One month after the worst earthquake in Japan’s history triggered a crisis at Fukushima’s Daiichi reactors, the most complicated nuclear reactor crisis in history remains volatile.
While the damage done to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant should not be seen as a blanket verdict against nuclear power, countries developing nuclear energy programs must take additional steps to protect their nuclear installations against external events.
The 2011 conference focused on new actors and new agendas, reflecting the need to develop cooperative responses to challenges being posed by changing technology, distributions of political power, interest in nuclear energy, and security conditions in key regions.
As Japanese officials report that radioactive water has contaminated the ground near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, concerns grow that it may take several more weeks to get the reactors under control.
Given the severity of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, the plant operators at Japan’s damaged Fukushima power plants are being forced to improvise solutions as they attempt to bring the reactors and radiation leaks under control.
A radiation leak in the turbine building of Fukushima's Daiichi unit 3 reactor, damaged by Japan's earthquake and subsequent tsunami, suggests there is some chance the reactor core has been breached.
A reactor core may have been breached at one of Japan’s Daiichi reactors. For a nation still mobilizing to respond to a triple crisis – the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor crisis – this dangerous development is difficult to address.
Reports of increased radiation levels in the turbine room of Japan’s damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima have increased concerns that damage has been done to the steel container that encloses the nuclear core.
The situation at Japan’s damaged nuclear plants in Fukushima remains volatile and dangerous, as workers struggle to control radiation leaking from the reactors and cool the nuclear cores.
The incident at Fukushima has reminded Japan that a serious accident in an advanced country can happen at any time. While Japan should reassess how dependent upon nuclear power it should be in the longer term, the Fukushima accident is not a blanket verdict against its use.