Senator ‘mortified’ about possible disaster at Unit 4 — ‘Still shakes his head in disbelief’ over Fukushima visit two months ago
June 3rd, 2012
Fukushima still feeds lawmakers’ concerns for West Coast
Paul C. Barton
June 3, 2012
More than 14 months after a massive earthquake ripped apart the Fukushima nuclear power complex in Japan, fears persist about how a follow-up natural disaster at the still-fragile site could impact the West Coast of the United States.
[Ron Wyden (Democrat-Oregon)], a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, still shakes his head in disbelief with what he saw during an April visit to the Fukushima site.
What mortifies Wyden is [an accident causes the Unit 4’s pool of spent fuel rods to drain], plus a possible follow-up earthquake or other disaster befalling the plant before the fuel rods can be made more secure. The Japanese utility, Tokyo Electric Power Co., is proposing to take 10 years to take care of the fuel rods.
“I think that’s too long,” the senator said when interviewed in his Capitol Hill office. “If that (the plant) ruptures, it’s bad news.”