Fukushima disaster continuing for decades more

TEPCO cartoon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: 30-40-years for Fukushima clean-up

Wednesday 27th September 2017

JAPAN’S government approved a revised “road map” yesterday to clean up the Fukushima nuclear power plant destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Decommissioning the damaged reactors is expected to take 30 to 40 years.

The three reactors that had meltdowns have a combined total of 1,573 units of mostly used nuclear fuel rods, which are still inside and must be kept cool in pools of water.

Plant operator Tepco plans to begin moving the rods from reactor unit three next year, but the latest road map delays removal of the rods from units one and two until 2023 because further decontamination work and extra safety measures are needed.

By far the hardest part of decommissioning Fukushima will be removing the fuel that melted and presumably spilled out of the reactor cores.

The search for melted fuel in units one and two has so far been unsuccessful, but the road map calls for finalising the removal method in 2019 and starting actual removal at one of the reactors in 2021.

Tepco has treated and stored a massive amount of radioactive water — about 800,000 tons — and the volume is growing every day.

Nuclear experts say that controlled release of the water into the ocean is the only realistic option, but there is opposition from fishermen and residents who fear a negative image and possible health impact.

Japan has also yet to develop a plan to dispose of the highly radioactive waste that will come out of the Fukushima reactors.

7 thoughts on “Fukushima disaster continuing for decades more

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