A recent post gives an excellent discussion of what is planned at Fukushima. It is worth reading in full. There are many fuel rods in reactor 4 that must be moved out of their current storage, 7 stories off of the ground. The government has authorized TEPCO to go ahead with the plans. The problem is that the fuel rods have been damaged and are less likely to be moved without complication. If one of the fuel rods breaks or is dropped, it could trigger a thermal event that releases radiation from the plant. The cesium 137 storied is about 85 times the amount released in Chernobyl. The author asks whether the world should allow TEPCO to be in charge of the procedure, given their previous poor performance.
And according to former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura (quoted here):
The meltdown and unprecedented release of radiation that would ensue is the worst case scenario that then-Prime Minister Kan and other former officials have discussed in the past months. He [Kan] warned during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos that such an accident would force the evacuation of the 35 million people in Tokyo, close half of Japan and compromise the nation’s sovereignty.
Many people believe that the problem of Fukushima is in the past. Others say that the problem is ongoing and that the future problems may be greater than the past problems.
- Fukushima’s nuclear reactor No 4 poses an apocalyptic danger (nuclear-news.net)
- Should TEPCO, should Japan, be allowed to attempt this on its own? (nuclear-news.net)
- Tepco Official: Fukushima is Out of Control (commondreams.org)
- Fukushima Approaching Very Dangerous Tipping Point (darkgovernment.com)
- TEPCO’s Fukushima inspections inadequate – Japan nuclear regulator (rt.com)