You Won’t BELIEVE What’s Going On at Fukushima Right Now
Tepco Has No Idea How to Stabilize the Reactors
You’ve heard bad news about Fukushima recently.
But it’s worse than you know.
The Wall Street Journal notes that radiation levels outside the plant are likely higher than inside the reactor:
NRA [Nuclear Regulation Authority] officials said highly contaminated water may be leaking into the soil from a number of trenches, allowing the water to seep into the site’s groundwater and eventually into the ocean.
Both radioactive substances are considered harmful to health. An NRA official said Monday that the very high levels were likely to be even higher than those within the reactor units themselves.
It was by far the highest concentration of radioactivity detected since soon after Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami ….
How could it be more radioactive outside the nuclear reactors? The reactors have lost containment, and experts have no idea where the nuclear cores are.
And the problems which have been detected at ground-level are only the tip of the iceberg. Japan Times points out:
Cesium levels in water under Fukushima No. 1 plant soar the deeper it gets, Tepco reveals
Tepco found 950 million becquerels of cesium and 520 million becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, including strontium, in the water from 13 meters [~43 feet] underground.
Water from 1 meter down contained 340 million becquerels, and a sample from 7 meters down contained 350 million becquerels.
Cesium, a metallic element, is subject to gravity.
Yomiuri reports that highly-radioactive groundwater could start coming to the surface at the Fukushima plant:
TEPCO spokesman Noriyuki Imaizumi revealed the water level of the tainted groundwater in a test well located on the sea side of the No. 2 reactor has risen rapidly.
“If the water level continues to rise, it could reach the ground surface,” Imaizumi, an acting general manager of the company’s nuclear power-related division, said at a press conference Monday.
According to the company, the water level has risen about 70 centimeters over the past 20 days.
To prevent contaminated groundwater from leaking into the sea, TEPCO is working to reinforce the ground foundation of seawalls. The rising water level in the test well means the measures to prevent leakage have been working.
However, the company apparently failed to give much thought to the fact that the groundwater would have nowhere else to go ….
Even Tepco admits that the groundwater problems are due to a lack of planning. NHK points out:
[Tepco] learnt on Wednesday that its efforts to prevent radiation-tainted groundwater from seeping into the sea are failing.
Read the full article at: washingtonsblog.com