Fukushima Still Hot, Fragile: May Need Longer than 40 Years to Clean Up
May 2, 2013
“There are still no plans to remove fuel rods from the other reactor buildings, that are much more damaged than these.”
Just roll your mind over the passage starting at about :34.
• “..rows of large tanks, where the contaminated waters used to cool the reactors are stored. Each container can hold up to 1000 tons of water, which gets filled up in just two and a half days. There are currently 930 of these tanks, and already 75 percent have been filled. Although the plant operators plan to increase capacity, by an additional 700 thousand tons, they’re also running out of space…”
It appears the clean up after the Fukushima nuclear accident will be a multigenerational project. Think of it like building a medieval cathedral in reverse. With Hazmat suits.
Move along. Everything under control. Wind turbines kill birds. Solar is too expensive. Have a nice day.
TOKYO — Like the persistent tapping of a desperate SOS message, the updates keep coming. Day after day, the operators of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant have been detailing their struggles to contain leaks of radioactive water. The leaks, power outages and other glitches have raised fears that the plant — devastated by a tsunami in March 2011 — could even start to break apart during a cleanup process expected to take years.
The situation has also attracted the attention of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which sent a team of experts to review the decommissioning effort last month. They warned Japan may need longer than the projected 40 years to clean up the site. A full report is expected to be released later this month.
The discovery of a greenling fish near a water intake for the power station in February that contained some 7,400 times the recommended safe limit of radioactive cesium only served to heighten concern.
There was also some reassuring news in February, when a report by the World Health Organization said Fukushima had caused “no discernible increase in health risks” outside Japan and “no observable increases in cancer above natural variation” in most of the country. But for the most affected areas, the report said the lifetime risks of various cancers were expected to increase.
For example, baby boys were predicted to have up to a 7 percent greater chance of getting leukemia in their lifetime and for baby girls the lifetime risk of breast cancer could be up to 6 percent higher than normal.