Fukushima: Five years after nuclear disaster, the clean-up has barely begun (February 2016)

Japan’s Fukushima clean-up may take up to 40 years, says plant’s operator, five years after meltdown

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear plant was crippled during a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the plant operator has admitted that only a fraction of the clean-up has been accomplished to make the site safe.

As Japan prepares to mark the anniversary of the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster, it is clear that the progress to date – clearing up debris, and installing protective structures around the four reactor buildings that were destroyed – is largely skin deep.

The most technically complex and dangerous tasks, including locating and removing the nuclear fuel that has burned through the pressure vessels of three of the reactors and is believed to have pooled at the bottom of the containment chambers, are yet to begin.

Members of a media in front of storage tanks for radioactive water

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), believes that the work will take at least another 40 years to complete.

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By Julian Ryall, The Telegraph, Fukushima, 5:11PM GMT 11 Feb 2016, as posted at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/12151981/Fukushima-Five-years-after-nuclear-disaster-the-clean-up-has-barely-begun.html

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