30 Million Tons of Radioactive Fukushima Waste With Nowhere to Go

Four Years After Tsunami and Nuke Meltdown, Decontamination Is 30 Years Away
30 million tons of radioactive waste at FukushimaWhen the Japanese government says they have everything under control, this is what they mean


When you think of high tech solutions to decontaminating a radioactive exclusion zone, millions of garbage bags full of radioactive debris pilled on a beach isn’t the first image that comes to mind. But that’s what they’re doing. And based on the way the authorities have managed the billions of gallons of radioactive waste water accumulating in increasingly leaky storage tanks, no one should be surprised. The former citizens of the radioactive exclusion zone certainly aren’t.

Following the apocalyptic earthquake | tsunami | nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) initiated containment and cleanup measures that can only be described as FUBAR. It would be funny except for the tens of thousands of lives ruined and the ongoing big time safety issues.

For obvious reasons, no one lives near the plant anymore, in part because it’s still hot.* Promises have been made, but no one is allowed to return to their homes permanently. In the meantime, the government is cleaning up the place with hopes of reducing radiation levels. They are hosing down the roads and raking up the soil and other contaminated material. Then they stuff it into plastic bags and pile it up wherever the can. On the beaches. In abandoned rice paddies. In citizen’s yards. And therein lies some of the problem, because the people who got chased out of their homes don’t really want a bunch of radioactive waste lying around. It more or less defeats the purpose of cleaning it up in the first place.

The government has said they will built a permanent facility to house the bags of radioactive stuff. But the people are skeptical, in part because the government has been saying that for forty years, long before the earthquake. The government also said the Daiich nuke compound was earthquake proof.

30 million tons of radioactive waste at FukushimaFormer residents of Fukushima Prefecture live in high tech housing. They are never going home.

See our Toxic Apocalypse page on Fukushima for more: read the story.


*But that’s a different story.

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