Rick Shade requested an update on R4 at Fukushima. I was the first person in the world who correctly assessed the problem at Hawaii News Daily (I can't find the link) while the Japanese government was saying there was no danger…and I am the first person who stated that Ft. Calhoun was within an inch of disaster last year when the US government was saying there was no danger. They were both lying and it's really hard to hide a nuclear disaster. But governments have been lying to everyone about everything for so long that it's just an automatic response.
OK, Rick…here you go. Part of the R4 fuel pool caught on fire and collapsed last year and generated nuclear reactions at the ground level of the building. for all I know the whole thing collapsed and the pictures they send out are a movie set. Both R3 and R4 are in meltdown just like R1 and R2 and as I wrote a year ago, there is no way to mitigate or or clean it up. Period. When it first started they could have nuked a hole under the entire mess and let it fall in – which would have stopped the airborne dispersion of radionuclides….but they can't keep it out of the groundwater or the ocean. Now it's probably too late to dump it in a hole because the cores have spread who-knows-where.
So what is going to happen? Nothing much until some new technology is developed. Until then, the earth has an open-pit nuclear mine. A gift that will leep on giving for hundreds of years. I'd say 'thousands' of years, but there will be a way to mitigate the problem sooner than that if we don't drive ourselves extinct first. We are right on the cusp of doing that.
But as bad as it is, it's not going to stop there. No one learned anything – and all the reactors around the world that were supposed to be decommissioned because they have a definite life span are being given 30 year extensions. Let me tell you that EVERY nuclear reactor leaks. Some just leak a little – some leak a lot. No one tell you about accidents, but they happen. Here is a PARTIAL list. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/14/nuclear-power-plant-accidents-list-rank
And that's only the civilian reactors and the accidents that have been reported. Military issues aren't reported and MANY civilian accidents are not listed. Whenever the US or Russia or China or any nuclear power lose a nuclear submarine, they drop a nuclear reactor and a bunch of nuclear weapons on the seafloor and those things stay dangerous for thousands of years. Of course every country is out trying to recover OR STEAL every other country's nuclear weapons so it can be quite a circus. Sure, nuclear weapons are supposed to be 'fail-safe'. And they are as long as the country that built them controls them. But there are only four nuclear weapons designs and if I can steal your warhead, I can make it work.
I'm a little off-track, but there is a lot more nuclear material floating around than anyone realizes. Every hospital that does radiation therapy …every smoke detector…that barium you drink for an upper GI…that's all radioactive.