Why Fukushima is worse than you think
August 30th, 2013
09:02 AM ET

Why Fukushima is worse than you think

By Mycle Schneider, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Mycle Schneider is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy based in Paris. He is the coordinator and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. The views expressed are his own.

“Careless” was how Toyoshi Fuketa, commissioner of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, reportedly described the inspection quality of hundreds of water tanks at the crippled Fukushima plant following the recent discovery of a serious radioactive spill. China’s Foreign Ministry went further, saying it was “shocking” that radioactive water was still leaking into the Pacific Ocean two years after the Fukushima incident.

Both comments are to the point, and although many inside and outside Japan surely did not realize how bad the March 11, 2011 disaster was – and how bad it could get – it seems clear now that we have been misled about the scale of the problem confronting Japan. The country needs international help – and quickly.

While the amount of radioactivity released into the environment in March 2011 has been estimated as between 10 percent and 50 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl accident, the 400,000 tons of contaminated water stored on the Fukushima site contain more than 2.5 times the amount of radioactive cesium dispersed during the 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine.

So, where has this huge amount of highly contaminated water – enough to fill 160 Olympic-size swimming pools – come from? In the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the reactor cores of units 1, 2 and 3 melted through the reactor vessels into the concrete. Nobody knows how far the molten fuel went through the containment – radiation levels in the reactor buildings are lethal, while robots got stuck in the rubble and some never came back out.

More from CNN: What Japanese leaders can learn

The molten fuel still needs to be cooled constantly and the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), injects about 400 tons of water into the perforated reactor vessels every day. That water washes out radioactive elements and runs straight through into the basements that were flooded during the tsunami. By 2015, over 600,000 tons of highly radioactive liquid are expected to have accumulated in temporary tanks, some underground, many bolted rather than welded together, and none ever conceived to hold this kind of liquid over the long term. The dangerous fluid is pumped around in four kilometer long makeshift tubes, many of them made of vinyl rather than steel, and plagued with numerous leaks in the winter when the above ground lines get hit by frost.

TEPCO’s account of the discovery this month of the leak of 300 tons of highly radioactive water showed a frightening level of amateurism:

“We found water spread at the bottom level of tanks near the tank No.5... Therefore, we checked the water level of this tank, and… confirmed that the current water level is lower by approximately 3 meters than the normal level.”

TEPCO reportedly admitted that only 60 of 350 tanks in that area are equipped with volume gauges. “Inspection” is done visually by a worker with a radiation detector. Meanwhile, the soil around the leaking tank delivered a dose per hour equivalent to the legal limit for nuclear workers for five years. No remote radiation measuring devices, no remote handling.

The tank leak is just the latest in a long list of signs that things are going fundamentally wrong at the site of what could still turn out to be the most serious radiological event in history. And the situation could still get a lot worse. A massive spent fuel fire would likely dwarf the current dimensions of the catastrophe and could exceed the radioactivity releases of Chernobyl dozens of times. First, the pool walls could leak beyond the capacity to deliver cooling water or a reactor building could collapse following one of the hundreds of aftershocks. Then, the fuel cladding could ignite spontaneously releasing its entire radioactive inventory.

More from CNN: Japan ponders freezing ground

TEPCO’s inability to stabilize the site, and the dramatic failure of the Japanese government, now majority owner of TEPCO, should come as no surprise. Indeed, so far, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has seemed too busy trying to help restart the country’s stranded reactors to put adequate attention on stabilizing the Fukushima site.

The fact is that the Fukushima Daiichi site represents challenges of unprecedented complexity. Maintaining the cooling of three molten reactor cores and five spent fuel pools in a disaster zone is a job of titanic proportions. That is why two weeks after the crisis first erupted I suggested the creation of an International Task Force Fukushima (ITFF) that would pull together the world’s experts in key areas of concern: nuclear physics and engineering, core cooling, water management, spent fuel and radioactive waste storage, building integrity and radiation protection.

Two and a half years on, the need for such a taskforce has only grown.

An ITFF would need to be established for at least two years to be effective, and could have two co-chairpersons – one Japanese, one from abroad. A core group of about a dozen experts would work full-time on the project and could draw at will on the expertise of several dozen corresponding experts that are carefully selected by the core group. A significant share of the core group should be independent experts (i.e. with no link to corporate or state interests). In addition, the ITFF would work in an open expert network, free to draw on any expertise in any field that it judges pertinent. It could openly invite feedback to its recommendations and would do its utmost to assess comments and suggestions.

Of course, such a taskforce would not “supervise” or “control” – the responsibility for this would remain with the Japanese government and the regulator. But the ITFF could provide recommendations on short-, medium- and long-term strategies for site stabilization.

Will the call for such a taskforce gain any traction? I have presented the basic concept to safety authorities of several countries, acting and former ambassadors, ministers and the European Commission. But while some officials have pointed to some ongoing limited bilateral assistance, so far, the main stumbling block appears to be the “pattern of denial” in Japan, a problem that has affected not only TEPCO, but apparently the Japanese government and the safety authorities as well.

Thankfully, there have been some small signs in official declarations by TEPCO and the Japanese government in recent days that offer hope for a change in attitudes. And Japan’s image in the world – and the Japanese people’s trust in their institutions – would greatly profit from an explicit and concrete international project. The question is whether members of the international community can muster the will to put their own interests aside, and help Japan conquer the denial that is risking catastrophe.

Post by:
Topics: Japan • Nuclear

soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. Andromeda Crossing

    Unfortunately the US is only interesting in spreading more 'radioactive waste' in Syria at the moment, just like it has done in Iraq and Afghanistan. Search for yourself to see how the newborns of those countries are doing. Or google Beyond Treason, the site or the Youtube video for yourself.

    August 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Truth Speaks

      Beyond treason is as made up as the Fox news.

      Congrats on winning the internet.

      August 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
      • Alan

        Fox News. What a joke.

        August 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • Jack Be Humble

        Some People Say Beyond Treason is Fair and Balanced Reporting. The sun comes up, the sun goes down, buy gold!

        August 31, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • manchacaman

      I just wonder how much money has been spent up to this point to clean up this mess, not to mention the damage done to the environment. When will people realize that there are alternatives!

      August 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Reply
      • bob

        Like the hot air emanating from yo mouff.

        August 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • stevetall

        Bob is apparently a guy without much going on upstairs.

        August 31, 2013 at 12:54 am |
      • jbraintree

        Good one Stevetall.

        August 31, 2013 at 4:01 am |
      • Olive

        One can only hope that either nuclear power is disbanded and hunted down in every country and hurled into outer space far out of solar system, if not then the future of this earth is of radiated land, toxified oceans and mutating mr burns fish XD, hope you got the simpsons line!

        August 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • THETHOUGHTPOLICE

      Future generations will blame us for lknowingly leaving the mess that they will surely inherit. As far as nuclear energy/waste/weapons, it's a scourge we can't clean nor store and the by products will be with us for thousands of years.

      August 31, 2013 at 12:53 am | Reply
      • jbraintree

        Why can't they just cement the thing like Russia did with Chernoble, OR do whatever Russia did? Russia offered to help. No wonder so many sea creatures are dying. I can't believe the society of nations are not taking this matter extremely serious!

        August 31, 2013 at 4:03 am |
      • Steve

        Please start with yourself. Give your car and cellphone away. Turn off your electricity. The amount of radation coming from the plant is bad and should be stopped but its nothing compared to the radiation nature kicks up with earthquakes/volcanoes. Uranium, Thorium, Radon, Potassium, Radium all occur natrually.

        August 31, 2013 at 4:19 am |
      • fnordz

        You can't possibly know how future generations might utilize the radioactive materials that we call "waste"

        August 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • PolioLio

      UR A Lunatic. There is no radioactive waste anywhere in Syria, Iraq or Afghan. DU rounds are no more hazardous than the Am-241 pellet in your smoke detectors, id-iot. Now Sarin nerve-agent, that's a whole different matter, but Assad has now had 20 days to hide and disperse all his agents. Never find 'em.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:43 am | Reply
      • bob

        so then i take it you wouldnt mind if the am241 pellet from a smoke detector is surgically implanted in your lung and left there?

        DU is inherently very safe material, when it's sitting around as a lump. the only problem is that when a pyrophoric metal gets slammed into a tank or APC at amout 1 mile per second, it tends not to stay in the form of a lump, but rather aerosolizes as oxides.

        August 31, 2013 at 3:16 am |
      • Olive

        Ask those kids suffering from radioactive diseases in Iraq, initiated by shells carrying depleted uranium, it may be good at allowing for smoother fire and more penetratable bullets but it also results in tumer carrying babies and a radiated land for millions of years. So baby in 1 or two million years time the sharks and dolphins who somehow make it through the radiation disaster from fukushia will evolve and walk the land trying to toil the soil, perhaps they will find out why things cant grow and why their cousings and flopping onto their bellies out of various bodies of water and perhaps they will be smart enough not to use it.

        August 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • rahul

      they are much more advanced than US in most of the technologies.....only thing is they dont want to spend money in cleaning it...they understand that ocean is too vast and tonnes of water is nothing for ocean..........

      August 31, 2013 at 2:09 am | Reply
    • kmac

      How do you get to that conclusion. It would not be us. But if we don' do something we may be opening the door for Israel to nuke Iran. Syria is the guard of N. Iran, the best fly way into N. Iran. This is the Syrian Battle in the Iranian War. Israel is being push between a rock and hard place more and more and will do their thing without an warning.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  2. SatanHimself

    Yet this story is buried in the back pages of the internet. This is slowly creeping towards a disaster of extinction level properties, and we're busy watching Hannah Montana twerking.

    August 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Krisagi

      Ahh the dreaded ELE(Extinction Level Event). Every time something bad happens the Doomsday buffoons cry that such an event should be classified as an ELE. If these were true ELE's then the human race would have died a dozen times in the 33 years I have been alive. Do yourself a favor Chicken Little quit screaming that the sky is falling. You will save your sanity in the long run.

      August 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Reply
      • whatevva

        Righteous, pompous, arrogant A S S...

        August 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
      • SatanHimself

        So you didn't read the article then? Hate to disappoint you, but I have yet to call "doomsday" on any world event. This one however, is a biggie. 1300 individual 600-pound spent fuel rods, each one with the individual ability to eradicate most life on this planet...? Yeah, I think maybe it's time we got a little concerned.

        August 31, 2013 at 12:47 am |
      • Krisagi

        You calling the disaster at the nuclear plant of extinction level properties makes you a doomsday buffoon. Seeing the disaster at Chernobyl was about 100 times worse and did not cause an extinction level event. Nor did the disaster at 3 Mile Island cause an Extinction Level Event. So do yourself a favor Chicken Little and crawl back under your rock the sky isnot falling and wont fall because of an event that pales in comparison to Chernobyl.

        August 31, 2013 at 1:23 am |
      • snotty

        "Chernobyl was about 100 times worse" Can you please break the math down one that one?

        August 31, 2013 at 2:19 am |
      • Oneforall777

        The problem here Krisagi is that this isn't just one event in the 'last 33 years' of your life, it is one of MANY events. All these events add up you see. One comment was 'oh the Ocean is so vast' blah blah. The fact is that the Ocean is only as vast as the burden it can carry. With all these 'events' ending up in our Oceans, built up over the past 70 years or so, then yes, we are in trouble 'ultimately' and that 'ultimately' may be sooner than you thing. We can't keep putting things off for ever. Marine life is bound to be effected and in turn we will also be effected – we are all connected.

        August 31, 2013 at 5:13 am |
      • Xzanthius

        Those should be called Another Kick to the Head Event for Mother Earth (AKHEME) doesn't quite roll off the tongue. But you are correct of course, an ELE is suppose to be a one-shot deal not death by a thousand paper cuts.

        August 31, 2013 at 6:07 am |
      • Kyle G.

        What are all these supposed events that are "ending up in our ocean"? Chernobyl did not end up in the ocean. TMI did not end up in the ocean. So what are all these events?

        August 31, 2013 at 6:55 am |
      • musings

        Krisagi, in terms of showing the effects of radiation, you are still a puppy at 33. Over a lifetime, you may expect effects. I lived in the region of Nevada where they were blowing up atomic weapons and spreading radioactive fallout directly below. Although it took about sixty years for the effects to show, I finally lost half of my thyroid because it absorbed too much radioactive iodine during my development. All over that area, kids were tested and found (just as at Chernobyl) to have thyroid nodules, some benign like mine (but they couldn't know until they removed it) some cancerous, developing from teenage years onward and messing with the function. The fact it took so long to show with mine doesn't mean it didn't affect me. Lots of other people there got other cancers. The word "buffoon" is currently popular as a way to dismiss complex thought, while you laugh at something you refuse to understand is indeed complicated. It really just boils down to the fact that the real fools are those spreading nuclear waste and fallout.

