Fukushima International Emergency: What Is The Solution?

London, UK - 28th March 2011, 10:25 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.]

Now that the radiation levels in some zones of the Fukushima nuclear plant stand at 100,000 times above normal (latest revision), what avenues are left to solve this crisis? Should Japan seek expert international intervention because at these levels of deadly radiation most easy-to-deploy domestic solutions can no longer be implemented? The likely human cost in terms of radiation exposure is too horrendous to contemplate in terms of land, sea and air intervention despite the joint efforts of the Japan Self-Defence-Force and the US military. The alternative may be to deploy robots but at this heightened level of radiation even their software-driven semiconductor brains could malfunction.

Radioactivity Effects

Tragic Calculus

Leaked water outside nuclear reactor number 2 is emitting 1,000 milliSieverts per hour (mSv/hr) -- 100,000 higher than normal -- according to the latest revision by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company). That’s higher than the dose that would cause vomiting, hair loss and diarrhoea, according to the World Nuclear Association. The US Environmental Protection Agency says a dose of 1,000 milliSieverts is enough to cause haemorrhaging.

Current average limit for nuclear workers worldwide is 20 mSv/year. So an emergency worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant's affected zones may be exposed to 50 times more radiation in one hour than s/he is safely permitted to absorb in one year per international regulations. The Japanese government and TEPCO have elevated the limit for Fukushima emergency workers to 250 mSv/year and even that exposure limit is likely to be crossed in just 15 minutes at this extremely high level of radiation. This makes it very difficult to carry out emergency work at the nuclear plant, hence the workers have had to be evacuated.

This crisis is rapidly approaching the dimensions of Chernobyl in 1986, although it appears that the Japanese authorities have so far been reluctant to raise the threat level. The criterion for relocation after the Chernobyl disaster was 350 mSv/lifetime which would be reached in around 20 minutes at the present radiation levels near some of the zones at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Escalating Concern

We have published a number of ATCA briefings about this unfolding nuclear crisis in Fukushima since its very beginning. Our very first red alert in regard to this nuclear emergency was issued on 11th March, the day of the Tsunami in Japan. We have been concerned about the Japan-specific and global implications of this crisis because of the radiation exposure for ordinary citizens and workers; food and water contamination; vast spent fuel pools carrying many decades worth of used fuel rods; as well as the Plutonium MOX fuel rods at reactor 3, which is one of the deadliest substances known to humankind. We suggested the need to deploy the Chernobyl option of pouring concrete over the reactors on 19th March, more than one week ago. In view of the high level of radiation now being emitted by the Fukushima nuclear plant, is the Chernobyl option still available?


A stitch in time saves nine. There is a continuing mismatch between the hidden expectations of the Japanese authorities to be able to contain this problem and the cascading nuclear crisis. Many nuclear experts around the world, including those within the ATCA 5000, have suggested the need for urgent action to entomb these reactors in concrete, yet the Japanese authorities have continued to resist that solution. This may be, in part, because of a potential stigma that such a solution carries in the Japanese psyche which amounts to a tacit admission of failure and defeat. The Japanese are justly proud of their achievements and do not like to give up easily. We have to recognise that what needs to be done on this occasion has never been attempted before and even the Chernobyl option is transitionary in the longer term. Given these complex challenges, we extend our prayers and sympathies to the people of Japan and show solidarity with them in their hour of need. If anything we have written causes upset, then we seek to apologise in advance.

Our Last Seven Interventions

22nd March Japan Nuclear Crisis: What About The Plutonium MOX?

21st March Japan: Food and Water Contamination

19th March Fukushima: How To Avoid A Potential Chernobyl?

17th March Urgent Appeal -- Japan Nuclear Crisis

17th March Japan Systemic Risk: Global Financial Meltdown?

13th March Japan Nuclear: Edge of Chaos and Common Interest

11th March Red Alert: Nuclear Emergency in Japan


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


Expert Roundtables

Expert roundtables are the newly launched ATCA 24/7 Q&A private exclusive club service. They seek to become the killer application in strategic intelligence by delivering an unprecedented competitive advantage to our distinguished members. They can only be accessed online at https://www.yammer.com/atca

Q1: How to become a privileged member of ATCA 24/7 to participate in the expert roundtables?

A1: i. If you are a distinguished member of ATCA 5000, ATCA Open, The Philanthropia or HQR affiliated groups you may be allowed to become a privileged member of this new and exclusive private club.

ii. If you are pre-invited, visit the private intelligence network -- PIN -- by going to https://www.yammer.com/atca [Note: In https:// 's' is for security and encryption]

iii. If you don't have membership of the PIN yet, email the mi2g Intelligence Unit at intelligence.unit at mi2g dot com for an exclusive invitation.

Q2: How to participate in the expert roundtables and get domain-specific strategic intelligence questions answered?

A2: Access the ATCA 24/7 Private Intelligence Network -- PIN -- online and ask or answer a strategic intelligence question, no matter how complex. Receive expert answers within 24 hours or get pointers from:

i. ATCA 5000 experts who are online;
ii. ATCA Research and Analysis Wing; and
iii. mi2g Intelligence Unit.

Q3: Why is the ATCA 24/7 Q&A Exclusive Club special?

A3: ATCA 24/7 has now created an exclusive private intelligence watering hole and expert roundtable at the highest level where interesting and sophisticated questions are being asked from around the world, and intelligent answers are being provided, almost always by experts who have deep domain-specific knowledge. Come and check out the exclusive club, take it for a strategic test drive, which sign-of-intelligent life are you waiting for?

To learn more about "The Expert Roundtable: ATCA 24/7 Q&A Club" email: intelligence.unit at mi2g.com and if you are already a member visit https://www.yammer.com/atca

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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.

The Philanthropia, founded in 2005, brings together over 1,000 leading individual and private philanthropists, family offices, foundations, private banks, non-governmental organisations and specialist advisors to address complex global challenges such as countering climate chaos, reducing radical poverty and developing global leadership for the younger generation through the appliance of science and technology, leveraging acumen and finance, as well as encouraging collaboration with a strong commitment to ethics. Philanthropia emphasises multi-faith spiritual values: introspection, healthy living and ecology. Philanthropia Targets: Countering climate chaos and carbon neutrality; Eliminating radical poverty -- through micro-credit schemes, empowerment of women and more responsible capitalism; Leadership for the Younger Generation; and Corporate and social responsibility.

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