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Radioactive water leaking into the Pacific from Japan

By Jay McClung     Aug 6, 2013 in World
Fukushima - On March 11, 2011, approximately 80 miles from the coast of Sendai, Japan, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred underwater.
It is one of the largest recorded earthquakes in history and the ensuing tsunami created waves 133 feet high while ravaging its way almost six miles inland. The destruction and death it caused was horrific: 15,845 confirmed dead, 3,375 missing, and 5,710 injured. Between 22 and 25 tons of rubble were created from the quake and the estimated reconstruction costs are upward near $300 billion. The quake and tsunami also created a reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The power plant began spewing radioactive material into the air, land, and ocean. The company that operates the nuclear power plant, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co), took control of the meltdown by siphoning off the excess water into specially built storage tanks; however, new reports state that there is radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean daily.
Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), told Reuters, “Right now, we have an emergency. Daily, 400 tons of groundwater percolates into the basements of the plant, which is decimated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The seepage mixes with water used to cool down the damaged reactors, before accumulating, and escaping out into the Pacific Ocean.” 400 tons of groundwater equates to almost 96,000 gallons of water per day. Late last month, TEPCO admitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority that the toxic water is not contained. The power plant workers created an underground barrier, nearly 2 meters below the surface, to prevent the radioactive water from seeping into the Pacific. Unfortunately, the water began to move through shallow areas of the earth below the barrier and NRA officials now fear the contaminated water will rise towards the surface.
Shinji Kinjo says the contaminated water could rise to the ground’s surface within three weeks. Kinjo stated that if the radioactive water reaches the surface, the contamination would reach the Pacific extremely fast. To address the escalating situation, a TEPCO representative said yesterday that the company plans to start pumping out an additional 100 tons of groundwater per day beginning at the end of the week. TEPCO’s solution, so far, has been to pump the water into their radioactive storage tanks, but those tanks are now 85 percent full and the company has made no plans to build more at this time.
The impact of the radioactive water seeping into the Pacific Ocean is unknown right now because TEPCO has been slow to conduct studies and they have been very reluctant to release results to the public or media. Prior to their admission, the company had previously denied that radioactive water had leaked into the ocean. The NRA states, “new measures are needed to stop the water from flowing into the sea,” it is unknown if any have been devised at this time.
Map of radioactive water from Japan
Map of radioactive water from Japan
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