NHK’s Newsline FOCUS: Inside Fukushima Daiichi, Mar. 29, 2014 (at 18:15 in): A network of trenches runs between the reactor buildings and the shore. They are flooded with extremely radioactive water that’s been trapped** there since the triple meltdown. Tepco data shows concentrations of cesium up to 4 million times above the government safety limit. Engineers estimate that the trenches hold about 15,000 tons of toxic water but radiation levels are too high for them to get a more precise look at the situation. Some experts point out these trenches are a source of contamination for the Pacific Ocean. Tepco says there’s no evidence of that yet, but it recognizes the need to act quickly.
**Yomiuri Shimbun, Mar. 6, 2014: “It appears that high-level radioactive contaminated water from tunnels [trenches] extending from the No. 1 to No. 4 reactor building is flowing into the sea.”
- At 0:30 – Tepco: “Now we have found water in the section between the underground area of the building and the sea in the area called the trench.” Workers detected contamination in the trench on Sunday [Mar. 27]. They recorded more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour on the water’s surface. […] Tepco says it’s unlikely the water is leaking into the ocean […] Tepco had no intention of hiding it.
- At 4:15 — Yoshiyuki Yamazaki, NHK: Of the Reactors 1-3, one, or more, or all, have likely sustained damage to their nuclear fuel rods. Which is why iodine, cesium, and plutonium are leaking out. […] Tepco mentioned they don’t think the current level will affect human health […] We have to be very careful. Compared to iodine and cesium, plutonium would have a substantially larger adverse effect on health if taken into the human body.
Published: April 18th, 2014 at 1:36 pm ET