Author Topic: Fukushima cleanup could drag on for decades  (Read 301 times)

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SPQR

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Fukushima cleanup could drag on for decades
« on: January 29, 2014, 12:48:20 AM »
 A CBS News crew got a rare look inside the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Nearly three years after the earthquake and tsunami, the plant is still emitting radiation, and likely will be for years.

Three miles from the plant, roads are still closed. Radiation levels here soar 100 times higher than normal.

To protect themselves from radiation, a CBS News crew suited up like the 4,300 decontamination workers here. Once, this was the heart of a radioactive "no-go zone." Now it's safe enough to spend a  few hours inside.

TEPCO, the company  that owns the crippled plant, is still struggling to deal with the disaster. All four reactors are still emitting radiation. But TEPCO has made some progress.

This is what TEPCO wants the world to see: the heart of the decommissioning work taking place in Reactor 4. 


Following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, a hydrogen explosion tore off the roof of this reactor.

At the time, Reactor 4 was not in use, but that explosion sent debris and chunks of concrete into a pool where the nuclear fuel was being stored.

The CBS crew was able to watch the delicate and dangerous work of removing some of the 1,500 radioactive fuel rod assemblies. If the rods break, they could release more radioactive gases.

There's an analogy that removing these rods is like removing a cigarette from a crushed pack.

"Take that analogy," TEPCO engineer Masayuki Ono said in Japanese, "and imagine that the cigarette in that box is lit."

Ono said they have removed 15 percent of the fuel from Reactor 4. But it will be far more difficult to retrieve fuel from the other three reactors that melted down. Those are so radioactive that the technology to dismantle them does not exist yet.

TEPCO injects hundreds of tons of water daily into the reactors to keep them cool. But groundwater is pouring into the damaged reactors and has to be pumped out and stored.

They can't build these tanks fast enough -- an additional 400 tons of contaminated water needs to be stored every day. That's as much water as the average American household uses in a year.

At the end of the tour, the CBS crew was checked for radiation exposure. In four hours, correspondent Seth Doane received the equivalent of less than a chest X-ray.

The 24-hour-a-day cleanup operation is just beginning. It could cost upwards of $100 billion and take up to 40 years to complete.


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fukushima-cleanup-could-drag-on-for-decades/

Offline EC

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Re: Fukushima cleanup could drag on for decades
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 03:37:03 PM »
Quote
Three miles from the plant, roads are still closed. Radiation levels here soar 100 times higher than normal.

Stopped reading there.

Define normal. Normal for the area, or normal for the planetary average? What percentage is the level in terms of standard dose tests?

I do hate sloppy reporting.
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: Fukushima cleanup could drag on for decades
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 04:30:58 PM »
Look at Chernobyl.  The cleanup there will last decades once they get the new cover installed so they can begin.

Fukashima will eventually require international intervention.  I do not believe the Japanese are competent enough on their own to handle an ongoing emergency of this magnitude.


SPQR

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Re: Fukushima cleanup could drag on for decades
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 01:06:51 AM »
Stopped reading there.

Define normal. Normal for the area, or normal for the planetary average? What percentage is the level in terms of standard dose tests?

I do hate sloppy reporting.


A standard dose is what a human body can take.Adult: 5,000 Millirems

The current federal occupational limit of exposure per year for an adult (the limit for a worker using radiation) is "as low as reasonably achievable; however, not to exceed 5,000 millirems" above the 300+ millirems of natural sources of radiation and any medical radiation. Radiation workers wear badges made of photographic film which indicate the exposure to radiation. Readings typically are taken monthly. A federal advisory committee recommends that the lifetime exposure be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems (example: for a 65-year-old person, 65,000 millirems).


http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1994/safe-0105.html
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 01:08:21 AM by SPQR »


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