The last two episodes of the Atomic Show have been conversations with people who responded to the events of Fukushima by sharing accurate information in as many venues as they could reach. Three people who I really wanted to include in those conversations were unable to participate, so I asked them to gather on March 18, 2012.
My primary goal is to record and share their thoughts and experiences to add to the growing body of nuclear communications lessons learned or still to be learned.
This show includes an informed conversation about what really happened to the spent fuel pools, particularly the one associated with Unit 4. That is the one that the Chairman of the NRC mistakenly announced to the world as being on fire and being the source of the concern that caused him to add to the panic and confusion of the evacuation by increasing the area by a factor of 4 – shifting the radius from about 12 miles to 50 miles.
There was never any danger from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool. There was never any indication that there was any danger from that pool. The Chairman did not follow the EPA’s Protective Action Guides and did not do his job to maintain calm, effective response to the actual events as a means of protecting human health. Instead, he unilaterally increased the confusion and contributed to the mistrust that the Japanese people have recently developed for their government.
The following guests were on the show:
Margaret Harding (@M2harding), the former GE fuel system designer who was widely quoted in newspapers and who made numerous, calming appearances on commercial television shows.
Bob Apthorpe (@arclight) who is a degreed nuclear engineer and currently employed by a firm that specializes in severe accident analysis models. He is an active Twitter contributor who has more than 4,000 people following his musings.