1 September 2013, 10:09

Radiation readings spike at Japan's Fukushima, radioactive ocean plume to reach US by 2014

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Radiation near a tank holding highly contaminated water at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has spiked 18-fold, the plant's operator said on Sunday, highlighting the struggle to bring the crisis under control after more than two years. If nothing is done, radioactive plume of water from Fukushima will likely reach US coastal waters starting in 2014.

Radiation of 1,800 millisieverts per hour - enough to kill an exposed person in four hours - was detected near the bottom of one storage tank on Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co, also known as Tepco, said.

While there were no new leaks found at the tank, a Tepco spokesman said another leak had been detected from a pipe connecting two other tanks nearby.

"We have not confirmed fresh leakage from the tank and water levels inside the tank has not changed," the Tepco spokesman said. "We are investigating the cause."

Radiation of 220 millisieverts was also recorded near an adjacent storage tank, where a reading of 70 had been registered last month.

An Aug. 22 readings measured radiation of 100 millisieverts per hour at the same tank. Japanese law has set an annual radiation exposure safety threshold of 50 millisieverts for nuclear plant workers during normal hours.

Even more worrying, ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by Fukushima in 2011 could begin flowing into US coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.

With no one seeming to know how to bring the crisis to an end, Tepco said last week it would invite foreign decommissioning experts to advise it on how to deal with the highly radioactive water leaking from the site.

Fukushima radioactive leak causes the sea off Japan coast to boil

The sea is boiling off of the coast of Fukushima, Japan, and the picture of this devastating phenomenon has recently been called the photo of the day by Coolbuster. While it certainly can’t be good for any plant or animal life left off of the coast of Japan, it might have even worse consequences for the North American continent. If Fukushima radiation keeps leaking, the boiling seas are likely to spread all the way across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of the US causing a massive environmental catastrophe.

A Twitter photo showing a “boiling sea” off the coast of Japan, near the Fukushima nuclear power plant with radiation leaks, has gone viral online.

News of the "boiling sea" followed a devastating report from last week when the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said 330 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank at the facility.

Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive who has coordinated projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the United States says “the problem is going to get worse,” and continues to state “Radioactive water is leaking out of this plant as fast as it is leaking in.”

It is noteworthy that TEPCO and Japan have continuously downplayed news about the severity of the situation since 2011, so it is logical for experts to be concerned that the problem is a good deal worse than either Tepco or the Japanese government are willing to admit.

“The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic,” said Mycle Schneider, who has consulted widely for a variety of organisations and countries on nuclear issues. “What is worse is the water leakage everywhere else, not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that".

According to Gundersen, the deluge of toxic water into the Pacific has already contaminated the ocean and this will be the last year he eats west coast fish.

Gundersen says that halfway across the Pacific, scientists are measuring cesium levels that are 10 times higher than normal.

The ramifications do not extend solely to ocean wildlife but the economy as well because tens of thousands of people depend on money made directly and indirectly from Pacific Ocean jobs and seafood from the west coast, which will be hit hard by Fukushima radiation.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, NBC News

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