The Japanese government and TEPCO have known for almost three years they had to find a solution to prevent radioactive water from the cooling operation at Fukushima from entering the Pacific Ocean.
Everyday TEPCO pumps tons of water into the damaged reactors to stop them from overheating. This water becomes radioactive, then seeps into the ground to contaminate the groundwater, which finds its way into the ocean.
They think they know how to stop the contamination, even though most scientists are skeptical.
They intend to do it by drilling a series of wells around number 2 and 3 reactors. A coolant will be pumped into the wells, freezing the soil solid and thus preventing the groundwater escaping …well that’s the theory at least.
The ‘fix’ is set to cost $320 million to construct and then the running costs on top of that. This technique is used in civil engineering projects, such as building subway tunnels and the like, and it works, temporarily, but there is no way of knowing how long it will work for. (source)
What happens if there’s another earthquake? What if the power to the pumps is interrupted, or the coolant supply runs out? None of these issues has, as yet, been mentioned.
Now I am no civil engineer, I am not a nuclear scientist either, but life experience tells me that no matter what method you use this can’t be fixed this way. Water will find a way; and if it can’t get past the frozen soil walls forming a ring around the reactor, it will go down even farther into the unfrozen soil at the bottom of the coolant well. Freeze the bottom soil and the water will just build up until the area is full to overflowing.
The same issues arise with the more permanent concrete barriers that some scientists are proposing. If they are bottomless, the water will just sink into the soil and will still eventually end up in the ocean. If they have a bottom, they will fill up, just like a kiddie pool but on a far vaster scale.
The relative irrelevancy of economics, government spying et al comes into very plain sight when you look at what is happening at Fukushima. Yes these other issues are important, but the continuance of the human race is at stake here.
This is why governments will not admit that radiation, and radioactive water from Fukushima is a problem…it is too big a problem for them to deal with.
We are talking about a situation that will be ongoing for decades. Marine life, which a huge proportion of the global population relies on as a source of protein, cannot sustain this kind of punishment on an ongoing basis.
The very air that we breathe is contaminated and will, over time, become more so, giving rise to increased miscarriages and cancers. As the soil becomes more contaminated so will the meat we eat from the cattle that has grazed on it. The plants that we rely upon to feed us will either not grow at all, or they will be contaminated.
Apart from containing this contaminated water in caskets and burying it for God knows how long, all these ‘fixes’ will amount to nought. Even if common sense did prevail, where in hell could you bury that amount of radioactive waste? Ask the United Nations to evict citizens of some far flung nation so a giant nuclear dump can be created maybe?
It may sound far fetched, but the Japanese government and TEPCO are rapidly running out of fixes. The international community is, on the surface at least denying there is a problem, purely because at this point they have no solution.
Unless something happens soon it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that the end of the world as we know it happened on March 11th 2011.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared. Wake the flock up!