Articles Tagged with Experts disagree on radiation threat from Japan

Experts on nuclear radiation differ on the threat to Japanese citizens and the potential for the spread of radiation beyond Japan. One veteran of the nuclear industry, Arnold Gunderson of Fairwinds Associates, was quoted yesterday in the GlobalPost (www.globalpost.com) as saying the probability of a large scale release of radiation is about 50-50 and that he is taking potassium iodine tablets. In addition scientists and engineers who worked on the nuclear reactors that are failing, said that they knew 35 years ago that the reactor design was flawed and could lead to a terrible accident. In fact, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric, resigned from their jobs because they were so concerned about the dangers of the Mark 1. In 1986, Harold Denton, then the director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission spoke critically in public about the GE designed reactors. Japan exists on moving tectonic plates increasing the probability of earthquakes of significant magnitude. In May of 2004, JAPAN TIMES published an article by radiation specialist Lauren Moret who predicted the disaster in Japan that now threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands. It is now a well known fact that Japan sits right on four tectonic plates in one of the most tectonically active regions in the world. Interestingly when the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was built, the experts at General Electric knew this fact very well. One of the plants on Hamaoka in the Shizuoka Prefecture sits directly over the subdcution zone near the connecting point of two plates. It is considered one of the most dangerous plants in the world. In 1998, Kei Sugaoka, a Japanese American field engineer who worked for General Electric in the U.S., was fired for whistleblowing to the Japanese nuclear regulators about a 1989 reactor inspection he says was held back by GE from their customer Tokyo Electric Power. Later, it was revealed that GE had told Tokyo Electric Power but that Tokyo Electric had not told the government of the dangers. Some of the safety problems in the Japanese plants apparently include cracks in pipes in the cooling systems. Lauren Moret, Geoscientist became a whistleblower in 1991 by reporting science fraud on a project at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab where she worked. Now, she is an independent radiation specialist living in Berkeley.