Everything about decommissioning Fukushima reactors is experimental

Thirteen years ago, no one knew how to remove radiation from water. Then the Great Tōhuko Earthquake occurred, and the Fukushima nuclear electric power station was flooded with water by the tsunamis of 2011. It is still flooded with water in an attempt to cool the reactors.

Literally every step of the decommissioning of the Fukushima reactors is experimental. It has never been tried before. Maybe it will work. Now, after 13 years of collecting the water that runs over and through the reactors to cool them, the storage of the tainted water that saturated the site is leading to the release of the supposedly treated water into the Pacific against the will of the South Korean and Chinese governments. Currently, Japan is involved with the fourth release of water to the Pacific.

Nothing like Fukushima had ever happened previously. Never before has more than one reactor had a meltdown, melting the fuel into massive "elephant's feet" of melted corium.

The best technological minds were no match for the destructive tsunami of 2011. The Fukushima earthquake and tsunami created three melt-throughs of the six reactors on site.

Since 2011, underground water has flowed through the damaged reactor site. Japan tried to build a frozen ice wall to contain the underground escaping water. The wall failed repeatedly.

The reason nuclear power is so dangerous is that the force of splitting atoms creates unstable atoms that attach to healthier atoms, causing cancer.

The great hope of nuclear power has failed. It could have been great if it didn't poison downwinders.

We all live downwind.

The above-ground testing of nuclear weapons released radionuclides. The "partial meltdown" of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, and the complete meltdown of Chernobyl in 1986 sent free radicals into the air, destroying many peoples' thyroids.

I like to think of an old advertisement. Like Madge of Palmolive Liquid Dish Soap fame, I believe we are all now "soaking in it."

Gary Sachs


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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