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U.S. Department of Energy to help in Fukushima clean-up

28 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Finally Tepco is getting some experts with clean up experience, but I wonder if Tepco plan to pay the U.S. Department of Energy as Subcontract workers. That will be a lot cash envelopes to distribute from the yakuza bosses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"...but I wonder if Tepco plan to pay the U.S. Department of Energy as Subcontract workers. That will be a lot cash envelopes to distribute from the yakuza bosses."

Vernie, unlike Japan, the US doesn't look the other way on foreign bribes. US employees working overseas have been prosecuted, so TEPCO will get nowhere with that strategy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So, Moniz has high hopes? That so reassuring! Agreeing to help from the US is a good thing, I suppose, but it doesn't fill me with confidence either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Prediction: the experts will be listened to, and there will be meetings - many meetings. In the end, though, our lives and livelihoods will be in the hands of the crane operator. Let's wish Bubba luck... he hasn't tried operating a crane before, but he's gotten a lot better with the forklift. We're very optimistic...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only 2.5 years late to the party. TEPCO, you stubborn b*stards...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Prediction: the experts will be listened to,

But, what makes the US more expert than the Japanese? The 3 mile island clean up?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wow. Just wow. As if anyone has experience removing fuel rods from a disaster zone.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I truly hope that the DOE don't become scapegoats for the tepco parasites.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You know why Japan hasnt allowed outside help yet? Because they didn't want anyone first hand access to see how they are screwing things up so badly and stealing so much cash from its workers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Let's welcome this unconditionally.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Replace TEPCO by US Energy Department.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is not true Mr. Moniz. Nuclear energy does not be part of the energy mix. There are new ways to get clean and cheap energy. I do not think with Mr. Moniz of them do not know .. So why stubbornly says, however, that nuclear energy has a future? That's something I can not understand .. Take, for example, no sustained by tysaclecia Windmill Red Baron. This is a video of the first fully working prototype: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPZWUQlhvDA

Do you know that the wind speed just above the gap is about three times greater than the speed of the wind flowing on the wing? Again, three times larger ...

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But, what makes the US more expert than the Japanese? The 3 mile island clean up?

They aren't so "wise experts" by comparison to TEPCO personnel. But they must to clean up the mess. Those crappy reactors were designed in the USA.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Considering the on-going pollution at Hanford, Savannah RIver, Vermont Yankee NPP, Lawrence Livermore Lab, and other places in the USA, maybe Japan should look elsewhere for 'clean-up' expertise.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes!

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DisillusionedNov. 02, 2013 - 09:24AM JST But, what makes the US more expert than the Japanese? The 3 mile island clean up?

Precisely. What 3 mile island cleanup? The one where they decided it was too expensive to actually clean it up, and they just sealed up the buildings and walked away? I'm sure that TEPCO would be happy to buy into that kind of philosophy.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The one where they decided it was too expensive to actually clean it up, and they just sealed up the buildings and walked away?

You are mistaken.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/08/15/us/14-year-cleanup-at-three-mile-island-concludes.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I would say the prob need to involve russia at this stage...3 mile was nothing compared to these two

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To quote Oddball from Kelly's Heroes: "there you go with the negative waves. Have a little faith"I know this is TEPCO but someone has to remove the rods, and if the Americans can help then I say go for it. It has to be done... as far as I know there's no alternative.

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slumdogNov. 02, 2013 - 02:02PM JST You are mistaken.

With all due respect, I believe you're the one who is mistaken. Here's a quote from the article you cited:

"The cleanup removed the radioactive material that could be reached, leaving other material in Unit No. 2. Plant engineers said that taking apart the unit would have been difficult with a reactor operating nearby. They also said the level of radiation in the No. 2 unit would decline naturally, so there was no reason to rush."

What happened was that they removed the stuff that was easy and economical to clean up then just shrugged and walked away from the stuff that was too hard to clean up. The island is still radioactive and the cleanup is officially over. They've done a good PR job on glossing over the fact that the cleanup was in no way complete, and that a lot more COULD have been done, but was just deemed too expensive.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What happened was that they removed the stuff that was easy and economical to clean up then just shrugged and walked away from the stuff that was too hard to clean up.

Sorry, you are mistaken. You do certainly seem to have a bee in your bonnet with anything connected to the US. It seems to cloud your judgement. That article was from 1993. Over a billion US dollars were spent on the clean up of the area. It is now safe.

The island is still radioactive

No, there is absolutely no radiation leaking into the environment and I challenge you to find me a source saying otherwise.

From wiki:

However, the contaminated cooling water that leaked into the containment building had seeped into the building's concrete, leaving the radioactive residue impractical to remove. In 1988, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that, although it was possible to further decontaminate the Unit 2 site, the remaining radioactivity had been sufficiently contained as to pose no threat to public health and safety.

