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Fukushima still spewing massive radiation plumes; America in ‘huge trouble,’ says nuclear expert


The infighting that threatens to undermine US nuclear safety

But the real drama, going largely unseen amid the infighting at the regulator, is over the future of America’s nuclear industry after the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year, nuclear experts say. “All of this in my opinion is a sign of a desperate struggle going on involving the NRC,” said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert at the Institute for Policy Studies. “The majority of commissioners were put there largely with the blessing of the nuclear industry, and are now pushing back over potentially expensive upgrades to the reactor fleet after Fukushima.”After a 30-year hold on new reactor construction, America’s nuclear industry had been poised for an era of expansion until Fukushima occurred and NRC, under Jaczko’s command, began a review of America’s 100-plus reactors. About one-quarter of America’s 100-plus civilian reactors are the same General Electric model as the doomed Japanese reactor, leaving them vulnerable to meltdown in case of a power shutdown, experts say. TheNRC review, published last July, made about a dozen safety recommendations. But the nuclear regulators chose not to enforce those same safeguards before granting a licence to two new reactors at an existing plant in Georgia. It was the first new nuclear construction in 30 years. The White House had backed the project, by Southern Company, and the department of energy offered $8.3bn in loan guarantees to build the plant on an existing site.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission became more powerful post-Fukushima, but it has been beset by division and dissent.

(NaturalNews) During a recent Congressional delegation trip to Japan, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden witnessed with his own eyes the horrific aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which we have heard very little about from the media in recent months. The damage situation was apparently so severe, according to his account, that he has now written a letter to Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador of Japan, petitioning for more to be done, and offering any additional support and assistance that might help contain and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Sen. Wyden seems to hint in his letter that Reactor 4, which has reportedly been on the verge of collapse for many months now, could be nearing catastrophic implosion.

Imminent collapse of Reactor 4 could create

a mass extinction event of both humans and

animals

According to Christina Consolo, an award-winning biomedical photographer and host ofNuked Radio, Reactor 4 has remained in such bad shape that even a very small earthquake could quickly level the building, sending the fuel from more than 1,500 unused fuel rods into the environment. And with Reactor 4 still filled with the highest levels of radioactive MOX and other fuels, the consequences of this potential collapse could be far worse than anything that has happened thus far as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. “[S]itting at the top of [Reactor 4], in a pool that is cracked, leaking, and precarious even without an earthquake, are 1,565 fuel rods (give or take a few), some of them ‘fresh fuel’ that was ready to go into the reactor on the morning of March 11 when the earthquake and tsunami hit,” writes Consolo. “If they are MOX fuel, containing six percent plutonium, one fuel rod has the potential to kill 2.89billionpeople.” Sen. Wyden is also asking U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory Jaczko to assess how much additional assistance their agencies might be willing to provide to help Japan, and the entire world, avoid a nuclear catastrophe of Biblical proportions.

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