Russian official critical of Tepco’s approach to cooling reactor
In an article published last month in the Japan Times, a Russian official stated that Tepco’s approach to cooling the reactors and decommissioning the plant needed to change to be successful.
Vladimir Asmolov is first deputy director general of Rosenergoatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear utility. He was quoted as saying the pumping of water for cooling was never going to work and would only serve to create a “machine for generating radioactive water”. He suggested instead that more complex methods needed to be used, such as the use of special absorbents like thermoxide to clean decontaminated water and the use of air cooling.
Rosatom, a Russian nuclear company sent a 5 kg sample of an absorbent that could be used at Fukushima 3 years ago, according to Asmolov. It also formed working groups to assist Japan with management of fuel, decontamination and health effect assessment. Sadly, none of the offered help was ever used. He did say the new Abe government showed a different attitude and that there have been talks on a diplomatic level.
It seems obvious to me Mr.Asmolov is right. The current approach is only creating a massive stockpile of radioactive water that is growing every day and that no one seems to know what to do with it. Carrying on talks with the Russians? The Russian help should have been accepted 3 years ago! This is not just a Japanese accident. The contamination of the Pacific affects the entire world. It is long past time for Japan to seek the assistance of experts in the field from around the globe and deal with the situation in the urgent fashion it deserves.
Japan has high hopes of hosting the summer Olympic Games in 2020. If that’s the case, Japan needs to allow a more international approach to the problems at Fukushima. Japan’s current insular attitude towards Fukushima shows no respect for the concerns of the international community and is unworthy of a country wishing to host the Olympic Games.