Environment

Fukushima Reactor Global Security Issue: Japanese Former Diplomat

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Number 4 reactor presents a security problem for the entire world, Mitsuhei Murata, Japan's former ambassador to Switzerland said.

Fukushima Daiichi plants are "not under control at all... and the situation with nuclear reactors in Japan is like vehicles being driven without a license," Mr. Murata told a news conference at the foreign correspondents' club of Japan on June 5.

Four nuclear plants in Fukushima Daiichi were damaged by last year’s great earthquake and tsunami. Recently, people have expressed concerns about Unit 4’s spent fuel pool which stores more than 1500 rods. The unit would be too fragile to withstand an M7-class earthquake.

The Japanese government also thinks that the Unit 4 problem is critical, and are planning to move many of the rods from the pool in 2013.

324 Civic organizations from all over the world have submitted a petition called "An Urgent Request for UN Intervention to Stabilize the Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Nuclear Fuel", Mr. Murata said noting that those organizations are also demanding a moratorium on Japan's nuclear reactors. "This reflects a loss of confidence in the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO,” he said.

Expressing strong anxiety regarding Japan's nuclear policy, Murata revealed he had advised PM Yoshihiko Noda that the only way to restore honor for Japan and himself as prime minister is to establish a national policy by August of non-dependence on nuclear energy.

Warning of the acute danger of Unit 4. at Fukushima Daiichi, Murata said that recent revised estimates by the Japanese government found that the probability of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Fukushima within the next three years is 90%. "But Unit 4 reactor, which was substantially damaged by the tsunami and subsequent explosion will not survive a 7.0 magnitude earthquake," he said.

He pointed out "the nuclear village and nuclear dictatorship is exposed, and public opinion and their movements are strong.”Nuclear village is a term for the Japanese distorted social structure in which the pronuclear politicians, scholars and companies have more power than those who are skeptical of nuclear energy. Anti-nuclear protests have been ignored for more than 40 years.

He concluded that "the lessons of Fukushima have reminded the whole world of the great principle for humanity. The possibility for unbearable consequences must be zero" and stressed the need for “the shift from priority of economy to priority toward life. The true cause for the present crisis is lack of ethics."

Mr. Murata was Japan’s ambassador to Switzerland form 1996 to 1999.

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