Six years after the cataclysmic disaster at Fukushima, where a nuclear plant was crippled by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, concern continues to grow following the failures of technology that is being used in the clean-up process.
Last month it was revealed that the plan to decommission some fuel from one of the three damaged reactors at the plant will be delayed, due to increased radiation.
Tens of thousands of fuel rods were expected to be removed before starting work on the melted fuel lower in the Unit 3 reactor. The job was expected to start in March 2018 – but the work will be delayed further into 2018, due to dangerously elevated readings.
Speaking in advance of the anniversary Adi Roche, voluntary CEO and founder of Chernobyl Children International said “The recent revelations about failing technology and higher than expected levels of radiation at the Fukushima Plant is a stark reminder of seemingly how little we have learned about the dangers of exposure to radiation. Six years in the life-cycle of radiation is a mere drop in the ocean in the history of radioactive contamination for a lot of the deadly isotopes that were exposed following the Tsunami. It will be multiple generations before we realise the true extent of disasters like these”
The most dangerous tasks at Fukushima, including locating and removing the nuclear fuel that has burned through the pressure vessels of three of the reactors and is believed to have pooled at the bottom of the containment chambers, are yet to begin.
Many areas are still untouched after the magnitude 9 earthquake struck offshore on 11th March 2011 and sent a tsunami barrelling into the coastline of north-east Japan. Almost 16,000 people were killed, with 160,000 more became environmental refugees overnight, losing their homes.
Humans are still unable to enter the devastated building of the nuclear power plant – exposure to those levels of radiation would be lethal within 2 minutes.