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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Fukushima problem: groundwater

The dire situation at the triple-meltdown site at Fukushima does not seem to be improving much. Earthquakes in the area continue, keeping observers worried about the spent nuclear fuel pools in the four crippled reactors -- particularly unit 4, whose pool is being held up by jacks. A crack in the facade of unit 4 has just been shown for the first time. And now a new threat to the environment has been revealed: groundwater.

Tokyo Electric reports this week that groundwater seeping into the trashed reactor buildings is worsening the overload of highly contaminated liquid that has been pooling in their basements from the constant dousing of the meltdown messes. And so the company is going to dig wells around the complex and try to route the groundwater around the reactors and straight out into the ocean.

They say they'll be monitoring the water before pumping it to the sea, but that's a slightly absurd precaution given the fact that lots of badly contaminated water has already found its way, easily, into the ocean adjacent to the reactors. They've been spraying the meltdowns for more than a year now, and the makeshift water treatment system they have set up has removed only a small fraction of the radioactive material in the resulting pools. They have only a sketchy idea of where all the water has been going, and what they do know, they're not saying much about.

Comments (4)

Gotta admit, on the whole a good job is being done to keep this whole mess under wraps. There could be a white hole of nuke energy burrowing it's way to the center of the earth and none of us would know.
We are too busy here worrying about Mittens and the elections.

thank you, jack. i'm in astoria, getting a radiation monitor soon... the situation is far from done. i like portland native's comment. wake up, world! we've got a nuclear emergency going on.

Has it already been 26 years?

"'The Chernobyl disaster underscored that mankind must be extra careful in using nuclear technologies,' Yanukovych said. 'Nuclear accidents lead to global consequences. They are not a problem of just one country, they affect the life of entire regions.'"

"Yanukovych also thanked international donors for pledging €740 million ($980 million) to build the new shelter and a nuclear fuel waste facility. The biggest donors are the Group of Eight industrial nations, including Japan, which itself is still recovering from last year's horrific Fukushima nuclear disaster."

I just saw this: http://www.infiniteunknown.net/2012/04/22/fukushima-is-falling-apart-are-you-ready-for-a-mass-extinction-event/

WTF can we do about it all? All of our food, air, water, bodies have been and continue to be exposed. I'd love to know if anyone is monitoring exposure around here...

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