Fukushima disaster: Long road to nuclear clean-up
It would be reassuring to think that the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl is contained, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is in stable shut-down.
Unfortunately a look inside the Fukushima plant suggests otherwise.
I was part of a group taken in to the Fukushima plant last week, only the second time foreign TV journalists have been allowed in since the disaster two year ago. Very little that we saw in our brief two-hour tour was reassuring.
Our first stop was reactor building number four. This place was potentially the most worrying.
Inside the shattered building, more than 1,500 spent fuel rods were still sitting inside a cooling pool. They were still highly radioactive and the pool was outside the reactor’s steel and concrete containment vessel, perched high on the third floor.
A race is now on to get the fuel rods out. A huge steel structure is being erected around building four that will be used to raise the spent fuel out.
But that operation will not start until the end of this year, and will then take two more years to complete. If another large earthquake strikes during that time there is real concern the building could collapse.
To read the full report, please click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21737910
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