Radioactive groundwater at Fukushima is creeping toward the Pacific Ocean, as efforts to contain the groundwater have been futile. This radioactive water is nearing the water's edge, despite the repeated denials coming from the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, according to UPI.com on Aug. 23.
The contaminated groundwater is moving at a rate of four meters per month (about 13 feet per month) since the 2011 earth quake and tsunami. The water is seeping out from under the turbine buildings of the Fukushima nuclear plant and headed for the open water of the Pacific.
Considering the turbine buildings are situated about 150 meters from the ocean (Just under 500 feet from the ocean) and it's been 30 months since the event caused the leak, the problem has become “critical.” This is what the Japan Atomic Energy report conveys.
General Manager of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Masayuji Ono reports said that they "believe it is still leaking at this moment." He said they've detected the leak to be about 100 millisieverts an hour.
This leak is the equivalent to five times the acceptable annual exposure limit. People could experience radiation sickness after being in the area near the leak for just 10 hours.
Mycle Schneider, an independent consultant and lead author for the World Nuclear Industry status reports, "It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse."
"There is absolutely no guarantee that there isn't a crack in the walls of the spent fuel pools. 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."
Shunichi Tanaka, the head of Japan's nuclear regulatory agency agreed with Schneider's thoughts saying:
"We should assume that what has happened once could happen again, and prepare for more. We are in a situation where there is no time to waste."
A former Japanese ambassador calls for Tokyo to withdraw its bid to host the Olympics over the crisis, along with the TEPCO's inability to handle this problem.
General Ban Ki-moon, Mitsuhei Murata, the former ambassador from Japan to Switzerland, penned a letter to UN Secretary stressing that the radiation figures coming from TEPCO could not be trusted. He also expressed his fear that this crisis is seeing a nonchalant approach in Japan and abroad toward this crisis. They are not taking this with the seriousness it deserves, as this is a dangerous situation.
The Japanese need help with this problem as the measurements taken of the radioactive ground water seepage indicate that its creeping dangerously close to the Pacific Ocean. This is one time that Japan should not let pride get in the way of asking for help. Schneider said, "The Japanese have a problem asking for help, it is a big mistake; they badly need it."