Engineering

New serious accusations against Fukushima nuclear power plant operators

German scientists raise serious accusations against the operators of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima: because were allowed the”simplest precautions disregard”, bright dust had escaped two years after the reactor accident extreme.300 Gigabecquerel to cesium-137 have been even 2013, released two years after the nuclear accident of Fukushima nuclear power plant site and carried by the wind up in a neighboring town. This is the result of a study carried out by University of Hanover researchers of Leibniz jointly with Japanese colleagues.

Earthworks of the TEPCO plant operator at the site of the nuclear power plant had been reason for the extremely bright dust cloud. Cäsium thus contaminated the city Minamisoma, which was initially spared from the direct consequences of the accident and where today more than 60,000 people live through “secondary displacement”.

“We have deemed that not to imagine”

The scientists from the Institute of Radioecology and radiation protection make their results in the journal “environmental science & technology” (volume 49, no. 24) before. Prof. Georg Steinhauser, co-initiator of the investigation, is appalled by the TEPCO negligence: “the results of this size have surprised us, we did this not to imagine. TEPCO has been obviously the simplest precautions about covers with plan for dust suppression and waiting for favorable wind conditions aside”, criticized Steinhauser.

Thrid anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake and tsunami
Thrid anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Deserted road in the town of Namie, North of Fukushima. Researchers have heavy volatile strontium-90 away far from the reactor in more populated areas found. Photo: Kimimasa Mayama/dpa

Researchers analyzed results of three air filter stations, which were installed after the nuclear accident of 2011 North, West and South of the nuclear power plants in Fukushima and since then queried in weekly distance. Also soil samples showed high concentrations of heavy volatile strontium-90, which was found almost only in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant. Both brings the scientists to the conclusion that “the clouds of dust with are certainly from the nuclear power plant site”.

Series of errors began during construction planning.

The company has suspended the farm work apparently also workers of high radiation. The Japanese researchers found evidence of appropriate anyway, in messages by TEPCO to the authorities, while calling indirectly tighter controls of the operator from the period stammen.vSteinhauser: “in Fukushima will hit many decades be – it is unacceptable that TEPCO every time producing a such contaminated dust cloud.”

New serious accusations against Fukushima nuclear power plant operators
Destroyed building in Fukushima 2013 nuclear complex: two years after the nuclear disaster strongly radioactive dust in the environment is has been mushy. Photo: Tepco

The negligent earthworks are only the latest become known chapter in a series of mishaps and errors: only a few months ago a study has found severe shortcomings in the planning of the nuclear power plant near the Japanese Coast and in a highly seismic area.

The meltdown was therefore made possible in March 2011, triggered by an earthquake and a following tsunami, by “Arrogance and ignorance”.