Michio Kaku, a string theory physicist, gave his evaluation of the current state of containment at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The area was hit with a magnitude nine earthquake followed by a massive tsunami in 2011.
Now, Michio Kaku says the Fukushima power plant is clearly a level nine nuclear accident, mathematically speaking. Michio Kaku said in the video interview below, with Democracy Now, the danger is potentially on the level with Chernobyl with further potential to become much worse because it is not yet stable or properly contained. It is still leaking radiation.
The Fukushima power plant was severely damaged and the contamination level at the nuclear power plant is currently such that workers can only spend about 15 minutes at a time inside the plant. In that 15 minutes, the workers receive the maximum safe radiation level for an entire year.
Dr. Michio Kaku says that spending an hour inside the Fukushima power plant would result in radiation sickness, and a whole work day would result in death. Michio Kaku called the first workers to respond to the accident as a suicide squad, sacrificing their lives to contain the deadly radiation.
Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO is currently using swimming robots to explore the contaminated water inside the nuclear power plant at Fukushima. CNN reports they are looking for possible nuclear fuel leaks, but it is difficult to discern from photos taken by the robots.
Nuclear fission is not a natural occurrence in any way explains Michio Kaku in his Fukushima Disaster video. It simply doesn’t happen in nature.
There are two kinds of nuclear energy; fission and fusion explained Michio Kaku. Fusion occurs in nature. Fusion is the “engine of the universe.” it powers stars, but fission only occurs in man made nuclear reactors and atomic bombs. Fission nuclear plants like the one at Fukushima use the radioactive isotope uranium.
Fusion produces helium which is not harmful. Fission has dangerous byproducts that can cause thyroid cancer, and bone cancer, as well as deadly radiation sickness Michio Kaku, pointed out. Sadly Fusion requires tremendous heat and pressure, and could not be used for generating power with the current technology.
Michio Kaku is calling for an open discussion on the dangers of nuclear power. Dr. Michio Kaku makes it clear that he is not a fan of nuclear power or fission, and feels that the public has not been sufficiently informed about the dangers involved in nuclear energy.
Michio Kaku explained it this way in his video.
“The future of Nuclear fission is a Faustian bargain. Faust was the mythical figure who sold his soul to the devil for unlimited power. Nations like Japan who have no coal or oil are reaching for this Faustian bargain.”
As Michio Kaku points out nuclear energy can come at a high price if anything goes wrong. Chernobyl was caused by human error and Fukushima was caused by a severe natural disaster. How can anyone guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong on the site of a nuclear reactor? Yet the result of a mishap can be catastrophic as Dr. Michio Kaku points out.
“A nuclear meltdown is forever.”
Michio Kaku says the impact of nuclear radiation is extremely long lasting. The last 10 percent of radiation “lasts for tens of thousands of years.” It is called “decay heat,” and it goes very slowly. Decay heat is what is being dealt with now and it’s stronger than anyone wants to acknowledge.
“It’s enough to melt the containment. It’s enough to blow that reactor apart.”
Dr. Michio Kaku said the problem with Nuclear fission is “there is no off switch.” Once the nuclear fission reaction has begun, explains Michio Kaku, it can’t be stopped.
Dr. Michio Kaku says the best thing to do is encase the reactor in concrete as they did at Chernobyl, but the Japanese have not accomplished that yet.
Michio Kaku’s recommendation is that high-level physicists work with the Japanese military to contain the situation because corporate utility company’s resources are overwhelmed by the project, though they do keep trying. Dr. Michio Kaku feels they are not equipped to handle the situation safely.
Dr. Michio Kaku also feels the evacuation zone is inadequate. Radiation levels are increasing at 25 miles from the site. He feels at least a 50-mile radius is minimal, but the current evacuation zone is only about six miles.
Michio Kaku also expressed concern about contaminated water in Tokyo and also contaminated food supplies. Michio Kaku says that some families are leaving Tokyo fearing water contamination and other radiation risks.
Initial containment at Fukushima involved pumping sea water onto the burning reactor in huge quantities according to Michio Kaku. This spread the contamination, but it also prevented a horrific explosion.
The current solution is to encase the reactor in ice using circulating coolant in pipes to create a minus 30 degrees Celsius ice wall according to Mainichi. It was a project that has taken four years but is now nearly complete. There is no conclusive answer on how effective it will be in preventing ground water seepage.
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Michio Kaku explains in the videos above why nuclear fission is a risky proposition, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini and POOL/Bloomberg/AP Images]