How I learned to fear building 4

Dear Editor:

Were you to think about America’s most imminent physical problem, which would you choose? For some climate change is of greatest importance. And there are Mideast war and energy and water scarcity and general environmental issues. Our consumption of genetically modified organisms, GMO, would be uppermost for some. But those issues and all but one other would be incorrect by several orders of magnitude.

America’s most critically dangerous problem is four stories up in an almost completely destroyed Japanese building. Truly, life in the United States is in the balance. It hangs by a thread. Four stories up in the smashed concrete and twisted re-bar and girders of Reactor Building 4 at Fukushima, now missing its walls and roof because of the earthquake and tsunami of a year ago, is as much radioactive cesium as was produced by every nuclear and thermonuclear device ever detonated above ground … 800 bombs worth.

There are 460 tons of spent reactor fuel rods in tanks of radiation-absorbing cooling water up in the air in that blown out building. Among this is plutonium-239, which is 2,000,000 times as potent as enriched uranium. The tanks are leaking. The building is listing. The workers are tired and discouraged. It could all come crashing down at the next seismic event, if not sooner.

If the tanks go dry while up there, or if they come down, the cooling water that now keeps it all from spontaneously igniting will be gone. The ensuing radiation fire would engulf the whole plant. Hundreds of tons of nuclear ash and dust would be sent upward into the atmosphere, carried by prevailing winds, first to Hawaii, then to our West Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California and far beyond. Much of human, animal and plant life throughout the Northern Hemisphere would take in deadly levels of radiation.

Go to “” and click on “World Affairs” to view the evidence and learn of some precautionary products and measures. It is time to inquire of our politicos the extent of their concern. And it is certainly time to pray.

Rod Bergengren