"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.
Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.
Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.
"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."
The operator of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has announced plans to construct a shroud over one of the reactor buildings, a stop-gap measure until a more permanent solution can be found, such as entombing the facility in concrete. Read more
Back in March it was apparent even to a layperson like myself that the only solution to FUKUSHIMA was to entomb the reactors to stop the radiation from leaking into the atmosphere and into the water. The fact that it has taken 3 months for TEPCO to even announce such plans speaks volumes that this contamination was not intended to be contained. Otherwise the Chernobyl solution would have been implemented immediately not announced 3 months later with its actual execution years away. By the time the reactors are actually entombed, much of Japan and surrounding regions will be uninhabitable, and this may very well include Tokyo!