Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Photos of #Fukushima I NPP in Late 2013: Still Very Much Cluttered and Contaminated

While I'm at it, I might as well show the most recent photos that TEPCO released which, I think, show what lack of money and planning (and lack of decision-making itself) has done (or hasn't done, in this case) at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in the past two years and nine months.

Some areas inside the plant compound today look exactly the same as in March 2011.

From TEPCO's photos and videos library, 12/11/2013 (text is my translation of the explanation in the accompanying PDF document):

4 meters above the sea level (Onahama Peil - average sea level used for the plant), ocean-side (east) of Reactors 1 - 4:

While a temporary storage area for equipment and materials has been secured,

other areas are still littered with debris; it is difficult to decontaminate:

10 meters above the sea level, around Reactor buildings:

While a temporary storage area for equipment and materials, pathway for vehicles and heavy equipment have been secured,

other areas have pipes for transferring (contaminated) water and electric cables running and are still littered with debris; it is difficult to decontaminate:

Some vehicles turned upside down by the tsunami,

have been removed.

Debris removal will continue systematically, says TEPCO [meaning "extremely slowly, piece by piece").

I still vividly remember Mr. Michio Ishikawa of Japan Nuclear Technology Institute on April 29, 2011 on an all-night TV program. To the astonished fellow guests (or guests who were feigning astonishment), Mr. Ishikawa, a strong proponent of nuclear energy, said as a matter of fact that all nuclear fuel inside the reactors had been melted down, the government was lying about it, and some of it would be already outside the Pressure Vessels.

He also said, "This is a war."

"Take the debris clean-up job for example. They are picking up the debris and putting them in containers, as if this is the peacetime normal operation. This is a war. They should dig a hole somewhere and bury the radioactive debris and clean up later. What's important is to clear the site, using the emergency measures. Build a bridgehead to the reactor.

"The line of command is not clear, whether it is the government, TEPCO, or Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

"Look squarely at the reactors and find out the true situation. [Trying to do something with] the turbine buildings is nothing but a caricature [a joke, a manga, a diversion]."

No one took his word seriously, and we are where we are today as the result. Mr. Ishikawa's remark on core melt was not even in the news the next day. Hardly anyone talked about it even on Twitter. "Why should we listen to a pro-nuke shill?" was part of the attitude of net citizens in Japan who turned against nuclear energy after the Fukushima accident.

So today, radioactive debris continues to litter the site, hindering workers' efforts. We have been doing something with the turbine buildings (all the contaminated water from the reactor buildings goes to the turbine building basements, from which the water goes either to another building for storage or to the cesium absorption system (SARRY, or on rare occasions, Kurion).


Anonymous said...

Probably noone talking about it because they don't want to go to jail!

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