Latest Posts

Center Calls for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan To Step Down

Naoto Kan
The actions of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese government after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster have been illogical and dangerous to citizens of the world and the environment.  An Act of God might have caused the disaster, but human error is exacerbating the situation.  Radiation has been needlessly released to the atmosphere and ocean.  It appears, under current leadership, that such releases will continue. TEPCO is trying to stabilize the reactors evidently in some futile attempt to salvage the 6-reactor facility.  Some in the Japanese parliament, the Diet, are also calling for Prime Minister Kan to step down.

TEPCO has announced that  it will strengthen defenses at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant against any future earthquakes and triple the size of the available labor force to limit workers' radiation exposure. Yet this facility is highly radioactive with the potential to continue to dump radioactive isotopes into the air and ocean. 

The Center has been recommending the immediate sealing of the site.  Massive loads of boron should be dumped around reactors 1,2,3 & 4.  Reactors 5 & 6 were offline at the time of the tsunami and might be salvaged.  A 200-foot sarcophagus should then cover the four damaged reactors.  The sarcophagus should consist of boron, sand, dirt, cement, concrete and other hardened rubble from the area.

TEPCO is taking a number of steps to guard against a new earthquake of up to magnitude 8. The original March 11 quake was calculated at magnitude 9, one of the most powerful ever recorded. A one-digit increase in magnitude on the Richter scale represents a 10-fold increase in intensity. In its plan, the utility will build a 6½-foot wall on the southeastern side of the Daiichi site, which is about 33 feet above sea level. This would block a 33-foot tsunami, which projections say could be made by a magnitude-8 quake.

Tepco also plans to seal one of the two ditches near the sea with concrete to prevent radiation-contaminated water in the trenches from overflowing into the ocean. Tepco expects to complete the wall by mid-June and sealing by the end of May, a spokesman said. The company didn't specify the cost.

The utility also said it was preparing to triple the size of the available work force to 3,000 people through recruitment of those with experience in the nuclear-power sector. At present, approximately 1,000 employees and subcontractors are working in a dangerous environment to try to bring the damaged reactors to a safe condition.

An opinion poll by Kyodo News on Saturday showed that 76% of respondents said Mr. Kan isn't exercising sufficient leadership in dealing with the situation, a rise from 63.7% in a previous poll in late March. The telephone survey, conducted Friday and Saturday, also showed 23.6% of the respondents think Mr. Kan should resign immediately, up from 13.8% in the previous survey.  (WSJ, 5/1/2011)