TEPCO says it will cost $12.6 billion USD to remove fuel at the units 2 and 3 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi over 12 years. They do not have an estimate for unit 1 and appear unable to create one until they are able to locate the melted fuel. These costs are just for melted fuel removal and do not include other response work at the disaster site.
Deadly hot spots were found in the basement of the old incinerator building at Fukushima Daiichi. Early on in the disaster the building was repurposed as a holding tank for contaminated water. Zeolite sand bags were placed in the lower level hallways. Over time the zeolite did what it was supposed to do and absorbed the radioactive substances in the water. Work has been underway to reduce the water levels in this building by removing and treating the water. As this was done it was discovered these zeolite bags were between 3 and 4 Sieverts/hr. A level that is deadly with extended contact. These bags can not be removed by humans. Their location in the basement of this building combined with the high radiation levels is creating a challenge. TEPCO currently doesn’t have a plan for removal.
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