Remember the time when the TEPCO/government complex pretended that it would fill the Containment Vessels of Reactors 1, 2 and 3 with water to cool the Reactor Pressure Vessels inside? It was late April, TEPCO started to pour an enormous amount of water in the RPV of Reactor 1 to fill the Vessel (as the water would leak into the CV). The operation was dubbed "water entombment".
We know how it quickly ended. TEPCO finally managed to actually measure the water level inside the CV and RPV of Reactor 1, and found that there was hardly any water in either of them - i.e. both the CV and the RPV of Reactor 1 were broken, kaput. Of 10,000 tonnes of water that TEPCO poured into the CV of Reactor 1, 3,000 tonnes were discovered in the basement.
But now, the water entombment is back in discussion in conjunction with decommissioning the reactors at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, according to Mainichi Shinbun (8/31/2011).
According to Mainichi, the plan submitted by TEPCO to a special committee of the Nuclear Safety Commission calls for the following steps:
Clean up highly radioactive debris inside the reactor buildings;
Identify and repair the damage to the Containment Vessels and the reactor buildings;
Fill the Containment Vessels with water;
Open the top lid of the Reactor Pressure Vessels and remove the melted fuel.
The NSC committee will consider the plan, and the government will decide on the final plan by January 2012.
Step No.1: How? By whom?
Step No.2: How? By whom?
Step No.3: What's the point again?
Step No.4: What melted fuel?
And no one knows, or rather, no one cares or wants to know, where exactly these melted blobs of fuel rods, control rods, instruments, metals, etc., are right now. TEPCO and the government will proceed as if they remain at the bottom of the Containment Vessel of each Reactor, if not still within the RPV.
Inside the reactor buildings there are at least several spots as identified by TEPCO where the radiation levels are measured in sieverts/hour. Who is going to do the cleanup work, not to mention repairing the CVs and the building (I suppose they are thinking about the concrete foundations)?