        August 31, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • timmay707

      i agree satan,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but that was pretty hot

      August 31, 2013 at 12:00 am | Reply
    • a

      Watching who?

      August 31, 2013 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Eric Lucas

      Do you have any concept how unbelievably vast the world's oceans are, and the amount of background radioactivity contained in them? Chicken Little indeed.

      August 31, 2013 at 2:04 am | Reply
      • Tony

        Actually, do you realize how little water there is in the entire earth? Just because it covers 2/3 of the surface doesn't mean it's nearly even close by the volume.

        August 31, 2013 at 3:12 am |
      • bob

        Tony,
        there are 36,614,237,300,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in the ocean.
        36.76 million trillion

        thats a whole lot of water.

        August 31, 2013 at 3:42 am |
      • Xzanthius

        I the case of long lasting pollutants (like radioactive waste) I would rather side with the chicken littles of the world.

        August 31, 2013 at 6:09 am |
      • musings

        Size is less important than the food chain this stuff gets into.

        August 31, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • bob

      on the scale of disasters fukushima is closer to a papercut than an extinction level event

      August 31, 2013 at 3:17 am | Reply
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    August 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • H.B.

      TWERP.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Why does CNN bother to keep irrational garbage of this nature on its blog?

      August 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply
      • a

        Freedom sucks doesn't it?

        August 31, 2013 at 12:37 am |
      • evoc

        Better than nothing?...

        August 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • Olive

        Better than public stonings for metal heads, or beheadings for ball rubbers

        August 31, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Alan

      Flagging CNN for deletion of spam.

      August 30, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Reply
      • evoc

        Where and how?

        August 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • nullhogarth

      Thou art a rank poltroon.

      August 31, 2013 at 3:03 am | Reply
    • evoc

      I'm sorry, do you mind repeating that?

      August 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  4. Daniel Porter

    These people are in denial just like their denial about war time atrocities. A classical case of karma until they accept responsibility.

    August 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • svein

      They already apologize for the world war II errors after the war, have you not heard?

      August 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
      • welll

        They owe China about 1 trillion dollars and they refuse to clean up the chemical weapons they tested on civilians.

        August 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Hunter

      To what people do you refer when you say "these people"?

      August 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  5. Arizonan

    Interesting that you do not mention the radioactive groundwater problem that TEPCO has been reporting for months. Groundwater at 600,000 Bq/liter is now rising to the surface because of the ground-hardened "wall" TEPCO built to keep the water out of the ocean. Yesterday it was four centimeters from the surface. If it floods the reactor zone, I doubt anyone will be working in there for a long time. The water is too radioactive. See: enenews.com and FukushimaDiary.org for references. Search "groundwater"

    August 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Gigman

      You forget to add in the Liquefaction danger because of the wall of shame they have built, That now has made the area ripe for total complete failure of any and all containment. Releasing 85 x the cesium/contamination that Chernobyl will ever produce.
      But that would only happen if the site was hit with a level 6.9 – 7 quake. But then again how did we get to this point.

      Was going to end on that bit of sarcasm but I do want to point out a site everyone should look at, every morning before they run off to work. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

      If a big one hits you may just want to call the boss and tell him fuku shima

      August 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  6. John Tucker

    I would read "Fukushima leak cleaned up" over at WNN for a more scientific explanation of recent events. Even next to the plant where it meets the pacific radiation levels are still minimal to undetectable.

    Hype and bad reporting have again caused a panic where none was needed.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Sarah

      I agree. This person is obviously very biased and admittedly has a stake in this. I do think, however, that everybody needs to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.

      August 31, 2013 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • nullhogarth

      There are large amounts of radioactive water leaking from the retention tanks, as well as large amounts of detectable radioactive cesium in the ocean, but as long as you can't detect anything standing next to the tanks, it's all ok, right?

      August 31, 2013 at 3:06 am | Reply
  7. flex

    Reblogged this on Message from Side 3 and commented:
    We better focus our attention to this than Syria. This is a big threat – polluting Pacific Ocean.

    August 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  8. Loki

    Amateurism?

    August 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  9. Otis

    Why CNN is worse than you thought!

    August 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  10. John Smyth

    The island is poisoned.

