Absolute Black: it is in total darkness 11 March 2011 a handful of desperate men have tried everything to prevent the worst atomic Fukushima Daiichi plant. In vain
Fukushima I nuclear power plant before the 2011 explosion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
years later, an AFP journalist visited where the drama was played that
does not unscathed Japan nor its energy policy: the control room units 1
As a testament, there are only notes scribbled on the walls, between levers, dials, buttons and lights off.
Dates and numbers written awkwardly visible footprints of these
infernal first hours after the earthquake and tsunami that shook the
site and plunged into darkness those who fought.
24 hours on 24, for days, they fought, but had to retreat. What was happening in the reactor core, operators knew nothing. The guys who were there are no longer working at the plant. They received too much radiation, said Kenichiro Matsui, an official of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).
Always a full mask, coveralls, hat, headphones, three pairs of gloves,
socks and much covered shoes straddle cables, pipes, through a narrow
maze of stairs and arrive there but, surprise: the room is clean, lit.
And yet, forty meters in the destroyed reactors, still reigns a phenomenal radioactivity if they are not ready to go.
Such is life in Fukushima Daiichi.
Paradoxical: the very visible part of the site (cleaning of buildings)
progress, and a sense of chaos also near water reservoirs including
The management of this water is still not satisfactory, confirms Dale
Klein, former president of the American Nuclear Regulatory Authority and
a member of a committee to monitor the crisis.
Four steps forward, two steps back: each new water leak ruined almost
all the confidence regained a little, according to this expert deplores
Tepco needs to do more and faster to manage almost 450,000 tons of
radioactive liquid accumulated in tanks 1200 scattered over the site. And continue to build dozens.
3000-4000 workers are struggling every day in incredibly harsh
conditions to clear, install equipment, build an underground wall,
remove the spent fuel storage pools, or simply sort the clothes, shoes,
goggles and helmets . Crazy logistics.
Three years is a long time but it’s nothing, not even a tenth of the
time it will take to dismantle 4 of 6 slices of Fukushima Daiichi. And during this titanic struggle, Tokyo hopefully well revive others elsewhere.
Nuclear energy = an important resource –
Nuclear energy is an important resource base, insists the Conservative
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who reactors deemed safe will be put into
Came to power in late 2012, his government was quick to bury the project executive previous center-left nuclear zero by 2040.
Ten units (50 arrested) are being examined for more than six months, and it is not finished.
If the government and the nuclear Authority (responsible for certifying
the reactors) really considered the Fukushima disaster as a priority,
they would put more resources instead of concentrating on studies
restart other reactors, irritated Hisayo Takada following folder within
the environmental organization Greenpeace.
The opinion, she does not move much, she just hopes that nuclear
facilities will be used less than before, while the industrial sector
believe it will not only boost reactors but also build new ones to
ensure stable supply.
The pro-nuclear camp around Shinzo Abe advances three arguments.
Japan must import price of gold huge amounts of oil and gas for its
power plants running at full capacity, a situation that leads to
unsustainable trade deficits.
Diplomatic: energy independence is vital, though, to nuclear power plants, Japan remains dependent on imported uranium.
Thermal power plants produce greenhouse gas emissions, which prevents
Japan to fulfill its international commitments, even if he promises to
increase the share of renewable energy (solar and wind farms). Add to that a little pride (control technology) and for some
nationalistic militarist an afterthought (and Japan endowed the atomic
Suddenly, the government insists on all the tones that Japan wants to
certainly reduce the nuclear share but can not do without if it wants to
remain a major independent economic power and caring climate change.