To a friend in USA re Fukushima
From a mail to a ham friend in USA. I haven't seen him for a year or two. He kindly asked me about the Fusushima tragedy and my son studying there;
Well, re Fukushima, so many things to tell to you. The nuclear plants were broken by the quake itself, not only by the tsunami. The TEPCO, the power line company, insists that it was totally due to the tsunami, which they had not experienced for over 1000 years. But it is not true. The plants parameters are analyzed and are concluded to have troubles of tubing structures by the quake. It means the risk managements strategies against the earthquake did not work in this case. The nuclear plants are vulnerable to the modest size of quake. The nuclear plant area did not quake so much.as expected for the maximum quake in that area. We have 54 nuclear plants in Japan, some of which are pretty old, some 40 years of age or so. The neutron generated in the nuclear plant has deteriorated the wall of the plant. It is measured in the real plants. This deterioration of the metal wall is a kind of metal fragility. It could cause an explosion of the plant under abrupt change of the temp and/or the pressure etc. That result in the Chernobyl type explosion and the wide spread pollution of radioactive substances all over to, possibly, half of the land of our country. It could mean the death of our country.
What is goin on in Fukushima? The nuclear plants have melt through. The melted nuclear fuels must have penetrated the casings and even the concrete structure on the base. Noone knows about that. There is little danger for the explosion any longer. But the contamination into air, underground water and the sea will go on undoubtedly over there. The deconatmnation of massive polluted water used for cooling is reported to be successful so far. The serious problem should be how and where to do with the highly contaminated filters or other materials born by the process. The decontamination and decommision process must take decades and enormous amount of money from now on.
The above sentences are the preamble. My son attending Fukushima Pref Med Univ is living about 50Km west of the crippled nuclear plants. The pollution seems marginal or, I should say, modest at his place. So far as he is living within house or building, the external radiation may be OK. The level of the conatmination does't require the people in Fukushima city to be evacuated at present, while the residents in a few towns around the plants are ordered to move, possibly eternally. I don't think he carrys the RI badge on him, though the local government, I heard, has given them to the pupils over there. The internal radiation is more important issue from now on. The government seems to make measurements of the readioactives in the foods. But it is not complete at all. Maybe, we should compromise taking less contaminated foods from now on. We still need the accurate data of the contamination. I am feeeling so sad he used to be hopeful, in Fukushima, to become a good doctor 1.5 years ago but he should go on studying in such circumstances.
I will keep my eyes wide open for the nuclear plants issues here. There are many people involved in the money those hazardous facilities have yielded. They are scattered in the society of politics, bureaucracy, economy or mass madia. They will try to maintain those plants by any means. We should go on saying definitely no to them and disband those concession hunters. We should get out of this hazardous power generation system. It is possible and necessary for the next generation. We are responsible for that.