    The incompetence and corruptness got them this far.

    August 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  11. Rick Kettell

    I looked at the author's wikipedia page and there's no mention of a degree in nuclear engineering or anything for that matter. He appears to be intelligent and well informed but he's also a professional anti-nuclear activist. I just thought that should be known as we read his opinion.

    August 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • lerianis

      Good point. Anyone who doesn't have a degree in nuclear engineering and tries to spout on this subject is automatically suspect in my opinion.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • nullhogarth

      You're a liar. There is no wikipedia page for Jason Miks, and thus you did not look at it.

      August 31, 2013 at 3:10 am | Reply
      • azrn

        Duh! Mycle Schneider's Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycle_Schneider. Did you even note the byline of this story!

        August 31, 2013 at 5:03 am |
  12. Roz

    Lying little jerks......NOT FUNNY – you need to eat your own radiation – YOU absorb it, arrogant genociders!!

    August 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  13. findhotelus

    Maybe they can go kill some more whales for "scientific research" as they call it. Karma is a b*#ch!

    August 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  14. Alan

    When the radioactive ocean "plume" reaches the west coast then you will see action.

    August 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Buckingham

      The radioactivity has already reached the west coast and their solution was to stop measuring the radioactivity. Denial, denial denial is the name of the game for the nuclear industry.

      August 31, 2013 at 12:25 am | Reply
      • nullhogarth

        That is absolute nonsense. Radioactivity levels are measured constantly.

        August 31, 2013 at 3:14 am |
  15. brian

    TEPCO is a corporation. Corporations make a science out of deceit.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:04 am | Reply
    • nullhogarth

      Blanket statements are seldom either useful or true.

      August 31, 2013 at 3:14 am | Reply
      • azrn

        Takes one (blanket statement) to kow one.

        August 31, 2013 at 5:05 am |
  16. rehabmax

    Holy containment Batman. We are in depp shi- !

    August 31, 2013 at 12:06 am | Reply
  17. That's just crazy talk

    It's not worse than I thought, it's only worse than the media has reported. Look in the mirror CNN, there have been many smaller media sources out there showing the truth has been squelched intentionally.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply
  18. maggie

    It's just easier to go solar

    August 31, 2013 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • CurmudgeonTx

      Solar in any amount that would be truly useful in eliminating the need for fossil fuel, hydroelectric and/or nuclear facilities would take an enormous amount of land space in a desert area and more water than such an area can afford to direct to it.

      August 31, 2013 at 7:12 am | Reply
      • man4earth

        The most important things to eliminate are nuclear and fossil fuels. Solar, wind, hydro etc. will easily take care of our electricity needs and will do it cheaper too. Enormous wind resources exist off both coast and the Great Lakes and solar is everywhere, millions of acres of suitable rooftops await.
        http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/01/24/myths-and-facts-about-solar-energy/192364

        August 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • George

      Yeah, just try going off-grid with solar and see how easy it is. Solar is a scam & a joke, not even close to viable.

      September 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  19. nathan9009

    All the more reason to go ahead with yucca mountain. 80 or so containment locations susceptible to leaking. All the tree hugger science is flawed. Water does not flow out of the great basin . Yucca flats is very near this location. Google mercury nv and follow mercury rd north a few miles and you will sees the pock market earth of many hundred. nuke tests. Why did obama halt the project when he first entered office? Idiot environmentalists who's azz obama is known to kiss. Reid flip flopped to appease the new monarch. The whining about rail trans port is phony too. There are huge airfield in the desert, nearby. The wast could be transported from the containment site to an airport large enough to accommodate a C 17 and then be flown to NV test site area. My opinion, These dangerous nuke storage facilities are deliberately being left vulnerable

    August 31, 2013 at 12:53 am | Reply
    • nullhogarth

      If you think Obama is an environmentalist, you definitely have not been paying attention.

      August 31, 2013 at 3:16 am | Reply
  20. N.M.

    This is obviously an opinion piece, so why is it in the news section, CNN?

    August 31, 2013 at 12:57 am | Reply
    • nullhogarth

      This piece is in CNN's "public square blogs" section.

