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FUKUSHIMA...the 'Japanese Chernobyl'...politics still trumps safety

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/1/12

.."All the samples would be considered nuclear waste if found here in the US."

(Source: http://www.fairewinds.org/node/223 )   Arnie Gundersen on soil samples taken recently from parks, playgrounds and rooftop gardens throughout Tokyo.

The Japanese Prime Minister Declares Nuclear Plant Safe"

Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda declared that nuclear units 3 & 4 at the Ohi Nuclear Plant were safe for operation.   Prime Minister Noda based this declaration on "stress tests' which were nothing more than computer simulations.   (Source: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/14-1 )    The computer simulations merely estimate any given reactor's ability to withstand large earthquakes and/or tsunamis, allegedly like last year's Fukushima disaster. (Source :   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/world/asia/japan-seeks-to-restart-some-nuclear-reactors.html )    No other studies, expert testimony or other considerations were mentioned.   Unfortunately, for Japan--and the world--Noda couldn't be more wrong.

Several weeks ago, noted nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen visited Tokyo for the express purpose of collecting soil samples.   The results were damning.  

To quote Gundersen"

" " I was in Tokyo and when I was in Tokyo, I took some samples.    Now, I did not look for the highest radiation spot. I just went around with five plastic bags and when I found an area, I just scooped up some dirt and put it in a bag.     One of those samples was from a crack in the sidewalk.   Another one of those samples was from a children's playground that had been previously decontaminated.     Another sample had come from some moss on the side of the road.     Another sample came from the roof of an office building that I was at.     And the last sample was right across the street from the main judicial center in downtown Tokyo.    I brought those samples back, declared them through Customs, and sent them to the lab.    And the lab determined that ALL of them would be qualified as radioactive waste here in the United States and would have to be shipped to Texas to be disposed of."   (Source :  http://www.fairewinds.org/node/223 )  

And yet Japanese Prime Minister Noda is fervently lobbying to restart nuclear reactors, fearing power losses in the hot summer.   It is reported that without the restart of the Ohi nuclear plant and some unnamed others, the plant operator--Kansai Electric--would only generate some 80% of previous electric output.   (Source:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/world/asia/japan-seeks-to-restart-some-nuclear-reactors.html )    

Reports Leaking Citing 14 Reactors in Similar Condition as Fukushima..

In the meantime, various reports are leaking out of Japan including a video on Asahi TV which shows mutated plants in Tokyo, and a report on ENE News citing a former Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Operator claiming that they routinely falsified data and rewrote operations reports.   (Source :   http://enenews.com/must-see-report-introduced-by-top-govt-official-hosono-actually-other-reactors-are-all-in-considerably-severe-condition-besides-fukushima-daiichi-14-reactor

Ironically, sources as conservative as Bloomberg News have cited similar safety concerns.   A piece by Jason Clenfield which ran on March 22, 2011, detailed how   engineer   Mitsuhiko Tanaka helped cover-up a "manufacturing defect' in Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor while employed by Hitachi Ltd. in 1974.   Tanaka has dubbed Reactor #4 as a "time bomb,' and has pleaded with government officials repeatedly only to be pushed aside and ignored.  

Yuichi Izumisawa, a Hitachi spokesman explained how the company conferred with Tanaka back in 1988, concluding no further safety concern existed.   Izumisawa was recently quoted stating that..."We have not revised our view since then."   (Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/fukushima-engineer-says-he-covered-up-flaw-at-shut-reactor.html )  

Kenta Takahashi from the Japanese Trade Ministry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency would not confirm if an investigation into Tanaka's allegations had been initiated by its predecessor, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.   (Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/fukushima-engineer-says-he-covered-up-flaw-at-shut-reactor.html )    

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Spokesman Naoki Tsunoda declined to comment.   Tokyo Electric or TEPCO owns the plant and is the same vendor tapped to build new nuclear plants in the U.S. currently planned by the Obama administration.  

...The fatal flaw in reactor #4....

According to Tanaka, the reactor pressure vessel had warped walls which caused the vessel to sag, resulting in a height and weight differentiation of more than 34 millimeters.   During the last step in a manufacturing process at the Babcock-Hitachi foundry in Kure City, a deadly mistake was made.   Braces which had to be placed inside the reactor pressure vessel during a blast furnace firing were absent.   It's unclear whether the braces collapsed or were forgotten entirely.   The omission of these braces produced a reactor pressure vessel with warped walls.

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Working as an urban educator for over 25 years--I 'moonlight' as a writer. I write part-time for The Huffington Post and enjoy the task of curmudgeon,(at least where career politicians are concerned). I consider myself a political independent who (more...)
 

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We need to raise holy hell over this until respons... by intotheabyss on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 4:11:08 PM
Thanks for the kind compliment.  You're right... by Jeanine Molloff on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 5:48:22 PM
See http://www.aesopinstitute.org for more about i... by Mark Goldes on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 7:01:51 PM
Thank you for the information.  I am planning... by Jeanine Molloff on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 10:02:34 PM
Thank you for keeping this topic in front of us. I... by for_hibakusha on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 7:03:44 PM
I understand your worry. Each and every one of us... by Jeanine Molloff on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:51:29 AM