-- Within two weeks of the earthquake and tsunami I was making the exact same points right here at Collapsenet. We have never stopped covering Fukushima for just that reason. As with climate change, and global economic corruption and Peak Oil, I have always maintained the position that these are not national problems but nuclear problems.
And an empathic refocus of human attention along these lines is the only thing that can prevent us all from sharing the same fate. The Japanese government cannot and will never be able to deal with Fukushima alone. As we have shown here repeatedly the Japanese government, buried in unrepayable debt cannot muster the resources, manpower or skill necessary to even approach Reactor #2. TEPCO is in the process of being nationalized.
And in the meantime the fate of our entire species rest upon the rickety supports holding up the spent fuel pool at Reactor #4. - MCR
Fukushima crisis may become 'global catastrophe'
By Elliott Freeman
26 April, 2012
A nuclear watchdog official told RT News that the ongoing crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan could become a "global catastrophe", echoing warnings from other experts.
Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste watchdog with Beyond Nuclear, described the potential nightmare to "The Big Picture" host Thom Hartmann, stating that if the pools of nuclear fuel at the plant caught on fire, the area would become so radioactive that the entire containment operation would have to be permanently abandoned.
Mitsuhei Murata, the former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, also expressed grave concerns about what would happen if the damaged building that houses Reactor 4 collapsed. According to the Huffington Post, he explained to the Swiss House of Councilors last month that should such an event occur, it would adversely affect the thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods nearby, which are dangerously exposed to air.
Nuclear expert Robert Alvarez, the former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, spelled out the potential disaster in more specific -- and chilling -- terms in an email sent to renowned Japanese diplomat Akio Matsumura.
"If an earthquake or other event were to cause the pool to drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of [radioactive] Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl incident," Alvarez stated.
However, things could get much worse. According to Alvarez, if the 11,138 spent nuclear fuel rods contained in the facility also went up in flames, it would unleash 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl disaster.
In addition, a recent study of the meltdown at Chernobyl offers a sobering analysis of the situation, ENS News reports. According to research compiled by Russian scientists and published in the New York Academy of Sciences, the nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster killed over one million people worldwide from 1986 to 2004. If the worst-case scenario at Fukushima becomes a reality, the effects could lead to millions of casualties around the globe.