It has been over three years since the 9.0(Mw) earthquake that hit Japan devasted the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. And yet it is still a major crisis.
The earthquake and devastating tsunami it caused, killed over 15,000 people with many more injured and over 2,000 still missing. It also caused several nuclear accidents, leaving Daiichi Fukushima leaking 300 tons of nuclear waste into the Pacific ocean daily which is now washing up on American shores.
The Fukushima site is regularly flooded, the melted cores from Unit 1, 2 and 3 have still not been found and at least "three extremely volatile assemblies at Unit 4 are stuck high in the air".
The whole site is unstable and extremely difficult to manage.
Because the radioactive water is such a problem, Fukushima's owner has won approval to build an ice wall, a 0.9 mile (1.5km) below ground wall to hold toxic water in the site. However, many critics believe this could cause further damage to an unstable site, and may not prevent further flooding.
There is also the huge issue of illness and death in the area. It is believed that the rate of thyroid cancer in the 250,000 young people in the loacality has increased 40 times. "According to health expert Joe Mangano, more than 46 percent have precancerous nodules and cysts on their thyroids. This is "just the beginning" of a tragic epidemic, he warns." truthdig.com
Due to the concerns of a repeat earthquake, a Japanese court has denied two new reactors from opening and since the disaster, the 54 reactors of the country, 12% of the world's, have also not been reopened.
To many, this is a positive from a devastating situation.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made attempts for the nuclear stations to be reopened by moving around the country's regulatory agencies but until the courts ban is lifted this cannot happen.
According to truthdig.com: "Such legal defeats are extremely rare for Japan’s nuclear industry, and this one is likely to be overturned. But it dealt a stunning blow to Abe’s pro-nuke agenda."
"In Fukushima’s wake, the Japanese public has become far more anti-nuclear. Deep-seated anger has spread over shoddy treatment and small compensation packages given to downwind victims. In particular, concern has spread about small children being forced to move back into heavily contaminated areas around the plant.
"Under Japanese law, local governments must approve any restart. Anti-nuclear candidates have been dividing the vote in recent elections, but the movement may be unifying and could eventually overwhelm the Abe administration."
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen believes serious problems could arise when removing the suspended rods at Unit 4. Although some have already been removed, the more dangerous ones remain and are very unstable. "And the pools at three other units remain problematic. An accident at any one of them could result in significant radiation releases, which have already far exceeded those from Chernobyl and from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." truthdig.com
This clean up is a collosal project, one that requires a lot of attention and help. We can only hope that its terrible effects will open the eyes to rest of the world.
For the full article visit www.truthdig.com/report/item/newsflash_fukushima_is_still_a_disaster_20140603#
Watch TED talk: Does the world need nuclear energy?
READ this excellent article: The World Must Take Charge at Fukushima by Dr Mae Wan Ho
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