Title: Nuclear Operator Raises Alarm on Crisis
Source: NY Times
Author: HIROKO TABUCHI
Date: August 23, 2013
Experts have said they suspect that more contaminated water is seeping out from under the melted-down reactors into the groundwater and the Pacific. Elevated levels of radioactive cesium in surrounding waters seem to confirm those suspicions.
Tepco has said those leaks are not directly from beneath the reactors, but from maintenance tunnels that run along the coast and remain contaminated from the early days of the disaster.
But it also acknowledges that the water beneath the reactors is extremely contaminated, and experts say that if it does get into the ocean, it will surpass even the leaks that occurred in the disaster’s early days. (Study: Up to 47 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 released into Pacific from Fukushima)
“That prospect scares me,” Michio Aoyama, a senior scientist in the Oceanography and Geochemistry Research Department at the government-affiliated Meteorological Research Institute, said in an interview this month.
“It’s the ultimate, worst-case scenario,” Professor Aoyama said.
From Yesterday: AP: Experts fear giant underground reservoir of extremely contaminated water on verge of entering Pacific at Fukushima -- In contact with melted nuclear fuel? A race against the clock -- Nobody knows when this will end
See also: Wall St. Journal: They don't know where Fukushima's melted fuel cores are, or in what state -- Expert: "It's important to think of worst-case scenario"... Even greater levels of contamination may be on the way -- Plant "built on a river"
Published: August 24th, 2013 at 6:23 am ET