Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for April 30th to May 2nd, 2013
Blogpost by Christine McCann - May 3, 2013 at 11:52
State of the Fukushima Reactors
TEPCO continues to struggle with a worsening situation at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant, as ground water enters reactor buildings at 75 gallons per minute, and then becomes highly contaminated. Coupled with between 200 and 400 tons of water intentionally poured over the reactors each day to keep them cool, officials are scrambling to figure out where to put all of the radioactive water—and will need to do so for years
Currently, storage tanks cover 42 acres of the facility, and TEPCO is planning to mow down a nearby forest to build more. Right now, the company is storing more than 280,000 tons of water—enough to fill 112 Olympic-sized swimming pools—but that figure increases daily, and will for several more years, until workers are able to repair the reactor buildings. TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono recently admitted that the problem is overwhelming:
“TEPCO is clearly just hanging on day by day, with no time to think about tomorrow, much less next year.”
Meanwhile, a team of 19 inspectors from the NRA met for the first time to study the root causes behind the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, including whether or not the massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake caused damage to the reactors there. Such a discovery would have an immense impact on the nuclear industry across Japan, a country that is riddled with seismic faults.
Eight utilities across Japan have posted record losses this fiscal year, totaling 1.59 trillion yen ($16 billion), in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. TEPCO experienced the biggest deficit, 685.2 billion yen, marking the third consecutive year that the company has lost money.
Other Nuclear Politics in Japan
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud this week, in order to discuss exporting Japanese nuclear technology. Two days later, Abe signed an agreement with United Arab Emirates President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, finalizing a similar technology exchange agreement.
Nuclear Waste Management and Disposal
Japan’s Environment Ministry will begin test drilling in nine locations in Naraha, Okuma, and Futaba next week, in an effort to determine the best location for temporary storage sites for over 28 million cubic centimeters of radioactive waste
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