Conflicting reports, mounting fear, over Japanese nuclear disaster
Friday, March 18, 2011
|The odds are pretty good that no one has good information.|
—Peter Bradford, former
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant may end up as a larger disaster than the faced by the U.S. in 1979. However, he said reports from Japan officials are contradictory, and concluded that "[w]e don't really know in detail what's happening. We hear conflicting reports."Secretary reported to Congress Wednesday that the incidents at the
International frustration is focusing on the slow pace and lack of detail characterizing the updates from Japan. The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, , said Japan needs to provide more frequent and detailed information on the crisis to the world.
Currently, the lack of information is particularly important regarding the threat posed by reactor number four. The building housing the reactor is no longer on fire, but smoke or steam is visible on television pictures. Yoshitaka Nagayama, a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, admitted that "[b]ecause we have been unable to go the scene, we cannot confirm whether there is water left or not in the spent fuel pool at Reactor No. 4."
Thomas Neff, a reactor safety expert with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: "The problem is that nobody knows. If you don't know and you're TEPCO, you probably underplay it. If you're the , you probably see it in a worse light."
"The odds are pretty good that no one has good information," said a former, Peter Bradford, who was on the commission at the time of the Three Mile Island disaster.
- "Chu: Japan crisis could end up more serious than Three Mile Island" — , March 16, 2011
- Shinichi Saoshiro and Chisa Fujioka, Workers briefly abandon Japan nuclear plant as crisis mounts" — , March 16, 2011. "
- Peter Behr. "Fukushima Crisis Worsens as U.S. Warns of a Large Radiation Release" — , March 17, 2011