New York Times, Oct. 24, 2013 (Emphasis Added): For months now, it has been hard to escape the continuing deluge of bad news from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. [...] [Scientists] say there are worrisome problems that may be the result of new leaks. [...] [Tepco] says the source of the increased contamination appears to be highly radioactive water that had been trapped since the accident in conduits around the reactor buildings and had slowly found its way out.
Michio Aoyama, oceanographer at a Japanese government research institute: The magnitude of the recent spike in radiation, and the amounts of groundwater involved, have led , to conclude that radioactive cesium 137 may now be leaking into the Pacific at a rate of about 30 billion becquerels per year [Actually PER DAY], or about three times as high as last year. He estimates that strontium 90 may be entering the Pacific at a similar rate.
Blair Thornton, associate professor at University of Tokyo’s Underwater Technology Research Center: hot spots [are] spread across at least 150 square miles of the ocean bottom [...] Radiation levels there should naturally weaken over time [...] 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 [...] particles could work their way into the food chain [...]
Jota Kanda, oceanographer at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology: “Obviously, there is some continuing source of cesium 137. We are not sure exactly what is happening, but we are seeing a bigger than expected effect on the environment.” [...]
See also: 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
Published: October 27th, 2013 at 11:17 am ET