[ RadSafe ] Segment 2 of the Arnie Gundersen Piece on Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl on KGO Radio

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Tue Apr 17 20:31:40 CDT 2012


I plan to do absolutely that.  KGO Radio is News-Talk station with emphasis
on News and is owned by Cumulus - Pat Thurston put on David Bear on Three
Mile Island a couple of years ago under the old ownership.  She admits in
this transcript that she knows nothing about this so if she and her
management up through the corporation that owns the station get a lot of
mail about putting creative fiction on a News station and calling it
factual interviewing and showing the specific statements that were made and
how they are not factual, then they might do something.  I want them to
formally retract or to put a Health Physicist and a Nuclear Engineer on the
air.  I tried to get through four times during the show, but never got
beyond a busy signal.  I wish that I knew more about Gundersen's planned
schedule so that he could be met with people who ask him pointed

And yes, it took a lot of effort to transcribe this - I don't have the
super flash memory that I had 40 years ago -


to contact Pat Thurston 'patthurston at kgoradio.com' Pat has not yet replied
to my e-mail - I would contact her first and if you get no reply or get
brushed off, elevate

to contact the General Manager -
producers at kgoradio.com is news tips contact - I have not yet located name
of e-mail of the general manager

to contact the CEO of Cumulus Broadcasting

Lewis W. Dickey,
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

http://www.cumulus.com/investors.aspx has an on-line form that will
certainly get read
HPS members might even pay a visit to the station in downtown San Francisco
around the time of the convention in Sacramento this summer

