Friday, August 23, 2013

Fukushima: water reservoir under plant is much bigger, much more contaminated

From ABC (via EneNews):

Deep beneath Fukushima's crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant's reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the Pacific.

Now, 2 1/2 years later, experts fear it is about to reach the ocean and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.

The looming crisis is potentially far greater than the discovery earlier this week of a leak from a tank that stores contaminated water used to cool the reactor cores. That 300-ton (80,000-gallon) leak is the fifth and most serious from a tank since the March 2011 disaster, when three of the plant's reactors melted down after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant's power and cooling functions.

But experts believe the underground seepage from the reactor and turbine building area is much bigger and possibly more radioactive, confronting the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an invisible, chronic problem and few viable solutions. Many also believe it is another example of how TEPCO has repeatedly failed to acknowledge problems that it could almost certainly have foreseen — and taken action to mitigate before they got out of control.

(... continues).

Regardless. What is clear is that you can't put gates to the sea, or in general to the flow of water (and air) through the planet. Each time a nuclear plant is built a huge danger is created because, among other reasons, there's always water nearby (they need it in huge amounts for the plant to work) and while in inland waters this is a huge problem hard to control, at the seaside it is simply total madness because the water table is in direct contact with the sea and almost indistinct from it. 

There's no good solution for Fukushima, which is totally unmanageable and off the scale - other than evacuating all North Honsu (and probably also all the Pacific coast of North America, where the vast majority of all radiation goes to). What we can still do is to struggle to close all other nuclear plants and impede that new ones are opened.

However we face the annoying issue of nuclear weapons (the real reason behind nuclear energy) being too desirable for every power-mongerer. So we have to work even further and harder into subverting the social relations of power radically if we really expect to ever solve this suicidal process of nukes and their terrible and long term consequences.

Note: I'm in general letting the media to speak out on Fukushima for a change. You will excuse me for partly ignoring the stream of news that is almost drowning us these days, however, except minor details, this is about the same I (and even more so specialist bloggers) have been telling since March 2011. So I'd suggest that if you're interested in the detail of the latest developments to follow now (as before) the specialized Fukushima blogs. Here the info will be (sadly) rather sparse because, you know, the World is so big and I'm so small in comparison... that I can't dedicate my time to every single piece of news.

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