Here, and here are a couple of articles from the last couple of days regarding the "cleanup" efforts at the Fukushima nuclear plant.They reveal the utter indifference for public safety which has characterized the efforts both of TEPCO and the Japanese government since this monstrous, ongoing disaster started. It is clear that TEPCO is interested in nothing but surviving with as much of its profits intact, and the Japanese government is intent on nothing but minimizing public knowledge of the extent of the massive damage which this disaster continues to create.
Cleanup efforts are now estimated to cost in the area of a staggering $150 billion, and that is if the spent fuel rods can be removed from the area of reactor 4. Several hundred of these rods are jumbled together in a pile in a damaged cooling tank near reactor 4. In normal circumstances, when they need to be handled, they are moved by robotic arms which operate with an accuracy of a small fraction of a millimeter. Of course, now, they are all mixed up in a pile, where the programming of the robots is of little use. They must now be moved by remote operators using TV to try to sort out the damage. If even one of these rods were to break open in the air in the course of handling, it could emit enough radiation to render a large part of Japan uninhabitable for thousands of years, as well as causing untold radiation damage to much of the rest of the world; and incidentally, emit enough radiation to destroy the TV signals coming from the plant, rendering the rest of the rods untouchable. They could then sit there, in a damaged containment tank, until enough time passed for it to collapse- ten years, a thousand, ten thousand, spilling its contents wherever they might fall. And if inadequate handling resulted in the fracturing of a number of these rods, a nuclear reaction could result, which has at least some risk of wiping out life on the planet.
In the face of all this, stonewalling, protecting the miscreants, refusing to accept reality- in other words, the same response to every civil nuclear disaster in history. This is the inevitable story of nuclear energy- they pick up the profits, we pay for the disasters. It is time to put an end to this farce now.