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 In connection to this problem, should Tokyo’s Olympic bid be withdrawn?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

Blackberry Maker RIM Buckles Up Despite $125M Loss

Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it plans to refocus its business back onto corporate customers.

The Canadian company made a net loss for the three months to 3 March of $125m (£78m), compared with a profit of $934m a year earlier. It has lost ground as its traditional corporate customers have switched staff to iPhones or Android smartphones. RIM also announced the resignation of former co-chief executive Jim Balsillie. Chief technology officer David Yacht will also be standing down.

For the full financial year, the RIM made a net profit of $1.2bn, down from $3.4bn in the previous year. The results were worse than analysts had expected and shares in the company fell as much as 9% in after-hours trading in New York. They have fallen by 80% over the past year. RIM has struggled to keep up with rivals in the smartphone market, such as Apple’s iPhone and handsets running on Google’s Android operating system. It has also struggled to gain a foothold in the tablet market.


Newly-appointed chief executive Thorsten Heins said the company would now focus on its traditional core market of corporate customers rather than on individual consumers as part of a strategy to turn the business around: “We believe that Blackberry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength.”

Analysts said the company could continue to struggle until it became clear whether this turnaround plan would succeed.

Source: BBC News

Image: Pocket-lint