By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: Fukushima, A Global Threat That Requires a Global Response
October 25, 2013 "Information Clearing House - The story of Fukushima should be on the front pages of every newspaper. Instead, it is rarely mentioned. The problems at Fukushima are unprecedented in human experience and involve a high risk of radiation events larger than any in the global community has ever experienced. It is going to take the best engineering minds in the world to solve these problems and to diminish their global impact. When we researched the realities of Fukushima in preparation for this article, words like apocalyptic, cataclysmic and Earth-threatening came to mind. But, when we say such things, people react as if we were the little red hen screaming "the sky is falling" and the reports are ignored. So, we're going to present what is known in this article and you can decide whether we are facing a potentially cataclysmic event. Either way, it is clear that the problems at Fukushima demand that the world's best nuclear engineers and other experts advise and assist in the efforts to solve them. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds.org and an international team of scientists created a 15-point plan to address the crises at Fukushima. A subcommittee of the Green Shadow Cabinet, of which we are members, which includes long-time nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman, is circulating a sign-on letter and a petition calling on the United Nations and Japanese government to put in place the Gunderson et al plan and to provide 24-hour media access to information about the crises at Fukushima. There is also a call for international days of action on the weekend of November 9 and 10. The letter and petitions will be delivered to the UN on November 11 which is both Armistice Day and the 32nd monthly anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Problems of Fukushima. There are three major problems at Fukushima: (1) Three reactor cores are missing: Radiated water has been leaking from the plant in mass quantities for 2.5 years, and (3) Eleven thousand spent fuel rods, perhaps the most dangerous things ever created by humans, are stored at the plant and need to be removed, 1,533 of those are in a very precarious and dangerous position. Each of these three could result in dramatic radiation events, unlike any radiation exposure humans have ever experienced. We'll discuss them in order, saving the most dangerous for the last. Missing reactor cores: Since the accident at Fukushima on March 11, 2011, three reactor cores have gone missing. There was an unprecedented three reactor 'melt-down.' These melted cores, called corium lavas, are thought to have passed through the basements of reactor buildings 1, 2 and 3, and to be somewhere inn the ground underneath. Harvey Wasserman, who has been working on nuclear energy issues for over 40 years, tells us that during those four decades no one ever talked about the possibility of a multiple meltdown, but that is what occurred at Fukushima. It is an unprecedented situation to not know where these cores are. TEPCO is pouring water where they think the cores are, but they are not sure. There are occasional steam eruptions coming from the grounds of the reactors, so the cores are thought to still be hot. The concern is that the corium lavas will enter or may have already entered the aquifer below the plant.