Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fukushima Now, Fukushima Forever

From we learn of "the danger that the spent fuel rod pool at the top of the nuclear plant number four will collapse in a storm or an earthquake, or in a failed attempt to carefully remove each of the 1,535 rods and safely transport them to the common storage pool 50 meters away" — Fukushima Forever. What might happen?
    Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.
The article mentions this as "the latest evidence of the continuing incompetence of the Japanese utility, TEPCO," reminding me that such an accident would have been impossible in a free economy, a case made by none other than Old Right Nader, quoted in an old post of mine — Atomic Corporate Socialism — as observing that "the atomic power industry does not give up... as long as Uncle Sam can be dragooned to be its subsidizing, immunizing partner." He continued:
    For sheer brazenness, ... the atomic power lobbyists know few peers. They remember, as the previous Atomic Energy Commission told them decades ago, that one significant meltdown could contaminate “an area the size of Pennsylvania.”

    They know that no insurance companies will insure them at any price, which is why the Price-Anderson Act hugely limits nuclear plants’ liability in case of massive damages to people, property, land and water.
Does TEPCO have the resources to provide for all of humanity for thousands of years?

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