Nuclear Watchdogs Fear Fukushima Leak Is Getting Worse

Nuclear Watchdogs Fear Fukushima Leak Is Getting WorseA nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated.

‘A good deal worse’

Mycle Schneider is an independent consultant who has previously advised the French and German governments. He says water is leaking out all over the site and there are no accurate figures for radiation levels. Meanwhile the chairman of Japan’s nuclear authority said that he feared there would be further leaks.

The ongoing problems at the Fukushima plant increased in recent days when the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitted that around 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank on the site. But some nuclear experts are concerned that the problem is a good deal worse than either Tepco or the Japanese government are willing to admit.


‘Leaches into the sea’

They are worried about the enormous quantities of water, used to cool the reactor cores, which are now being stored on site. Some 1,000 tanks have been built to hold the water. But these are believed to be at around 85% of their capacity and every day an extra 400 tonnes of water are being added.

Several scientists also raised concerns about the vulnerability of the huge amount of stored water on site to another earthquake. The storage problems are compounded by the ingress of ground water, running down from the surrounding hills. It mixes with radioactive water leaking out of the basements of the reactors and then some of it leaches into the sea, despite the best efforts of Tepco to stem the flow.

Do you think Fukushima’s radiation problem is actually worse than we know? In connection to this problem, should Tokyo’s Olympic bid be withdrawn?

Source: Matt McGrath | BBC News

Image: The Washington Post

Japan Tsunami Debris Approaching U.S. West Coast

Lumber, boats and other debris ripped from Japanese coastal towns by the tsunamis last year have spread across some 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) of the northern Pacific, where they could wash ashore on the U.S. west coast as early as a year from now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the first items of tsunami debris will make landfall soon on small atolls northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Other pieces were expected to reach the coasts of Oregon, Washington state, Alaska and Canada between March 2013 and March 2014.

NOAA’s tsunami marine debris coordinator, Ruth Yender, told an online news conference Tuesday that agency workers were boarding Coast Guard flights that patrol the Hawaiian archipelago. NOAA also asked scientists stationed at Midway and other atolls to look for the debris.


One to 2 million tons of debris remain in the ocean, but only 1 to 5 percent of that could reach Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and Canada’s British Columbia. The tsunamis generated a total of 20 million to 25 million tons of debris, including what was left on land. Yender said that so far, no debris confirmed to be from the tsunamis has landed on U.S, shores, including large buoys suspected to be from Japanese oyster farms found in Alaska last year. The buoys would have had to travel faster than currents to get to Alaska at that time if they were set loose by the March 11 tsunamis.

Yender said there is little chance of any debris being contaminated by radiation. The debris came from a large swath of Japan’s northeastern coast, not only near the tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Further, it was dragged out to sea with the tsunamis, not while the Fukushima plant experienced multiple meltdowns.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Independent Sentinel