It's been 500 days since the Fukushima nuclear crisis began in Japan
And one thing’s clear – it’s still an extremely dangerous situation. A Japanese newspaper is reporting that plant operators still face a number of hurdles before they can decommission the plant and officially close the book on the crisis – and it could take decades. Those hurdles include trying to determine why 8 million becquerels of radioactive cesium still continues to pour out of reactor number 2 every single hour.
Also, half of all the critical thermometers on site are malfunctioning because they've been damaged by high temperatures and high humidity within the plant. There are numerous cooling water leaks. Plus, water contaminated with radiation is accumulating in the basements of the reactor building.
And, plant operators still have no clue how they’re going to remove massive pools of highly radioactive spent fuel from the roofs of the reactors. As the newspaper reports, “Not only will that work be unprecedented, but the work will also have to be done in an environment of high radiation levels.”
Oh, and then there’s the situation with reactor 4, which could collapse at any moment, triggering a worldwide nuclear disaster worse than Chernobyl. Let’s hope nuclear regulators in America are paying attention.