Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Olympic officials concerning the Fukushima nuclear power plant, “let me assure you that the situation is under control.” This address by Prime Minister Abe helped Japan win the 2020 Olympics. It seems he lied. The manager of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has admitted that repeated efforts to bring under control the problem of radioactive water have failed.
Japan Times reports on the troubles that have plagued cleanup efforts:
Last week, Tepco said it had directed 203 tons of highly radioactive water to the wrong building, flooding its basement. Tepco is also investigating a leak into the ground a few days earlier from a plastic container used to store rainwater.
In February, a tank sprouted a 100-ton leak of radioactive water, the most serious incident since leaks sparked international alarm last year.
A hangar-like structure houses Toshiba Corp’s ALPS system, able to remove all nuclides except for less noxious tritium, found at most nuclear power stations, its planners say.
It sat idle for 19 months after a series of glitches. The latest miscue occurred on Wednesday, when a ton of radioactive water overflowed from a tank.
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Despite an Abe’s government pledge of half a billion dollars towards the cleanup problem, significant problems remain.
Difficulties may have also sprung up because of Tepco’s emphasis on speed rather than quality since the 2011 disaster.
This is the last thing Japan needs after a very long period of economic stagnation. Japan may get the Olympics Abe wanted, but the critical issue of the nuclear power plant remains unresolved.
Photo credit: Michaela (Flickr)