Plutonium threat seen at Fukushima’s reactor Number 3

It is now clear that the second explosion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant was at reactor Number 3 on March 14, two days after the first explosion at reactor Number 1. Reactor Number 3 is of special concern because, unlike the other two which use standard uranium fuel, it contains “mixed oxide” or MOX fuel—a mixture of uranium and plutonium reprocessed from spent uranium, and significantly more toxic than standard uranium fuel. Safety concerns have long made MOX reactors controversial, and Number 3 may have already started to melt down.

Reactor Number 2 also remains dangerously overheated, with water evaporating so quickly in the chamber that its fuel rods were probably fully exposed—although with monitoring equipment down, what is really going on in the reactor chamber cannot be determined with certainty.

Radiation levels at the site remain a source of controversy, with reports wildly fluctuating since the crisis began on March 10. The US-based Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), citing official sources in Japan, reports levels as high as 3,000 micro-sieverts over the past 24 hours. The Kyodo news agency reported a radiation level of 1,557 micro-sieverts per hour on March 13—roughly equivalent to one chest X-ray. At least 19 people from the areas around Fukushima have been hospitalized for radiation exposure. Evacuees have been given instructions to “close doors and windows; place a wet towel over the nose and mouth; cover up as much as possible.” Far greater radiation still would be released in the event of a meltdown.

Electricity has still not been restored to the site, and fire trucks were evidently employed to flood the reactors with seawater. This was obviously a last-ditch effort to prevent a meltdown, as untreated seawater has a corrosive effect on reactors, which basically means they are being written off for any future use. The seawater is presumably being turned into (radioactive) steam, or released (with much radioactivity) back into the sea. (San Francisco Chronicle, CNET, BBC News, The Journal, Ireland, NIRS, March 14; NYT, March 12)

See our last posts on the crisis at Fukushima.

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  1. Global disaster brewing in Japan
    World War 4 Report spoke with Tyson Slocum of the Public Citizen Energy Program, who states that a meltdown at one or more of the Japanese reactors would create a hazard global in scope, with impacts far beyond Japan.

    He notes that in contrast to Chernobyl, a “poorly run facility,” where “operator error” was at issue, the Japanese facilities were very well-run, and designed with the potential for earthquakes in mind. But it was the tsunami which actually caused the power outage that set off the crisis. For Slocum, this points to problems inherent to nuclear power.

    “No country is better prepared for earthquakes than Japan,” Slocum says. “The best minds on the planet were not able to foresse a crippling problem. It is impossible to design systems that are going to be compeletly free of problems associated with natural disasters or terrorist attacks, and that ultimately is the Achilles’ heel of nuclear power. You cannot effectively plan for all of the various problems. There are not similar problems with competing power sources.”

    1. The sky is falling
      Wonderful to hear the media make uninformed, uneducated statements regarding nuclear energy. I would think that a reactor that experienced a 9.0 earthquake and is still standing is a tribute to the technology, not a condemnation.

      1. Pro-nuke chutzpah knows no limits
        The mind boggles. Four dead and 20 hospitalized from radiation exposure, nearly 100,000 displaced, and no end in sight. And this all you sickos have to say? I despair for the human species when I see shit like this.

        Look, the point isn’t that the Fukushima reactors are poorly designed. We can argue about that, but it is beside the real point. The real point is that we shouldn’t be building such dangerous technology at all, precisely because earthquakes, tsunamis, blackouts and human error are inevitable. Take your sneering techno-utopianism elsewhere, thank you.

  2. Distraction via all Libya all the time.
    nothing but cover-up lies from the controlled media…
    nothing but cover-up lies from the controlled governments
    just like the cover-up lies from the 9/11 false flag operation