Cleanup efforts Japan’s nuclear power plant at Fukushima have had a tough time following 2011’s Fukushima Daiishi nuclear disaster — and the earthquake-rattled plant’s woes continued when workers became injured after a 13-meter-high piece of steel fell on them during a coolant storage tank construction.
According to a November 7 RT article, the steel storage tanks‘ collapse knocked one worker unconscious and left him in critical condition requiring him to be flown to the hospital by helicopter.
The second worker involved in the above ground storage tank collapse had his leg broken, while the third worker’s injuries were more minor, RT reports.
The steel storage tanks had been intended to act as a coolant tank for contaminated water to help stem the flow of nuclear contamination into the Pacific Ocean. The tanks are part of the Fukushima plant’s efforts to find a way to filter radioactive contaminated water. Russia is the most prominent of the countries working to develop a water filtration system for the plant.
A typhoon that passed over Japan in October brought the levels of radioactive water near the plant to record levels, a recurring issue that happens whenever adverse weather hits the plant, RT reports. Worker safety is also a major issue at the plant, with many workers receiving inadequate protection against the nuclear waste they handle on a daily basis, let alone protection from field erected tanks that collapse.
To make matters more complex, the Japanese government authorized the restart of Fukushima’s nuclear reactors for the first time since the 2011 disaster, meaning cleanup will become more difficult with an active nuclear operation taking place.
Even if Fukushima immediately starts successfully filtering its nuclear waste from the water it pours into the ocean, it’s clear that much of the plant’s damage has already been done — and will continue to impact Japan and the Pacific Ocean for a very long time.
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