March 11 marks the 9th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster
- The management of the contaminated water is in serious jeopardy. 1.1 million tons is being stored on site, with several hundred tons being added every day. The water will exceed storage capacity by 2022. There is talk of releasing this water into the ocean – despite the presence of tritium and other radioactive materials. Any decision to dispose of this water into the Pacific would anger local fisherman and nearby South Korea.
- The authorities say that in the early years of processing the deluge of water flowing through the reactors, Tepco did not change filters in the decontamination system frequently enough. The company said it would re-treat the water to filter out the bulk of the nuclear particles, making it safe to release into the ocean.
- Despite radiation levels at its base still being too high for human contact and the potential for collapse, Tepco has started dismantling an exhaust stack for units 1 and 2 but facing technical challenges.
- The estimates for total accident costs ranges from $188 billion to a trillion dollars, shared by Japanese taxpayers.
- Three former top executives of TEPCO were found not guilty of criminal negligence for their roles in the disaster, despite evidence that the company did not act on known high-tsunami scenarios. The accident was preventable. More than 100,000 evacuees have filed about 30 different civil lawsuits seeking compensation.
- Tokyo is set to host the Olympics next summer. There are concerns about the safety of this venue.
Source: “An update from Fukushima, and the challenges that remain there” by Tatsujiro Suzuki, 11.11.2019 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists