Conspiracy websites are buzzing with claims that spent fuel pools at the Fukushima nuclear reactor have exploded, with radiation levels off the charts, although the story appears almost certainly to be a hoax.
A post currently circulating on numerous websites quotes a “researcher” named Michael Eckstein who purportedly lives 50 miles from Fukushima in Japan.“Explosions and fires have occurred at spent fuel pools two and four over the past four days and now radiation levels are spiking enormously,” states the post.
“THIS IS THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO BECAUSE OF THE THOUSANDS OF TONS OF PLUTONIUM CONTAINED IN THESE SPENT FUEL POOLS. This is now vapourizing into the atmosphere and being disseminated with the winds. Major cloud and radiation spike estimated to hit west coast of USA in two weeks or less.”
Eckstein claims that he was set to do an interview with CNN today about the story, but that has yet to materialize, again suggesting the claims are not legitimate.
The post goes on to claim that “mass panic” has led to panic buying of food, that airports are flooded with people, and that schools have been ordered to keep children inside.
Eckstein claims that the radiation is now drifting towards the West Coast of America and urges people to stock up on iodine pills.
Everyone acknowledges that the media is controlled, but if a deluge of people in Japan were panic buying food and rushing to airports, it would be all over Twitter and other social networks, which it isn’t.
Spreading false rumors about such a dangerous situation is highly irresponsible – precisely because of the very real threat posed by the potential meltdown of Fukushima, which still remains stricken over 18 months after the disaster despite the fact that it has disappeared from mainstream news coverage.
The spent fuel pool inside unit number 4 at Fukushima which stores the spent fuel rods is under dire threat of collapse. Scientists have predicted that there is a 98% chance the facility will be hit by a 7.0 magnitude or higher earthquake within the next three years, threatening a disaster that would be worse than three reactor meltdowns combined.
It has now been confirmed that the ground beneath reactor number 4 is sinking unevenly, causing the entire building which houses the fuel pool to tilt. Experts have petitioned the United Nations to help stabilize unit number 4, noting that the reactor contains 10 times the amount of Cesium-137 released during the Chernobyl disaster and that the complex is vulnerable to another earthquake.
Some reports put the cancer deaths caused by Chernobyl at almost a million people. A meltdown at Fukushima would prompt a mass evacuation of Japan and a worst case scenario would impact the entire planet’s eco-system for generations.