Skip to comments.Crews 'Facing 100-Year Battle' at Fukushima
Posted on 04/02/2011 10:21:48 AM PDT by ex-Texan
A nuclear expert has warned that it might be 100 years before melting fuel rods can be safely removed from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.
The warning came as levels of radioactive iodine flushed into the sea near the plant spiked to a new high and the Wall Street Journal said it had obtained disaster response blueprints which said the plant's operators were woefully unprepared for the scale of the disaster.
Water is still being poured into the damaged reactors to cool melting fuel rods.
But one expert says the radiation leaks will be ongoing and it could take 50 to 100 years before the nuclear fuel rods have completely cooled and been removed.
"As the water leaks out, you keep on pouring water in, so this leak will go on for ever," said Dr John Price, a former member of the Safety Policy Unit at the UK's National Nuclear Corporation.
"There has to be some way of dealing with it. The water is connecting in tunnels and concrete-lined pits at the moment and the question is whether they can pump it back.
"The final thing is that the reactors will have to be closed and the fuel removed, and that is 50 to 100 years away.
"It means that the workers and the site will have to be intensely controlled for a very long period of time."
But Laurence Williams, Professor of Nuclear Safety at England's University of Central Lancashire and the former head nuclear regulator for the UK, is relatively comfortable with the situation.
"I have been monitoring it for the last couple of weeks and [the] three reactors seem to be more or less unchanged from initially when they got into the seawater flowing into them," he said.
"We don't know exactly the state of the fuel in those reactors but looking at the data, the pressures and temperatures look fairly stable over the last couple of weeks.
"My view is that as there hasn't been any sort of major catastrophic release of radioactivity, if they can continue to get the fresh water into the reactors and cool them, the decay heat is now fairly stabilising.
"It will take some time before it disappears but so far, so good. But it will take some time to bring under control."
Both experts agree capping the damaged reactors with concrete is not an option.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal says it has obtained disaster-readiness plans which show the facility only had one satellite phone and a single stretcher in case of an accident.
The blueprints also provided no detail about the possibility of using firefighters from Tokyo or national troops - both of which have been part of the response to the Fukushima crisis - to deal with any disaster.
Levels of radioactive iodine-131 in the Pacific off the plant have been recorded at a new high of 4,385 times the legal limit.
In 2002, the plant's operator TEPCO admitted to falsifying safety reports, leading to all of its 17 boiling water reactors being shut down for inspection.
TEPCO has already vowed to dismantle the four reactors at the centre of the world's worst atomic accident in 25 years, but now Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan says the Fukushima plant must be scrapped.
I will not discuss the radiation readings mentioned in the video but the camera clearly shows the readings as VERY HIGH.
Nothing to see here. Time to move on. And Yada, Yada, Yada
So, I guess this means that the entire Japanese population will be moving to Hawaii?
That said, I'd rather have the ENTIRE Japanese population relocated here than the illegals we've been allowing to fester here for DECADES.....I'd say that's a good trade, myself....
They are bringing in a giant concrete machine from the US to pump concrete over the whole place and entomb it I guess like Chernobyl.
In the meantime:
I hate it when a ‘Rack’, gets exposed to air! :(
Both experts agree capping the damaged reactors with concrete is not an option . . .
We heard the same thing about TMI. How long did it take before they pulled the reactor vessel out of TMI-1 and shipped it to Idaho for tear-down? Six years.
See, this is why I have a hard time taking this crap seriously. We’ve heard it before.
Again and again and again. From the same hysterical hippies and peaceniks, given to the press in dire, somber tones by highly credentialed, Volvo-driving liberals wearing sensible shoes.
Greenpeace’s video was laughable theatre. There are only two explanations for the crap seen in Greenpeace’s video:
1. They’re so ignorant of what proper safety equipment really is for a hot area, that they’ve just caused themselves huge radioactive exposure and ingestion/inhalation of alpha particles, if they’re actually showing off real danger.
2. They’re depending on the ignorance of the segment of public that listens to their codswallop so as to overlook the errors in their little piece of theatre.
Since I’ll NB that physical courage is not the stuff that French environmentalists and Greenpeace are known for, and the environmental movement is rife with duplicity and mendacity, I’ll take choice “2.”
“So, I guess this means that the entire Japanese population will be moving to Hawaii?”
Detroit needs an influx of ambitious, industrious people.
Those very brave people risked their lives to record radiation live on the scene in a "safe area" 35 KM away from Fukushima. And you call them "hysterical hippies and peaceniks . . . " The Geiger Counter clearly showed radiation FAR above safe limits.
Your ignorance is reflecting Ann Coulter's:
LOL LOL !
Do the people whose homes are uninhaabitable in the reactor area get reimbursed for their terrible loss? And if so, by whom?
“Both experts agree capping the damaged reactors with concrete is not an option . . . “
Well then why is a billion dollar cement pumper being sent to Japan? The article I read said after its done it will be toast because it will be so radioactive. I can only assume they are going to pump cement on the reactor with it. Otherwise why would it be radioactive?
That gives plenty of time to figure how to build a reactor on the sea coast where the backup power generators can’t be flooded by a tsunami. And maybe even to find some cogernment nuclear power officials who aren’t totally incompetent.
IMPO the corporate owner of Fukushima -- TEPCO -- common stock will be imploding again early next week.