Fukushima Update: Why We Should (Still) Be Worried
By Karen Charman on Jan 20, 2012
After the catastrophic trifecta of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan last March—what the Japanese are referring to as their 3/11—you would think the Japanese government would be doing everything in its power to contain the disaster. You would be wrong—dead wrong.
Instead of collecting, isolating, and guarding the millions of tons of radioactive rubble that resulted from the chain reaction of the 9.0 earthquake, the subsequent 45- to 50-foot wall of water that swamped the plant and disabled the cooling systems for the reactors, and the ensuing meltdowns, Japanese Environment Minister Goshi Hosono says that the entire country must share Fukushima’s plight by accepting debris from the disaster.
The tsunami left an estimated 20 million tons of wreckage on the land, much of which—now ten months after the start of the disaster—is festering in stinking pilesthroughout the stricken region. (Up to 20 million more tons of rubble from the disaster—estimated to cover an area approximately the size of California—is also circulating in the Pacific.) The enormous volume of waste is much more than the disaster areas can handle. So, in an apparent attempt to return this region to some semblance of normal life, the plan is to spread out the waste to as many communities across the country as will take it.