Fukushima has contaminated its aquifer; what about our aquifer?

Fukushima is dumping radioactive water into its aquifer. Plant Hatch is the same design and sits above the Floridan Aquifer we drink out of. Can’t happen here? On 19 December 2001 TEPCO said there was no possibility of a tsunami large enough to knock out Fukushima Daiichi. Plant Hatch is the same design as Fukushima, and while a tsunami really is unlikely at Hatch, for all we know Hatch still has substandard fire protection and the risk if Hatch does go bad is like the risk if a French reactor goes bad: soil contamination the size of France and Germany (or larger than Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and north Florida) plus radioactive contamination of the aquifer we drink out of.

Harvey Wasserman wrote for the Progress today, The Fukushima Nightmare Gets Worse,

Aside from its location in an earthquake-prone tsunami zone, Fukushima Daichi was sited above a major aquifer. That critical reality has been missing from nearly all discussion of the accident since it occurred.

There can be little doubt at this point that the water in that underground lake has been thoroughly contaminated.

In the wake of the March 11, 2011, disaster, Tepco led the public to believe that it had largely contained the flow of contaminated water into the Pacific. But now it admits that not only was that a lie, but that the quantities of water involved—apparently some 400,000 gallons per day—are very large.

Some of that water may be flowing from the aquifer. Much of it also, simply enough, flows down Japan’s steep hillsides, through the site and into the sea.

Downhill from Plant Hatch is the Altamaha River.

BBC News provided a visual inspection of the broken Fukushima site above its aquifer:

As Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning said at the SO stockholder meeting in May,

The technology of Fukushima is old nuclear technology.

Yep, the same technology as at Plant Hatch. It’s great that Fanning thinks the new technology at Plant Vogtle doesn’t have the same problems. But what if it has different problems with the same outcome? It’s time to ask again the question Gloria Tatum asked him:

Tom and gentlemen and ladies, why are you gambling the company’s future and the health of their environment and their citizens on antiquated, dangerous and very expensive nuclear energy, when the Southeast is an untapped gold mine of safe, clean and cheap solar energy. If Germany — which is a much colder country — can meet half of their energy needs from solar in just a few years, why can’t Georgia?

What level of disaster will it take at Fukushima, already way beyond Three Mile Island, cumulatively worse than Chernobyl and rapidly getting even worse, will it take before everyone gets the picture: we can’t afford the risk of nuclear power.