If Reactor 4 at Fukushima becomes unstable and releases 10 times the
amount of Cesium-137 (CS-137) released at the time of the Chernobyl
nuclear accident, then the prevailing winds could carry it all the way
to the Western USA – that means California.
On April 30, 2012, 72 NGO organizations sent a request to the United Nations
and the Japanese government urging fast-action to stabilize the
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel. Experts in
the nuclear field from both Japan and the world endorsed the letter.
The letter contained warnings that the damaged Unit 4 spent nuclear
fuel pool contains Cesium-137. If that pool were exposed to an
earthquake or other event that drained that pool, then the result could
be a catastrophic radiological fire. The letter urged the United Nations
to create a Nuclear Safety Summit to find a solution to the problem of
the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.
stated that the United Nations should create an independent assessment
team on Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 and organize international assistance
to stabilize the unit's spent nuclear fuel and prevent the impending
catastrophe. The letters were delivered to both the UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The second letter asked
that Japan officially ask for the United Nations' help.
Numbering in excess of 10,000, the spent fuel assemblies at the
Fukushima Daiichi plant lie in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes.
The radioactivity is around 85-times more long-lived than the
radioactivity released at Chernobyl.