Over Easy: Fukushima Update
The 10″ of snow predicted for us when I went home Friday turned into cold rain and melted all the snow we had remaining. Forcasters are red faced, they started walking the snow totals down right after I looked at the forecast. By Saturday morning we were at 5″, by Saturday evening we were at 1-3″, and by Sunday morning they were saying all rain.
TEPCO will begin using the muon detector to look for corium. The linked story will give a good idea of the limits of this technology. This is brand new, made specifically for Fuku. I predict that it will show a lot less corium in containment than TEPCO thinks. And I also predict that they will explain that by saying that a lot of the corium is in chunks too small to be detected.
This link has a number of interesting items. The crew of the USS Reagan kept a running log of radiation starting as soon as they detected the increase. So far as I can find, this log has not been released. For some reason, it was assumed that almost all of the radiation would be released in the first four days. Not true, so the release was vastly underestimated. The water poured on the melts early on actually made things worse. And the fuel was liquid for a lot longer than estimated and is probably still liquid inside hardened shells.
Some citizens tried to sue the operator to stop the Sendai reactor restarts. Some have now dropped out of the lawsuit for fear that the company could sue them to poverty, as if they lose the company will claim it cost them 550M yen per day for every day they were delayed.
They will start storing radioactive waste in March in two evac’d towns in Fukushima. The town’s mayors have agreed to this. There’s not much opposition anymore, as no residents of those towns really expect to return.
Water is still leaking into the ocean. TEPCO and the NRA disagree on the source. Regardless of who is right, there’s still no plan for stopping it.
Japan is setting up a Special Economic Zone to develop robots to deal with Fuku. They are locating this zone in an area where they would LIKE residents to returns. The government believes it safer than the residents do. My first thought was “This is just like magnet schools being used to force students who want to study a subject go to one specific school in a bad area”.
Yet another voice is heard calling for TEPCO to just dump “lightly” contaminated water. Because they need to concentrate on the worse stuff. I wonder what would happen if we offered these people a drink of the water that they want TEPCO to dump.
Boxturtle (Eventually we’ll be able to turn off streetlights because the whole world will glow)