Monday, April 4, 2011

Japanese fallout

Published Date: 04 April 2011
I NOTED Mr Campbell's letter (2 April) on "Nuclear clarity", especially where he asserted there was no need for exclusion zones around Fukushima and Chernobyl.
Having personally known people with serious health issues as a consequence of the Chernobyl accident, I am absolutely certain the then Soviet Union was correct in imposing the exclusion zone, as are the Japanese now doing at Fukushima. Even so, the i mposition of the Fukushima exclusion zone and the evacuation measures may not have come fast enough to avoid damage to some people living there.

International Atomic Energy Agency experts are now advising they believe that radioactive materials found 25 miles away from Fukushima are four times higher than those measured at Chernobyl (at 2 million Becquerels per square metre versus 500,000 Bq/Sq m). It is also believed that radioactive survey meters on the Fukushima site cannot read high enough.

Nuclear engineering experts, such as Arnie Gundersen of Fairwinds Associates in the US, believe that possibly 70 per cent of the fuel in three of the reactors has melted, with the consequence that radiation exposure on the ground is 500 to 1,000 times higher than anticipated.

Nuclear health specialists anticipate many thousands of deaths from lung cancers and are still working on the consequences of the contamination of the sea from highly radioactive water leaking into it. This is an appalling tragedy and the consequences of the radioactivity leaking from plutonium and other associated MOX fuel chemicals is on a scale that simply cannot be underestimated. I trust these observations "clarify" matters.


Western Harbour Midway