Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fukushima Decommissioning reaches important milestone

Over 3.5 years after the Fukushima accident, one of the most worrying problems has now been resolved, as TEPCO has completed removal of fuel rods from the pool in Reactor Building No. 4.  These 1500 rods contained a far greater volume of nuclear material than the reactors themselves, and experts had cited a risk that, if the pool lost its water, the rods might melt or explode, spewing waste that would make the original accident look, well, rather small.

The decommissioning and related efforts will continue for decades (or even centuries), and lingering effects will need to be managed for millenia.  But at least we can stop worrying that the next earthquake or typhoon will trigger this particular disaster.

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