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The Status of the Fukushima Clean-Up 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the cleaning-things-up dept.
doom writes "Ian Sample at the Guardian UK does a really thorough write-up of what's going on with the Fukushima Clean-up. From the article: 'Though delicate and painstaking, retrieving the fuel rod assemblies from the pools is not the toughest job the workers face. More challenging by far will be digging out the molten cores in the reactors themselves. Some of the fuel burned through its primary containment and is now mixed with cladding, steel and concrete. The mixture will have to be broken up, sealed in steel containers and moved to a nuclear waste storage site. That work will not start until some time after 2020.'"
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The Status of the Fukushima Clean-Up

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:04AM (#45606529)

    All Japanese nuclear reactors were closed down after the tsunami, and only two, a long way from Fukushima, have restarted

    They haven't actually restarted yet, fwiw. The operator has applied for permission to restart them, and after some controversy, the government has decided in principle to consider the request, so the relevant agency has started a safety assessment []. Even if approved, they are unlikely to restart before 2016 [].

  • by TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:15AM (#45606555)

    I am held AGHAST by the biblical-level hysteria that is circulating about Fukushima these days. It is being served up and replicated with the relish of the street-corner preacher with an end-of-world sign. Every die-off of fish is related (ignore the Atlantic), the melting starfish (never mind it's happening worldwide), from mammals to narwhals there is some serious confirmation bias being stirred.

    The computer model plume of currents has DEATH arriving at the United States West coast; mere detection of miniscule amounts of Cesium -- which science is capable of to an extraordinary level of precision -- is being fronted as a radioactive death sentence.

    There seems to be no deference to expert or even medical opinion on true risk factors; and in the tired vein of disaster porn, any appeals to consider such generates a (predictable) backlash of conspiracy coverup allegations. At times it is literally a no-think zone.

    Radioactivity is the new whipping boy of disaster porn.

    NO-HYPE Fukushima information:

    Fukushima Accident Updates []. Leslie Corrice has done an excellent job chronicling the accident from 2011. Following the latest posting thread backwards in time (some 60 pages so far) is a detailed account you will find nowhere else.

    Fukushima Accident Commentary [] Leslie Corrice again, exhibiting a level of journalistic integrity that is fast-fading on today's news and Internet sources, has maintained a separate thread of personal opinion and commentary. It is as fascinating a read as the last, here you will find topics of politics, culture and status and observation of the Fukushima victims' compensation fund and resettlement.

    Nuclear Industry source: Nuclear Street tag: Fukushima []

    Rod Adams' Atomic Power Review [] has scaled down its Fukushima coverage as of late, but in the archives you will find some detailed articles with week-by-week coverage.

    Do add more!

  • by vix86 (592763) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:30AM (#45606637)
    This will get little coverage in news outlets around the world, but its worth spreading and this article is as good as any to mention it. The Japanese Lower House, in the Diet, passed a bill which set up a National Secrets law. Essentially it is an anti-whistleblower law. It has many of the usual sections present in other countries save for one. The bill sets forth that all information dealing with "nuclear energy" will be considered a national secret and releasing any information without the oversight of the government will basically be illegal.

    This means that if something bad is happening at the Fukushima plant, then we have to rely on someone doing the moral thing and telling the world and then going to jail.

    The bill still has to go through the Upper House but it's likely to pass without much opposition even though the media and the public have been strongly opposed to it. It seems very likely that the bill is there to cover up any bad information that might tarnish Japan or TEPCO's image.

    Japan state secrets bill on track to become law despite protests []
  • by nojayuk (567177) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @10:41AM (#45607479)

    They are filtering the waste water and using ion exchange systems, zeolite cartridges and the like to remove the radioactive materials in solution. That's how they're "treating" contaminated water (irradiation isn't the problem).

    The water itself isn't radioactive, it's just hydrogen and oxygen. There may be some tritiated water in there but very very little, same with radioactive isotopes of oxygen. The contamination they are dealing with is radioactive particles in some cases, in others chemical substances in solution like cesium and strontium. Until the levels for all the contaminants are below international standards then the water can't be released into the sea.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon