The Enormity Of Decontaminating Japan And Decommissioning Fukushima

The mindboggling magnitude of the clean up efforts are starting to be realized.

Just soil contamination alone for the 4 prefectures around the power plant is expected to fill more than 23 Tokyo Domes. This doesn’t include soil decontamination in other prefectures. Gunma was found to have levels exceeding the exclusion zone at Chernobyl up to 200km away from the power plant. Areas such as Gunma, Chiba and Tokyo where soil decontamination of areas such as playgrounds has been going on are all not included in this soil estimate.

Some additional details were shared with us from some industry experts. These are their very conservative ROUGH ORDER OF MAGNITUDE estimates of the clean up at Fukushima Daiichi.

Cleanup: 10-20 years
Cost: $100 Billion dollars
Manpower: 10,000 N workers
Decontamination: 100,000 square miles
Waste: 100,000 gallons

1- Japan doesn’t have robust shipping plans for nuclear waste and will have to develop them as the need comes to transport and figure out how and where to bury, burn or ship the waste.
2- Japan has no storage capability currently to contain the highly radioactive core and SFP debris.
3- TEPCO may try to at least get a look inside the cores some time in 2015.

By contrast the clean up of the US nuclear weapons program sites is estimated to incur costs for the EM clean-up approach at  $350 billion and could take an additional fifty years to complete. It also involves a number of yet to be invented technology.

Foreign reprocessing, Japan’s current method of dealing with radioactive waste from fuel is meeting even more resistance from the countries it is transported through during the trip to France.

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