nuclear plant

Britain could be heading for a nuclear disaster if it presses ahead with plans to build a new generation of nuclear plants in Somerset, an expert has claimed.

In an interview with the Guardian, Naomi Hirose, president of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) which runs Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has warned that a similar disaster could easily befall any of the world’s nuclear power plants.

He said: “What happened at Fukushima was, yes, a warning to the world. Try to examine all the possibilities, no matter how small they are, and don’t think any single counter-measure is foolproof. Think about all different kinds of small counter-measures, not just one big solution. There’s not one single answer.

“We made a lot of excuses to ourselves. Looking back, seals on the doors, one little thing, could have saved everything.”

After the 2011 Tsunami, the Fukushima plant suffered a triple meltdown and the worst nuclear accident the world had seen since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. Nearly three years later, the plant continues to leak tonnes of toxic water, resulting in pollution and health issues as far away as California.

Recent research published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics, revealed that radioactive iodine released by the Fukushima explosion led to an increase in congenital thyroid diseases among newborns in California, more than 5,000 miles away.

Fukushima plant’s operators are working to remove highly radioactive fuel rods from one of the damaged reactors, a process expected to take at least a year.

Removing the 1,500 fuel rods from Reactor No 4, which was seriously damaged by explosions early in the meltdown, is considered a highly dangerous procedure. This is because if any of the rods break or are even allowed to come into contact with air, they could release huge amounts of radioactive gas into the atmosphere.

Completely decommissioning the plant is expected to take decades.

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