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Current status of Fukushima’s nuclear reactors

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for February 28th – March 1st, 2012, Greenpeace by Christine McCann – March 2, 2012“”…..Reactor Status The Fukushima Daiichi plant chief, Takeshi Takahashi, admitted this week that the plant is fragile, and its reactors remain highly vulnerable to ongoing earthquakes and the risk of a tsunami. “I have to admit that it’s still rather fragile. Even though the plant has achieved what we call cold-shutdown conditions, it still causes problems that must be improved,” Takahashi said.

TEPCO is continuing to struggle with how to handle large amounts of radioactive water, the byproduct of keeping nuclear fuel in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactors cool. The utility is pumping several hundred thousand gallons of water into the reactors each day; the water then becomes contaminated. Experts estimate that 10,000 tons of radioactive water leak from the reactors each month; in January and February alone, 28 new leaks were discovered. TEPCO says it will take at least six years to repair the leaks, and approximately 25 years to remove the fuel. Storage of the radioactive water is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. TEPCO currently has space to store 165,000 tons; 125,000 tons are already being stored. The utility has destroyed nearby forests to create room for more storage containers.

TEPCO announced that Quince II, a Japanese-made robot, has discovered radiation levels measuring 220 millisieverts per hour in reactor #2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The robot, which was designed by researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology, was created to explore the interior of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, where radiation levels remain too high for humans to enter.


March 3, 2012 - Posted by | business and costs, Japan

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