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Fukushima radiation levels as high as 2011

Published time: July 27, 2013 22:19
Edited time: July 29, 2013 09:19
AFP Photo / Pool / Toshifumi Kitamura

AFP Photo / Pool / Toshifumi Kitamura

Water samples taken at an underground passage below the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant contain alarming levels of radiation which are comparable to those taken immediately after the catastrophe.

According to a Saturday statement by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the tested water contains 2.35 billion becquerels of cesium per liter, and the radioactive water is now seeping into the sea. The findings were also evident from samples taken within a 50-meter radius around the plant.

TEPCO’s specialists have hit a wall trying to solve the problem of the leaking groundwater, which has persisted since 2011. However, unlike then, they cannot tell what the source of the newfound radioactivity is. The current explanation is that the radioactive water that had been left in the underground trench some two years ago is now mixing with the groundwater, which is in turn contaminating the sea.

The current investigation started back in May, when specialists registered a 17-fold hike in radiation levels compared to December 2012. More tests immediately followed.

In July, scientists found high tritium levels – 20 per cent higher than just two months before. At the beginning of the month, cesium levels also went up by an astonishing 22 per cent from the previous day. The legal limit of 90 becquerels per liter was exceeded by around 22,000 becquerels.

On July 10, scientists warned about possible sea contamination, although they had no evidence at the time.  

On Monday, however, TEPCO discovered that radiation levels were rising and falling together with the tide. This has led them to their latest theory - that the leftover trench water from 2011 is indeed mixing with the underground water that flows straight into the Pacific.

The only theoretical solution at this point is to build a wall of liquid glass between the nuclear reactors and the sea, siphoning off contaminated water from the underground trench.

Steam has also been seen emerging from one of the damaged reactors on three occasions, sparking further fears about the state of the wrecked plant.

Meanwhile, TEPCO has had to sustain bad publicity after it was revealed that it delayed publishing the summer study which sparked these newfound fears - which were realized just days after TEPCO reassured the public that the water was safely enclosed. The government has labeled the company’s behavior as “deplorable.”

Comments (42)

 

RadiationJoe 21.08.2013 08:45

When Chernobyl happened thousands of Russians sacrificed there lives to save others. Why are the Japanese not doing the same? Do they intend to make all the world irradiated? It is time for the US or Russia to take control of japan and stop this disaster before it destroys our only planet. We have nowhere else to go.

 

georgio 07.08.2013 16:34

Tatiana Romanova 05.08.2013 21:34

why don't they just take the trench water and dump it into the ocean where it will quickly be diluted into nothing. Will scare the enviroterrorists but would safely and cheaply deal with this nuisance?

  


It will not dilute into nothing miss,Radiation does not go away for thousands of years and exposure to any amount is hazardous . Even small amounts build up in animal tissue.It's worse much much worse than me peeing in your glass of water.

 

Tatiana Romanova 05.08.2013 21:34

why don't they just take the trench water and dump it into the ocean where it will quickly be diluted into nothing. Will scare the enviroterrorists but would safely and cheaply deal with this nuisance?

View all comments (42)
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