Fukushima still fragile 3yrs after accident

2014-03-11 09:10
Staff members of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) and the media walk in front of the No. 1 reactor during a media tour at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. (Koji Sasahara, AFP)

Staff members of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) and the media walk in front of the No. 1 reactor during a media tour at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. (Koji Sasahara, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Tokyo - Japan on Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the massive quake-tsunami disaster that sparked the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Here are some key facts about the still-unresolved situation three years after the worst nuclear disaster in a generation. Cleaning up the shattered site is expected to take decades.

The state of the six reactors

- Reactors 1, 2 and 3 went into meltdown after their cooling systems were knocked out as giant waves thundered into the plant. The temperature of the cores and spent fuel pools at all units is now stable and water is being used to keep them cool.

- Reactor 4 has an empty core but around 1 500 spent fuel rods had been in its storage pool. The outer building was damaged by fires and an explosion. About one third of the rods have been removed since operations began in November, a risky and complicated task. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) plans to remove all the fuel rods by the end of this year.

- Tepco has decided to decommission reactors 5 and 6, which had been in a state of "cold shutdown" since the accident.

Contaminated cooling water

Much of the work done to stabilise the plant has been temporary and there is no permanent solution for the water used to cool overheating reactors.

- Some 436 000 cubic metres of toxic water is being stored at the site, with some 70 000 cubic metres of highly contaminated water separately filling the basements of the reactors.

- The water is mostly stored in some 1 200 tanks at the site, and Tepco has faced occasional leaks.

- Many experts say that at some point this cooling water will have to be released into the sea after being scoured of the most harmful contaminants. They say it will pose negligible risk to marine life or people, but local fishermen and neighbouring countries are fiercely opposed.

Groundwater

- Workers face a constant battle against incoming groundwater that mixes with contaminated cooling water, putting pressure on storage and resulting in seepage into the nearby Pacific Ocean, at a rate of about 400 cubic metres a day.

What's next?

- The next major step towards decommissioning is to start removing fuel rods from Reactors 1, 2, 3 which went into meltdown. The work requires cutting-edge technologies to block dangerous levels of radiation and to repair damaged parts of reactor containers. That is expected to start in 2020 at the earliest.

- The government has agreed to fund a plan to freeze the ground underneath the reactors to divert groundwater. This is part of a nearly $500m plan that will take two years.
Read more on:    tepco  |  japan  |  earthquakes  |  nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.