The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is pulling the plug on continuous monitoring of the Japanese nuclear crisis because:
The conditions at the Japanese reactors are slowly stabilizing.
I hope they are stabilizing. But as I noted last month:
The Japanese government and Tepco claim that the nuclear reactors are “stable” and that radiation releases have subsided to low levels.
But world renowned physicist Michio Kaku – who studied under atom bomb developer Edward Teller – told Democracy Now today:
The situation is not stable at all. So, you’re looking at basically a ticking time bomb. It appears stable, but the slightest disturbance—a secondary earthquake, a pipe break, evacuation of the crew at Fukushima—could set off a full-scale meltdown at three nuclear power stations, far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl.
When the utility says that things are stable, it’s only stable in the sense that you’re dangling from a cliff hanging by your fingernails. And as the time goes by, each fingernail starts to crack. That’s the situation now.
TEPCO is like the little Dutch boy. All of a sudden we have cracks in the dike. You put a finger here, you put a finger there. And all of a sudden, new leaks start to occur, and they’re overwhelmed.
The New York Times summarizes the real situation in a single sentence:
Tokyo Electric in recent days has acknowledged that damage at the plant was worse than previously thought, with fuel rods most likely melting completely at Reactors 1, 2 and 3 in the early hours of the crisis, raising the danger of more catastrophic releases of radioactive materials.