March 12, 2011
Editor’s note: Forbes posted the following yesterday: “Without cooling water, the irradiated nuclear fuel could spontaneously combust in an exothermic reaction. Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.”
A large explosion at Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiich nuclear power plant reveals that a meltdown is now underway following the exposure of the core following an 9.1-magnitude earthquake.
The media in Japan is not reporting this fact in order to prevent mass hysteria.
Prior to the explosion today, the media reported the radiation level was 1000 times higher than the permissible level.
Kyodo News agency said radioactive cesium had been detected near the 40 year old facility, citing the nuclear safety agency.
Government spokesman Yukio Edano said radiation levels around the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan had not risen after the explosion, despite earlier press reports it had.
Earthquake epicenter and its relation to the two nuclear plants.
It is obvious the Japanese are attempting to cover up the deadly seriousness of events unfolding in their country.
The white smoke emitted from the Fukushima plant resembles the smoke emitted at Chernobyl after the Ukrainian nuclear plant blew up and caught fire on April 26, 1986. Here is a documentary on the events at Chernobyl.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Chernobyl has been blamed for thousands of deaths due to radiation-linked illness.
“If the pressure vessel, which is the thing that actually holds all the nuclear fuel … if that was to explode — that’s basically what happened at Chernobyl — you get an enormous release of radioactive material,” said Prof. Paddy Regan, nuclear physicist from Britain’s Surrey University.
Reuters reports this morning that experts examining pictures of “mist above the plant suggested only small amounts of radiation had been expelled as part of measures to ensure its stability, far from the radioactive clouds that Chernobyl spewed out when it exploded in 1986.”
This characterization is at odds with video of the explosion showing large plumes rising high above the crippled plant.
Even though 210,000 people were evacuated from the region, Japanese authorities and the corporate media insist the situation is not serious. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said that only a small amount of radiation has been released from one of the reactors.
Wind charts reveal that radiation released from the plant will adversely impact nations surrounding Japan.