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  (Source: nationalgeographic.com)
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 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: BBC News



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RE: Damn, this is disturbing!
By drycrust3 on 8/21/2013 5:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
OK... It really hasn't yet, but this is the kind of thing that they are looking for and someone sent me the link saying that the sky was falling based on the headline.

Did you read the article? Here is the start of that article:
quote:
Six young people in Fukushima Prefecture, who were aged 18 or under when the nuclear crisis began to unfold there in March 2011, have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer since June, prefectural authorities said Aug. 20.
In addition, 10 children are believed to have developed the same form of cancer.

Notice anything unusual? 6 people who one wouldn't expect to get thyroid cancer have now got it, and they got it sooner than one would expect. It may well be this is within the statistical norm for a population of that size, but you haven't said that is the case, and no one else has said that, so I'm guessing it is well outside the statistical norm. Would you be happy if this plant was leaking a mile down the road from your house? Would you be saying things like "It really hasn't yet" to your neighbours when their children get strange lumps on their bodies and can't run and play like they used to?
The most obvious conclusions one can make about this report are either the leaking was happening prior to the earthquake, or the levels of radiation have been under-reported, or that both of these have happened.
The real big problem here is that right from the start there was too much "saving face" going on in the face of a potentially really serious situation.
Whether shutting down the whole plant as soon as the tsunami struck would have saved the situation is a big unknown, but to me it would have been the best option in a situation where you don't know if your plant is fully functional.
Even now this whole area should not be used for habitation, agriculture or fishing, but no, the "oh no, we must save face" brigade will turn up and people will be getting cancers and nothing will be done about it above the doctor - patient level.


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