The Japanese seem to have a lot on their plate at the time being. One of the problems resides in the fact that the ruling Democratic Party supports the idea of building a sea wall around Japan, with a length of over 400 km.
There are plenty of experts and diplomats strongly advocating against the construction of this sea wall, and certain concerns are raised. While the 7 billion dollar project aims to protect the Japanese inhabitants of tsunamis, this wall would affect the marine eco-system, impede fishing activities and possibly affect tourism, as it will create awareness and fear of tsunamis, as well as affect the scenery.
Furthermore, this project will also proliferate complacency and interact with people’s conception of having to move onto higher grounds.
At the same time that the sea wall creates huge controversies over the 7 billion dollars needed to invest in this project, representatives of the Japanese government declare that they have invested over $1.6 billion in cleaning up the Fukushima Dai-Chi nuclear plant, which became mandatory after being destroyed by a killer tsunami wave caused by the 2011 earthquake, with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale.
However, the truth is that lowering the radiation chemicals and substances caused by the explosion of the power plant will not be of much help, considering that they still need to retrieve the missing reactor fuel.
As long as the Japanese do not find it, they will continue cleaning up in vain, as the same nuclear fuel will continue generating increased radiation levels, thus affecting the population and causing genetic mutations in humans, fauna and flora.
Why exactly is that fuel dangerous, you ask? Nuclear fuels contain highly radioactive uranium and plutonium. Constant uranium exposure causes liver and kidney failure, respiratory disorders, obstructs vision, potentially cancer.
The plutonium isotope is considered much more dangerous than the uranium one. Plutonium spillovers persist for hundreds of thousands of years, which means that the plutonium isotopes contained in the Fukushima nuclear fuel won’t disappear for the next 500,000 years. Just bear in mind that only one plutonium isotope (PU-239) can contaminate the environment for more than 20,000 years.
But these two radioactive components are not the only ones contained by the nuclear fuels. According to livescience.com, there are others, as well:
Knowing the risks involved, the Nipons have installed two nuclear fuel detectors outside the ruins of the Fukushima power plant. But here is the catch: nothing have been discover, not a single drop of that nuclear fuel…
Now, another question prevails: if the fuel has not been found, could it have infiltrated into the ocean and washed away by the marine currents? Could this mean that the Japanese are not the only ones being affected, but the rest of the world, as well??
Let’s take a quick look at how might the spillover of the nuclear fuel affect the Pacific ocean. While the more optimistic experts believe the spillover is contained around a small portion of the Pacific ocean (see left image below), others consider that the spillage extended around the globe.
Figure 1 Optimistic view
Figure 2 Pessimistic view
The Fisherman reports that the fishing areas comprised between the eastern Asian coast and the western American coast are affected.
The optimistic approach might prove valid only when and if the fuel is retrieved in its original container. But there is an off chance that the nuclear fuel, also referred to as corium, melted the base pad of the drywell container and found its way out.
If the corium indeed melted the container in which it was stored and penetrated the ground, and the ocean, implicitly, then retrieving it can prove close to impossible.