On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 5:34 PM, Jerry Cohen <jjc105 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Roger,
> I assume it is taking you a lot of time and effort to transcribe this
> gibberish
> from KGO. I hope that your motivation is not the hope of countering this
> rant
> with a dose of fact, logic, and reason. If these people were capable of
> rational
> thought, it is unlikely they would hold these views in the first place. I
> am
> afraid you are just "beating a dead horse". Good luck anyway.     Jerry
> Cohen
> ________________________________
> From: Roger Helbig <rwhelbig at gmail.com>
> To: RADSAFE <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
> Sent: Tue, April 17, 2012 2:09:26 AM
> Subject: [ RadSafe ] Segment 2 of the Arnie Gundersen Piece on Fukushima,
> Three
> Mile Island and Chernobyl on KGO Radio
> I have transcribed the second segment of this radio program and am
> going to post the audio segments plus this transcription to the
> internet archive.  I may work a bit on Segment 1, which has a long
> introduction of Gundersen and perhaps the last two segments, but this
> one has some real hum dinger claims by Gundersen about the spent fuel
> pool in Reactor 4 being the most danger, about Zircaloy burning out of
> control, about skyshine and that making it deadly to work in the
> Fukushima context
> There are four segments to this radio program.  I have cut the
> introductory news and news and commercials from the rest of the hour
> long  segment that was broadcast from 5-6PM on Sunday, April 15, 2012.
> This segment is still available in its entirety at KGO Radio’s hourly
> archives until 6PM, Sunday April 22nd.   To access this,  go to
> www.kgoradio.com, Listen, Hourly Archives, Sunday, 5-6PM.
> Segment 1 (not yet transcribed, contains lengthy introduction of
> Gundersen and his “expert” qualifications, well worth examining at
> later date (anyone is welcome to listen to this segment)
> T – In this hour I am thrilled that we have a guest joining us who is
> an expert in nuclear enery.   Arnie Gundersen.  Arnie is an energy
> advisor.
> Segment 2
> Preceded by the first verse of song "Pride of Man" by Hamilton Camp
> Turn around, go back down, back the way you came
> Can't you see that flash of fire ten times brighter than the day
> And behold the mighty city broken in the dust again
> Oh God, the pride of man, broken in the dust again
> T- Good evening, I am Pat Thurston and Arnie Gundersen is my guest.
> Yes, we are talking about Fukushima, what is going on there now.  It’s
> been over a year since the earthquake, the horrible earthquake and the
> tsunami that caused the damage in Japan.  Of course we know of the Dai
> Ichi plants there.  We saw the explosion that happened when  they did
> the hydrogen release and you know we were all talking and all nervous
> and what we thought I think, Arnie, was that is there was going to be
> a really really big disaster that we were imagining ,  none of us know
> this stuff, you know this stuff, we don’t know this stuff, we think
> about the China Syndrome and what we imagine is that suddenly this
> whole power plant starts sinking  and it goes way way way down and
> then this big mushroom cloud comes up it’s like an atomic bomb that
> exploded right there.  So that’s what we thought and we figured if
> that didn’t happen everything was probably going to be OK that they
> have got everything under control.  Tell us what the reality is then.
> 1:32 G.  This is like a Chuckie horror movie then, you know (chuckles)
> every time that you think that you have got it killed, it comes back
> and the biggest problem still is that fuel pool on Unit 4 you know
> that each of them.  First off,  there is this comment called “safe
> shutdown”.  You will hear it if Diablo Canyon shuts down or with San
> Onofre they will that say that the unit is safely shut down. Now what
> that means is that the control rods fall in but that only puts 95% of
> the heat away
> T – OK now wait, when the control rods fall in.  What they do is get
> between  the things that are reacting together and stop the reaction,
> the chain reaction  from going OK
> G   You got it, but because the chain reaction has already occurred,
> there is pieces of uranium called fission products that are left and
> they give off about 5% of the heat from the nuclear reactor and that
> doesn’t stop.  So, of course what happened at Fukushima is that
> because they couldn’t cool that 5% they had the explosions and the
> melt throughs and all that kind of stuff
> T  Right, and we still don’t know everything that is going on inside
> there do we.  I mean didn’t I hear recently that it is so hot that the
> robots can not even function in there
> G  Yes, the radiation exposure in the best reactor, which is Unit 2
> was 7000 R an hour.  A thousand R an hour will kill you in about 15
> minutes.  So this is incredibly high radiation, so high that it would
> effect robot circuitry in an hour or two, so how they are going to
> solve those problems is, we are relying on technology that hasn’t been
> built yet to solve those problems.
> T.  And then the pools that have the spent fuel rods and we are
> talking now Reactor 4 this scary situation where you have got this
> structure that is all damaged and this is sort of in the open air.  I
> mean it is covered with water, but it is up in the air and there is
> nothing covering it right now, right
> G Right.  And what makes Reactor 4 so bad is that it not only has old
> fuel , like Unit 1 has fuel that is like 12 years old and it’s plenty
> cool, but Reactor 4 has one year old fuel that had just been removed
> from the nuclear reactor and is now sitting in that pool.  So if the
> pool were to leak or if the pool were to lose its cooling it would
> either boil dry or run dry quite quickly.  What happens then is that
> the fuel rods get hot enough that the metal called Zircaloy burns in
> air.  It just sucks up the oxygen from the air and burns in which case
> you don’t have a melt down, you have got a pyre of radioactive smoke
> going up and so the comment that Ambassador Matsumora (the Ambassador
> is actually Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei
> Murata and Matsumora is Akio Matsumora, who appeared on Project
> Censored radio) was talking about,  I think that if the wind is
> blowing the summertime the wind blows out to sea thank God; if there
