Japan activist warns another “nuclear quake” looms

Monday, March 28, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Edmund Klamann

The nuclear safety crisis entering its third week in Japan was not exactly the disaster that long-term activist and author Takashi Hirose foresaw in his book last summer, “Nuclear Reactor Time Bomb.”

But except for the location — Hirose had predicted an imminent megaquake and nuclear accident at the Hamaoka plant 200 km southwest of Tokyo, not the Fukushima Daiichi plant 240 km northeast — the scenario depicted in his first book on nuclear power in 15 years has proved eerily prescient.

Japanese authorities evacuated workers on Sunday from a reactor building they were working in after high doses of radiation were detected at a crippled nuclear power plant.

As Hirose watches what he believes is a bungled response by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which runs the plant, his fears are as strong as ever that a repeat is set to hit on the other side of the Japanese capital.

“I think it will definitely occur soon,” he said, citing geological research on earthquake cycles suggesting that a massive quake may be imminent in the Tokai region near the Hamaoka plant.

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