TOKYO—The Japanese government announced Tuesday that it will spend $470 million on a subterranean ice wall and other steps in a desperate bid to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after repeated failures by the plant's operator.
How could this possibly go wrong?
Atsunao Marui, an underground water expert at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said a frozen wall could be water-tight but is normally intended for use for a few years and is not proven for long-term use as planned in the outline. The decommissioning process is expected to take about 40 years.
"We still need a few layers of safety backups in case it fails," Marui told The Associated Press. "Plus the frozen wall won't be ready for another two years, which means contaminated water would continue to leak out."
Marui said additional measures should be taken to stop contaminated water from traveling under the seabed during that time and leaking further out at sea.
What are the odds of no more major earthquakes over 40 years?
Meanwhile we read:
The crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant "has not ended", the country's nuclear watchdog has warned, saying the situation there is "unstable".
Watchdog chief Shunichi Tanaka also accused the plan's operator of careless management during the crisis.
He added that it may not be possible to avoid dumping some contaminated water into the ocean.
The picture from the BBC link :
shows the real issue: TEPCO has been storing 400 tonnes of contaminated water PER DAY on site in all those temporary water storage towers. The first article says:
TEPCO has been pumping water into the wrecked reactors to cool nuclear fuel that melted when the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant's power and cooling systems. The utility has built more than 1,000 tanks holding 335,000 tons of contaminated water at the plant, and the amount grows by 400 tons daily. Some tanks have sprung leaks, spilling contaminated water onto the ground.
Some sources describe the tank joints as being rubber, other concrete. In either case, they are vulnerable to (you guessed it) radioactive water!
It seems to me that everyone involved has been doing their best to ignore the issue, but now we read:
The leaks came as Tokyo headed into the final days of the contest to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. With anti-government demonstrations plaguing Istanbul's bid and a recession and high Spanish unemployment hanging over Madrid's candidacy, Tokyo is pushing its bid as the safe choice in uncertain times.
That's it, let's just ignore that radioactive water leaking out of those jury-rigged tanks and have ourselves an Olympics!