Japan says plant clean-up will take decades

Jul 09, 2011
An aerial view shows the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in the Japanese town of Futaba, Fukushima prefecture in March 2011. Japan's prime minister said the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades, in the first government announcement of a long-term timeframe for the clean-up.

Japan's prime minister said on Saturday the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades, in the first government announcement of a long-term timeframe for the clean-up.

A monster tsunami crippled cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following the March 11 earthquake, with three reactors suffering meltdowns, triggering the world's worst in a generation.

"Many people have been forced to evacuate," Naoto Kan said during a meeting of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

"It is expected to take three, five, or 10 years for controlling it, and even several decades until the accident settles finally."

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission and Fukushima plant operator Power Co have set a provisional goal of starting the removal of melted nuclear fuel at about 2021, NHK said.

The station reported that the authorities, the operator and equipment manufacturers also expect "several decades" to pass before the reactors are ready to be dismantled, citing a long-term roadmap for bringing the plant under control.

Japan has unveiled a short-term to stabilise the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which has emitted high levels of radiation after its cooling systems were knocked out.

But the government had not until Saturday presented an estimate of how long it will take before the crisis can be brought to an end.

The blueprint obtained by NHK was mapped out by studying how the United States handled the 1979 Three Mile nuclear accident, the broadcaster said.

TEPCO expects to reduce by July and bring its reactors to a stable cold shutdown by January at the latest.

Goshi Hosono, newly appointed state minister in charge of handling the , has told Jiji Press that the government will announce a revised roadmap and a longer-term vision for the accident on July 19.

Explore further: Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan suspends waste water nuclear operation

Jun 18, 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Saturday halted an operation to clean highly contaminated waste water at a crippled Japanese nuclear plant due to higher-than-expected radiation levels.

Areva to set up treatment system at Japan plant

Apr 19, 2011

French nuclear group Areva said Tuesday it will set up a system to treat radioactive water from a quake-hit Japanese power plant to allow power supplies and cooling systems to be repaired.

Japan disaster not similar to Chernobyl: officials

May 17, 2011

The potential health consequences of the nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant are not equal to those caused by the disaster at Chernobyl, Japanese health officials said Tuesday

Recommended for you

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

12 hours ago

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

Building a better battery

14 hours ago

Imagine an electric car with the range of a Tesla Model S - 265 miles - but at one-fifth the $70,000 price of the luxury sedan. Or a battery able to provide many times more energy than today's technology ...

Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline

18 hours ago

Researchers at KU Leuven's Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose ...

Nanodot team aims to charge phones in less than a minute

22 hours ago

The world of smartphone users, which is a very large base indeed, is ripe for better battery solutions and an Israel-based company has an attractive solution in store, in the form of nanodot batteries that ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wwqq
not rated yet Jul 09, 2011
No sense rushing it. Waiting a few years before you start dismantling the core makes it cheaper, easier and safer for the workers to clean it up.

The clean-up process consists of slowly and methodically chipping away at the core in various ways; see the clean-up of three-mile island:

http://www.youtub...FB29zVZM
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jul 09, 2011
"Waiting a few years before you start dismantling the core." - wwqq

Reports are that the core has already been dismantled, and portions of it are deposited on the containment room floor, in the cracks in the walls, in the emergency cooling torus, in the cracks in the walls of that torus, and in the ground water that is leaking into the ocean.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jul 09, 2011
Just imagine the advances in remote handling and robotics, not to mention medical treatment for long term radiation exposure to large populations, that we stand to gain from this. Just the thing for colonizing mars and the moon.

Humans - a crisis-driven species.
Newbeak
not rated yet Jul 10, 2011


Humans - a crisis-driven species.

Exactly.More technological progress has been achieved during war than during any corresponding peacetime period.
wwqq
not rated yet Jul 11, 2011
Reports are that the core has already been dismantled, and portions of it are deposited on the containment room floor, in the cracks in the walls, in the emergency cooling torus, in the cracks in the walls of that torus, and in the ground water that is leaking into the ocean.


Unfortunately the signal to noise level of shrill sensationalist morons to normal people is too high to place much confidence at all in such claims.

Remember when the fuel in #4 spent fuel pool went dry and caught fire?

That was widely reported, widely believed for about 2 months before we saw the first videos from inside #4 fuel pool; with the fuel sitting there all nice and tidy; took radiation readings and found that few if any fuel elements in #4 fuel pool had even been damaged.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.