Hiroko Tabuchi writing for the New York Times:
The incident has brought the Fukushima plant’s vulnerable state into sharp relief, more than two years after its reactors suffered multiple meltdowns when its cooling systems were overwhelmed by a powerful earthquake and tsunami. A recent jump in levels of radioactive cesium and tritium in the groundwater at the coastal plant, along with suggestions that the groundwater is leaking into the Pacific Ocean, has also raised alarms over the continued environmental threat posed by the plant. Remote camera footage Thursday showed steam escaping from the top of the No. 3 reactor’s primary containment structure, which houses its fuel vessel, according to Tepco. A worker who checked the footage Thursday morning noticed the steam, said Hiroki Kawamata, a spokesman for the operator.
It’s staggering just how long this recovery will take.
It is equally staggering just how much this recovery will cost.