Madison Ruppert, Contributor
If the nuclear disaster that has befallen the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant is absolutely nothing to be concerned about, as some have nonsensically maintained despite the evidence to the contrary, why on Earth would Akio Komori, an executive at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), refuse to allow outside experts to inspect the facility?
It is quite a simple question which should be able to be easily answered by those who continue to maintain that anyone who points out the continuing dangers and potential disaster with spent fuel pool number four is blowing the situation out of proportion.
Of course, it would only be easy to answer if they are right. Unfortunately for them, there is no indication that they are and a new study revealed that we can only expect similar incidents in the future – even here in the United States – if we don’t begin to question the legitimacy of nuclear power generation (especially given the viable alternatives).
I truly wish that I could say that you should ignore what is going on at Fukushima and the real potential for the disaster to get significantly worse, but I would be lying to you.
Even the Japan Times notes that the spent fuel pool in reactor number 4 is “situation precariously above the reactor” in their May 27 article which revealed the disturbing position of Komori.
Goshi Hosono, the Japanese environment and nuclear minister recently visited the Fukushima Daiichi plant in order to inspect the spent fuel pool which has, according to the Japan Times, “been raising safety concerns,” although Hosono claimed that it “appears to have been properly reinforced.”
Personally, I don’t think that inspires too much confidence in the safety and stability of the spent fuel pool, especially given the word choice in saying that it “appears” to be reinforced properly.
The Japan Times notes that the visit appears to have been an attempt to inspire confidence in the safety of the facility, especially since reports recently emerged detailing a bulge in the building’s wall, which was confirmed by TEPCO.
Japanese nuclear regulators responded to this report by ordering a new probe and seismic tests of both the reactor four building and the spent fuel pool.
For those who aren’t aware, the spent fuel pool is absurdly dangerous because it could dump out, exposing the fuel rods, likely causing a combustion.
The sheer number of earthquakes in the region as of late is yet another reason why the situation hardly inspires confidence.
The entire reactor four building sustained significant damage after a major explosion and fire which followed the tremendous earthquake and tsunami in March of last year.
While a select, small group of journalists were allowed entry into the reactor building for the first time along with Hosono, who was wearing a protective suit and full face mask, TEPCO continues to resist calls for outside expert analysis.
Journalists observed broken wall panels lying in piles, pieces of cement and mangled equipment inside the reactor four building.
Interestingly, while Hosono reportedly partially viewed the spent fuel pool when TEPCO officials partially lifted the tarp covering the pool, he was not able to see the wall bulge.
However, he did call on TEPCO “not to take an optimistic view and instead deal with it carefully in order to ensure safety.”
For some strange reason, TEPCO will not begin moving the spent fuel rods from the pool at reactor four to a joint pool for all six reactors next to the reactor four building until late next year.
While this joint pool already has a whopping 6,000 rods in it, it is supposedly safer because it is at ground level.
Furthermore, it will take a whopping 40 years to decommission the reactors completely.
Komori claimed that they will inspect the number four building “to ensure its integrity” which, yet again, hardly inspires confidence given TEPCO’s behavior throughout this tragedy.
His justification for refusing to allow outside experts to inspect the plant makes so little sense that it is nothing short of laughable.
“As the party with direct responsibility, it’s our job to carry out the necessary checks,” Komori said.
Sure, but it is also their responsibility to ensure that it is safe and clearly they are not interested enough to do that.
Experts have been pointing out the immense danger posed by the spent fuel pool at reactor number four for some time now.
Even worse is that the fuel which would normally be in the reactor core is in the pool as well, as number four was being refurbished.
According to the Japan Times, nuclear officials in the U.S. were also concerned because they “feared the rods would overheat and melt as water evaporated from the pool, releasing massive radiation.”
With all of this evidence showing just how dangerous this situation is, can we really accept Komori’s justification – if you can even call it that – for refusing to allow outside experts to assess the situation?
If we can accept it, why? I would love to hear those who believe that the continuously developing situation at Fukushima is being blown out of proportion respond to this with a reasonable answer. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that they will be able to do so.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.