Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Now TEPCO is lining its radioactive waste pools with quilts

The biggest scare at the plant in recent days has been the discovery that at least three of seven underground storage pools are seeping thousands of gallons of radioactive water into the soil. On Wednesday, Tepco acknowledged that the lack of adequate storage space for contaminated water had become a “crisis,” and said it would begin emptying the pools. But the company said that the leaks will continue over the several weeks that it will likely take to transfer the water to other containers.

Plant workers dug these underground ponds about six months ago to store the ever-growing amount of contaminated water at the plant. There is about 400 tons daily from two sources: runoff from a makeshift cooling system rigged together after the site’s regular cooling equipment was knocked out by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, and a steady stream of groundwater seeping into damaged reactors.

Tepco stores more than a quarter-million tons of radioactive water at the site and says the amount could double within three years.

But as outside experts have discovered with horror, the company had lined the pits for the underground pools with only two layers of plastic each 1.5 millimeters thick, and a third, clay-based layer just 6.5 millimeters thick. And because the pools require many sheets hemmed together, leaks could be springing at the seams, Tepco has said.

“No wonder the water is leaking,” said Hideo Komine, a professor in civil engineering at Ibaraki University, just south of Fukushima. He said that the outer protective lining should have been hundreds of times thicker.

via Fukushima Nuclear Plant Is Still Unstable, Japanese Official Says – NYTimes.com.

Remember when we thought Japan was leading the world into a utopia of capitalist industrial perfection?

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Refusing to move in the right direction

…on that whole renewable energy thing, let alone make real changes.

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it would delay issuance of a new rule limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from new power plants after the electric power industry objected on legal and technical grounds.

The rule, proposed a year ago and scheduled to be finalized on Saturday, would have put in place the first restrictions on climate-altering gases from the power sector in the United States. Agency officials said it would be rewritten to address the concerns raised by the industry, which said that strict new carbon standards could not be met using existing technology.

via E.P.A. to Delay Emissions Rule at New Power Plants – NYTimes.com.

If we did start moving in the right direction, people would complain bitterly about the ‘inconveniences’ caused.