The Fukushima Daiichi reactors tragically appears headed for a meltdown.
Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps, both with technical expertise, are closely monitoring the unfolding events and are in touch with colleagues in Japan, in particular Philip White at the Citizens Nuclear Information Center Tokyo.
The Beyond Nuclear website at http://www.beyondnuclear.org/ is being updated constantly as new developments emerge.
As posted on the website, Kamps and Gunter stated:
“We deeply regret to report that a Tokyo Channel 12 TV news item has said that radioactivity is 70 times higher than normal around the Fukushima I (Daiichi) Plant Unit 1 and 1,000 times higher than normal in the control room. Cesium has been detected around the site. Water is below the level of the fuel rods. There is a possibility of damage and “a high possibility that meltdown has begun”.
Beyond Nuclear is also monitoring the state of the Onagawa nuclear power plant about which there is no news except that the nearest towns were totally inundated by tsunamis.
“What this crisis is already demonstrating is that a heavy reliance on nuclear power becomes more of a liability than an asset during a natural disaster,” said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear. “Nuclear power plants themselves become more dangerous in this situation and increase, rather than diminish the risks. In addition, unlike renewable energy sources, nuclear power plants cannot function in this kind of emergency and therefore cannot supply the essential electricity needed to cope with the situation in the first place.