When There Are Not Plans Ahead of Time

In Nuclear Industry on March 24, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Time after time the Japanese government and TEPCO are taking measures after the events and not before. This way they are risking unnecessary the lives of technicians, firefighters and Ground Self-Defense Forces.

A clear example was the cooling of the reactor number 3 early in the Saturday morning. The team planned initially to station a pumper close to the reactor and adjacent to the sea to draw seawater, and transfer the water to an elevating squirt truck through a hose.

But they found a problem: the seaside was (yet) covered with rubble making almost impossible that large-sized vehicles could to approach the site, so they have to relocate farther, and they have to put themselves at risk when they needed manually attach another hose to the original hose.

If TEPCO and the Japanese government had worrying about cleaning the zone from the first moment to allow quicker and safer operations, everybody had not got an extra radiation dose.

They have the ways. In fact, the GDSF sent two Type 74 tanks to help shift debris on Sunday. These tanks can be fitted with a blade like that of a bulldozer and the crew is protected of radiation by thick armor plating.

On Saturday, The firefighters were spraying water about 22 meters high from the ground with the squirt truck’s cannon. But there was a safer way, as there are German-made trucks with a 50 meter arm to pour water from a higher point. These trucks are not in Germany but in Mie Prefecture. Also, the construction company says this same type of machinery was used in Chernobyl.

They are sending now the trucks by request of the government, but I think it’s a bit late: in fact, they must be from the first day helping to cool the reactors.

By not thinking ahead the government and TEPCO are hampering the measures to fix the serious problems at Fukushima nuclear power plants, as radiation wasn’t enough problem.

The first voices are now claiming to bury the plant, and although it isn’t clear if the reactors are going to be dismantled or buried, I presume the government is not taking preemptive measures for this event. It is not easy to bury a nuclear reactor, because you need to reinforce the floors of the reactors and the operation takes time.

Will the Japanese government spend precious moments for not taking decisions ahead of time and again workers at the plant will get extra radiation for not being ready to the events?


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