In a video entitled "Why Fukushima Can Happen Here: What the NRC and Nuclear Industry Dont Want You to Know" posted at the Fairewinds Associates website, nuclear engineers Dave Lochbaum of Union of Concerned Scientists and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds explain what went wrong at Fukushima Daiichi, then show how similar catastrophes can happen in the U.S., Germany, or any other country -- and not only in General Electric boiling water reactors of the Mark 1 containment design, but in any atomic reactor. The event, sponsored by C-10 and other environmental groups, took place in June 2011 at the Boston Public Library.
Beyond Nuclear, while U.S. based, recognizes that the issue of nuclear power, particularly in relation to climate change and reactor expansion, has become an international issue. Multi-national corporations, often with foreign ownership, have taken over every facet of the nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining to waste disposition. Beyond Nuclear is currently engaged in supportive efforts in a number of different countries.
Fairewinds re-asserts severe damage in high-level radioactive waste storage pools at Fukushima Daiichi
In Fairewinds Associates' latest video entitled "Newly Released TEPCO Data Proves Fairewinds Assertions of Significant Fuel Pool Failures at Fukushima Daiichi," dated August 26th, Arnie Gundersen explains that Tokyo Electric Power Company's own documentation of radioactive cesium contamination of high-level radioactive waste pool water shows severe damage has occurred in the irradiated nuclear fuel stored there. Arnie bolsters his assertion that the high-level radioactive waste storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 is severely damaged by pointing to a recent high-resolution photo, shown here.
On August 17th, in a statement entitled "Violation of the Human Rights of the Children of Fukushima," a coalition of Japanese Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Fukushima Prefecture parents, appealed to the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to save the children of Fukushima from the perils of radioactive contamination resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe that began on March 11th. The appeal is necessary because of the inaction, and worse, of the Japanese federal government and Fukushima prefectural government. The appeal to the UN was signed by the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation; Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai); FoE Japan (International Environmental NGO); Green Action; Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai); and Greenpeace Japan.
This appeal to the UN comes on the heels of two petitions, submitted to the Japanese government on May 2nd and June 16th, which accumulated over 80,000 signatures, including 1,383 organizational signatories, from across Japan and 61 other countries worldwide. The petitions urged a speedy expanded evacuation and minimization of children's radioactive exposures by withdrawing the Japanese government's "provisional" 20 millisievert (2 Rem) per year radiation exposure limit for Fukushima children, and restoring the 1 millisievert (100 millirem) per year limit. However, the petitions have fallen on deaf ears at the Japanese federal and Fukushima prefectural governments. A third, related petition was launched on June 30th, and is still open to international signers.
The appeal to the UN concludes: "The children of Fukushima have the same right as all other children in Japan to live a life free from unnecessary, preventable radiation exposure. We urgently request that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/OHCHR come to Japan to investigate this matter."
In his May 12, 2011 report "Fukushima Fallout: Regulatory Loopholes at U.S. Nuclear Plants," U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) stated:
"Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, many other countries have announced new safety measures with regards to nuclear reactors. China, Venezuela, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan have suspended new reactor development. Germany and Japan announced it would shut down older reactors pending safety review."
The table also shows that the Phillipines and the U.K. have decided to reduce the role of nuclear power in their energy future. And in fact Germany, the fourth biggest national economy on the planet, has decided to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022. (see Table 1 on page 24).
The Independent of the U.K., in an article entitled "The Explosive Truth Behind Fukushima's Meltdown," has reported mounting evidence indicating that earthquake damage in Daiichi Unit 1 was so severe that it was doomed to melt down even before the massive inundation from the tsunami knocked out emergency diesel generators, cutting off electricity to run vital cooling water pumps. The article reports:
"This means that assurances from the industry in Japan and overseas that the reactors were robust is now blown apart," said Shaun Burnie, an independent nuclear waste consultant who works with Greenpeace. "It raises fundamental questions on all reactors in high seismic risk areas."
As Mr Burnie points out, Tepco also admitted massive fuel melt 16 hours after loss of coolant, and seven or eight hours before the explosion in Unit One. "Since they must have known all this, their decision to flood with massive water volumes would guarantee massive additional contamination – including leaks to the ocean."