Fukushima Plant is Leaking Radioactive Water Into the Sea
July 23, 2013 2:30 PM
comment(s) - last by
Tokyo Power company had deep Yakuza ties, ignored warnings from its most senior engineers
A petulant Tokyo Electric Power Comp. (TEPCO) (
) vowed on Monday to come clean about details it had long denied or refused to confirm regarding
Fukushima nuclear power plant
and employee exposure to radiation.
I. TEPCO Owns up to Leakage Lies
Masayuki Ono, the company's spokesman, at a regular monthly news conference,
for the first time that TEPCO was aware of the leakage of radioactive water into the sea and groundwater. TEPCO had previously denied that any radioactive waste had reached the sea even as radiation began to spike in sea and groundwater samples. The company was eventually forced to begin to revise its tune in May after a coastal well sample showed abnormal levels of
dangerously radioactive Caesium-137
, a "sticky" radioisotope with a half-life of 30 years.
The company claims that most of the leakage entered the groundwater shortly after the March 2011 meltdown of reactors at the southern Fukushima "Daiichi" plant. It claims that its preventive efforts have since
blocked significant amounts of additional radiation
from leaking out of the sealed shells of the ruined reactors.
The smoldering remains of a Fukushima reactor. [Image Source: Reuters]
TEPCO believes that a large amount of leaked material, though, is still lingering in the ground table near the plant. There's concern that tides and rainwater may eventually wash that contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean bay near the plant.
On Monday TEPCO also revealed that it is embarking on a complex strategy to try to block the wastewater from reaching the ocean. The plan involves injecting chemicals into the ground near the coast to solidify it, in an attempt to block the flow of contaminated ground water.
Mr. Masayuki, in his company's
, remarked, "We are very sorry for causing concerns. We have made efforts not to cause any leak to the outside, but we might have failed to do so."
The company also admitted that the amount of employees exposed to dangerous doses of radiation was much higher than previously published. TEPCO admits 10 percent of its plant workers -- 1,972 total employees -- had radiation doses of 100 millisieverts (mSv) or more, roughly 10 times the "safe" radiation limit. All of these employees now face elevated risks of cancer. TEPCO refutes, though, numbers from a 2012
World Health Organization
(WHO) report which indicated roughly a third of workers -- 178 of 522 checked -- were exposed to >100 mSv (~34%) doses.
II. Managers Tied to Yakuza, May Face Criminal Negligence Charges
Currently fish and seafood from the Fukushima region is banned from sale, both domestically and internationally. That ban has cost the local economy millions, if not billions of dollars in losses.
An estimated 1T ¥ ($13B USD) will be required to decontaminate large areas of land surrounding the plant. The area surrounding the plant, once heavily populated, is
now largely abandoned
. The city of Fukushima in total lost an estimated 60,000 residents -- or roughly 20 percent of the population -- has left the region.
TEPCO's greedy/incompetent managers, like VP Sakae Muto rejected engineers' safety advice and purposefully maintained a dangerously unsafe design to pad their profits.
[Image Source: Reuters/Toru Hanai]
Analyses indicated that meltdown of the 40-year old reactors could have been avoided if business people at TEPCO had merely agreed to follow the advice of their engineers. In a 2007 report the company's senior safety engineer warned that there was a
10 percent chance per decade
of a tsunami sweeping over the 6-foot floodwall. The report advised either switching to waterproof backup generators or raising the wall to prevent a total loss of power and subsequent catastrophic meltdown.
But TEPCO's managers were too greedy and incompetent to heed that warning from their technical experts and called the risk "acceptable". In fact, in 2012 it was revealed that TEPCO had ties to the Yakuza -- a criminal Mafia-like organization in Japan. Local ring leader Makoto Owada had supplied workers to the Fukushima plant since at least 2007, taking a cut of their earnings.
TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata's has been tied to criminal Yakuza dealings. He and his fellow managers may face criminal charges for negligence. [Image Source: AFP]
Japanese officials are
the Fukushima situation trying to decide whether to charge TEPCO officials with criminal negligence, a crime which carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment under the island nation's penal code.
The Asahi Shimbun
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
On the bright side
7/24/2013 1:48:28 AM
There will be some pretty cool looking fish down the road.
RE: On the bright side
7/24/2013 4:34:24 PM
I don't think you appreciate the problem. Those "cool looking fish" have more mutations in their DNA than is normal. As I understand it, every generation passes some new defects onto the next generation, meaning that eventually the DNA will become so corrupted that animals will did out.
DNA mutations cause things like diabetes and cancers in humans, so while the colours may be a bit different in the fish, that is the least of their problems. Those "cool looking fish" could well have other traits that aren't desirable, like their life expectancy could be much shorter than normal.
The problem that an event like Fukushima creates is that instead of those defects taking, say, thousands of years to appear, they all happen in one big hit.
I'm guessing here, but I'd say that since the mutations in the DNA will be random, then the defects in one organism will be different from those in another, so plants and animals that use sexual reproduction will have a much better chance of recovering than those that don't use sexual reproduction. My guess is that for those plants and animals then with every generation the effect of mutations will be depleted, especially if there is a lot of mixing with outside stock.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Finds New Leak in Storage Pools for Radioactive Water
April 9, 2013, 1:25 PM
Analysis: Japanese Industry, Gov't Too Greedy/Incompetent for Nuclear Power -- Opt to Give up
March 12, 2012, 4:17 PM
UC Researchers Produce First Quantitative Estimate of Fukushima Radiation Leak
August 16, 2011, 11:47 AM
Fifteen Metric Tons of Radioactive Water Leaks from Fukushima Daiichi Plant
June 28, 2011, 1:17 PM
Locally-Grown Crops Near Fukushima Daiichi Plant Banned Due to Radiation Fears
March 21, 2011, 11:27 AM
Chagrined Over Leaks, CDC Confirms First U.S. Ebola Diagnosis in Dallas, Texas
September 30, 2014, 5:55 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
Most Popular Articles
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
TiVo Mega Features 24TB of Storage, Can Record Three Years* Worth of TV Content
September 8, 2014, 8:45 AM
FBI Outraged That Apple, Google are Adopting Digital "Locks" to Protect Users
September 26, 2014, 1:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information