Energy Journal: Fukushima “an ongoing crisis… an international issue, its important we all keep our eye on it… we owe it to the Pacific” — Nuclear fuel dropped into sub-basement and melted through some concrete, no one can get in to see where it is now (AUDIO)
April 25th, 2014
Fukushima revisited with Miles O’Brien, BURN: An Energy Journal (Major funding from: National Science Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation), March 2014:
3:15 in – Miles O’Brien, journalist: You have these melted nuclear piles, they’ve melted through the pressure vessels of these boiling water reactors and much of the fuel has dropped down onto concrete sub-basements… While it has melted through some of the concrete, as best as they can tell — and no one can get in there… it has stabilized.
4:00 in – O’Brien: The water just flows through that site naturally and its passing right through those piles of radioactive material and so everyday 100,000s of gallons of water becomes toxic… They’re going to have to face the reality that they are going to have to discharge some of this water and won’t be completely free of radionuclides… there’s really going to be a reckoning there, as to what to do about this water.
At 8:30 – Chadwick: Anything on this trip to change your perspective? O’Brien: Yes. I think what changed the most Alex is we all want these horrible things to be over. I had the sense things were more over than they are — this really is just beginning in so many ways. We’re talking about 30 to 40 years of very hard work… the whole issue of how do you get that fuel out of there safely and contained, this is an ongoing crisis… this is an issue that is really an international issue. Its important that we all keep our eye on it… the fact of the matter is we owe it to the Pacific Ocean, which we all have a lot of interest in, to watch this very carefully, make sure the Japanese are honest and frank about it and that Tepco is more transparent than it has been. And up to this point, the Japanese have not been great at this… we need to hold them accountable for this cleanup for a long time… In Japan consensus is important, you don’t say anything until everybody agrees on something, and as a result it looks like they’re trying to sit on secrets.