Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fukushima Nuke Plant Remains In `Precarious State’



Photo credit IAEA

# 6251


Unless we are directly affected by them, once a disaster moves off the front pages, we tend move on as the never ending parade of newer, more immediate concerns emerge.


A year ago, the world watched in horror as Japan reeled from a monstrous earthquake/tsunami followed by a major nuclear accident.


Over time, as the recovery efforts proceeded and the nuke plants were finally deemed `stable’, the triple disaster of Fukushima has faded for most of us.


But as we learn from a report in the New York Times today, the reactor at Fukushima may be in worse shape than previously admitted, and its current stability is precarious at best.


Japan Admits Nuclear Plant Still Poses Dangers


TOKYO — The damage to the core of at least one of the meltdown-stricken reactors at Fukushima could be far worse than previously thought, raising fresh concerns over the plant’s stability and gravely complicating the post-disaster cleanup, a recent internal investigation has shown.

(Continue . . .)



Follow the link to read the entire article to learn about the specifics, including much lower water levels over the fuel rods than previously reported, and much higher levels of radiation inside the containment buildings.


But the `money quote’ comes from Kazuhiko Kudo, a professor of nuclear engineering at Kyushu University, at the end of the article who warns:


“The plant is still in a precarious state.

Unfortunately, all we can do is to keep pumping water inside the reactors, and hope we don’t have another big earthquake.”


Cleanup of these plants may take decades, and until that can be accomplished, they remain vulnerable to additional seismic shocks.