background image
- 5 - 
containers rolled back down onto the interstate. The U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency and hazardous materials teams responded to assess and clean up the spill. 
Motorists were redirected to Highway 91 and Highway 24. The westbound interstate 
reopened at about 8 p.m. Water district officials were notified, and shut off wells that 
collect water for the town's drinking system. The water is safe, and was never in 
question, said a spokeswoman for the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. She 
said water intakes would remain shut off in the Gore Creek and Eagle River below the 
spill until any risk of collecting unsafe water has passed. In coming days, the district 
will test water above, at ,and below the spill to monitor quality. 
For more stories, see items 
, and 
Return to top
Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste Sector 
October 31, Associated Press
 – (International) Experts: 30 years till Japan can close 
nuke plant. A Japanese government panel said it will take at least 30 years to safely 
close the tsunami-hobbled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, even though the 
facility is leaking far less radiation than before and is considered relatively stable, the 
Associated Press reported October 31. The plant was severely damaged by Japan's 
March 11 earthquake and tsunami. It suffered power outages, meltdowns, and 
explosions that released radioactive material and forced tens of thousands of people to 
flee. An expert panel named by Japan's Atomic Energy Commission made the 30-year 
closure estimate in the draft of a report to be completed by the end of the year. Plant 
workers are still struggling to contain radiation leaking from the plant, although the 
amount is far less than before. The panel noted it took 10 years to remove nuclear fuel 
after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the United States, and suggested the 
process at Fukushima would be much more complicated and time-consuming. It is also 
expected to be more costly. A report October 29 in the Yomiuri, a major newspaper, 
said independent experts believe the process will cost more than $19 billion. Officials 
at Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that runs the plant, said they have largely 
succeeded in cooling the damaged reactors, completing a "cold shutdown." But 
extensive repairs and safety measures must still be carried out. The panel said removal 
of fuel rods at Fukushima would not begin until 2021, after the repair of the plant's 
containment vessels. As a stop-gap measure, one of the damaged units now has an 
outer shell made of airtight polyester designed to contain radioactive particles inside 
the building. Similar covers are also planned for other buildings. Government officials 
must also deal with a massive decontamination effort in areas around the plant. A 12-
mile exclusion zone around the facility remains in effect. 
October 29, Mainichi Daily News
 – (International) Cesium-137 flow into sea 30 times 
greater than stated by TEPCO: report. The amount of radioactive cesium-137 that 
flowed into the Pacific Ocean after the start of Japan's nuclear crisis was probably