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Japan Power

30 Years To Clean Up Fukushima Dai-Ichi 342

0WaitState writes "Damaged reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant may take three decades to decommission and cost operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. more than 1 trillion yen ($12 billion), engineers and analysts said. Relatedly, Japanese officials and power plant operators are now working on the problems involved with disposing of 55,000 tons of radioactive water. '... international law forbids Japan from dumping contaminated water into the ocean if there are viable technical solutions available later. So the plant operator is considering bringing in barges and tanks, including a so-called megafloat that can hold about 9.5 megalitres. Yet even using barges and tanks to handle the water temporarily creates a future problem of how to dispose of the contaminated vessels.'" Yesterday's 7.1 aftershock caused brief power losses at three other nuclear facilities, and small volumes of contaminated water spilled, but no significant radiation leakage occurred before the problems were resolved.
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30 Years To Clean Up Fukushima Dai-Ichi

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:26PM (#35759250)

    Is 30 years a long time? Just wondering.

    Could someone put 30 years into perspective for me? How long does it take to clean up the byproducts from a coal plant, even given routine conditions where there is no earthquake or tsunami or explosion? If a coal plant was decommissioned in 1981, is it reasonable for me to assume that all its poisons are gone now?

  • Nuclear economics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:33PM (#35759354)
    Nuclear power has never been economic. It has only existed because of massive government subsidies (research, fuel, insurance, waste disposal, etc.). Also, unlike other technologies, the cost per watt of installed power keeps increasing, not decreasing. This latest disaster will only make it more expensive. Already wind and solar are cheaper per watt of installed power without all the nasty nuclear uncertainties. I doubt that you will see any new nuclear plants in the US solely because of the cost. No sane investor would fund a nuclear power plant now.

    I rather think that this is a good thing.

  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:41PM (#35759454) Journal

    Consider the costs of coal. The radiological problem of the coal ash. The excess CO2. That cost, right there, is not being accounted for.

  • I'm assuming... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:41PM (#35759462) Journal
    I'm assuming that the eventual plan will involve some sort of distillation or RO process: 55,000 tons of water is not something you would want to have to safely entomb somewhere; but the actual volume of long-term nasties must be fairly small(worst case, it could not be greater than the volume of the fuel on site, and any materials that it has been in long term contact with for a sufficient time to render them radioactive, and it doesn't appear to be worst case).

    While not terribly cheap, the technology for separating dissolved compounds from water(to fairly extreme degrees of purity, in the case of water for lab/analytic use) is very much off-the-shelf. Similarly, gross screening of a volume of treated water for radioactives should be doable with a Geiger counter, and fine screening should be within the realm of any decently equipped testing laboratory.

    It isn't going to be cheap, and the end result will be a small pile of serious unpleasantness and a rather larger one of equipment that isn't worth decontaminating; but it doesn't seem like a fundamentally hard problem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:40PM (#35760336)


    But we wont. You just keep repeating your talking points.

    Whole fucking country could be on 100% clean renewable energy by now. If we shot a few of the first people to start spouting shit like "will never completely replace base load power generation such as nuclear plants".

    Just keep repeating it until it's true.

  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Friday April 08, 2011 @05:31PM (#35763274) Journal

    The pro nuclear power crowd was very vocal last month. I was amazed at the number of posts and variety of poor arguments they trotted out: Coal is radioactive (it's not), and/or pollutes worse than nuclear power (as if the only options are nuclear or coal), the media is exaggerating (perhaps, but Fukushima doesn't need exaggerating), the containment did not fail (not immediately, but it sure has now), nuclear power plants can be safe (yet this one wasn't safe enough), and newer designs could have handled even this disaster and it's the fault of the anti-nuclear zealots we aren't using them. And it's the fault of the natural disaster for being too big. Perhaps most frightening of all was the incredibly weak rationale that this was no Chernobyl, as if that set a tough standard to exceed!

    Now they're a bit quieter. Maybe there's some hope after all. Keeps getting harder to excuse this nuclear mess. Now we're hearing 30 years and 1 trillion yen to clean up? And it still isn't over?! How much worse is this going to get?

  • by Mindcontrolled ( 1388007 ) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @01:36AM (#35765620)
    So, according to your table, the activity of coal ash is in the same order of magnitude as that of ordinary soil or ordinary fertilizer. Equivalent to nuclear waste, yes? Jesus, can't you even read your own links? Who is shilling for what industry here?

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs