Japan Erects Huge New Roof Above Crippled Fukushima Reactor

In what the Japanese press heralds as an important step to safely removing all the radioactive material left inside the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant's ruined reactors, the Japanese utility in charge of cleaning up the site has finished installing a roof over reactor No. 3.

The work started last August to set up a dome-shaped cover. It is part of preparations for removing nuclear fuel from the reactor's storage pool. A total of 566 spent and unused fuel units remain in the storage pool of the No. 3 reactor.

On Wednesday, workers installed the last part of the cover, which is 17 meters high and 22 meters wide, and weighs 55 tons.

Tepco, which ran the plant and also criminally lied and obscured the full extent of the radioactive leakage caused by the disaster, is scrambling to accomplish as much as possible ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Cleanup of the power plant's crippled reactors - which experienced meltdowns when a tsunami thrashed the Japanese coast back in 2011 - is expected to take decades.

More recently, Tepco has been criticized for draining what it described as "harmless" radioactive material into the water near the plant - sparking outraged local fishermen to fight back.

Last year, the Japanese government started cutting benefits for people who were forced to flee their homes and possessions because of the disaster.  This has forced some people to move back to the exclusion zone for the first time since the initial evacuation. Photos of the area depict a nightmarish ghost town overrun by radioactive wild boars.

it is unclear what the true radiation level is in the zone, as none of the government's data are reliable or credible.

Which is why - while modest - adding a roof on top of the Fukushima sarcophagus is welcome news for the locals as it will then allow Tepco to remove hundreds of units of nuclear fuel from the reactor's storage pool, which will begin this fall. The other reactors will be treated afterward.

The roof will prevent radiation from spreading, while also protecting the plant from wind.

Tepco says it’s still working to remove rubble from the ruined reactors.

Comments

Baron von Bud Thu, 02/22/2018 - 20:57 Permalink

Oh Joy! They'll put a roof on the top while all the radiation flows underneath to the sea polluting the entire Pacific. But, it's a thoughtful touch nonetheless.

Old Skool LiteBeeer Fri, 02/23/2018 - 05:35 Permalink

"...outraged local fishermen"

You're having a f*$king laugh aren't you?

How in the hell is there still a local fishing operation? Who in their right mind would buy fish caught from that area, also, so much for fiduciary duty of the fishermen by knowingly selling radioactive meat to the unsuspecting buyer.

In reply to by LiteBeeer

HockeyFool auricle Fri, 02/23/2018 - 04:54 Permalink

Your ignorance is showing.

The cover will serve a couple purposes. It will add shielding reducing somewhat the local areas dose rate.

During de-fueling, it will serve to contain. It will prevent wind from spreading further any contamination that goes airborne during de-fueling.

It also provides a psychological benefit to the public, which is mentioned in this article.

And yes, it can be decontaminated (cleaned up). But complete decontamination will probably take 100 years in reality.

In reply to by auricle

etudiant Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:18 Permalink

Afaik, the roof structure is to hold the machinery for removing the fuel stored in the cooling pond at the top of the reactor.

It is built up and supported independently.

It has nothing to do with the reactor itself, that ruin is not something to reliably build on.

Meanwhile, the radioactivity from the reactor meltdowns was blown out to the environment in the days after the accident. The ongoing leakage today is perhaps a billionth of the peak rate, so fixing things somehow, whether today or in another decade, makes squat difference