Fukushima Leak May go from 1 to 3 on International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale
August 21, 2013 10:50 AM
It's a seven-point scale
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has had
issues with toxic water
leaving the site of its damaged reactor, and now, Japan's nuclear agency is upping the toxicity level of this water.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority is looking to raise the alert level of a leak at the plant from a one to a three on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). INES is a seven-point scale.
The move still has to be approved by the United Nations' nuclear agency.
The reason behind this increase in severity is the fact that 300 tonnes of radioactive water is leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the plant daily, which contains radioactive particles of cesium, tritium and strontium. To make matters worse, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said that one puddle of the toxic water emits 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation.
"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," said Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tepco.
Officials are already working to try and prevent more toxic water from leaving storage tanks, such as the leak that may receive a three on the scale. For instance, sandbags are being used to surround the tank and absorb water.
Just last week, it was announced that Japan was looking into creating an ice wall, which would turn soil into a permafrost-type condition through the use of refrigerated coolant. This would build an underground containment wall made of ice to hold the water and stop it from going into the Pacific.
However, the government doesn't have a cost estimate for the project yet. Kajima Corp. -- the construction company that largely built the nuclear plant -- has until March 31, 2014 to create a feasibility study of the ice wall.
The government would like the project to be completed by July 2015.
Back in March 2011, a
shook Japan and crippled the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It caused quite a bit of havoc with the release of
contamination of crops
and of course, the thousands of lives lost.
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