Monday, November 25, 2013

Earthquake Near Fukushima

Part of the idea with the spent fuel removal at Fukushima is the way that further damage may be avoided if the fuel is removed before the next big earthquake. The fuel removal has barely begun, and an earthquake in the area today served as a reminder of how chancy that plan is. The 5.0 earthquake was not strong enough to damage a sound building, but could have shaken something loose in the already damaged buildings at the Fukushima nuclear power station. Fortunately, there are no reports of damage, and we can hope that similar luck holds long enough for all the hazardous materials to be removed, remembering that the spent fuel is just a preliminary step.