Plutonium at Fukushima dangerous: Russian expert

A file photo of the Fukushima No.1 power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. at Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan.  

The nuclear crisis in Japan is evolving along the worst case scenario, says a Russian expert, commenting on reports that plutonium has been found in soil samples at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“In all likelihood, fuel at the second reactor is melting and burning through the reactor containment and may get into the ocean and soil,” said Professor Vladimir Kuznetsov, member of the advisory board of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear monopoly.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, operator of the Fukushima plant, said on Tuesday that low-risk levels of plutonium were found in some soil samples at the facility. Plutonium is used in the fuel mix in the Fukushima reactors. It is a highly carcinogenic substance that retains its killing capacity for thousands of years.

“The seeping of plutonium into soil and water is the most dangerous thing that can happen,” Prof. Kuznetsov told the Interfax wire service. “Ocean currents may carry it around the world, and nobody knows whether it ends up inside fish or on a beach.”

Plutonium is far more dangerous for humans than uranium, said another Russian expert who requested anonymity.

“Fukushima personnel are either incompetent or are deliberately concealing the true scale of the disaster,” the expert was quoted as saying.

Russian media quoted a U.S. scientist who said the international community should deal with the Japanese crisis instead of bombing Libya.

“In my humble opinion, this is more important than the Libya no-fly zone,” said Najmedin Meshkati, of the University of Southern California.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 6:34:35 AM |

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