There has been a lot of progress at the Fukushima plant. From every source I have heard good news, even from the metcha skeptics. First of all the water has finally reached a cool enough temperature for nitrogen to be injected into it. In all plants. This is a huge step forward because nitrogen prohibits flame and means explosions are now far less likely. Explosions were a big fear because it is the explosions that carry the nuclear nuclides high into the air allowing for a wider range of fall out.
The process of de-contaminating the hosed in water is working too. When it is hosed in, it combines with the radioactive water in the vessel and turns radioactive itself. The de-contamination process uses zeolite and other chemicals that deactivate radioactivity and continue to do so. Figures for radiation around the plant are finally lower. Here in Sendai going down quite a lot weekly.
We have to praise the sustained efforts of the plant workers. Their dedication to their work. They have done an amazing job against all odds to get this under control. It is now looking possible to achieve complete cold shut down of all reactors by the end of this year.
Just when we were planning on leaving........
This is not to say Fukushima prefecture and random hot spots around are out of trouble. Far from it. With a half life of hundreds of years much of the nuclide fall out that has already fallen is still of grave concern. But govt measures are being implemented to topsoil the top 20 cms of soil that grows crops and burying or disposing of this radioactive soil will take place. Fall out falls. It falls on soil and in reservoirs and on land. It does not stay in the air. It is this that was not chartered with Chernobyl and it is this that we have learned : we can clear fall out to a point. And prevent cattle and animals grazing on this land and infecting their meat and dairy products. This elimination process has also started, late yes but started. It NEVER started at all with Chernobyl. Kids were still drinking contaminated milk for decades as people just did now know the risks at that time. It was not only air radiation that produced cancers there farther from the plant, it was mainly consumption of contaminated produce from contaminated land.
As for airborn radiation it is still too high for people to return and live near the plant. I hope they never do, although the govt here seems optimistic that people can return to collect possessions after shutdown.