Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Fukushima still fragile 3 years after accident

11 March 2014, 09:35

Tokyo - Japan on Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the massive quake-tsunami disaster that sparked the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Here are some key facts about the still-unresolved situation three years after the worst nuclear disaster in a generation. Cleaning up the shattered site is expected to take decades.

The state of the six reactors

- Reactors 1, 2 and 3 went into meltdown after their cooling systems were knocked out as giant waves thundered into the plant. The temperature of the cores and spent fuel pools at all units is now stable and water is being used to keep them cool.

- Reactor 4 has an empty core but around 1 500 spent fuel rods had been in its storage pool. The outer building was damaged by fires and an explosion. About one third of the rods have been removed since operations began in November, a risky and complicated task. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) plans to remove all the fuel rods by the end of this year.

- Tepco has decided to decommission reactors 5 and 6, which had been in a state of "cold shutdown" since the accident.

Contaminated cooling water

Much of the work done to stabilise the plant has been temporary and there is no permanent solution for the water used to cool overheating reactors.

- Some 436 000 cubic metres of toxic water is being stored at the site, with some 70 000 cubic metres of highly contaminated water separately filling the basements of the reactors.

- The water is mostly stored in some 1 200 tanks at the site, and Tepco has faced occasional leaks.

- Many experts say that at some point this cooling water will have to be released into the sea after being scoured of the most harmful contaminants. They say it will pose negligible risk to marine life or people, but local fishermen and neighbouring countries are fiercely opposed.


- Workers face a constant battle against incoming groundwater that mixes with contaminated cooling water, putting pressure on storage and resulting in seepage into the nearby Pacific Ocean, at a rate of about 400 cubic metres a day.

What's next?

- The next major step towards decommissioning is to start removing fuel rods from Reactors 1, 2, 3 which went into meltdown. The work requires cutting-edge technologies to block dangerous levels of radiation and to repair damaged parts of reactor containers. That is expected to start in 2020 at the earliest.

- The government has agreed to fund a plan to freeze the ground underneath the reactors to divert groundwater. This is part of a nearly $500m plan that will take two years.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...