Australian news, and some related international items

AUDIO: Mark Willacy interviews former US nuclear chief about Fukushima

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Former US nuclear chief’s damning Fukushima report 25 September 2013,

The former chief nuclear regulator in the United States has delivered a damning verdict on Japanese authorities’ ability to stop contaminated groundwater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant flowing into the sea. Gregory Jaczko was responding to comments by the Japanese Prime Minister that the situation at Fukushima was under control.

Mr Jaczko told foreign journalists in Tokyo that the surging groundwater “was beyond human control”, warning that a planned underground ice wall around the site would also fail to stop the sea becoming contaminated.

Reporter: Mark Willacy

Speakers: Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister; Gregory Jaczko, former United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman

WILLACY: It was a last ditch guarantee from a prime minister fighting to win the Olympics for his country.

ABE: Let me assure you the situation is under control. WILLACY: That was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assuring the International Olympic Committee earlier this month that everything at the Fukushima nuclear plant was in hand and the IOC seemed convinced. Hours later it awarded the 2020 Games to Tokyo. Meanwhile, at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the equivalent of 130 Olympic swimming pools of highly contaminated water was sitting in storage pits and tanks at the site. One tank had even sprung a toxic leak. But of more serious concern was, and still is, the water underneath the plant. It’s estimated that at least 300 tonnes of contaminated groundwater flows under the Fukushima complex every day, before seeping into the sea. Speaking to foreign journalists in Tokyo, the former chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, was asked if the groundwater situation at Fukushima really was under control.

JACZKO: What was unleashed was a force beyond human control. What you can do is try and mitigate that but you can’t really control it. You cannot control groundwater.

WILLACY: In a bid to stop this groundwater becoming contaminated, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, TEPCO, plans to build a giant underground wall of frozen soil stretching nearly three kilometres around the shattered reactor buildings. It’s a massive project, costing nearly half a billion dollars. But Washington’s former chief nuclear regulator, Gregory Jaczko, seems to think it could all be a colossal waste of time and money.

JACZKO: Whatever system you build, groundwater will find a way around it and into it and affect it. Any of you have homes, you’ve probably had leaks in your homes. Water is a terribly potent entity in that regard.

WILLACY: For Japan’s prime minister, his assurance that everything at the nuclear plant was under control may have played well with the International Olympic Committee, but it’s failed to convince the majority of Japanese, with 66-percent in a recent poll saying they simply don’t believe him.

September 26, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance.


    Comment by qnfa | September 28, 2013 | Reply

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