      August 31, 2013 at 3:17 am | Reply
  21. Daniel Reese

    Even with Fukushima, I think it's important that we go back to developing more nuclear power. Until I went to college last year, I lived within 5 miles from Three Mile Island, and I have never been worried about it. Nuclear power can be a great source of energy, but it's important that we take steps to prevent an accident from ever occurring. As long as those steps are taken, the likelihood of any harm to the public is miniscule. I understand the "not in my backyard" mentality, but when a nuclear power plant is actually in your backyard, you realize how little you have worry about. In fact, I love seeing the steam plumes from TMI, and I take a bit of pride in the energy that is being created in my town!

    August 31, 2013 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • lerianis

      We actually have Stage 4 reactors now that cannot meltdown and are passively cooled (little to no water used) so there is no reason why we could not expand nuclear power dramatically.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:30 am | Reply
    • Tony

      I am for the nuclear power. Yet, you argument is flawed due to one thing. It's controlled by humans which leaves room for corruption. I won't name names. But there is certain country which has trouble with nuclear power plants currently due to usage of cheap alternative parts rather than what was actually recommended. When humans are in charge of things, there's always room for error and accidents no matter how tight the system itself is.

      August 31, 2013 at 3:24 am | Reply
  22. Erin

    Can it even be called water anymore?

    August 31, 2013 at 1:27 am | Reply
  23. Gary John

    Please, JEWS are the reason why western culture and White unity is under attack.

    August 31, 2013 at 1:33 am | Reply
    • nullhogarth

      "white unity" – LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      August 31, 2013 at 3:25 am | Reply
    • Kaelinda

      Troll.

      August 31, 2013 at 5:17 am | Reply
  24. sunnylovetts

    Wait, FINALLY the mainstream media covers this story that they have been ignoring for months upon months upon months???

    What a joke, but at least they are covering it now.

    August 31, 2013 at 1:58 am | Reply
  25. Erik

    Radioactive fears have been prevalent since Hiroshima. And it's revolved on the fact no-one can really understand or encapsulate what the danger is. Just about every research shows the danger is radioactive iodine and the thyroid. Everything else is a best guess because the numbers don't justify the panic. Forbes reports that over the next 50 YEARS you statistically could get 130 deaths. CHINA ALONE had over 150 deaths in 2013 alone from coal mining deaths. And we're talking about the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Please, learn about the risks, understand how to minimize them, but stop demonizing and condemning prospective power sources without understanding them and figuring out ways to stop any bad effects from being caused because of them. Any source of power will have some negative effect. Wind will kill birds, solar is not cost effective, tidal has too many erosion issues. We need to stop focusing on the bad, deal with what is good now, know the dangers and DEAL with them. It's easy to say why something is bad, it's harder to say what is good short term and come up with solutions long term that is best for all involved.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:40 am | Reply
    • Erik

      One counterargument I forgot to address is the "would you work with that radiation then?". Yes. I have. And have no issues doing it again with my education and research I've seen.

      August 31, 2013 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • Erik

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/07/20/fukushima-cancer-fears-are-absurd/

      August 31, 2013 at 2:45 am | Reply
    • Mopery

      Strontium-90 makes your entire argument moot.

      August 31, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
  26. "BOC"

    Godzilla is going to be so angry, you'll see.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • "BOC"

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln8-Y-fIbqM&w=640&h=390]

      You're welcome.

      August 31, 2013 at 2:52 am | Reply
  27. Mopery

    Yet another disappointing story in which there is no mention of the nuclear boogeyman, Strontium-90.

    August 31, 2013 at 3:50 am | Reply
  28. gphx

    Let's send Ben Affleck to clean it up.

    August 31, 2013 at 5:12 am | Reply
  29. Ryan

    Okay Bob i really want to se the weapon and the science behind your one mile per second. That is5280 FPS firing a 20mm projectile. Well after 18 years in the military I have yet to see or find a weapon that will fire at such a velocity. And no DU Rounds are not as bad as you people think they are. If it takes a DU round to disable a APC/Tank to keep American Soliders alive then so be it!! You bleeding liberal heart!!!!!! You sleep peacfuly in your bed at night because rough men like myself stand ready to do violence on your behalf.

    August 31, 2013 at 5:14 am | Reply
  30. Karl Hungus

    Any nuclear engineers or physicists here?

    My question is, what would happen if, say, they simply stopped pumping water into these reactor vessels and simply let them burn? How about encasing the entire thing in a concrete "sarcophagus" like they did at Chernobyl?

    August 31, 2013 at 6:21 am | Reply
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