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11 years on, Fukushima morass still poses danger

11 years on, Fukushima morass still poses danger
By KARL WILSON in Sydney | CHINA DAILY 2022-03-14  ”…………………………. Little progress has been made on the most pivotal and hardest work of decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi power plant-how to remove the nuclear residue from the meltdown. The plant owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co, has said it could take another 30 years to retrieve undamaged fuel, remove resolidified melted fuel debris, disassemble the reactors and dispose of contaminated cooling water.The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning of Japan estimated that the nuclear waste mix from melted fuel rods and other materials in pressure vessels that melted during the accident could weigh as much as 880 metric tons.

Hiroaki Koide, a retired researcher at Kyoto University, said the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co’s 30-40 year plan for decommissioning the reactors could not be achieved because it would be “impossible even in 100 years” to remove the large amount of scattered nuclear debris, which would have to be sealed in a “sarcophagus”.

Moreover, 11 years after the disaster, the reactors at Fukushima are still being cooled down, said associate professor Nigel Marks of the physics and astronomy department at Curtin University, Western Australia.

“And this will continue for many years to come. A vast number of large storage tanks have been built on the site, but space is rapidly running out.”

Despite resistance from locals and neighboring countries, the Japanese government is sticking with its decision in April last year to discharge the nuclear contaminated water into the sea starting in spring next year. About 1 million tons of radioactive wastewater, now stored in 1,000 tanks on the site, was used to cool the reactors and contains radioactive cesium, strontium, tritium and other radioactive substances…………….

March 15, 2022 - Posted by | Fukushima continuing

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