Fukushima: More Bad News


B. McPherson


The latest bad news coming from the crippled nuclear power complex in Fukushima is that the underground storage ponds for radioactive waste are leaking into the surrounding ground. Those in charge of trying to clean up the facility issued a statement about the leaks.

“We have yet to grasp the cause of the leaks. But we will strengthen monitoring activities so as to prevent the water from flowing into the sea,” he said. “We want to transfer the contaminated water from the underground reservoirs as soon as possible.” JapanToday


I don’t know about you, but it’s sounding as if TEPCO president  Naomi Hirose doesn’t really know what he is doing over there.

It has been over two years since the power plant was hit with an earthquake and massive tsunami. It seems that the aftermath reads like a litany of coverups and mishaps. Radioactive material has been buried in playgrounds. In the past week, a rat managed to short circuit a switching station shutting down power at the wrecked plant for over a day. The leaky storage tanks are just the latest in the incompetent bumbling. While TEPCO reps would tell the public that the leaks are new and no new radiation has reached the Pacific Ocean, extremely high readings on fish caught off shore would belie that claim.

Number four reactor continues to cause worry. It is storing over 1500 highly radioactive fuel rods. This is the reactor building that has its cooling pond nearly 100 feet above ground. It was open to the atmosphere, but has now had a steel lid put over it. This building was damaged by a hydrogen explosion during the early days of the disaster. Now the ground beneath it seems to be subsiding and the building walls are deforming.

TEPCO confirmed this in a June report to regulators, saying that at least two of the walls of the No. 4 reactor building are bulging outward at various points and that the building is tilting.
TEPCO has installed steel pillars to help support the pool. Bellona

If the fuel rods are exposed to the air, either because electrical power is cut to the cooling pumps or the building collapses, spilling the rods every which way, we will all suffer for it. This is not a Japanese problem. It is a world problem and it’s about time that those in charge of the Fukushima disaster invited world experts in to stop the inefficient and ineffective clean up efforts.

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