Shelters & Bunkers

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Concrete Shelters

Concrete shelters are, generally speaking, built to last. There are of course some exceptions.


The authorities in Japan who are trying to clean up the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor that was damaged in the massive Japanese earthquake and Tsunami have been considering burying the reactor in concrete, similar to the same method used to cover up the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor which exploded in 1986.

But some wonder if this is a good idea. In 1986 shortly after the Chernobyl explosion, it was considered smart to use concrete shelters to cover up nuclear meltdowns that everyone just wanted to "go away."

But the concrete shell built over the remains of the Chernobyl reactor has been falling apart for several years now and Russian scientists admit that for generations to come a series of concrete shelters will have to be built over the remains of Chernobyl and in reality none of them will be the real permanent fix everyone hoped for.

With this in mind, is it really a good idea to follow the same path in dealing with the Fukushima reactor in Japan? Will Fukushima end up having a series of concrete shelters built over it? Is this act of "passing the buck" and passing on the responsibility of dealing with the situation to future generations smart? Is it responsible?

When Does Being Practical Cross The Line And Become Ridiculous?

After the explosion and fire at the Chernobyl reactor, Russian authorities literally threw everything but the kitchen sink at the reactor to try and get it to cool it down. Once the fires were finally put out, workers built what may be the biggest of all concrete shelters: A huge "sarcophagus" built of concrete and sand with the hopes of safely forever covering the reactor.

But despite its massive size and cost, the sarcophagus is falling apart and is very possibly leaking radiation again. The Russian authorities are now planning to outdo themselves and build "the mother of all concrete shelters" over the old one with the hope that this (might) be the last one they have to build.

The problem with encasing Fukushima in concrete is that the facility is much larger than Chernobyl was. And authorities would have to build several concrete shelters to cover the damaged facility. Fukushima doesn't just have one reactor, it has six.

While Japanese authorities have discussed the idea of encasing the entire Fukushima facility in concrete like Chernobyl, they also understand that concrete shelters do not heal damaged nuclear reactors that have melt down and are emitting radiation. They only hide them and leave them for future generations to worry about.

These are some examples of concrete shelters built to contain nuclear radiation from getting out. Other, smaller, concrete shelters and bunkers for personal use are built so that radiation does not get in.


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