Engineers sent by the U.S. government to assist in stabilizing Japan’s embattled Fukushima Nuclear Plant have found several alarming faults that could spell disaster for the recently stabilized facility. Despite a complete meltdown being averted, the engineers insist that much could still go wrong at the ailing plant.

U.S. Engineers

We all suspected it, but it turns out the Japanese company in charge of Fukushima covered up some of the more disturbing aspects of the disaster during the initial crisis. Now, it’s those very apsects a that are posing the most dangerous threats.

One of the more publicized threats at this time is the highly contaminated cooling water leaking from the reactors. A fishing ban has already been imposed for the immediate area surrounding Fukushima, but some question whether that measure is enough. The U.S. engineers note that several workers received radiation burns on their legs when they accidentally stepped in the water. Now, Reuters is reporting that Japan is planning to discharge 11,500 metric tons of this ‘low-grade’ contaminated water into the ocean to make room in it’s storage pools for severely contaminated water.

So one of the clearest problems in the future will be the handling and storage of this ever-growing amount of highly-contaminated water being used to cool the reactor cores. But, worrying engineers in the shorter-term is a possibly disastrous side-effect from the very thing that workers are doing to cool the reactor cores! The buildup of water inside each reactor is putting ever-increasing pressure on the already damaged containment, and engineers worry that a severe aftershock of the March 11 quake could cause one of the six containment structures to fail.

Barring that possibility, workers at least have to begin dealing with the growing pressure of hydrogen and oxygen within the reactors that is being released from the cooling waters. According to the report, released on March 26, the explosive mixture of gas could cause extensive damage if ignited within of the the reactors.

Clearly, the message from these U.S. engineers is that Fukushima isn’t out of the woods yet! What do you think will become of Japan’s troubled nuclear power plant? Is the worst yet to come? Let me know in the comment section!

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Photos: Tomura