Fukushima Report: Implications for U.S?

A Japanese report on the Fukushima reactor disaster is a "real wake up" call for sleeping U.S regulators. Some troubling parallels are seen between the US and Japan: The “U.S. has the same colluding system between industry, regulators and government.”

| July 12, 2012

The same underlying “man-made” problems that contribute significantly to the Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan are in place in the United States and require preventative actions that go far beyond the limited steps taken far by the U.S. industry and its regulators, according to five groups commenting today on the English-language version of the official report of the Japanese Parliament’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission.

The 85-page executive summary of the report can be viewed in English at http://www.nirs.org/fukushima/naiic_report.pdf.

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Executive Director Catherine Thomasson said:  “American regulators and the federal government should take heed.  This report should serve as a warning that the U.S. has the same colluding system between industry, regulators and government.  There are some reactors that will never have adequate evacuation plans as they are too close to human populations to be managed without severe consequences should a catastrophic accident occur.  Others will remain problematic because there is the same mindset as in Japan that such accidents could not occur in our country hence there is inadequate preparation.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) President-Elect Dr. Jeffrey Patterson said: “This report demonstrates that no government or industry is prepared to adequately deal with the short or long term consequences of disasters such as Fukushima.   From a medical standpoint Fukushima, Chernobyl and other radiation disasters are dangerous experiments which are releasing unknown quantities of long lived radiation on non-consenting populations who will be repeatedly exposed as the radioactive materials recycle through the environment.   The results of this unconscionable experiment will not be fully known for generations, if ever.  There is no ‘safe’ dose of radiation.”

Other groups in the U.S. speaking out today include: Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Georgia WAND, and Nuclear Information and Resource Service.

Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), said: “The report concluded that regulation in Japan was not rigorous.  Sadly that applies to the United States as well.   Just ten days after the start of the Fukushima disaster, the NRC extended the license of Vermont Yankee for 20 years, though it is the same design as the Fukushima reactors and it has more spent fuel in its pool than all four stricken reactors there put together.  The report should jolt the NRC into implementing the lessons of Fukushima before licensing new reactors and relicensing existing ones.”

t brandt
7/31/2012 9:29:44 PM

Keep things in perspective: a CT scan gives you an average of 20 millisieverts of radiation exposure and 100 millisieverts is the minimum exposure known to begin showing an increased health risk. "Background" radiation exposure to an American is ~3mS/yr. The estimated radiation exposure to the evacuees of Fukishima was 68mS. ..Do you think the group issuing this article might have some political agenda transcending, and ignoring, the science?

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