Title: Fukushima leaks 18 times worse than first thought
Author: Quirin Schiermeier & Jay Alabaster
Date: September 2, 2013
Some 400 tonnes of cooling water are being collected in tanks each day. The growing fleet of storage tanks — which currently stands at about 1,000 — is a source of alarm for experts, who fear that huge amounts of contaminated water will eventually have to be dumped into the ocean. Worse still, some 300 tonnes of groundwater highly contaminated with caesium-137, which has a 30-year half-life, are thought to be flowing from beneath the destroyed reactors into the sea every day.
The potential for harm is huge, says Jota Kanda, an oceanographer at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology who monitors radionuclide distribution in sediments and biota off Fukushima.
“The effects of one relatively small leak may be insignificant,” he says. “But there are huge amounts of radionuclides in these tanks and the water may have to be stored for a long time to come. If more leaks were to occur the consequences might be severe.”
See also: Fukushima Mystery? TV: Japan expert says radiation levels in ocean too high to be explained by groundwater flow alone -- Must be coming from "other contamination routes" entering Pacific -- "Devastating impact" to come? (VIDEO)
Published: September 4th, 2013 at 9:51 am ET
- Twice as much contaminated water entering ocean from Fukushima as officials claim? Japan Gov’t: 600 tons of groundwater enters ocean each day at plant — NYTimes: Tepco’s figures assume ALL water entering ocean from plant is contaminated (VIDEO) August 8, 2013
- Japan Professor: 1,000 years from now contaminated water from Fukushima may still be entering Pacific Ocean — It’s necessary to keep monitoring during that time September 11, 2013
- Popular Mechanics: Contaminated water threatens to swamp Fukushima site as it rises to surface — Radioactive liquid will continue entering ocean despite attempts to block it August 28, 2013
- Kyodo: ‘Radiation crisis’ at Fukushima plant — Toxic water entering sea for years — “Tainting ocean and marine life” August 4, 2013
- New York Times: “Potential for huge spill” of highly radioactive liquid from many Fukushima tanks all at once, says nuclear design expert — Top Officials: Leaks from more tanks are “the biggest concern… We are extremely concerned” August 21, 2013