It’s not just a storage tank, either; radioactive water has been leaking for more than two years, from the broken reactor buildings into groundwater and the Pacific Ocean. It’s not just a local Japanese problem: Fukushima is here.
The cautious version, by Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito, Reuters, today, Radioactive water seeping into Pacific from Fukushima is ’emergency,’ official says,
Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said Monday.
This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force, told Reuters.
Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) are only a temporary solution, he said.
VOA News, also today, admits leaks have been going on for more than two years and nobody knows how to stop them, Fukushima Operator Under Fire for Radioactive Leaks,
“Most of all it proves TEPCO is incapable of dealing with this situation and that the Japanese authorities should really step in and ensure that proper action is taken to stop the leaks,” said Teule.
But it is not clear what other actions TEPCO could take at this point. Former Nuclear power plant designer Masashi Goto worked on several projects with TEPCO.
“The situation is already beyond what Tepco can handle,” said Goto. “If it were possible to take proper measures, they would have done it already right? It’s not as if Tepco is refusing to do what they can. They are doing everything they can but there are no perfect solutions.”
TEPCO said recently that between 20 to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium is estimated to have leaked into the ocean since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. It is the first time the company has acknowledged that contaminated water is leaking into the sea.
TEPCO admitted more than a month ago that Fukushima was leaking radioactive water into the ocean. The real news is the mainstream news media have finally started writing about it.
Mari Yamaguchi wrote for Huffpo 22 July 2013, Fukushima Plant Admits Radioactive Water Leaked To Sea,
Company spokesman Masayuki Ono told a regular news conference that plant officials have come to believe that radioactive water that leaked from the wrecked reactors is likely to have seeped into the underground water system and escaped into sea.
Nuclear officials and experts have suspected a leak from the Fukushima Dai-ichi since early in the crisis. Japan’s nuclear watchdog said two weeks ago a leak was highly suspected and ordered TEPCO to examine the problem.
TEPCO had persistently denied contaminated water reached the sea, despite spikes in radiation levels in underground and sea water samples taken at the plant. The utility first acknowledged an abnormal increase in radioactive cesium levels in an observation well near the coast in May and has since monitored water samples.
“We are very sorry for causing concerns. We have made efforts not to cause any leak to the outside, but we might have failed to do so,” he said.
Ono said the radioactive elements detected in water samples are believed to largely come from initial leaks that have remained since earlier in the crisis. He said the leak has stayed near the plant inside the bay, and officials believe very little has spread further into the Pacific Ocean.
Marine biologists have warned that the radioactive water may be leaking continuously into the sea from the underground, citing high radioactivity in fish samples taken near the plant.
Ono said that an estimated 1,972 plant workers, or 10 percent of those checked, had thyroid exposure doses exceeding 100 millisieverts—a threshold for increased risk of developing cancer—instead of the 178 based on checks of 522 workers reported to the World Health Organization last year.
Here’s Masuyuki Ono a few days before that claiming there was no radiation spike at Fukushima despite steam rising from reactor 3, by Agence France-Presse, 18 July 2013, No radiation spike at Fukushima despite steam: TEPCO,
Who you gonna believe? TEPCO, or your lying cameras and radioactive fish and workers?
How bad is it? Washington’s Blog already did the math back on 6 April 2013, #Fukushima: Massive Leaks and Radioactive Fallout Continuing On a Daily Basis…For Years On End,
Japanese experts say that Fukushima is currently releasing up to 93 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium into the ocean each day. How much radiation is this?
A quick calculation shows that it is about ten thousand times less than the amounts released by Chernobyl during the actual fire at the Russian nuclear plant. But the Chernobyl fire only last 10 days … and the Fukushima release has been ongoing for more than 2 years so far.
Indeed, Fukushima has already spewed much more radioactive cesium and iodine than Chernobyl. The amount of radioactive cesium released by Fukushima was some 20-30 times higher than initially admitted.
Fukushima also pumped out huge amounts of radioactive iodine 129 — which has a half-life of 15.7 million years. Fukushima has also dumped up to 900 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium-90 — which is a powerful internal emitter which mimics calcium and collects in our bones — into the ocean. And the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl … and so could keep leaking for decades, centuries or millenia.
The bottom line is that the reactors have lost containment. There are not “some leaks” at Fukushima. “Leaks” imply that the reactor cores are safely in their containment buildings, and there is a small hole or two which need to be plugged. But scientists don’t even know where the cores of the reactors are. That’s not leaking. That’s even worse than a total meltdown.
Well, you don’t even have to imagine this happening on the Savannah River or on the Altamaha River (Plant Hatch 1 and 2 are the same GE Mark I reactor models as Fukushima). If you believe this guff from the NBC News article, I’ve got a bridge to sell you:
Winds flow around the world. Currents flow across the Pacific Ocean. Fish swim.
Eric Norman, a nuclear engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said the latest leak was not a concern.
“The Pacific Ocean is an enormous place,” said Norman, who found radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power in California rainwater, milk and plants soon after the earthquake and tsunami. “There’s a lot of material between us and Japan. No matter what happens in Fukushima, it’s not going to be a problem over here.”
Bjorn Carey wrote for Stanford Report 4 March 2013, Stanford scientist uses Fukushima radiation to reveal swimming secrets of Pacific bluefin tuna,
Last May, scientists reported that 15 Pacific bluefin tuna caught in California in the months after the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in 2011 contained trace amounts of radiation. It was the first evidence of migrating animals transporting radioactive materials across the ocean, and the researchers suggested it could provide a means for tracking the fish’s annual migrations.
Now, nearly two years after the plant discharged radioactive materials into the ocean, follow-up research led by a biology PhD candidate at Stanford finds that young Pacific bluefin tuna are still arriving in California carrying two of Fukushima’s signature radioisotopes, cesium-134 and cesium-137.
Fukushima is Here.