Damage to the Nuclear Power Plant at Fukushima

Yesterday we saw how difficult it is to store radioactive waste safely. That post was written just a few days before the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11th, 2011.

Worldwide we have around 250,000 tons of spent radioactive fuel being stored presently in tanks, as was the case at Fukushima, where they have around 1,760 tonnes of fresh and spent nuclear fuel housed (10x the amount at Chernobyl).

The earthquake and tsunami were not foreseen, of course, and that is just the point: it is not possible to foresee what will happen, earthquakes happen, meteors fall from the sky, bombs are set off – and who knows what else.

Here is an 10-minute assessment of the situation by A. Gopalakrishnan, a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in India given on March 24, 2011.


if this video is no longer available please leave a comment so I can update the page

The scale of the damage to the plant, it seems to me, has hardly been seen on the mainstream news, so I think it worthwhile posting these photos here. They were gathered from the Cryptome website, although all the photos have in fact been released by news sources.

Think about what you see here when considering whether you should actively oppose the further development of nuclear energy.

For more in-depth information about the situation at the Fukushima plant, see this excellent article: ‘No safe levels’ of radiation in Japan.

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

18 September 2010: Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in Okumamachi, northern Japan before the disaster. (Unknown source)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in kumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. From top to bottom, Unit 1 through Unit 4.(Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, damaged Unit 3, left, and Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, Unit 4, left, and Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, damaged Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE shows damaged Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE shows damaged Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

20 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. From top to bottom: Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3 and Unit 4. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

20 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, damaged Unit 4, left, and Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

20 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. From left: Unit 1, partially seen; Unit 2, Unit 3 and Unit 4. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

20 March 2011: Aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. From right to left: Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3. (Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Inside of the Unit 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seen in Okumamachi, northeastern Japan. Steam comes out of debris by a crane device, in green, at the unit, Kyodo reports. The March 11 earthquake off Japan’s northeast coast triggered a tsunami that barreled onshore and disabled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. (Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

 

Here we can see the icrediably crude attempts that are being made to contain the radioactive materials that are being released at Fukushima – it is a measure of the desperation of the company involved.

Fukushima Dai-ichi

24 March 2011: Inside view of the maintenance pit of Unit 2 reactor, where highly radioactive water spilled into the sea through a crack, is photographed before pouring concrete into it to keep from further leaks, at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

 

Fukushima Dai-ichi

2 April 2011: The maintenance pit of Unit 2 reactor, where highly radioactive water spilled into the sea through a crack, is photographed after pouring the concrete into it to keep from further leak, at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

 

And finally a picture of the devastation caused by the tsunami: the suburban streets are still visible, but only a few homes remain standing to indicate that this was once a inhabited spot. Most of the people living here must be presumed dead.

Rikuzentakata City

5 April 2011: An aerial view shows roads of Rikuzentakata city, Iwate prefecture, northeastern Japan, after the debris was cleaned away, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (Kyodo News)

 




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2 comments to Damage to the Nuclear Power Plant at Fukushima

  • After the Kobe earthquake we found ourselves sheltering one family and several individual friends. It was a little cramped but a good experience. Offering hospitality during this nuclear crisis would be a great thing, wouldn’t it!

  • Anandajoti

    Sorry Visakha, I only just saw this.

    In fact there is a website, CouchSurfing, that is mainly intended for backpackers, they set up a special page following the disasters so that other Japanese could offer hospitality to the ones who were displaced – surely better to be on a couch with a family than in a refugee center.

    That is what I like about the Internet, it can put people in touch with each other, without the need of waiting on the heirachy to do something to solve the problem. We solve it ourselves through our own basic good nature.

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