Radioactive Rainwater Overwhelms Fukishima Nuclear Plant

Radioactive Rainwater Overwhelms Fukishima Nuclear Plant

JAISAL NOOR: Welcome to The Real News Network.
I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore. In Japan, the operator of the crippled Fukushima
Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant acknowledged that highly radioactive rainwater runoff has contaminated
the surrounding areas. Now joining us to discuss this is Arjun Makhijani,
who is a nuclear engineer with 37 years of experience in energy and nuclear issues. He’s
the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Thank you so much for joining us. ARJUN MAKHIJANI: You’re welcome. NOOR: So can we get your reaction to this
latest troubling news from the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant,
saying that this highly radioactive rainwater, which they weren’t able to clean up and pump,
has again contaminated the surrounding areas? MAKHIJANI: Yes. So Fukushima has had a problem
of contaminated water since the time of the accident in 2011, and not only the water that’s
needed to cool the molten fuel in the reactors, but also all of the rainwater and storm water
and so on that has been getting into the reactors and contacting the fuel and so on. They’ve
got about 1,000 tanks with contaminated water on site. Some of these tanks are leaking.
And, of course, the site is contaminated from fallout and leaking water and so on. The latest problem that you’re asking me about
arose when there was a typhoon last week, which is a very, very severe storm and dumped
an enormous amount of rain. And what that has done is in the areas that are highly contaminated
with leaking water that was contained by berms and barriers, that containment basically got
overtopped, and now we have quite contaminated water that’s flowing onto other parts of the
site and into the ocean, contaminated water that’s flowing into the ocean every day apart
from these severe weather events. So this adds to the contamination. NOOR: Has this raised further questions about
the management of the cleanup and the way that TEPCO was approaching it? MAKHIJANI: Well, I think the management of
contaminated water has been deficient from the beginning. For some of us it was apparent
back then, in 2011, that it was not such a good idea to accumulate millions of gallons
of contaminated water on-site. I had suggested back then that they should buy a supertanker
and put the water in the supertanker and have it sent elsewhere for filtration rather than
storing so much contaminated water on-site, risking leaks and worker radiation, because
all of this makes it very difficult for workers to work. It’s not just a question of abstract, you
know, there’s some soil that’s contaminated. Workers actually have a lot of work to do
there. They’re building buildings to replace the damaged structures from the explosions.
They have to put up new cranes. They have to put up equipment to be able to extract
the fuel, used fuel that’s in the spent fuel pools. So there are thousands of people working
on the site, and when you have events like this it makes it very difficult to manage
the accident, much more difficult than if you did not have the problem with contaminated
water. NOOR: On the topic of working conditions at
the facility, CNN recently spoke to a worker who claims that conditions there are very
unsafe for those that are working there. What’s your response? MAKHIJANI: As I understand, you know, there
are thousands of subcontractors. There are not as many employees of the company itself.
As the workers get worn out, tired, reach the maximum limits of radiation, they have
to be replaced by other workers who are not as experienced and not as trained. Morale
is a problem. I understand drinking is also a problem, depression, and so on. And you
can understand. When an accident is that severe and conditions are so problematic, and on
top of it the accident has been mismanaged, the situation of workers is going to be very
difficult. Many of these workers have also lost their homes to the accident, you know,
because they are from around the area, many of them, and they can’t go back to their houses,
so they are in temporary housing and so on. So conditions for workers are extremely difficult,
and many of them don’t appear to be even very well paid, as they should be for the kind
of work they’re doing. NOOR: And finally, there’s a typhoon that
may make landfall this this week in Japan. Does this raise further concerns? And what
does the future look like for the cleanup of this massive radioactive site? MAKHIJANI: Well, one just hopes that the structures
will hold up, because the structures that have been built to protect the reactor and
the spent fuel, especially with reactor number four, are very critical to prevent the accident
from becoming much worse. So there is a current severe problem, of course, with all the contaminated
water and leaks and so on, but there’s much more radioactivity inside the reactors in
the spent fuel pools, and so what happens with all these storms, severe storms, typhoons
and so on, is that–typhoon is the same thing, essentially, as a hurricane–is that there
is a risk that there will be much, much more severe spread of contamination. Thankfully,
that does not seem to have happened so far. But the longer it goes on, of course, the
greater the risk. NOOR: Thank you so much for joining us. MAKHIJANI: Thank you very much for asking. NOOR: Thank you for joining us on The Real
News Network.

19 thoughts on “Radioactive Rainwater Overwhelms Fukishima Nuclear Plant

  1. Don't forget, if one of the nuclear fuel pools stored at the Fukushima plant collapses and catches fire, it will make the earth uninhabitable. But in other news, Lindsay Lohan has a new boyfriend, and check out Paris Hilton's new fall wardrobe!!!

  2. Didn't they stop cleanup efforts surrounding the plant? I think their next step is to seal up the area like they did in Chenobyl

  3. Electronics require heavy shielding & expensive radiation tolerant mil circuits.

    "Robots were sent to control the troubled reactors, and they ceased to operate after a few hours because their electronics failed,”
    Prof. Massood Tabib-Azar, electrical and computer engineering, University of Utah.

    ATM he and others are designing "mechanical" devices that work like computers for use in Fukushima robots.

  4. Huh??…what??…working around a collapsed nuclear reactor is dangerous. Noooo…pffffft.
    Its all safe, nothin to see here. move along.

  5. I think other world powers should be talking about maybe consider helping these workers out? cus like.. it's not just like 'that surrounding area' that will be affected by it but like… the whole world??…. iuno.. just a thought…

  6. Tax Free GE Corporation brought this terminator design to life on Earth & should be held liable for decontamination & sealing Fukushima off, along with the Rockefeller Foundation. Rockefeller Economic Hitman sold post WWII Japan on radioactive steam generation, for metered electrical grids, profitting the most corrupt Industrialist Criminals.

  7. As Fukushima radiation rages, Tokyo awarded bid to host 2020 Summer Olympics, hilariously named the 'Safe Games' .The distance between Fukushima and Tokyo is only 240km.Maybe the Olympic athletes will have extra "energy''!
    The Japanese govt even hire scientists like Dr Yamashita to brainwash people into thinking happiness made you immune to radiation poisoning !

  8. It astounds me to see that these people have let this go on for so long. This impacts others in the world, so why arent the best minds employed to assist in rectifying this disaster.

  9. Drones to kill children in the brown people's country , drones to spy on fellow
    countrymen , but that as far as we got , we can't convince tax payers in the US
    drones for a very good cause could save humanity . OK back to killing people on my video game .

  10. ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢
    ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢

    We need a worldwide consortium made up of experts in the field to start brainstorming solutions to what is happening in Fukushima and what can be done to FIX it. We need them NOW. The consequences could be the extinction of all life on earth. It is past time to do this. Japan is calling for help and they can not handle it alone.

    (Replace DOT with a .)

    ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢

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