulation authority of Japan has warned that this process should not be rushed; they should not try to force these assemblies out of their storage channels. But they have to get them out before a bigger earthquake takes the building down, the cooling water would drain away, and the waste with them will catch on fire. There is no radiological containment around the pool and if this waste would catch fire it could be 10 times worse than Chernobyl. That’s how much radioactivity is stored in that pool. Just in terms of the radioactive cesium content.

RT: People are ready resettling near Fukushima. How safe is it for them?

KK: Well, that’s a great tragedy that the Japanese government is allowing this to happen. To within the closest 12.4 miles of the devastated nuclear power plant obviously the landscape is contaminated, the food supplies are contaminated. As your reporter said, it’s up to individual private citizens to try to figure out how bad the contamination is. The environmental groups are trying to help them. So, it’s beyond tragic, it’s a crime what’s happening at Fukushima Daiichi.

RT: The chief of the Fukushima power plant has called the process of removing fuel rods the official start of the decommissioning. Does that mean that Tepco is now in control of the situation?

KK: There were petitions delivered [Friday] signed by 1,500 people from around the world to the United Nations, calling on the UN to send the best  scientists and engineers of the world to Fukushima Daiichi. It’s absurd that Tokyo Electric is in charge of this globally significant extracting of the fuel from the pool. If something goes wrong, this could be a global catastrophe that dwarfs what has happened on Fukushima Daiichi thus far. Tokyo Electric has shown its true colors time and time again, its incompetence and its dishonesty, so it’s very frightening that Tokyo Electric is in charge of this.

Comments (17)

 

Eric Clemmont 28.12.2013 13:41

I have a question for Mr. Kamps. I read several articles citing that as early as 2015 parts of Hawaii will have to be abandoned. And by 2015-2020 the entire west coast of the USA will have to be abandoned. Is there any credibility to this? And if so where will the tens of millions relocate to?

 

Jackie Browne 16.11.2013 23:13

"There were petitions delivered [Friday] signed by 1,500 people from around the world" -- NOT 1,500 people. It is more than 150,000 people!!! Please correct the article -- unless Mr. Kamps misspoke.

 

siyousyanamae 12.11.2013 14:14

And when these children spend some time in West Japan, they get better. But our real hope is to have not just children but also adults move away from Tokyo. The adult conditions are definitely different compared to how it was before the nuclear accident.
With elderly people, it takes more time for asthma to heal. The medication doesn’t seem to work. We also see more patients with diseases that had been rare before; for example, polymyalgia rheumatica. Before the nuclear accident, we had one or less patient per year. Now, we treat more than 10 patients at the same time.

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