Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Latest Idea Is to Cover Up the Reactors, Literally

There's a saying in Japanese that translates to: "When it stinks, put the lid on it."

That may be what the Japanese government under Prime Minister Kan is considering: to cover up the reactors that have been spewing radioactive materials in the air.

It would also nicely shield the reactors from public eyes. Out of sight, out of mind. Life goes on as the corium slowly melts the concrete.

The latest idea coming out of this Prime Minister's work groups (there are 4, we are told) made up of politicians, academics, TEPCO, companies in nuclear industry, and members from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is to put caps made of cloth with coatings to prevent radioactive materials escaping from the broken reactors at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

Here's the nice pictorial from Asahi Shinbun (3:03AM JST 3/30/2011):

In addition to put the cloth caps on the Reactors 1, 3 and 4, the picture also shows tanks to store the irradiated water from the Reactors 2 and 3, as well as an empty tanker to store the water when the tanks get full.

The Asahi article reports that in order to prevent hydrogen explosions the cloth caps may come with vents with filters.

It also says the Kan administration is considering using robots and remote-control equipments as the working condition is increasingly harsh for human workers.

(Then why did it turn down the offer from the French? Well, not that hard to guess why, since the US NRC is part of the groups.)


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