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Simply look away and ignore

May 15, 2013

Too often difficulties of industrial plants are ignored until the in the beginning a lot easier to be solved matters, turn into insurmountable problems. So also in the case of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

Meltdown in Fukushima

Already on 11 March 2011, there was a huge misfortune in this nuclear power plant, located on the Pacific coast of Japan: As first an earthquake shook the region and then a tsunami raged over Japan’s northeast coast, there was a meltdown at the nuclear plant. In three reactors a meltdown occurred, radioactive materials were released and large areas had to be evacuated. But that’s not enough, the situation in which the facility is located, led to further problems, but so far the operator TEPCO ignored those as much as possible.

Problems are ignored

Because from the nearby mountains flows groundwater into the sea, of which now runs a part into the destroyed reactors. The water is radioactively contaminated. And we are not talking about a few liters a day, but about 280 liters per minut, that means about 400 tons per day! A TEPCO employee told the “New York Times”: “The water is getting more every minute, whether we eat, sleep or work.” However, instead of following the idea of building ​​a concrete wall up to 18 meters depth in the ground to stop the flow of water towards the reactor building, the water is collected in huge tanks, but they already are almost full and also have leaks. So the operator Tepco is rightly accused of not having paid enough attention to the problems of groundwater. A member of Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission admitted: “We were so focused on the fuel rods and the melted reactor cores that we have underestimated the water problem.”

370,000 tons of contaminated water

The latest plan by Tepco now provides to pump groundwater in newly-dug wells. This system will soon be ready for use. However Tepco could not completely stop the water flowing quantities, but only decrease. According to the Japanese newspaper “Asahi Shimbun” 200 to 300 tons of water would continue to seep into the reactors daily. Furthermore, the newspaper writes that TEPCO has storage capacity for approximately 325,000 tons of water around the atomic ruins, but the tanks are already full to 80 percent. In total, 370,000 tons of contaminated water would be in the system – including the liquid in the reactors.

 

And down into the sea with it?

Another idea of ​​the operator made in Japan for rebellion: that the water, before though purified in filter systems of various radioactive particles, but still containing tritium, should be easily passed into the Pacific. This leaves the only solution to the problem, letting the radioactive water continue to run into the tank and hope that these hold. That this is not a permanent solution for the future is hopefully clear to Tepco as well.

and what further happened. radio silent?

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