Talk given at the Remember Fukushima parliamentary meeting, House of Commons committee room 9, London, 15 March 2017.
Lis Fields (accessed) 17th Aug 2017 read more »
A subterranean ice wall surrounding the nuclear reactors at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant to block groundwater from flowing in and out of the plant buildings has approached completion. Initially, the ice wall was lauded as a trump card in controlling radioactively contaminated water at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, which was crippled by meltdowns in the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. But while 34.5 billion yen from government coffers has already been invested in the wall, doubts remain about its effectiveness. Meanwhile, the issue of water contamination looms over decommissioning work. Maintaining the ice wall will cost over a billion yen a year, and the radiation exposure of workers involved in its maintenance is high. Meanwhile, there are no immediate prospects of being able to repair the basement damage in the reactor buildings at the crippled nuclear plant. In the meantime, TEPCO continues to be plagued over what to do with treated water at the plant. Tainted water is treated using TEPCO’s multi-nuclide removal equipment to remove 62 types of radioactive substances, but in principle, tritium cannot be removed during this process. In mid-July, TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura said in an interview with several news organizations that a decision to release the treated water into the sea had “already been made.”
Mainichi 17th Aug 2017 read more »