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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/18/11

Full Core Meltdown in Japan?

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Full Core Meltdown in Japan? - by Stephen Lendman

Possibly it's ongoing and concealed. All along, Japanese and Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) officials downplayed or lied about the severity of the crisis. Virtually nothing they say can be believed. 

Nor from the Obama administration, budgeting loan guarantees for new reactor construction instead of decommissioning all 104 nuclear plants because operating them risks full core meltdowns.

Partial or full ones gravely harm earth, air, water and food. Three hazardous Fukushima radioactive isotopes are especially problematic. University of Rochester Professor Jacqueline Williams, a radiation expert, says ingesting radioactive iodine-131 causes thyroid and other cancers. So does hazardous beta and gamma radiation from Cesium-137. Released Strontium 90 also causes leukemia and other cancers. Large amounts of all three are spewing daily.

Under a worst case scenario, millions of Japanese, Pacific rim and northern hemisphere people will be harmed, many gravely. Millions of deaths may result. The dangers of nuclear power can't be overstated. Potentially, all planetary life is threatened. What better reason to end all commercial and military use now.

Wikipedia calls a nuclear meltdown "an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating." Partial or full meltdowns result, releasing toxic atmospheric radiation. 

Through nuclear fission, reactors generate high heat to produce electricity - essentially boiling water to create steam, used to run turbines and generate power. Unless controlled, dangerously high heat results. 

Core meltdowns occur when heat generated exceeds what cooling systems remove, causing uranium and plutonium fuel to melt. At fault may be coolant problems, including accidents, fires, loss of coolant pressure, low coolant flow, or none at all from high heat causing evaporation. In other words, insufficient cooling elevates temperatures high enough to trigger melting and toxic atmospheric radiation releases.

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[My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html]

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a (more...)
 

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