How can the profit motive be separated from life on earth?
You have to ask yourself why the government won’t admit this. It’s not like a disaster half a world away is their fault, is it? Or is it? Could the United States government have done something to prevent the situation getting to this point?
Stephen Hanauer, an official at the atomic Energy Commission recommended that General Electric’s Mark 1 design be discontinued as it presented unacceptable safety risks.
The New York Times reported:
In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended that the Mark 1 system be discontinued because it presented unacceptable safety risks. Among the concerns cited was the smaller containment design, which was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Later that same year, Joseph Hendrie, who would later become chairman of theNuclear Regulatory Commission, a successor agency to the atomic commission, said the idea of a ban on such systems was attractive. But the technology had been so widely accepted by the industry and regulatory officials, he said, that “reversal of this hallowed policy, particularly at this time, could well be the end of nuclear power.” (source)
Then, three years later in 1975, Dale Bridenbaugh and two colleagues were asked to review the GE Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor (BWR). They were convinced that the reactor was inherently unsafe and so flawed in its design that it could catastrophically fail under certain circumstances. There were two main issues. First was the possible failure of the Mark 1 to deal with the huge pressures created if the unit lost cooling power. Secondly, the spent fuel ponds were situated 100 feet in the air near the top of the reactor.
They voiced their opinions, which were promptly pushed aside, and after realizing that they were not going to be allowed to make their opinions public all three resigned.
The original plans separated the piping systems for two reactors in the isolation condenser from each other. However, the application for approval of the construction plan showed the two piping systems connected outside the reactor. The changes were not noted, in violation of regulations.
A 2008 in-house study identified an immediate need to better protect the facility from flooding by seawater. This study mentioned the possibility of tsunami-waves up to 10.2 metres (33 ft). Headquarters officials insisted that such a risk was unrealistic and did not take the prediction seriously.
A Mr. Okamura of the Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center urged TEPCO and NISA to review their assumption of possible tsunami heights based on a tenth century earthquake, but it was not seriously considered at that time. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission warned of a risk of losing emergency power in 1991 (NUREG-1150) and NISA referred to the report in 2004. No action to mitigate the risk was taken.
According to Naoto Kan, Japan's prime minister during the tsunami, the country was unprepared for the disaster, and nuclear power plants should not have been built so close to the ocean. Kan acknowledged flaws in authorities' handling of the crisis, including poor communication and coordination between nuclear regulators, utility officials and the government. He said the disaster "laid bare a host of an even bigger man-made vulnerabilities in Japan's nuclear industry and regulation, from inadequate safety guidelines to crisis management, all of which he said need to be overhauled."
Physicist and environmentalist Amory Lovins said that Japan's "rigid bureaucratic structures, reluctance to send bad news upwards, need to save face, weak development of policy alternatives, eagerness to preserve nuclear power's public acceptance, and politically fragile government, along with TEPCO's very hierarchical management culture, also contributed to the way the accident unfolded. Moreover, the information Japanese people receive about nuclear energy and its alternatives has long been tightly controlled by both TEPCO and the government."
Toshiba, Hitachi, and General Electric manufactured the tanks developed to hold radioactive fluids back in the 1970s. Among the evidence in support of the plaintiffs’ case is a report by Japan’s Fisheries Research Agency that found radiation levels in sea life south of the plant to be 124 times more than the threshold considered safe for human consumption.
The Japanese government and TEPCO have sought to keep the situation under wraps, and the public is largely unaware of the nuclear power industry’s irresponsible actions. Inaccurate reports of the radiation damage from TEPCO, along with inadequate manpower to deal with the crisis, have resulted in poor attempts to reverse the radiation damage that resulted from the meltdown of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the March 2011 tsunami.
A senior advisor of the Fukushima cleanup, Barbara Judge, has said that foreign assistance in dealing with the nuclear cleanup is needed; however, TEPCO has withheld accurate radiation readings of the leaks, making foreign assistance impossible. The resulting poor cleanup efforts have further damaged ecosystems around Fukushima without proper supportive action to repair them.
General Electric (GE) is not being held accountable for its role in the Fukushima disaster, Chris Carrington reported, because of its ties to the Obama administration. General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt was appointed to lead the United States Economic Recovery Advisory Board by President Barack Obama in 2009. Five of the six nuclear reactors used at Fukushima were GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor vessels; three of these were not only supplied but also built by General Electric. Since 1972, nuclear reactors of the type have been considered safety risks due to their particular vulnerability to explosion and rupture from hydrogen buildup.
Better to say that the radiation is within safe levels, and then if such a disaster happens here they can mourn those in the immediate fallout zone and maintain that the rest of the country is okay, just as it was after Fukushima.
Better to risk disaster to the life and health of American citizens than to risk financial disaster... and that's the truth !!!
“Fukushima: Landmark Lawsuit Filed against General Electric, Toshiba and Hitachi,” News Network and Broadcasting Collective (NSNBC) International, January 30, 2014, http://nsnbc.me/2014/01/30/fukushima-landmark-lawsuit-filed-general-electric-toshiba-hitachi.
Faith Aquino, “Senior Advisor for Fukushima Cleanup Says Foreign Assistance Needed,” Japan Daily Press, October 17, 2013, http://japandailypress.com/senior-adviser-for-fukushima-cleanup-says-foreign-assistance-needed-1738025.
Chris Carrington, “Why the Obama Administration Will Not Admit that Fukushima Radiation is Poisoning Americans,” Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-the-obama-administration-will-not-admit-that-fukushima-radiation-is-poisoning-americans/5365626