Print 39 comment(s) - last by nafhan.. on Aug 9 at 12:48 PM

The government is now stepping in to help clean up

Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been spilling more toxic water than previously thought, and the situation has gotten to the point where the government needs to step in. 

According to Yushi Yoneyama, an official with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Fukushima is leaking about 300 tonnes of toxic water into the Pacific Ocean per day. It's not clear how long the contaminated water has been spilling out at this rate, but it's believed that the water has been leaking for the last two years since the earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant. 

In response to the news of 300 tonnes leaking per day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the government to take part in the cleanup. 

"To ensure safety, I would also like the head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority to do his best to find out the cause and come up with effective measures as a regulator," said Abe. 

The plan is to freeze nearly a mile perimeter around the four reactors by drilling shafts into the ground and sending coolant through them. This will make a wall of frozen soil that will prevent the flow of groundwater into the plant.

The main problem with this is that maintaining the ground temperatures for months or even years would be very expensive. The cleanup is already expected to take more than 40 years and cost $11 billion.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) is already trying to build a bypass to stop the flow of groundwater from reaching the plant as well.

The latest admission of the amount of leaking water further damages Tepco's credibility. Not only did the company fail to properly prepare for the earthquake/tsunami, but it's response to the disaster and time it took to reveal exactly how much toxic water is leaking has also hurt the faith in Tepco. 

That's why the government is stepping in. The ministry has already requested a budget allocation to help with the toxic water problem. 

Earlier this month, Tepco spokesman Masayuki Ono confirmed at a regular monthly news conference that Tepco was aware of the leakage of radioactive water into the sea and groundwater. This was the first time the company had admitted this. Tepco had previously denied that any radioactive waste had reached the ocean, but it was eventually forced to start telling the truth in May after a coastal well sample showed abnormal levels of dangerously radioactive Caesium-137, which is a radioisotope with a half-life of 30 years.

Back in March 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake shook Japan and crippled the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It caused quite a bit of havoc with the release of radioactive watercontamination of crops and of course, the thousands of lives lost.

Source: Reuters

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RE: 300 tons/day
By Fidget on 8/7/2013 10:57:13 AM , Rating: 3
The word "spilling" is confusing as it implies somehow that the water is originating out of the reactor. Apparently tho the water is just lapping up through huge cracks and being pulled back with the material. There must be some big ass cracks

RE: 300 tons/day
By bug77 on 8/7/2013 11:03:58 AM , Rating: 2
Cracks in what? It's not like the plant's walls were built at sea. Is it leaking into the groundwater? Has the sea found a way into the reactor? With all the sensationalism, nobody cares to report on facts anymore. Just throw out "Fukushima", "spill" and a large number and call it news :(

RE: 300 tons/day
By TSS on 8/7/2013 11:55:39 AM , Rating: 5
Japan has mountains, and as we all (hopefully) know, water flows from the mountains down into the ocean.

Along the way it seems to pick up radioactive water that's still in the "basement" of the nuclear reactor. Basically, the protective concrete shell (AKA the building) has cracked and lets radioactive reactor water be carried out by the melted mountain water out to the ocean.

Atleast that's what i gathered from dutch news websites (certainly not off this one). Tepco's already tried to put a "shield" around the reactor to try and prevent radioactive water leaking out to the ocean but obviously, they've failed.

Why this hasn't been reported sooner? In my oppinion, a very simple reason: because japan like most countries in the world today has lost their way. It used to be that Failure ment Dishonor. Thus, one had a incentive not to fail as one would be personally dishonored usually ending in suicide.

Today, it's the Admittance of failure that causes dishonor, not the actual failure. This turns the incentive to not fail, around to not let anybody know you've failed. Causing problems to fester and get worse.

Don't kid yourself thinking it would be any different in western countries. If companies/the government can cover something up, they will try their hardest to do so. Not that it really matters since there never seems to be any consequence for the wrongdoings politicians do.

Yknow, unless they stick their penis into another man's behind. That seems to be the only thing to cause enough public embarrasment to have somebody step down these days.

RE: 300 tons/day
By puter_geek_01 on 8/7/2013 12:41:10 PM , Rating: 1
It used to be that Failure ment Dishonor.

Stepping down from a position of power is a disgrace(dishonor).

The president of the Japanese utility behind the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl said on Friday he was stepping down in disgrace after reporting the biggest losses in company history.

Although he was not asked to take his life, he is disgraced nonetheless

RE: 300 tons/day
By Schrag4 on 8/7/2013 1:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
Since the water is originating outside the plant, isn't it essentially "rinsing" all the radioactive material out? The amount of water leaking might not decrease but the level of radioactivity would be decreasing with each passing day, right?

RE: 300 tons/day
By Motoman on 8/7/2013 12:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a movie once in college by that name.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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