27 Octobre 2016
By Gordon Edwards (ccnr.ca)
FUKUSHIMA UPDATE -- OCTOBER 2016:
The government of Shinzo Abe has passed draconian legislation to prevent ongoing information about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster from leaking out to the world at large. Ordinary citizens, and even professional journalists, can be imprisoned for reporting on conditions that the government deems to be contrary to the public interest -- as defined by the government.
Nevertheless, some information does seep through the seemingly impregnable wall of governmental-industrial secrecy.
DECOMMISSIONING COSTS MORE THAN DOUBLE
(1) The cost of dealing with the triple meltdown, previously estimated at about 800 million dollars per year, and expected to take 40 years or more, has now been recognized as massively underestimated. It appears that the desperate cleanup measures will cost several billion dollars per year if any real progress is to be made. This alarming state of affairs was documented by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in presentations made before a panel struggling to devise a viable financial plan for TEPCO, the electric utility that owns the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to an article that appeared in the South China Morning Post on October 25 2016.
ICE WALL PARTIALLY COLLAPSES
(2) The Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant was constructed over a major aquifer. When the three reactor cores melted down five and a half years ago, the slow inexorable flow of groundwater beneath the crippled reactors flushed out radioactive materials from the molten cores, delivering hundreds of tonnes of radioactively contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean every day. The Abe government promised to invest hundreds of million of dollars to install and maintain an enormous underground ice wall surrounding the entire nuclear site to divert groundwater away from the molten reactor cores, thereby reducing the rate of contamination of the Ocean waters. On September 2, 2016, an article in the Asahi Shimbun reported that drenching rain from the recent typhoons melted at least two sections of the ice wall and allowed highly contaminated water from around the damaged reactor cores to migrate, still underground, but downstream towards the sea. A TEPCO official admitted that the underground ice wall of frozen dirt is not working. If there had been another 15 cm. of rain, he said, the highly radioactive water would have reached the surface and flowed overland directly into the sea.