Japan considers burying damaged plant while threat level rises

Explosions in the Fukushima nuclear plant (Picture by daveeza)

By Edoardo Zandona’

The last resort to stem the radiation leakage in Fukushima damaged nuclear plant may be to bury it in sand and concrete, Japanese engineers suggest. This method was similar to the final solution used in Chernobyl to contain the catastrophe, and it is now being considered as the ultimate resource to deal with the nuclear crisis in Japan. This suggestion comes immediately after the threat level for the accident has been raised from 4 to 5 on a 1-7 scale.

The country’s nuclear safety agency told Reuters it is aware of this possibility, but for now the priority remains to try and restore power by cooling the reactors down. “That solution is in the back of our minds, but we are focused on cooling the reactors down”, the agency’s spokesman stated. He added that it was unclear how effective other methods, such as spraying water from helicopters, had been.

The situation in Fukushima remains critical, as about 300 workers are struggling against time to restore power in the reactors.The biggest threat at the moment seems to be the increasing radiation level around Fukushima, which led to evacuate all the residents in the area 30 km around the plant. While Japan tries to avoid what could be the biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986, the rest of the country is still dealing with the aftermath of last week’s earthquake. The 9.0 magnitude quake and 33-feet tall tsunami wave have already caused more than 15,000 dead or missing, food shortages and huge halts to water and power supply.