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Experts knock notion of burying nuclear reactors

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Hope is running out! And fast!

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Pretty good and objective article.

Hope everyone reads it.

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However accurate or otherwise this article may be, it is not objective. It is tipped in favor of the points of view of Tokyo Electric Power Co and the bureaucrats who have a vested interest in nuclear power generation.

Yet, this article cannot escape the fact that entombment, while distasteful and embedded with dangers of its own, may be the only option if all else fails. The article quotes David Lochbaum, nuclear safety director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, as saying that "sealing in the reactors or fuel pool" is something to be done "only when hope runs out." This is mildly echoed by others cited in the article, including Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The article end with the happy note that David Lochbaum "believes there is still hope."

More than anything I hope there is still hope. But what happens if it comes to pass that there is no more hope? Specifically, what happens if current efforts, noble as they are, fail and entombment becomes the only option, as it was with Chernobyl, even with the risks involved?

If entombment has to be done as a last ditch effort it should be done right. This mean preparations need to be started now. The authorizers and the entombers should know exactly what they are doing.

Whatever the bias of this article are, its chief virtue is to point out that entombment is no easy matter and can create more grave troubles if mishandled. This all the more reason to begin preparations of entombment now, even if it never has to be done.

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"It’s true that concrete tombs may someday stand at the troubled nuclear complex, one expert said, but only as a long-term strategy once the radiation has cooled."

It's way too soon to begin burying the reactors in a concrete sarcophagus. The fuel rods MUST be cooled first. The reactors can not be restarted, they're far too damaged. They will never produce electricity again and nothing can be built there.

Once the area has cooled down and there is no further danger of gas pressure explosions, which could damage the sealing material and injure workers, the area will be deemed safe enough to allow workers to pour tons of concrete mixed with whatever additives are required.

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We appreciate the opinions shared by the experts but there is the dirty, dangerous and expensive side about nuclear power. The nuclear industry seeks to revitalize itself by manipulating the public's concerns about global warming and energy insecurity to promote nuclear power as a clean and safe way to curb emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce dependence on foreign energy resources. Despite these claims by industry proponents, a thorough examination of the full life-cycle of nuclear power generation revels nuclear power and I repeat to be dirty, dangerous and expensive form of energy that poses serious risks to human health, national security, and taxpayers yet bonehead Obama supports this form of energy. You will probably see more nuclear power plants in the future and the business will continue to grow. Unfortunately, it's always about the profit and politics are involved of course because somebody want to gains something, power, control etc. Sadly, this will inevitably destroy our earth because this is a integrel feature of a economic system obssesed with growth and expansion.

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Hope is running out! And fast!

okapake, you haven't said one positive thing since the earthquake. Not one gambare, not one "I'm praying," nothing.

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Novenachama - Sadly, this will inevitably destroy our earth because this is a integrel feature of a economic system obssesed with growth and expansion.

Are you suggesting a return to the "dark ages" time frame after a plague reduced the population? Populations are growing. More energy use is required. Solar and wind power can only supplement nuclear, natural gas, coal and water power generators. Nuclear power facilities can be made safer.

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I think dumping loose material on the reactor of a liquid,sand or cement nature is unlikely to crack the reactors. If it is possible to safely move the fuel from the storage pools first, it would probably be a good idea. I would of thought robots could shovel the fuel rods out, put them in a mobile tank and drive them off to a safe place.

I like the idea of building a frame around each of the Daiichi reactors and filling it with reinforced concrete and having atleast a two metre thick covering over the roof and walls. I am not a scientist, so my impression of it stopping the radiation and any explosions may be wrong. Perhaps they could repeat the process; then join all the reactors with concrete and then put some grass on top, as it would make it look nice.

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