Times: 200-year wait faced at Fukushima — Plant Chief: “No idea” how to decommission reactors… “the technology does not exist”; “No viable method” to deal with melted fuel; “So many uncertainties… we don’t have accurate information” — Engineers declared problems ‘insurmountable’

Published: March 29th, 2015 at 10:29 am ET
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The Times of London, Mar. 27, 2015 (emphasis added): Japan faces 200-year wait for Fukushima clean-up — The chief of the Fukushima nuclear power station has admitted that the technology needed to decommission three melted-down reactors does not exist, and he has no idea how it will be developed. In a stark reminder of the challenge facing the Japanese authorities, Akira Ono conceded that the stated goal of decommissioning the plant by 2051 may be impossible without a giant technological leap. “There are so many uncertainties involved. We need to develop many, many technologies,” Mr Ono said. “For removal of the debris, we don’t have accurate information (about the state of the reactors) or any viable methodology… [The rest of the article is only available to Times' subscribers]

The Telegraph (UK), Mar 26, 2015:  Japan may be obsessed with robots, but it is a British company that has solved the “impossible” problem of visualising the radiation leaks inside the crippled reactor buildings at Fukushima — State-of-the-art British imaging technology has been deployed at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to overcome problems that Japanese engineers declared to be insurmountable… [The] system is able to create a real-time, three-dimensional image of the area being surveyed and identify “hot-spots” of radioactivity. More than four years after… radiation levels within the structures remain too high for humans to enter. That has severely hampered efforts to… clean up the site. Experts have already estimated that process will take three decades but progress to date has been slow. [TEPCO] was only able to confirm on Thursday previous suspicions that nearly all the fuel from the No. 1 reactor at the plant has melted and fallen into the containment vessel. Two more reactors appear to have experienced similar fates… “One of their guys said it was like finding a Picasso in the loft because their experts had told them that what we do was impossible“, [said Dr Matt Mellor, director of Createc]… Createc engineers first visited the Fukushima plant in 2013. “It was a shocking sight… so it was clear this was going to be a major challenge from the outset”, he added.

See also: ABC at Fukushima: This could go on for centuries, and some say problems can never be fixed; “Tepco admits it doesn’t know extent of meltdowns” — Official: We don’t know ‘real situation’ of the molten fuel, “nobody has seen it”; We need help from the world (VIDEO)

Published: March 29th, 2015 at 10:29 am ET
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1,012 comments

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