Fukushima Continues Lethal Radioactive Leakages Into AIR and Water, Oct 25 2013
See the white storage tanks, many leaking Fukushima’s radioactive water into the ground, groundwater, rivers, and then Pacific Ocean….
Fukushima’s disaster goes on and on, after the initial incident began on March 11, 2011. The radioactive pollution. The ridiculous idea of an ice wall surrounding the nuclear plant, that the press, including the respected but very doubtable New York Times seems to accept as salvation, as in today’s article wherein authors Fackler and Tabuchi state: ‘The latest [radioactive] releases appear to be carrying much more contaminated water than before into the Pacific. And that flow may not slow until at least 2015, when an ice wall around the damaged reactors is supposed to be completed.’
Meanwhile, ‘This week, newly tainted rainwater overflowed dikes. Two weeks before that, workers mistakenly disconnected a pipe, dumping 10 more tons of contaminated water onto the ground and dousing themselves in the process.’
Remember how TEPCO and the Japanese government kept denying that radioactive water was flowing into the Pacific? Now they say: ‘TEPCO has installed pumps designed to drain rainwater into tanks, where it is tested for radiation before it is released into the sea. However, the pumps appeared unable to cope with the large amounts of rain dumped by the [recent] typhoon, so when the rain struck Sunday [Oct. 20], water was still up to nine inches deep in some spots [within protective barriers that were erected that are a grand total of one foot tall], Tepco said.’ *
‘Besides the discovery of widespread radioactive hot spots, the government’s fisheries agency said that more than 1 in 10 of some species of bottom-feeding fish caught off Fukushima are still contaminated by amounts of radioactive cesium above the government’s safety level.’ **
Why must all this be accepted? When will the nuclear power addicted powers-that-be, in Japan and the USA and Putin’s Russia (where they put a crew of Greenpeace activists in jail for 15 years for unfurling a banner protesting arctic oil drilling) ever let go of their destructive selfish attachment to the world’s most dangerous energy source? (Putin likes floating smaller sellable nuclear plants that will be regulated by ??anyone??)
More befuddled explanation from today’s NY Times article: ‘Radiation levels there [off Fukushima] should naturally weaken over time, Dr. [Blair] Thornton** said, as sea currents deposit new sediments on top of toxic particles. The fact that radiation levels are still up to hundreds of times as high as they are in other areas of the sea floor raises the possibility that the spots are being blanketed in new contamination from the plant, he said. The other possibility, Dr. Thornton said, is that radioactive particles released by the original accident bonded to mud on the sea bottom and are not disappearing as quickly as expected [And yes, we must base our realizations that radiation and its dangers last a very long time. For example: the half-life of both cesium and strontium is ~30 yrs; hazardous lives of each then are 10-20X the half-life, or about 300-600 years].
In either case, researchers say, the hot spots are a concern because shrimp and small fish tend to gather in depressions on the ocean floor for protection. If the radioactive materials are entering their bodies, those particles could work their way into the food chain, requiring that fishing be suspended for longer than local fishermen had hoped.
The hot spots could explain why cesium-contaminated fish are still being caught off Fukushima.’ **
If the Pacific Ocean’s contamination is not enough, now we are hearing about the ongoing constant radioactive pollution of the air in today’s Times article: ‘Less attention has been paid to the continued airborne releases of cesium from the site’s crippled reactors, whose layers of protection were damaged or destroyed. The plant still emits 10 million becquerels per hour into the atmosphere, according to TEPCO. While the amounts of airborne emissions dropped sharply after the accident, which spewed radioactive materials across a wide swath of northeastern Japan, they have held steady since February 2012, TEPCO said.
TEPCO has tried to stop these continuing releases by taking steps like erecting a cover over one damaged reactor, but it acknowledges that radioactive materials still escape through tiny gaps in the cover, or through damaged ventilation systems and cracks in the reactor buildings. So long as such air and water releases continue, experts warn, there will be no end to Fukushima’s slowly unfolding environmental damage.’ **
Of course, there has to be some ‘good’ news reported amidst the tragic and apocalyptic. So our NY Times reporters have to add in this: ‘These [radioactive pollution levels] aren’t levels that are going to directly affect human health,” Masashi Kusakabe, a researcher at an institute that has monitored cesium in the ocean for the government, said, referring to releases into the Pacific.’ This continues the apologetic media garbage verbiage. Remember, plutonium causes lung cancer with just one MILLIONTH of a gram depositing in your lung. And plutonium is just one of hundreds of other long-lived potential cancer-causing radionuclides besides the offered cesium and strontium, that are produced by the fissioning of uranium to produce heat to boil water to produce steam to turn a turbine to produce electricity. That is all that nuclear power is. With its ultimate side affects or ‘collateral damage,’ that Fukushima prominently produces, that could essentially go on forever, in human terms. Plutonium has a half-life, when half the radioactivity is gone, equal to 24,000 YEARS. Its hazardous life then is the difficult-to-imagine 240,000 to 480,000 years during which we have to worry about its toxicities.
Japan’s ‘very popular former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi’ sounded the challenge to his country for ‘Zero Nuclear Plants,’ as an integral part of its future energy policy. ‘His bold new stance challenges his protégé, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose policies would restart as many nuclear power plants as possible [2 currently online, 52 closed], and even promote the export of nuclear reactors. Mr. Koizumi deems the pursuit of nuclear power “aimless” and “irresponsible.”
According to opinion polls, the majority of Japanese oppose nuclear power, even among supporters of the Abe government. A poll last week found that 76 percent of those surveyed said they did not think the Fukushima plant was “under control.” The government reckons the earthquake and tsunami that struck Fukushima is a once-in-a-thousand-year occurrence. Yet it also estimates that there is a 60 percent to 70 percent probability of a major earthquake and tsunami hitting the most densely populated coastline within the next 30 years. That coastline, dotted with nuclear power plants, reaches from Tokyo to the southern island of Kyushu.
Prime Minister Abe has been stressing the need to shed the deflation mentality for Japan to lift itself out of economic stagnation. Japan can certainly do with a change in attitude. Mr. Koizumi makes a compelling argument that if the ruling Liberal Democratic Party were to announce a zero nuclear policy, “the nation could come together in the creation of a recyclable society unseen in the world,” and the public mood would rise in an instant.’ quoth the NY Times in an editorial of October 14, 2013. The editorial reference from the internet can be accessed at the below web address:
** ‘Blair Thornton, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo’s Underwater Technology Research Center, helped find the hot spots, spread across at least 150 square miles of the ocean bottom offshore from the [Fukushima nuclear] plant. He said they appeared to be formed when radioactive particles like cesium and strontium, which are heavier than water, collect in low points like trenches.’ from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/world/asia/with-a-plants-tainted-water-still-flowing-no-end-to-environmental-fears.html?hp&_r=0