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ABC recently held an exclusive interview with Dale Klein, the former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and now chairman of the Fukushima Monitoring Committee, in which he admitted that many more accidents are bound to happen at the stricken nuclear site before the clean-up is finished, and that the contaminated water collected will eventually have to be dumped into the sea.
“I think the best word to use with Fukushima is challenging,” he said.
In order to keep cool the nuclear fuel rods stored at the damaged power plant in the Fukushima prefecture, TEPCO has been forced to pump millions of litres of water into the reactors, but this process heavily contaminates the water meaning that it must later be stored in special tanks. The facility already boasts thousands of tanks full of radiated water, and some of those tanks have infamously leaked into the Pacific Ocean.
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Klein admits that TEPCO’s biggest challenge is treating and storing this ever growing volume of contaminated water. Suggesting that once the water is sufficiently treated to remove most of its radioactive elements, it will then be dumped back into the ocean.
“At the end of the day, when the water is discharged, it will be released in a way that it's diluted. So there's no risk to public health and safety. But it's an emotional issue.”
ABC even discovered that the contaminated water is not the only problem blighting Fukushima. Another anonymous man who used to work at the site as part of the clean-up crew, told them that he was working “at the plant earlier this year when a rat chewed through some wiring and knocked out power to several used fuel pools.
Related article: Fukushima Amplifies Japanese Energy Import Dependence
I thought, 'how could one rat cause such a big problem?' There were no back-up systems.”
Klein confirmed that such incidents were occurring and that “we will see more of those. When you look at that site, it's massive. It's a big site and it's not unusual to have other things like that.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com