Friday, March 11, 2016


All the cool kids like to scoff at dirty hippies who point out that nuclear energy isn't all that safe, even leaving out the unsolved detail of what to do with the waste. We've had two major catastrophic nuclear power plant events in my lifetime. It isn't safe.
Five years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck, causing three reactors at Fukushima to melt down, that goal is the focus of a colossal effort at once precarious and routine. A veneer of stability at the plant masks a grueling, day-to-day battle to contain hazardous radiation, which involves a small army of workers, complex technical challenges and vexing safety trade-offs.

Fukushima has become a place where employees arrive on company shuttle buses and shop at their own on-site convenience store, but where they struggle to control radiation-contaminated water and must release it into the sea. Many of the most difficult and dangerous cleanup tasks still lie ahead, and crucial decisions remain unsettled.