> was a savings grace at Fukushima, it was that 80% of the nuclear
> radiation went out to sea and only 20% went inland.  It could have
> easily been just the other way  in which case Japan would have been
> cut in half for 300 years
> T Oh my God
> G So the concern is that can happen if the fuel pool catches fire
> T  And then if whatever has gone out to sea whether it has come from
> the water that’s leaked, cause we know about that or the water that
> was used to cool things down in the beginning you know after the
> generators were shut down and everything.  When the water goes out to
> sea. Is that OK.  I mean it is - radioactive but the sea is really big
> so does it make that not a dangerous situation?
> G It makes it less dangerous.  You know that there is still the same
> amount of radiation but like you said the Pacific Ocean is a big place
> and I suspect that we will see it working its way up the food chain
> through fish and ultimately winding up on people’s dinner plates but
> compared to it lying on the soil,
> T yeah
> G like is happening in some areas of Fukushima but could happen
> throughout Japan compared to that it’s much less severe.
> T OK let me ask you and obviously I know nothing about this stuff so
> it’s all an education to me.  Let me ask you about the pools
> themselves.  They are not covered up  they have got these rods in
> there that are trying to cool down.  Are they, while they are cooling,
> I assume they are still emitting radioactivity, does the water
> prevent, I assume that it is still going out into the air?
> G Yeah.  There is some radiation being given off because the water is
> steaming and boiling.  Umh, but you hit the eye on the head.  For
> about three or four, maybe fi ve years, that water has to be cooled.
> After that, there is probably not much of this heat left and we are in
> a different game, but why everybody is paying all this attention to
> Unit 4 is that we have four years to go.  That pool has to be cooled
> and if there is a seismic event that either stops the cooling or
> cracks the pool or knocks the building over.  Umh, any one of those
> would cause a chain reaction of things, no that’s the wrong word, it
> would cause a series of things to occur.  First is the possibility of
> a fire.  And ah this once this fire starts, it can’t be put out by
> water which is it’s called pyrophoric when you spray water on it, it
> takes the oxygen from the water and then gives off hydrogen that then
> expodes which makes it worse, so this is not something you want to
> pour water on, but the other part that Ambassador Matsumora was
> talking about was that it is highly radioactive so that entire site
> would become very difficult if not uninhabitable.  So the concern
> about the other fuel pool was that if this pool were to go dry and
> let’s assume that it didn’t fall but went dry a hundred feet in the
> air, it would be a beacon but it would not be a beacon of light but a
> beacon of radiation and bathe the site in high levels of radiation.
> That’s not something that you want because it would make work on other
> units darn near impossible.
> T and if people breathed in the whatever would have been created by
> the smoke from the fire would that be potentially deadly to them
> G Yes.  You look at the people on the site now they are all wearing
> pretty good respirators.  Uhm and even that wouldn’t be good enough
> because of something called skyshine.  The gamma rays, forget the
> particles that get caught in your lungs but the gamma rays would go up
> and bounce off air molecules and come down as a shine of radiation
> over the site and  it would go right through those suits and the guys
> would be exposed  from the skyshine so that’s the other
> T  Holy mackerel, I never heard of anything like that.  I mean this is
> really scary.  Now, let me ask you this, we because when this thing
> happened there were so many people who were talking about what could
> happen, what wouldn’t happen, what the good news is, what the bad news
> might be but one thing that we always heard and I want you to tell me
> if this is true or not we heard that even in Chernobyl and even at
> Three Mile Island that no one died as a result of those accidents.
> (She heard wrong with regards to Chernobyl and correctly with regards
> to Three Mile Island)  Is that true?
> G  Well no, it is not true.  It is not true at all.  There is a lot of
> good “peer reviewed” data coming out at Three Mile Island that now
> shows that about a 10-15% increase in lung cancers in people that were
> uhm in the vicinity of the plan in the first 10 days of the accident.
> The guy, Dr Steve Wing is the guy who has done the studies and like I
> said, it is peer reviewed.   There is also a study out of Pittsburgh
> showing a statistically meaningful increase in leukemias, but you have
> to wait a while for these cancers to develop so the NRC and Nuclear
> Regulatory Commission’s website says that nobody was killed but they
> are just wrong.  Now as far
> T  They are protecting the industry
> G  Yes, I have said that for a long time and they are .. Congress is
> controlled by the industy and Congress appoints the people that run
> the Commission so they are controlled
> T What a cozy relationship
> G  Yes.  On Chernobyl, there’s some books out on Chernobyl that
> something on the order of a million fatalities
> T Uh (exclamatory)
> G A million cancers from the Chernobyl accident.  Uhm, the nuclear
> industry will say 28, which was the number of firemen that died in the
> first month.  There were people who were called the liquidators and
> they would grab nuclear fuel flying around the yard and throw it into
> the nuclear reactor and they would be exposed for about five minutes
> they were in the military and there were about 600,000 of them.  They
> would work for five minutes and they were given their discharge papers
> and they were sent home forever.
> T  Wow
> G  And of the liquidators, about 100,000 of those have already died of
> cancer so there is a great book out by a guy named Yablokov on
> Chernobyl and there are other books as well
> T  Hey Arnie,  I know that you were only supposed to only be with us
> until 5:30.  Can you stay a little bit longer?
> G Sure
> T  I have got to take a break here
> End Segment 2 (about 5:30PM on Sunday, April
> 15th)____________________________________________

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