Death toll from Japan nuclear catastrophe could top 500,000

John H. Large has been reported as having predicted that the death toll in the years ahead could top the 500,000 attributed to the Chernobyl accident of 1986 and warned that panicked repair attempts could lead to an even greater disaster. Mr. Large, a British nuclear engineer, said: “The Japanese don’t know how to deal with it. They’re ad-libbing.

“Just throwing water on to the reactors, when they cannot get inside to see what the situation is, could mean the fuel goes critical again.

“And while the radiation leak so far is only a tenth of that at Chernobyl, that was in a rural area with a low population. In Japan it’s an urban, densely packed area so the potential numbers of deaths and cancers are much higher.”

Mr. Large is an independent nuclear engineer and analyst primarily known for his work in assessing and reporting upon nuclear safety and nuclear related accidents and incidents.[LINK] From the mid-1960s until 1986 Large was an academic in Brunel University's School of Engineering, where he undertook research for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

Mr. Large prepared a critical review of the preliminary report of the IAEA Fact Finding Mission undertaken to Fukushima Dai-ichi in May 2011. [LINK][LINK]

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