The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has reported that on Tuesday there was another leak of radioactive water from the storage tanks of the nuclear plant Fukushima-1, the third in a week, according to public broadcaster NHK.
TEPCO has indicated that the chlorine level between the three layers of the waterproof storage tanks has risen to 910 parts per million, from the four parts per million that existed a day before, indicating that there has been another leak of radioactive water.
The power company has explained that the leak occurred from the lower layers, because although it is common to have leaks at the top, which still allows TEPCO to keep the tank at 80% of its capacity. The company says that right now the tanks are at 55%.
On Saturday, a TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono reported that there had been a leak of radioactive water in one of the seven containers where water is stored to cool the nuclear plant.
Apparently the power company engineers discovered that 120 tons of radioactive water with strontium had breached the water-impermeable layers that cover the storage facilities.
Barely 24 hours later, TEPCO reported a second leak of radioactive water, while stressing that the amount spilled was “very little”.
However, at the insistence of the Japanese government, TEPCO has launched an investigation to determine the source of the leak and, meanwhile, has begun pumping radioactive water left in the tank to the other six containers. This procedure is supposed to take two weeks to be completed. Meanwhile, water will continue leaking.
The 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami rocked Fukushima Prefecture, located in northeastern Japan, leading to a humanitarian crisis and a nuclear incident worse than Chernobyl (Ukraine). Since then, TEPCO operators have tried to cool the nuclear plant pumping water into the facilities and then purifying it with a special system to ensure environmental safety. This task has not been done properly, as contaminated water is now leaking from the tanks.
The contaminated water has been accumulating in seven tanks that were installed around the nuclear plant, each of which has a capacity of 14,000 tons.
(TEPCO) has said that it may not be able to store enough water to keep the nuclear plant from overheating. According to the company, there are not enough sturdy, above-ground tanks that can utilized to hold the water. TEPCO’s General Manager Masayuki Ono said on Monday that water had been leaking from the pits over the weekend. “If these kinds of incidents continue to occur, the very process toward decommissioning the reactors could be affected,” said Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
After Fukushima exploded, and since water has been leaking though the containment tanks, researchers have discovered that sea life around the nuclear plant contain 2,500 times the radiation limit. The very same nuclear contamination found around Fukushima has traveled out into the Pacific Ocean, making its way to the West Coast of the United States. But sea life is not the only thing affected by the contaminated water. Radiation that spilled out of the nuclear plant and into the atmosphere caused the evacuation of thousands of residents and stopped the production and sale of beef, milk, mushrooms and vegetables from surrounding areas. The bans have been lifted though and the radiation that at first affected Japan, later spread to much of the northern hemisphere.
Despite plenty of proof that the water has been contaminated and that as a consequence sea food and produce irrigated with the same water are equally polluted, the European Commission has said that the fish are safe to eat. “There is zero risk to human consumers from Pacific fish,” says a study posted on a page from the Department of Nuclear Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
In reality, as it has been shown by multiple researchers, the total amount of unstable radionuclides Iodine-131 and Caesium-137 released over a period of just two weeks was so high that the Fukushima crisis already equates to three INES 7 incidents.
“Release of radiation from the stricken reactors has reached 10,000 teraBequerels (10,000 trillion Bequerels) per hour, measured for radioactive Iodine-131.” A study conducted for Greenpeace Germany by international nuclear safety expert Dr. Helmut Hirsch, showed that radiation in milk in Hawaii was at least 2,033% above Federal drinking safety limits.
Different from what most people believe, the Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from over and it has a great potential to get worse, if that is even possible.