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Fukushima Decontamination Cost Estimated $50bn, With Questionable Effectiveness 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-news-and-more-bad-news dept.
AmiMoJo writes "Experts from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology studied the cost of decontamination for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, estimating it at $50 billion. They estimate that decontamination in no-entry zones will cost up to 20 billion dollars, and in other areas, 31 billion dollars. It includes the cost of removing, transporting and storing radioactive waste such as contaminated soil. The central government has so far allocated about 11 billion dollars and the project is already substantially behind schedule. Meanwhile the effectiveness of the decontamination is being questioned. NHK compared data from before and after decontamination at 43 districts in 21 municipalities across Fukushima Prefecture. In 33 of the districts, or 77 percent of the total, radiation levels were still higher than the government-set standard of one millisievert per year. In areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where decontamination has been carried out on an experimental basis, radiation levels remain 10 to 60 times higher than the official limit."
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Fukushima Decontamination Cost Estimated $50bn, With Questionable Effectiveness

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  • Over 50% of my town is over 1mSv/yr and nobody is campaigning for it to be decontaminated. My suburb is at about the .97 mark so I must be safe... I'm about a 1/4 of a planet away from Fukushima and not downwind.
    Whats the bet that most of these areas have been above 1mSv/yr since the solar system formed. How many of these 77% are actually contaminated and by how much?
  • LIES! all lies! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nuclear power is still the cheapest and best option there is!
    I mean... It's not like the power company has to pay that 50 billion right? /greed

    Nuclear is not a good option until it can be run completely seperated and insulated from the failings of humans and human greed. The money we've spent cleaning up the few nuclear problems we've had in the short time nuclear power has been around could have gone a long long LONG way to something much cleaner and safer.

    How many wind farms could you build for just 50

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      Nuclear is not a good option until it can be run completely seperated and insulated from the failings of humans and human greed.

      Lets be honest here. Human greed didnt cause the earthquake which sent the tsunami at those reactors.

      We might call it bad judgment as to location, but maybe there wasnt really a better location. After all, Japan has like 100 volcanoes...

      Maybe they shouldnt have been in the nuclear game at all, but you cant determine that based on the hindsight of a single event having happened without going into the specifics of the event. The fact that a bad thing might happen isnt exactly an excuse not to do things.

      • by RCL (891376)
        As far as I know nuclear plants are built to withstand an air attack (e.g. jet crashing into it). Meteors can be much more powerful though.
    • by khallow (566160)
      And human greed didn't force Japan to burn 50 billion dollars. They could have spent considerably less for pretty much the same outcome.

      The money we've spent cleaning up the few nuclear problems we've had in the short time nuclear power has been around could have gone a long long LONG way to something much cleaner and safer.

      We've spent a lot more than $50 billion on both renewable and safer nuclear energy technologies. It's not simply a matter of spending a little more money.

  • When we evaluate algorithms we consider all cases, with probability and outcome. We should start doing that for nuclear power too.

    But I am no optimist, it appears the objective is not cheap energy for everyone (or the focus would be on alternative reactor kinds and reactions), but poisoning the environment (a much more profitable scheme for those who control therapies).

    • by jkflying (2190798)

      What we need to do is evaluate them in terms of deaths/gigawatt-hours. But even then nuclear comes out ahead of coal, hydro and wind. Only solar is ahead.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      When we evaluate algorithms we consider all cases, with probability and outcome. We should start doing that for nuclear power too.

      That would give the Blue Screen of Death a whole new meaning.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @04:36AM (#44378753)
    Where are all those guys that said there was no contamination now? How about the ones that wrote here that containment would never be breached - right up until the point where the roof blew off one of the buildings?

    It's an interesting exercise to look back at the comments posted here during the week of the disaster.

    Another thing the fanboys cannot tell is the difference between not liking a 1970s era nuclear power plant run badly and not liking nuclear power in general. Calling for safer reactors is not cheering blindly for the team so is an enemy in their eyes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jkflying (2190798)

      Like I commented above, this still makes the 'contaminated' areas have lower radiation exposure than somewhere like Denver. Not sure why everybody is so scared and up-in-arms. I'm no fanboy, but do I think nuclear is one of the safest power generating methods we have at our disposal.

      • Saying something isn't bad by comparing it to something worse is a logical fallacy - false dilemma.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy/False_dilemma [wikipedia.org]

        As I have said before on this topic, Nuclear technology may be one of the safest power generators IN THEORY, however our (as humans) implementation and management of nuclear power has been flawed in many cases. Running reactors over operating lifetimes, building them on the edge of the sea in an earthquake zone, etc.. Solar, hydro, wind, tidal, are all

    • by Tyr07 (2300912)

      I made comments that given the hands on experience with radiation related issues Japan has all the fanboys jumped up and down and flagged it troll.

      Hope they put one in THEIR back yards next.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      well, you still need to keep some facts straight.

      the roofs and upper walls ("blow-out panels" ) had nothing to do with containment.

      Containment in that kind of plant was by containment vessels, that's what was breached.

      Yes, we need to get away from gen I and II reactor designs that are from the 50s.

      However, note that total deaths was zero. The quaint containment system mostly contained things.

  • So, cleaning up after a Level 7* disaster is hard?
    (*Only two ever recorded, the other being Chernobyl )
    Not surprising, although perhaps they should be targeting 'hotspots' rather than trying to get the overall levels down to an unrealistically low score.

    Of course, if only a small fraction of this amount had been spent on the plant before the accident, then it could have been avoided.

    Whilst I'm generally for nuclear power, this is a sad example of why much higher standards should genuinely apply to nuclear t

  • by puddingebola (2036796) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @09:10AM (#44379925) Journal
    Saw Edwin Lyman from the Union of Concerned Scientists several times on the TV after the disaster. He used it as an opportunity to call attention to regulation and safety procedures for reactors in the United States. He said current evacuation procedures for evacuation zones for nuclear reactors were insufficient. Physicians for Social Responsibility have a useful map for checking your proximity to a nuclear reactor http://www.psr.org/resources/evacuation-zone-nuclear-reactors.html [psr.org] From their site, "Current NRC regulations stipulate a 10 mile evacuation zone around nuclear plants. This is clearly insufficient and 50 miles has been recommended." They also note that 1/3 of all Americans live within 50 miles of a reactor.
  • $50B sounds like a lot, but for perspective keep in mind that Fukushima I generated on the order of $800,000 worth of energy every HOUR. (Assumptions: 4 GW * $0.20/kWh.)

    At that rate, $50B works out to about 7 years worth of energy production.

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