And once again our prediction about Fukushima (namely the inevitable entombment of the entire facility in thousands of tons of concrete) is about to be realized. Bloomberg reports that Japan will consider pouring concrete into its crippled Fukushima atomic plant to reduce radiation and contain the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. The reason for the admission of total defeat is the gradual comprehension that the worst case scenario has come to pass: "The risk to workers might be greater than previously thought because melted fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing isolated, uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions, Denis Flory, nuclear safety director for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at a press conference in Vienna." Not one to cover up the worst case outcome for a week, TEPCO only did so... for five days: "Radioactive chlorine found March 25 in the Unit 1 turbine building suggests chain reactions continued after the reactor shut down, physicist Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, wrote in a March 28 paper." It's good thought" Radioactive chlorine has a half-life of 37 minutes, according to the report." It appears Japan is willing to give up, and write off a several hundred square kilometer area, as nobody in their right mind will ever agree to move in next to a territory that, contrary to lies, er, promises, will not seep radioactivity in the soil and in the water. This is an unprecedented admission of defeat by the Japanese which unfortunately may be the only solution, which will certainly have major implications for the Japanese economy.
The now much expected spin on this last ditch effort:
Tokyo Electric mixed boron, an element that absorbs neutrons and hinders nuclear fission, with emergency cooling water to prevent accidental chain reactions, Kathryn Higley, head of nuclear engineering and radiation health physics at Oregon State University in Corvallis, said in an e-mail.
Dismantling the plant and decontaminating the site may take 30 years and cost Tokyo Electric more than 1 trillion yen ($12 billion), engineers and analysts said. The government hasn’t ruled out pouring concrete over the whole facility as one way to shut it down, Edano said at a press conference.
Dumping concrete on the plant would serve a second purpose: it would trap contaminated water, said Tony Roulstone, an atomic engineer who directs the University of Cambridge’s masters program in nuclear energy.
How anyone could think the outcome would be anything but following a brief look at the latest overflight of Fukushima is beyond us.
As for what happens after a concrete tomb, which increases the surrounding pressure by orders of magnitude, is put over what now appears is still a live fision reaction, well, we won't make any predictions. Suffice to say if historical precedent of how TEPCO has handled this situation to date is any indication, expect the sarcophagus to crack, and a 100 km "No Live Zone" radius to be extended around Fukushima in perpetuity.