The Fukushima nuclear explosion doesn’t stop wreaking havoc on the environment and it’s seems that it’s only going to get worse. There’s a state of emergency at the Japan power plant at the moment after the authorities recorded an abnormally high level of radiation mainly coming from the hole created from the melted nuclear fuel under the plant. And it’s threatening to start leaking in the ocean.
According to RT.com the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported radiation levels of up to 530 Sieverts per hour inside the inactive Reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex which was damaged during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
TEPCO reported that there’s a hole of about a square meter in size beneath the reactor’s pressure vessel. Experts say that the hole in the metal grating of one of three reactors that had exploded back in 2011, was probably caused by melted nuclear fuel that fell through the vessel. The iron frame has a melting point of 1500 degrees, TEPCO added, explaining that it’s possible that some fuel debris has fallen onto ii, creating the hole.
Moreover, TEPCO adds that they have found fuel debris on the equipment at the bottom of the pressure vessel, just over the hole. With the help of a remote controlled camera the scientists were able to see inside the nuclear reactor and saw the residues from the nuclear material and the hole.
The environment inside the reactor is so toxic that previous attempts at going beneath the plant with specially designed robots were unsuccessful; the robots malfunctioned from the high radiation levels. But TEPCO doesn’t give up and has plans to send more self-propelled robots to assess the damage from the nuclear reactor’s explosion.
In an interview with RT, Yosuke Yamashiki, Doctor of Engineering from Kyoto University said the located leaking is a huge discovery. “This is a kind of progress. There is a very small hole… and very small amount of the radiation is still leaking from the reactor.”
He adds that: “It’s not the fatal level but it is going on. However, they haven’t established a proper means of how to decompose the meltdown reactor yet. There are not so many ways to decompose it.” He also mentioned that together with his colleagues they are trying out a special ice technique and the results will soon be seen, but the technique hasn’t been yet approved. If they are successful maybe the government will allow its use.
Yamashiki stressed out that it will take hundreds and thousands of years to completely eliminate the radiation in the area. But, on the up side, he said, “right now, the radiation level is much lower since the reactor hasn’t been active for a while.” At the start of the week, there were high hopes for an efficient cleanup at Fukushima, after the plant operator admitted that they might have finally found part of the nuclear fuel debris they believe is the cause for a lot of the lingering contamination from six years ago.