Fear-mongering over fuel rods

Yokohama

Regarding the Sept. 8 article “Global help urged to avert reactor 4 pool fire“: I was very disappointed to read such a blatantly fear-mongering story. The engineer cited in the article, Arnie Gundersen, is a well-known anti-nuclear activist whose neutrality on nuclear safety matters is suspect to say the least.

Instead of being a potential “global catastrophe,” the reality of the spent fuel rods at reactor 4 of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is, as usual, far less dramatic. The spent fuel pool is in no danger; it has survived several aftershocks and has been reinforced.

If, by some accident, the pool suddenly became dry or collapsed, the fuel rods would not “catch fire,” as it is physically impossible for them to do so. Instead, they would just lie in a pile, emitting low levels of radiation until somebody came around to pick them up.

Urgent global help is not needed. In the real world, nobody who has any direct knowledge of the situation is concerned. It is regrettable that this spent-fuel pool myth is still being perpetuated.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

michael radcliffe