Fukushima Update: TEPCO & Japan Begin To Face Reality
And, Activists Organize for the Truth on Radiation in Japan
The Japanese corporation TEPCO is finally beginning to face reality. Removing the fuel rods from Fukushima will be a difficult and dangerous task. They had been saying — no problem, routine, we’ve done this a thousand times before. Thankfully, they looked one more time and saw what we have been reporting — this is a unique challenge, never been done before. The fuel rods are damaged and will be very dangerous to remove. They have to be removed because of the tremendous risk from an earthquake or tsunami. In the last month Fukushima has barely avoided catastrophe from both earthquakes, tsuanmi and a tidal wave. This is a very risky situation no matter what direction TEPCO goes. We are urging people to push to remove TEPCO and replace them with an international group of expert engineers, overseen by civilian experts and a transparent process. Join that effort here.
The operators of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have postponed the extremely complicated and difficult task of removing damaged atomic rods.
New video footage from a robot has revealed new leaks within the damaged reactors meaning the rods now can’t be taken out as planned.
One of the fuel assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982 when it was mishandled during a transfer and is bent out of shape.
Kazuaki Matsui, the executive director of Japan’s Institute of Applied Energy said: “It’s very difficult to remove a spent rod because parts of the wall and the bottom of the reactor are all melted. We’ve never had to deal with this before so that adds to the complication.”
Meanwhile, decontamination workers say mismanagement is to blame for the delay of radiation removal work.
Activists Confront the Reality of Radiation
In Japan, a group of government officials has decided to come clean and admit that residents of Fukushima may never return to their homes. They say that radiation levels there cannot be brought back to normal any time soon and are urging the leadership to abandon its promise to make the area fit for living in. But only a handful of those residents actually want to go back – more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The inital plan called for the clean-up in the affected towns to be finished by March this year but the government now says the work will be delayed by as much as three years.