Radioactive groundwater is continuing to creep closer and closer to the sea with potentially very dangerous side effects near the Fukushima nuclear plant. Although officials from the tainted nuclear plant have continually denied that the contaminated groundwater is not being contained, UPI reported this Friday, Aug. 23, that the radioactive water is proving very hard to control.
The radioactive groundwater report comes from a Japan Atomic Energy press release this 2013, which first discovered that the contaminated groundwater was tainted with radioactive elements that had been seeping in from turbine buildings. Now, this water is creeping and trickling its way towards the sea, where it can cause some real havoc.
It is estimated that the contaminated water is making its way toward the large body of water at a rate of over 4 meters each and every month following the turbulent earthquake and tsunami devastations in 2011. The turbine buildings, as part of the Fukushima nuclear plant, are located less than 150 meters from the Pacific Ocean, and over 30 months from the initial issue, this issue of radioactive groundwater has become of vital importance.
“We believe it is still leaking at this moment,” said Tokyo Electric Power Company General Manager Masayuji Ono, adding that these very high levels of radiation – over 100 millisieverts per hour – have been detected close by areas the radioactive water has possibly been leaked. And with it creeping closer to sea, that worry has only escalated over the summer and now as fall approaches.
While this amount may seem small, such an amount is roughly equal to nearly five times that of the “safe” exposure limit per year, and could possibly lead to radiation sickness in less than 10 hours following the leak reaching waters.
"It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse," said Mycle Schneider, an independent consultant.
"There is absolutely no guarantee that there isn't a crack in the walls of the spent fuel pools," Schneider said. "If saltwater gets in, the steel bars would be corroded. It would basically explode the walls, and you cannot see that. You can't get close enough to the pools."
What’s your input on the radioactive groundwater story?