People all around the world know when the Fukushima Daiichi disaster began, but no one knows when it will end. As you all know, Fairewinds has been sharing the facts of the Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdowns since they began six years ago March 11, 2011.
Last week TEPCO came closer to locating the bulk of the melted fuel in Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 than it ever has after sending a special robot into the severely damaged containment. Unfortunately, while the robot only operated for a very short time due to incredibly high radiation levels, the camera captured the inside of the containment facility where it spotted likely evidence of fuel debris and a hole in the grating below the atomic reactor.
Hole in Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 - Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
During its internal Unit 2 atomic containment viewing, the robot radiation detector measured readings as high as 530 Sv/hr. Such a huge radiation dose would be lethal to people in less than one minute, which is why only specially made robots, never tried before anywhere in the world, had to be created. For your comparison, 10 Sv , which converts to 1,000 rem, has proven to be a lethal radiation dose in one only hour! TEPCO’s new Unit 2 readings measure more than 50 times higher. Other areas closer to the bulk of the melted fuel, where the robot could not even reach will likely have much higher radiation levels.
Although this robotic measurement just occurred, this high radiation reading was anticipated and has existed inside the damaged Unit 2 atomic reactor since the disaster began nearly 6 years ago. Fairewinds followers have written and called to ask us what can TEPCO do now. As Fairewinds has said for 6-years, there are no easy solutions because groundwater is in direct contact with the nuclear corium (melted fuel) at Fukushima Daiichi. As Fairewinds has maintained since the meltdowns began, these radiation doses make dismantling the facility almost impossible for 100-years or longer, because the high exposures to workers make it impossible for humans to do the necessary work.
TEPCO and Japan’s atomic power regulators must stop the groundwater from continuously flowing into the highly radioactive damaged reactors and migrating all that radioactivity directly into the Pacific Ocean. This highly radioactive water must be prevented from entering the atomic power containments, and then then a sarcophagus must be created to seal the reactors until the highest radioactivity decays away. Stopping the clean migrating groundwater before it enters the crippled containments, then sealing the radiation inside those radioactive hulks, and waiting 100+ years to dismantle the reactors once they have cooled has always been Fairewinds’ recommendation.
For now, only a fraction of the radiation inside the containment has leaked into the water table and the Pacific Ocean. However, until the groundwater is blocked from migrating into the contaminated atomic reactors and the containment is sealed, the world is faced with the constant migration of huge amounts of unmonitored and unstoppable radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean.
In this video nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen demonstrates how Fukushima's fuel rods melted and shattered following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Due to the intense heat and conditions caused by the failure to properly cool the atomic reaction following the earthquake and tsunami, the Zirconium that encased the Uranium fuel pellets was unable to contain the fuel, and as a result a meltdown occurred.
Renewable energies like the U.S. solar industry now employs a larger workforce than coal, oil, and natural gas combined. Moreover, solar and wind prices are equal to natural gas, and the first offshore wind project, located off the coast of Rhode Island, is coming online. Now wind power has just received accolades for surpassing hydro as the biggest source of renewables in the U.S. Wind installations across the country now produce enough electricity to power 24 million homes, totaling 82,183 megawatts at the end of 2016 with another 10,000 megawatts under construction at the moment. We at Fairewinds look forward continued growth in the renewable energy sector as renewables fuel American jobs at U.S. industries, and create an economic boom that the U.S. economy badly needs. Renewables are sustainable and have a significantly reduced impact on precious water and fragile environments compared to CONG [coal, oil, nuclear, & natural gas].
Flamanville Nuclear Plant in France - The Independent
Independent: French Nuclear Power Plant Explosion
An explosion believed to be caused by an overheating fan sparked a fire in the turbine room at the Flamanville Atomic Power Reactor in France on Thursday February 9, 2017. Authorities claim there was no radiation release since the turbine room is separate from the reactor and not located in a radioactive area of the power plant. Even without a radiation leak the explosion is considered “very serious”, according to Neil Hyatt, a professor of radioactive waste management at the University of Sheffield in England. The incident raises additional safety concerns about the continued use of aging atomic power reactors as an energy source. The Flamanville reactor site is in the process of adding a third reactor, however, construction delays and incredible cost overruns have delayed its opening by 13-years until 2018. Now the explosion is just the latest incident for these atomic reactors, which the French Press previously described as a ”nuclear catastrophe.”