Mainichi: What we face is a great unknown to all of mankind — 10 sieverts/hour outside and levels must be much higher closer to reactor core, says Japan nuclear prof.

Monday, August 29, 2011
By Paul Martin
August 29th, 2011

Experts split on how to decommission Fukushima nuclear plant, Mainichi Daily News, August 28, 2011:

[…] “If there’s 10 sieverts per hour of radiation outside, then the levels must be much higher closer to the reactor core,” says Tadahiro Katsuta, an associate professor at Meiji University and an expert in reactor engineering and reactor policy who was once a member of an anti-nuclear non-profit organization called Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC). “The fuel has melted, and we haven’t been able to cool it consistently.” […]

Katsuta predicts that it will probably take at least 10 years just to determine whether it is possible to remove the fuel. He adds that it could very well take 50 years before the task of dismantling the reactor and other facilities is completed.

What Katsuta has in mind is a Chernobyl-style concrete sarcophagus, which would entail cloaking the melted tomb with massive amounts of concrete. “How could we simultaneously dismantle four reactors that have been contaminated to the extent that they have by radioactive materials?” asks Katsuta. “Japan has little experience in decommissioning reactors, and this case is quite different from standard decommissioning processes. […]“

[…] what we face is a great unknown to all of mankind.

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