Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Radioactive Pacific Ocean

Kyodo news reports:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Monday took the unprecedented measure of dumping 10,000 tons of low-level radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean from a facility at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex to make room for the storage of more highly contaminated water, which is hampering restoration work at the plant.


Nishiyama also said that it had become necessary to release 1,500 tons of groundwater, also containing radioactive materials, found near the Nos. 5 and 6 reactor turbine buildings out of concern that the water could drown safety-related equipment.

Of course, the government said there was "no major health risk", even though:

The level of radioactive substances in the water is up to 500 times the legal limit permitted for release in the environment.


Video http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/04_34.html

Japan to stop dumping radioactive water

BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry -- Banri Kaeda -- says his country will not dump any more radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The declaration follows Monday's release of a total of 11,500 tons of low-level radioactive water into the sea by the site's embattled operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company. Michael Weber has the details.

Japan says the releasing of water was aimed at freeing up more space to store highly-radioactive water, from in and around the troubled Number 2 Reactor at the plant, so as to ease restoration work at the facility.

Yukio Edano, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, said, "The measure was to prevent highly radioactive water from spreading. But we are dumping radioactive water, and we feel very sorry about this."

Government officials say the dump should not affect the safety of seafood in the area.

Japan also used a liquid glass in the hope of plugging cracks in a leaking concrete pit of the Number 2 Reactor.

Unfortunately, the efforts utilizing sawdust, shredded newspapers, polymers, and cement have not been successful.

Experts have said that radiation dissipates quickly in the vast Pacific, but they have also said that it's unclear what the long-term effects of large amounts of contamination will be.

Meanwhile, after seeking help from France and the United States, Japan has also asked Russia to send a floating radiation treatment plant. It will help solidify contaminated liquid waste from the Fukushima Daiichi Plant.


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