Please find me a counter-argument to this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@PaulinUSA. I was only being a little sarcastic in my earlier statement. Actually, I wasn't talking about U.S. getting bribes for their work. Many readers on JT know the stories about the bad treatment of the Japanese employees who are doing cleanup work at Fukushima. They are working under Yakuza Subcontractors and not dealing directly with Tepco. I was trying to imagine Tepco doing the same process of sending the U.S. Department of Energy directly to the Yakuza Subcontractors just like those poor Japanese workers.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/workers-slam-tepcos-shady-recruiting-process-for-fukushima-cleanup

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slumdogNov. 02, 2013 - 11:34PM JST Sorry, you are mistaken. You do certainly seem to have a bee in your bonnet with anything connected to the US. It seems to cloud your judgement.

My judgement is unclouded. I would rather put it to you that your inability to acknowledge any wrongdoing by the U.S. EVER, even when they kill innocent civilians with drone strikes, is absolute proof of your prejudice.

That article was from 1993. Over a billion US dollars were spent on the clean up of the area. It is now safe. No, there is absolutely no radiation leaking into the environment and I challenge you to find me a source saying otherwise.

There's an active nuclear reactor there. There is NO reactor in the world with zero emissions. Living near a nuclear reactor guarantees a higher than average radiation dose. Clearly you understand NOTHING about radiation and the safety standards of nuclear reactors.

As recently as September last year there were leaks from the 3 mile island reactors.

However, the contaminated cooling water that leaked into the containment building had seeped into the building's concrete, leaving the radioactive residue impractical to remove. In 1988, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that, although it was possible to further decontaminate the Unit 2 site, the remaining radioactivity had been sufficiently contained as to pose no threat to public health and safety.

Please find me a counter-argument to this.

... I don't need to. You just PROVED my point. The building is still contaminated, the residue was "impractical" to remove (but not impossible, just too expensive and too much effort), so they closed it up and called it a day... which is EXACTLY what I said. This is like the Fukushima Daiichi crew saying, "Its impractical to remove any more radiation, so we're just going close up the area and wait.".

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My judgement is unclouded.

Your inabiltiy to see this situation clearly calls this statement into question. There is another plant on TMI that is actually still in use now and running safely.

I would rather put it to you that your inability to acknowledge any wrongdoing by the U.S. EVER, even when they kill innocent civilians with drone strikes, is absolute proof of your prejudice.

I do not know who you think you are responding to, but this cannot be addressed to me. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else? In addition, it has nothing to do with this discussion.

There's an active nuclear reactor there. There is NO reactor in the world with zero emissions. Living near a nuclear reactor guarantees a higher than average radiation dose. Clearly you understand NOTHING about radiation and the safety standards of nuclear reactors.

Listen, if you would like to trumpet on about nuclear energy having the potential to be dangerous, go right ahead. However, you made the claim that the 'island is radioactive', which is a very charged (no pun intended, but still a good one nonetheless) statement and means something very different than a plant being in operation. By your definition, all areas around nuclear power plants are radioactive. I beg to differ with your definition.

The building is still contaminated, the residue was "impractical" to remove (but not impossible, just too expensive and too much effort), so they closed it up and called it a day... which is EXACTLY what I said.

Impratical, no quotes necessary, means impractical. It does not mean too expensive and too much effort. It means it makes more sense not to do it. There was another working reaction right near by. Find me a site that says dealling with the contamination in any other way was practical or safe. They did not just close it up and call it a day. The clean up took 14 years and a billion US dollars. The area is safe now. If you can prove otherwise, please do so. For you see, you have not done so yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, please stop bickering. Focus your comments on what is in the story and not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is 3 mile island safe to live on? No.

Point proven.

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You are mistaken again. People live right in the shadow of the plants to this very day. Though they admittedly are always on alert in case of danger. Nobody ever lived on the island itself.

You really should consider looking things up a bit more before posting.

The US by all accounts did a great job handling the three mile situation and are a good source of information for Japan to tap into.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Regardless of what happened with Three Mile Island, have any of you considered that the US decimated one whole island and severely contaminated at least four whole atolls of the Marshall Islands, irradiating a whole generation of people, treating them deliberately as guinea pigs to learn about radiation, and then feeding that information back to scientists to develop nuclear weapons and reactors? At the same time in 1954 that the Number 5 Lucky Dragon Japanese fishing boat was irradiated by fallout, causing chaos back in Japan and widespread suspicion of the US, thousands of Marshall Islanders were largely neglected and never fully compensated for severe damages and illness. The US, eager to curry favor with the Japanese people in the wake of its postwar occupation, waged a PR campaign called "Atoms for Peace" to promote nuclear energy in Japan and clean up the negative image of atomic science. This is DIRECTLY what led to the US helping Japan to build its first reactors. My point is not to excuse TEPCO or the J government's inconsistency and mismanagement of this whole hideous catastrophe; it's to contextualize the whole picture. The US government is very connected to the origins of nuclear energy in Japan, and since 1946 it's also polluted the Pacific far worse than Fukushima has. And the US has proven to be fairly unreliable and inconsistent in its "cleanup" efforts qs well. Involving the US in this cleanup is thus a good step in some ways, but there needs to be even more collaboration and transnational, depoliticized effort. Otherwise it's just "atoms for peace" all over again, with real human lives stuck (again) in the middle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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