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An “impending” earthquake is forecast to strike off the Pacific coastline of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, most likely triggering a massive tsunami, within the coming three decades.
The government’s Earthquake Research Committee predicted a 70 per cent chance of a magnitude-8 to 8.6 earthquake hitting the Nemuro area in eastern Hokkaido within this timescale.
The panel also cited a 7 to 40 per cent likelihood of a magnitude-9 earthquake across the eastern Hokkaido region within the next three decades, with potential impact on nearby Aomori Prefecture, home to nuclear power plants.
But the illusion of normality evaporates as soon as the visitors get off their bus and stand within sight of the reactors, with dosimeters indicating radiation levels of around 160 to 170 microsieverts per hour - nearly 2,000 times above what is considered safe.
Extremely high radiation levels have been recorded inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown.
Tepco and its network of partner companies at Fukushima Daiichi have yet to identify the location and condition of melted fuel in the three most seriously damaged reactors. Removing it safely represents a challenge unprecedented in the history of nuclear power.
Exploration work inside the nuclear plant’s failed reactors has barely begun, with the scale of the task described as ‘almost beyond comprehension’
Five sections have been kept open deliberately to prevent water inside the reactor basements from rising and flowing out more rapidly. “We have to close the wall gradually,” Okamura said. “By April we want to keep the influx of groundwater to about 100 tonnes a day, and to eliminate all contaminated water on the site by 2020.”
Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former Babcock-Hitachi nuclear engineer, accuses Abe and other government officials of playing down the severity of the decommissioning challenge in an attempt to win public support for the restart of nuclear reactors across the country. “Abe said Fukushima was under control when he went overseas to promote the Tokyo Olympics, but he never said anything like that in Japan,” says Tanaka. “Anyone here could see that the situation was not under control.
originally posted by: shawmanfromny
Scientists are already sounding an alarm about another powerful quake to hit Japan within the next 3 decades.