Fukushima Reactors to Be Entombed in Concrete

By Mar 31, 2011, 2:12 AM Author's Blog  

After a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11 crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuke plant, the Japanese government has finally conceded it has lost the battle to contain radiation at four of the plant’s reactors and they will be closed down.

Details of what that will entail have yet to be revealed, but according to Bloomberg, Japanese officials are looking at ways of entombing the Fukushima reactors in concrete.

The government hasn’t ruled out pouring concrete over the whole facility as one way to shutting it down, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a press conference today in Tokyo.

The dramatic announcement that the four reactors, including a partial meltdown of fuel in the No. 1 reactor building are out of control and will have to be decommissioned was made yesterday by Tsunehisa Katsumata, the chairman of the electric company (TEPCO) operating the nuclear complex.

The reason for the admission of total defeat is that TEPCO knew the battle to keep the fuel rods in the troubled reactors cool could not be won. While workers, who were being paid vast sums of money to brave high radiation levels have averted the threat of a total meltdown by injecting water into the damaged reactors for the past two weeks, “the risk to [them] might be greater than previously thought because melted fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing isolated, uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions, Denis Flory, nuclear safety director for the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], said at a press conference in Vienna. [via Bloomberg]”

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said however, there’s no possibility of uncontrolled chain reactions. Still, [via Kyodo News] Secretary Edano said Japan and the IAEA agreed that “they would not rule out the possibility of the situation worsening.”

Radiation levels continue to remain extremely high at the Fukushima plant, with water around the reactors emitting a highly dangerous 1,000 millisieverts per hour. Radioactive iodine rose to 4,385 times the regulated safety limit yesterday from 2,572 times on Tuesday.

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3 Comments

  1. silverfox says:

    Isn’t it about time that the fukushima level was raised to 6 or perhaps 7 on the scale. It is clearly much worse than 3 mile island.

  2. Lewis Larsen says:

    In his speech yesterday, President Obama wants the US to lead the world in an array of innovative new energy technologies than can help reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil. He also feels strongly that nuclear power generation is a vital component of the overall US energy portfolio since, unlike fossil fuels, nuclear processes don’t release carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere and thus potentially help ameliorate global warming.

    His vision for the future of energy is all well and good. However, the potential risks underlying present-day fission technologies are all-too-apparent in the slowly unfolding horror at the failing Fukushima nuclear plant complex in Japan.

    That being the case, is there an alternative nuclear technology that could potentially be developed that might provide society with a much safer, cleaner, even ‘greener’ form of nuclear energy going forward into the future? Fortunately, such a possibility does exist and it is called Low Energy Nuclear Reactions or LENRs. Unlike fission and fusion processes which primarily involve what physicists call the ‘strong interaction,’ key aspects of LENRs depend upon the ‘weak interaction’ — this is exactly what makes them ‘green.’

    Importantly, LENRs are not ‘weak’ energetically — their reaction pathways can release just as much nuclear binding energy as fission and fusion reactions, but without emitting dangerous ‘hard’ neutron or gamma radiation and without producing large quantities of long-lived, hazardous radioactive wastes.

    While little-heralded in the media, the physics of LENRs has been unraveled and published in respectable peer-reviewed academic journals. Thus the basic science is essentially complete; what is left to accomplish is the key task of device engineering. While successful commercialization of LENR is not a certainty at this point, it holds extraordinary promise as a breakthrough energy technology and deserves a far higher level of government and private funding and R&D effort than it has received to date. To learn more about this technology and where it might fit in the global energy portfolio, a White Paper is available at http://www.slideshare.net/lewisglarsen/cfakepathlattice-energy-llc-white-paper-excerptapril-12-2010

    Lewis Larsen, President and CEO, Lattice Energy LLC, Chicago, IL

  3. a a says:

    Nuke weapons and power is the most colossal egregious insanity committed thus far…
    Deadly, toxic life destroying waste FOR EVER.
    Fubar
    Disgusting
    Pure diabolical evil
    Fukushima will NEVER stop polluting!!!

    A crime against ALL

    We have ONE planet to support us, yet we are literally allowing it to become unihabitable.
    Utter madness… : (  

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