Eight years after: no end in sight for clearing the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Kin Chi LAU, Zhixiong HE

Research output: Journal PublicationsPolicy or Profession paperProfession

Abstract

It has been 8 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster erupted. In the mainstream media, there is less and less information on the handling of the aftermath of the disaster. Yet, if we seriously examine the progress of the clean-up work in the past eight years, we would be hard put to feel a sense of relief. The most critical problem is that three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had been damaged and the 250 tons of more than 1600 spent fuel rods were “reckoned” to have fallen to the bottom of the reactor vessel after having melted at high temperatures. The radiation level there was too high for humans to possibly come close, let alone remove the molten nuclear residue. The Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have given a figure: it would take 40 years to complete the decommissioning work. The time given, that of 40 years, is not justified by any corresponding procedural steps, and can be a wild guess. It has been 8 years and progress has only been snail-like. The suggested time frame of 40 years may be useful only in some consoling effect, to make believe nuclearthat the accident can possibly be dealt with in two generations. Can it?
Original languageEnglish
JournalMR Online
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019

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Disasters
Spent fuels
Nuclear power plants
Molten materials
Accidents
Radiation
Industry
Temperature

Cite this

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title = "Eight years after: no end in sight for clearing the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster",
abstract = "It has been 8 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster erupted. In the mainstream media, there is less and less information on the handling of the aftermath of the disaster. Yet, if we seriously examine the progress of the clean-up work in the past eight years, we would be hard put to feel a sense of relief. The most critical problem is that three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had been damaged and the 250 tons of more than 1600 spent fuel rods were “reckoned” to have fallen to the bottom of the reactor vessel after having melted at high temperatures. The radiation level there was too high for humans to possibly come close, let alone remove the molten nuclear residue. The Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have given a figure: it would take 40 years to complete the decommissioning work. The time given, that of 40 years, is not justified by any corresponding procedural steps, and can be a wild guess. It has been 8 years and progress has only been snail-like. The suggested time frame of 40 years may be useful only in some consoling effect, to make believe nuclearthat the accident can possibly be dealt with in two generations. Can it?",
author = "LAU, {Kin Chi} and Zhixiong HE",
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Eight years after: no end in sight for clearing the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. / LAU, Kin Chi; HE, Zhixiong.

In: MR Online, 26.04.2019.

Research output: Journal PublicationsPolicy or Profession paperProfession

TY - JOUR

T1 - Eight years after: no end in sight for clearing the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

AU - LAU, Kin Chi

AU - HE, Zhixiong

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N2 - It has been 8 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster erupted. In the mainstream media, there is less and less information on the handling of the aftermath of the disaster. Yet, if we seriously examine the progress of the clean-up work in the past eight years, we would be hard put to feel a sense of relief. The most critical problem is that three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had been damaged and the 250 tons of more than 1600 spent fuel rods were “reckoned” to have fallen to the bottom of the reactor vessel after having melted at high temperatures. The radiation level there was too high for humans to possibly come close, let alone remove the molten nuclear residue. The Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have given a figure: it would take 40 years to complete the decommissioning work. The time given, that of 40 years, is not justified by any corresponding procedural steps, and can be a wild guess. It has been 8 years and progress has only been snail-like. The suggested time frame of 40 years may be useful only in some consoling effect, to make believe nuclearthat the accident can possibly be dealt with in two generations. Can it?

AB - It has been 8 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster erupted. In the mainstream media, there is less and less information on the handling of the aftermath of the disaster. Yet, if we seriously examine the progress of the clean-up work in the past eight years, we would be hard put to feel a sense of relief. The most critical problem is that three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had been damaged and the 250 tons of more than 1600 spent fuel rods were “reckoned” to have fallen to the bottom of the reactor vessel after having melted at high temperatures. The radiation level there was too high for humans to possibly come close, let alone remove the molten nuclear residue. The Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have given a figure: it would take 40 years to complete the decommissioning work. The time given, that of 40 years, is not justified by any corresponding procedural steps, and can be a wild guess. It has been 8 years and progress has only been snail-like. The suggested time frame of 40 years may be useful only in some consoling effect, to make believe nuclearthat the accident can possibly be dealt with in two generations. Can it?

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