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> USSR as bad as it was it took responsibility for the Charnobyl catastrophe. There was Army and the Government involvement on all levels to clear it up from day 0. In Japan years after the incident the Government is still finger pointing some CEO trying to operate that facility.

To expand on this point, if Fukushima were Chernobyl and Japan the USSR, the Sarcophagus would have been completed on October 27th, of 2011. Two years ago.

(By no means is that structure a fine piece of engineering, but considering the constraints I find it hard to fault them for that.)

If Fukushima were Chernobyl, it would have needed a sarcophagus. However, it was already designed with containment that worked, and as a result, a sarcophagus wouldn't have changed anything. In fact, building a large concrete structure over the reactor core would probably have complicated cleanup efforts by limiting access.

In effect, Fukushima already had a sarcophagus integrated into the structure of the building in 1971, 6 years before Chernobyl even started running.

Absolutely; hence "if Fukushima were Chernobyl".

I don't mean to suggest that Japan should build a sarcophagus; I only mean to give an idea of the sort of timescale for significant engineering tasks that the Soviets were working with. They slammed it into high gear pretty rapidly.

The constraints of Fukushima and Chernobyl are vastly different. First of all, in Chernobyl the surrounding infrastructure was not destroyed. Second, they had an open reactor in Chernobyl, so it was immediately clear that they need to build a sarcophagus. By contrast in Fukushima the biggest problem is water management. And especially the management of contaminated ground water, while it is not clear that a sarcophagus would solve much, since the containment is apparently somewhat intact.

So while I think that Tepco did make horrible mistakes, I am actually not sure that the response was less than optimal. Largely because the USSR did commit similar mistakes in Chernobyl, for example not registering the liquidators.

My point is that the Government should be the one trying to resolve that issue. Not Tepco. My claim is we would be all better off if a state could throw in its resources to help with the Disaster after effects. They seem just to sit there and blame Tepco instead of doing their job.

Just a little curios do you know how many people died to put initial Sarcophagus in place? Official Soviet count is 31: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaths_due_to_the_Chernobyl_dis... . Amount of people Soviet's threw in action is so enormous that it is silly to think that Japan could have matched anything like that. Especially with more immediate concerns of people not having food and shelter after Tsunami.

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