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Tons of contaminated groundwater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have overwhelmed an underground barrier and are emptying daily into the Pacific, creating what a top regulator has called a crisis.
The water contains strontium and cesium [...]
“Tepco lacks a sufficient sense of urgency for this crisis,” Shinji Kinjo, a high-level official at the country’s nuclear regulatory watchdog, said Tuesday in an interview. [...]
Tepco now says the groundwater is emptying into the plant’s man-made harbor at a rate of 400 tons a day [...] While the company did not specifically say how much of the water was contaminated, it offered a calculation for the amount of tritium being released that assumed all of the water was contaminated.
[...] experts agree with Tepco’s assessment that the amounts of radioactive material released into the Pacific have been too small to pose a risk to human health. Still, some critics contend that the plant has emitted far more radioactive materials than it is saying, based in part on levels of contaminants discovered in the harbor, which are well above safe levels in some places. [...]
Mr. Kinjo [...] said that the levels of contamination in the water that had collected in the reactor buildings was too low to account for the radiation levels seen in the groundwater now flowing into the ocean, so the water at the reactors was unlikely to be the source of the latest leaks.
The most likely source appears to be pools of highly radioactive water that collected in the plant’s maze of underground conduits [...]
Around 300 tons of groundwater containing radioactive substances could be flowing from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex into the adjacent Pacific Ocean, the government said Wednesday in the latest revelation of how Japan is still struggling to contain the 2011 nuclear disaster.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed the same day that the government will firmly support Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s efforts to deal with the massive buildup of radioactive water at the plant, saying he cannot leave the matter up to the utility alone.
Radioactive water is increasing at the plant every day because groundwater is contaminated as it passes through the plant's premises, where three reactors have suffered meltdowns. TEPCO recently admitted that toxic groundwater is leaking into the ocean.
Ripped from the pages of Marvel Comics, Japanese Anime, or Game of Thrones; the latest cunning solution to what the Japanese admit is an ongoing emergency in Fukushima is, well, creative... Now that TEPCO has been shown to be inept, Abe and his government have sanctioned the funding of a 1.4km wall of ice to surround the building that holds Reactors 1 to 4. No this is not Pacific Rim; as Kyodo reports, chemical refrigerants will keep the underground wall frozen to stop the 400 tons of ground water being pumped into the reactors to cool them from leaking further into the sea water surrounding the catastrophe. This must be a positive for GDP, if 'broken windows' can help the Keynesians (and digging and refilling holes) then why not build a giant ice wall that will require unending energy to refrigerate what is a constantly melting-down core of nuclear awfulness. We wish them luck.