Pumps Fail Causing Unknown Amount Of Highly Radioactive Fukushima Water To Spill Into Ocean
by Randy DeSoto, Western Journalism A survey conducted last week at Fukushima No. 1 found the radiation levels are so high at the station, exposure to it would kill a human being within an hour. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that more highly radioactive water spilled into the ocean at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant on Tuesday due to an electricity outage, which shut down all the facility’s water pumps. TEPCO could not confirm how much water escaped. The Japan Times reports that the company had begun transferring water from a drainage channel at the plant to a nearby artificial bay last Friday using eight pumps. A February test determined that water from the channel, which exceeded radioactive safety levels, was reaching the ocean. A TEPCO-conducted survey last week at Fukushima No. 1 found the radiation levels are so high at the station that exposure to it would kill a human being within an hour. The clean-up effort faced another snafu earlier this week when two snake-like robots, designed to gather information from inside the reactor, had to be abandoned. One got stuck, and the other’s camera was damaged due to the radiation. According to Gizmodo, TEPCO relies on a small army of robots to work inside the facility, which do everything from measuring radioactive levels to dry ice blasts to decontaminate surfaces. Prior to the earthquakes and tsunami, which struck the island nation in March 2011 and caused a triple reactor meltdown at Fukushima, Japan generated a third of its electricity from nuclear power. Immediately after the disaster, the Japanese government ordered all 48 of the country’s working nuclear power facilities shut down. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, wanted to restore the use of nuclear power in Japan this year by opening a plant at Takahama; however, a Japanese court ruled against it last week.