By Alexander Higgins
Japan Witheld Nuclear Meltdown Simulation Showing 18,000 Deaths And 55 Mile Dead Zone
Japan Withheld A Nuclear Meltdown Simulation Showing 18,000 Deaths From Acute Radiation Poisoning And 55 Mile Uninhabitable Radius Do To Fears It Would Damage The Nuclear Industry
A report from The Asahi Shimbun reveals that Japanese officials withheld a critical nuclear meltdown simulation from the public.
The simulation showed that 18,000 people would die from acute radiation poisoning if they were not immediately evacuated and a 55 mile radius would be rendered permanently uninhabitable due to politicians fears that it would spark anti-nuclear power sentiments.
The 1984 simulation showed that the worse case scenario would be caused by a complete loss of power the nuclear reactor and breach of containment with radiation leaking into the atmosphere, which is what has occurred at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and could be caused by several events such as damage from a guided missile.
According to the The Asahi Shimbun the simulation also shows that 100 times more radiation would be released from a single reactor that official figures currently reported at Fukushima. Fukushima also has 3 reactors in a worse case scenario state as defined by the simulation
Foreign ministry simulated nuke plant disaster in 1984
The Foreign Ministry had simulated a possible attack on nuclear plants in 1984 that included a scenario in which all power sources were lost–as occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant–but chose to keep the results confidential, The Asahi Shimbun learned.
If the ministry report had been shared with many officials in the government, it could have helped to raise attention to the need to prepare for a possible nuclear power station blackout.
The ongoing nuclear crisis was triggered by a complete loss of the electricity grid, emergency diesel generators and depletion of backup batteries in the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Pumps for cooling water were also broken down in the disaster.
The report on the study of possible attacks on nuclear facilities and projected damages, compiled in February 1984, was obtained by The Asahi Shimbun.
It is the first of its kind known to have been compiled by the government. The report’s first scenario anticipated that a complete loss of power sources would lead to a situation where damaged fuel rods would fall to the bottom of the containment vessel, breaching the vessel. That would result in the leakage of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. The report also projected that a hydrogen explosion would likely be triggered.
This is precisely what occurred in the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The station blackout scenario came to be discussed in the 1990s and later in Japan. But no adequate measures were taken to address the possibility.
“No measures were taken for nuclear facilities” to improve safeguards, Endo said.
The report projected up to 18,000 deaths from acute radiation exposure in an attack on a nuclear reactor that damages the containment vessel and the cooling system, resulting in a meltdown and immediate release of radioactive materials into the air.
But the ministry decided not to disclose results of the study, even to the prime minister’s office, fearing it could inflame the anti-nuclear power movement.
The ministry commissioned the study to the Japan Institute of International Studies, a private organization, after the global community was shaken by Israel’s bombing of a research nuclear facility in Iraq in 1981.
[…]Under the study, three scenarios were explored: 1) a complete loss of power from the grid and from backup diesel generators; 2) a complete loss of power and ability to cool a reactor after an attack by a powerful bomb that destroyed a containment vessel; 3) destruction of not only the containment vessel but also the pressure vessel in an attack by a guided bomb with extremely high targeting accuracy.
In the second scenario, the study set the amount of leaked radioactive materials at more than 100 times the figure in the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to project the number of deaths and injuries.
[…]The Japanese report concluded that under the second scenario, up to 18,000 people could be killed unless people evacuated immediately, and the average death toll would be about 3,600.
It also projected that on average, a radius of 30 kilometers would be rendered uninhabitable. In the worst-case scenario, a radius of 87 km [over 55 miles] would have to be abandoned.
For the third scenario, the report stated that (the situation) “would likely be harsher.”
An official at the ministry’s disarmament division who was in charge of the report stated in the report that the document was for internal use only, given the possible “impact on the anti-nuclear power movement.”