Contamination of sea resources

13 Mar 2011

Both the n°2 and n°3 reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi site have a 750 MW capacity, almost the double of the reactor n°1. It is thus probable that explosions similar to the one which occurred in the building of reactor n°1 would be more devastating and would release larger doses of radiation.

The reactor n°1 at Onagawa has a capacity of 498 MW and reactors n°2 and n°3 796 MW ; the reactors at Onagawa are also in a state of emergency.

In 2001 the co-director of the Nuclear Department in the Japanese Ministry and the head of the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) wrote that “The nuclear plants are designed to withstand earthquakes by keeping at the adequate security level measures such as the shutting down of the nuclear reactor, the cooling down and the confinement of radioactive substances whatever the seismic solicitations conceivable on this particular site.” (Journal “Contrôle“ n° 142 French Nuclear Safety Authority Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire française.)

The emergency shutdown in this type of crisis situation always happens after the nuclear reactor and its peripheral equipment has been wholly or partly damaged or deformed by seismic waves.

In the hypothesis that the cloud produced by the explosion of reactor n°1 of Fukushima Daiichi substructures is transporting dangerous radioactivity, the fact that short term weather forecasts predicts airflow towards the Pacific is not good news, as the Japanese population consume large quantities of seafood. The potential radioactive contamination of sea resources would deprive the Japan of a basic food resource. International cooperation is needed in order to assess real-time effects in this series of accidents on the marine and land environment.

The IRSN (Institute of Radio Protection and Nuclear Safety) presents on there internet site a simulation of the atmospheric dispersion of the cloud from reactor n°1 at Daiichi. Robin des Bois would like to underline that the same studies were published not carried out during or after the wave of forest fires in Russia in the summer of 2010 which in particular concerned the forests touched by the fallout of the Chernobyl accident. It should also be noted that it is not true to state that the Basic French Safety Rule (Règle Fondamentale de Sûreté française) on the determination of seismic risks concerning the security of nuclear plants from 2001 is regularly updated. (Cf. Press release n°1 Robin des Bois March 2011). The Ministerial Department of Ecology would like a complete revision of this Rule ; however the nuclear channel is not particularly enthusiastic.

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