News Release

What’s Next at Fukushima? Are U.S. Nuclear Plants at Risk?


KARL GROSSMAN, kgrossman at
Author of Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power, Grossman just wrote the piece “Nuclear Denial: The Giant Lie About Fukushima,” which states: ”A major factor in [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe’s stance is Japan having become a global player in the nuclear industry. General Electric (the manufacturer of the Fukushima plants) and Westinghouse have been the Coke and Pepsi of nuclear power plants worldwide, historically building or designing 80 percent of them. In 2006, Toshiba bought Westinghouse’s nuclear division and Hitachi entered into a partnership with GE in its nuclear division. Thus the two major nuclear power plant manufacturers worldwide are now Japanese brands. Abe has been busy traveling the world seeking to peddle Toshiba-Westinghouse and Hitachi-GE nuclear plants to try to lift Japan’s depressed economy.”

LINDA GUNTER, linda at
Gunter is nuclear international specialist with the group Beyond Nuclear, which just released the statement “What’s next at Fukushima? Are U.S. nuclear plants still at risk?” featuring several of their analysts [PDF]. She said today: “The Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe in Japan continues. As it enters its fourth year, there are new revelations about higher radiation releases and additional leaks. Similar dangers persist at the 31 near-identical reactors still operating in the U.S.”

KEVIN KAMPS, kevin at
Radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, Kamps said: “The condition of the high-level radioactive waste storage pools at the Fukushima-Daiichi reactors remains perilous. Another big earthquake could prompt a sudden drain-down of the Unit 4 high-level radioactive waste storage pool. The Unit 3 pool may be in even worse shape. … Few lessons from Fukushima have been learned in the U.S. One of the most important should be that high density U.S. pools are emptied into hardened on-site storage as soon as possible, before the worst happens, whether due to natural disaster or terrorist attack.”

Beyond Nuclear’s radiation and health specialist, Folkers said: “The American Medical Association has passed a resolution pressing for seafood testing for the U.S. But independent testing is almost non-existent. We have the highest allowable limit of radioactive cesium in the world, but not the robust food testing needed to see if we are exceeding it. It seems officials prefer widespread ignorance to protecting the public, particularly children.”

PAUL GUNTER, paul at
Beyond Nuclear’s reactor oversight director, Gunter said today: “In a bid to restart Japan’s reactors, none of which are currently operating, the regulator there ordered utilities to install costly countermeasures to another severe accident. Here in the U.S., the regulator continues to stall those same countermeasures for the identically flawed nuclear technology to protect the fragile economics of nuclear power and keep vulnerable reactors. …

“The Japanese Diet reported that Fukushima was a ‘man-made disaster’ caused by the collusion of government, regulator and industry to protect a nuclear production agenda. ‘Nuclear Regulatory Capture’ by industry here in the U.S. has put financial protectionism, aging reactor systems and the roll of the dice on converging courses for an American Fukushima.”