Japan Nuclear Crisis: What About The Plutonium MOX?

London, UK - 22nd March 2011, 7:25 GMT

Dear ATCA Open & Philanthropia Friends

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

The media tells us that things are looking much better now in regard to the Japan nuclear crisis and we should all relax about the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima. Yet, there is something bothering us in London which makes it difficult for us to relax completely:

1. What does the smoke and vapour being emitted from the various nuclear reactors at the plant actually contain?
2. What if one of the elements being discharged is plutonium -- the deadliest substance known to man -- which is extremely difficult to detect?

Plutonium Pellet

Universal Concerns

. Reactor 3 suffered significant damage after the quake and the tsunami waves on March 11th;
. The roof of the building was destroyed by a powerful explosion last week caused by an accumulation of hydrogen;
. Reactor 3 raises the most concern since it runs on MOX or Mixed Oxide fuel -- a mixture of plutonium and uranium;
. MOX is far more dangerous than uranium on its own; and
. MOX is two million times more deadly than normal enriched uranium.

. Reactor 3's recent smoke appears to have originated from the building's side, where the spent nuclear fuel pool is located;
. The precise contents of the smoke and vapour at reactor 3, and other reactors, are as yet unknown;
. However, workers were evacuated from the nuclear plant after smoke appeared from reactor 3;
. No radiation spike has been detected so the common assumption is that all is fine;
. Radiation levels are NOT up after the smoke release from reactor 3 which seems to have reassured the global financial markets for the moment;
. Should the world relax if we don't as yet know the precise contents of the smoke and vapour from reactor 3?

. What if the release of elements in the smoke and vapour were not just radioactive iodine, caesium and uranium but a MOX combination including plutonium?
. This would explain why the workers were immediately evacuated given the deadly nature of plutonium;
. Plutonium is extremely difficult to detect because it emits limited gamma rays -- unlike radioactive iodine, caesium and uranium -- and it is deadly;
. Plutonium release would not show up as a radiation spike;
. Plutonium 239 is the deadliest element known to man;
. Half-life of Plutonium-239 in MOX is 24,000 years: Few milligrams of P-239 escaping in a smoke plume will contaminate soil for tens of thousands of years; and
. Plutonium comes from Pluto: god of wealth and power and also the god of hell and death.


If the smoke billowing from the Fukushima reactor 3, amongst other reactors, does indeed contain plutonium, then this nuclear crisis has exposed Japan and the world to a much more extreme danger than the one originally envisaged. If so, we all ought to know about it. There should be some more specific investigations in regard to the contents.


We are hosting an Expert roundtable on this issue at ATCA 24/7 on Yammer.


Expert Roundtables

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Best wishes

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

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