Arnie Gundersen on the ice dam, 10/15/13

A recent post in The Voice of Russia interviewed  Arnie Gundersen as to the problems at Fukushima.   One is worth quoting in full:

Is the wall of ice the best solution in this case or is there something that would work faster and more effectively?

I had proposed an idea 2 years ago that would have been better. I had proposed instead of keeping the water from leaking into the Pacific, the right solution is to keep clean water from leaking into the building. It is like having a bathtub. Tokyo Electric choice is to build the sides of the bathtub higher to keep the water in the bathtub. My solution is to turn the tap off and prevent the water from filling the tub in the first place. I was told 2 years ago that Tokyo Electric couldn’t afford that. But the solution they are proposing is much more costly. That really gets to the root of the problem. Your question is right on the mark. Tokyo Electric is not an engineering front and they have been asked to do engineering when in fact they’ve been an operating company. And on top of that they don’t have enough money, the Japanese government isn’t giving them enough for an adequate cleanup. So, you have an inadequate firm underfunded from the Japanese government and until those 2 problems get solved we will have leaks and building failures in the future.

     There seems to be a culture of denial about what is happening.    Unlike Chernobyl, the disaster at Fukushima continues to contaminate the Pacific Ocean.   The problem of what to do seems daunting, and there is inadequate funding for a solution to the problem, which has not been well defined.  There are repeated mistakes being made by TEPCO, and there remains the fuel rods in unit 4 to be dealt with.

Accidents are mistakes are part of  the reality of complex technological enterprises.  What event must occur for the US government to decide that nuclear reactors are too dangerous to be allowed to run?


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