Energy Environment

Fukushima Radiation Leaking Into Pacific at an Alarming Rate

The Nation:

TEPCO still has no sufficient explanation for when the leaks began or why it waited until after the election to reveal them. Its assurances that the contamination is staying within the seawalls of the harbor are less convincing after weeks of assurances that there was no leak at all. The government has estimated that at least 300 tons of contaminated water are being released per day. TEPCO officials would not confirm the estimate. [...]

Dale Klein, a former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission invited to serve on TEPCO’s outside advisory committee, reacted to the latest revelation by excoriating the company’s executives: “These actions indicate that you don’t know what you are doing, and that you do not have a plan, and that you are not doing all you can to protect the environment and the people.” The editorial board of the major daily Asahi Shimbun declared it had “zero faith” in the “incompetent” utility, adding that “allowing the company to handle nuclear energy is simply out of the question.”

So… how long before we begin to see major cancer clusters popping up all around the Pacific Rim? And here I am, living smack in the middle of it.

h/t Car Accident Attorneys, Price Benowitz LLP
  • muselet

    BBC News reports the leaked water was highly radioactive:

    A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, Kyodo news agency said.

    Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tepco, told Reuters news agency: “One hundred millisieverts per hour is equivalent to the limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers; so it can be said that we found a radiation level strong enough to give someone a five-year dose of radiation within one hour.”

    (The article’s sidebar gives some useful perspective.)

    TEPCO should probably never be allowed to operate nuclear reactors again. On the other hand, I wouldn’t worry about contaminated seawater or cancer.


  • Sebastian L. Jackson

    Fukushima was very bad, but the radiation released during the incident was still smaller than that released by Chernobyl.

  • Larry

    This is an important issue but throwing around the meaningless number of 300 tons and talking about “cancer clusters” is just fear-mongering. The important questions are both what the radioactivity level of the contaminated water is and what it is going into. A huge amount of radioactivity was released in the initial accident so the current leakage may just be adding a tiny incremental amount (I really don’t know but none of these articles seem to discuss this) so that the current leakage will have no real effect on the total amount of crap dumped into the ocean. Also, the ocean is really really big so thinking that this current leaking will cause cancers in the US is a bit nuts (at least compared to other closer-to-home carcinogens)

  • MrDHalen

    Pay attention Libertarians and Republicans! This is why we have governments and regulations!!! To prevent incompetent executives from poising and killing us.