CNN: Then Fukushima. The disaster that won’t go away. Nobody is
paying attention. But is the nuclear meltdown more dangerous than ever? [...] Michio Kaku on the biggest industrial catastrophe in
CNN: Do they have control of the situation at that site?
Kaku: NO. It is still a ticking time bomb. Realize that after the big Sumatra tsunami, 90 days, 3 months after that there was a huge aftershock. If they have another aftershock, and they are not
in cold shutdown yet until next year, the accident could start all over again. Its like hanging by your finger nails. Yeah, its stable but you are hanging by your finger nails.
CNN: Americans think this crisis is over, or some even think that it is solved or it is contained. Its not. What’s happening right now.
Kaku: In the last two weeks, everything we knew about that accident has been turned upside down. We were told three partial melt downs, don’t
worry about it. Now we know it was 100 percent core melt in all three reactors. [We were told that the] Radiation minimal that was released. Now
we know it was comparable to radiation at Chernobyl. And as far as evacuation, [we were told], 12 miles and that is it. You don’t have to evacuate
more than 12 miles. Now they find hotspots, 4 hot spots, outside the evacuation zone. 34,000 school children now have radiation badges when they go to school.
CNN: Kindergarteners with radiation badges.
Kaku: Down to 4 years of age. Can you imagine that? Kindergarten kids with radiation badges going to school. So all of the mythology of the accident has been turned upside down because the
utility has finally fessed up to how severe this accident really was.
CNN: In your view, did they not know how bad it was or they knew and didn’t tell, or they were just completely blown away by the scope of the disaster?
Kaku: I am a physicists and we try to reconstruct the actual accidents in our computers given the feeble amount of information they gave use. We knew it was much more severe than they were
saying, because radiation was coming out left and right. So in other words, they lied to us. They knew how much radiation was coming out. The knew
how much core meltdown was taking place. But they tried to put a happy face on it.
CNN: As a reported within hours of the earthquake and Tsunami, with hours not even a day, there were already statements from the company and International Atomic Energy Association saying there
had been safe shut down of all reactors and we know now of course in the end that simply wasn’t true. But from the very beginning they were trying to tell us that this was a safe situation.
Kaku: Within hours of the accident we now know it was like the keystone cops. People that are clueless, headless, just running around crazy, not knowing what to do. We can now reconstruct that
accident minute by minute, hour by hour and we can see this chaos that erupted in the leadership ability.
CNN: What is happening to the people that are working there now.
Kaku: Well as you know workers are getting sent in and they are getting a years worth of radiation within just 10 minutes at a time. At
Chernobyl 600,000 workers had to be mobilized. Each one going in for just a few minutes and each one getting a medal from Gorbachev.
CNN: This Will Be A Hundred Year Cleanup? How long with this take to cleanup in you view?
Kaku: 50 to 100 years.
CNN: And we are not there yet. We are not even to the point of talking about the cleanup yet because they haven’t stopped the reaction. It is still
Kaku: Clean up hasn’t even started yet. They are not even looking at getting to cold shutdown until next year. Cold shutdown is when boiling stops. There is boiling water right there at the
reactor releasing radiation into the environment and releasing radiation into gigantic vats.
CNN: How are they storing and disposing of this stuff?
Kaku: That is the killer [pun intended?] because we have all of these vats that are filling up now and they may have to dump it into the ocean again. At that point the Chinese, the Koreans, the
fisherman they get up all in arms because there is so much damage [ to the reactor cores] that every time you put water [into the reactors to cool the fuel rods that are melting down] it just
leaks right out again, highly radioactive, and it is filling up at the site right now.
CNN: So what do they do with it?
Kaku: Right now, they are just counting the gallons as they pile up desperately trying to bring more vats in but once they saturate they are going to have to dump and at that point it is another
CNN: Lets talk about the radiation in the environment, in the atmosphere. We have been told that it would be measurable but a miniscule amount on the US West Coast and around the world? Is that
Kaku: It is still minimal around the world [based on what we are being told from government reported radiation readings]. Most of the damage is concentrated within 20 to 50 miles of the reactor.
That is where we have the hotspots, that is where we have 20 times normal amounts of [annual adult] radiation [limits] in school yards outside of the evacuation zone.
Kaku: But in New York City, [based off government released radiation measurements] you can actually see it in the milk. You can actually see it has iodine, 131, actually spiked a little bit in
our milk in New York City, but it is very small.
CNN: Just even hearing that, though, even hearing that you can detect it, that there’s a catastrophe, the worst industrial catastrophe in history,
we can see it in milk in New York, that’s frightening.
Kaku: That’s right. This could be the grand daddy of all industrial accidents topping Chernobyl at $200 billion, topping the Gulf Oil Spill at $15 billion, topping the Columbia and Challenger
disasters out in space at about $10 billion. This could be the world record holder for an industrial accident.
Kaku: Realize Chernobyl was one core’s worth radiation causing a $200 billion accident and it is still on going. Here we have 20 cores worth of
radiation. Three totally melted, one damaged and the [rest in] spent fuel pumps, 20 cores worth of highly radioactive materials. [...]