Fukushima is Still Leaking Radioactive Waste

Last week, operators of the crippled Japanese Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant detected a spike in the levels of radioactive substances in nearby groundwater. While the operators say theyre not sure where the leak is coming from, the fact that there is a leak comes as no surprise to Japans Nuclear Regulation Authority, who have long suspected the plant to be leaking radioactive water into the ocean nearby.

However, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) claims that the increase in radioactive cesium in recent water samples could have been caused by contamination of the samples. The company is running more tests before making a definitive statement.

Levels of cesium-134 taken last week spiked by more than 90 times the amount detected the week before, and levels of cesium-137 were 86 times higher. The amounts detected far exceeded the level permitted by government guidelines, but TEPCO claims that even if the nearby groundwater is contaminated, there has been no visible impact on the ocean life in the area.

Whether or not the water is currently leaking into the ocean, TEPCO has cause for concern. For the past two years, the company has been keeping the three damaged reactors on the site cool by flushing them with water…resulting in enough contaminated water to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool each week. Unsurprisingly, TEPCO is running out of space to store the water. But their proposed solution isnt going to win them any fans — theyve asked for approval to flush some of the water with low levels of radiation into the sea. Local fisherman are up in arms over the idea.

Despite the bad publicity and ongoing problems with the Fukushima plant, operators are pushing to allow reactors in other sites to reopen following new, tighter regulations. Given the current situation, it seems like it will probably be an uphill battle to convince the Japanese people that nuclear power is safe again.

In the midst of the tragedy, there is cause for hope — the Japanese government is using the lessons learned from the disaster to promote renewable energy in the form of floating wind farms off the coast of Fukushima. The new turbines are set to start generating power as soon as October.

Photo credit: Greg Dunlap

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

47 comments

靖 鳰川
靖 鳰川2 years ago

N'a pas aboir la défense de la Sr90.
Cette semaine obtient des erreurs de l'équipement.
Données de test-retest de six mois avant
5EO9 Bq/cm^3(1.85Ci/cm^3) Télécharger.
 Ne peuvent pas contrôler leur comportement dans leur.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Jane R.
Jane R.2 years ago

Not a good situation. Hopefully they will find an answer and not dump radio active water into the sea.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener2 years ago

:(

Grace T.
Grace Tang2 years ago

Well, they never learned from the Chernobyl disaster so why would Fukushima incident make any difference to anyone? Still tourists are thronging to visit Japan because of cheaper tour packages being offered.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago

ty

Marie W.
Marie W.2 years ago

We're doomed here on West Coast; but first Japanese will all mutate.

Ron B.
Ron B.2 years ago

And you can bet the powers that be will make sure the general public never knows just how bad this disastrous fiasco has actually become. We are expendable.

CC C.
CC CC2 years ago

LoL Oh all you good people, why do you think that all Nuclear Plants are near water ways and oceans. LoL

Anne Moran
Anne Moran2 years ago

WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO LIVE THERE ANYWAY.. - EVERYTHING IS CONTAMINATED,, AND PROBABLY WILL BE THAT WAY FOR DECADES TO COME... - IT'S IN THE AIR, AND IN THE SOIL...