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Danger Radiation Risk !

June 29, 2011

 

If you have been following the events surrounding the unfolding Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe on NaturalNews over the past several months, you are already likely aware that it is now considered by some to be the worst industrial disaster the world has ever seen, and one that will continue to worsen in the coming months and years ahread. However, according to a recent New York Times (NYT) article, another severely damaged nuclear plant 300 miles from Fukushima could supersede it, should current efforts there to fix a major accident fail.

The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor, located directly over an Earthquake fault line near Tsuruga, Japan, lies on the opposite coast of Japan’s crippled Fukushima plant. Last August, a 3.3-ton Fuel relay device broke and fell off into the reactor’s inner core, which severed access to its Plutonium and uranium fuel rods. Experts have repeatedly tried to remove the device and fix the damage, but all efforts thus far have failed.

The Monju plant had also been shut down for 14 years following a massive fire in 1995, a Nuclear accident that was considered to be the worst one Japan had ever seen, that is until the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima back in March. Monju has basically been plagued with problems since it was first built, and because it is “fast-breeder” design, it has the potential to become far worse than Fukushima in the Event of another major disaster.

According to Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), a Japanese nuclear public interest group, the Monju reactor uses highly deadly plutonium fuel, and even if officials do even up effectively removing the lodged fuel device and fixing the damage, restarting the plant could be catastrophic.

“Let’s say they make this fix, which is very complicated,” said Ban to the NYT. “The rest of the reactor remains highly dangerous. And an accident at Monju would have catastrophic consequences beyond what we are seeing at Fukushima.” The plant is also located right on a major fault line, which makes the situation even more precarious.

In the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese officials assured everyone that everything was alright; everything was under control, that the problem was limited and controllable. It took a few days for that lie to fall apart.

This time, it may be our turn. Something bad is happening in Nebraska. A state of emergency was declared for two counties where two nuclear plants are located – one at the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility and one at the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownsville. Due to flooding from the Missouri River, some kind of emergency event is happening or about to happen there. The government is telling us not to worry, that there are just some precautionary measures going on to prevent a disaster from happening because of the flooding.

Makeshift barriers have been erected at the Fort Calhoun plant because the current river level is two feet above the ground level of the plant. At the Cooper facility, another three inches of water and the facility will be

closed.There were two tornadoes in the area a few days ago with winds of 85 mph.

Without the barriers, the plants would be, as we call it, under water, which is part of what caused the problem at Fukushima. Water plus radioactivity creates radioactive water, or radioactive steam, which radiation can turn into hydrogen and oxygen which have a habit of, as we call it, exploding.

The government is telling us not to panic. All is under control, just like in Japan. But here are a few troubling inconsistencies. One, the Red Cross shelter next to the Fort Calhoun plant has been closed. They claim it was due to “decreased need.” During a flood? Now there is a no-fly zone around the plant. Then there is the disturbing news that the spent fuel rod pool was so full that they store the surplus fuel rods in a dry storage area outside the safety of the pool. How long will that area stay dry and what happens if it gets wet? One reporter claims the dry storage bunker is now half-submerged. One of the intake structures is prone to flooding that could affect the water pumps. Non-functional water pumps? Does that sound familiar?

Keep in mind that some flooding was deliberately caused by the Army releasing water from reservoirs to protect them from failing. This has flooded levees. The Army has in the past dynamited levees to direct the water elsewhere – like where poor people live and work – to protect the areas where rich people live and work.

The Russians are concerned. They are reporting that on June 7, there was a nuclear accident at the plant due to the flooding and that the Obama administration has ordered a news blackout. They think there’s a Level Four emergency that is being concealed.

Fort Calhoun is probably not a lot like Fukushima – for one thing, the reactor itself is shut down, so the danger is mostly with spent fuel rods, rather than a meltdown of the reactor itself.   Not that fuel rods can’t melt down too – they can. But if something happened, we should be told, right?

Some independent sources reported a fire in an electrical switch room at the plant on Tuesday that shut down the cooling pumps. The accident was corrected in about 90 minutes and there was no large increase in temperature at the pool. So no big deal, right?

Well, the weather report for Nebraska says rain Wednesday (when I wrote this) and a lot more on the weekend. Levees are being breached, dams are overflowing, there’s still a tornado threat, some residents are being evacuated, and the river is still rising. So maybe it is a big deal.

An Associated Press investigation concluded that radioactive tritium has escaped from about three-quarters of our commercial nuclear power plants. The weak spot in most nuclear plants are pipes, and pipes have a habit of leaking or bursting. They believe that when most plants fail to meet standards, the government just lowers the standards or chooses to not enforce them. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

We have a nuclear plant close to us at Indian Point, New York, which was erected near two earthquake fault lines. Whoops.

In Japan, the internet gave us more reliable news than the mainstream media, and a lot sooner too. The Hawaii News Daily was reporting on this accident since June 14, but regular media seem slow or unwilling to investigate. For example, early CNN reporting mentioned a flooding risk to their stadium but never mentioned the nuclear power plant. So, is this a National Enquirer style false panic story, or a real conspiracy theory full scale news event? I guess we’ll find out by next week. You can’t hide something like this forever. Japan tried, and failed. Until then, carry an umbrella, and maybe a Geiger counter.

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