Shortly after the March 2011 tsunami, the
Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan turned into an
MCA (“maximum credible accident”), an event that
was largely due to the fact that the emergency
electricity generators (which were flooded) had
been erected in the wrong place. At the time many
rumors made the rounds indicating that Japan's
government as well as plant operator TEPCO were
deliberately downplaying the severity of the
situation. It seems now that they have indeed not
been as forthright about the dangers than they
should have been. The problem with nuclear
material is that it just keeps radiating and
depending on what material exactly is involved, its
so-called half-life (the ...view middle of the document...
site has numerous trenches that hold electrical
cables and pipes.
In the latest revelation, Tepco said Saturday it
found extremely high concentrations of radiation
in water samples from a trench near the No. 2
reactor. It said that the sample had 750 million
becquerels of cesium-134 and 1.6 billion
becquerels of cesium-137 per liter.
Both radioactive substances are considered
harmful to health. An NRA official said Monday
that the very high levels were likely to be even
higher than those within the reactor units
The levels are millions of times higher than the
government's limit of 60 becquerels per liter of
water for cesium-134, and 90 becquerels for
cesium-137. The elevated concentrations would
pose a serious threat if large amounts of water
were to leak from the trenches.
It was by far the highest concentration of
radioactivity detected since soon after Japan's
March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, after which
the cores of three reactors melted down,
producing dangerous levels of radioactivity.
While the trenches have long been known to hold
water with dangerously high levels of
contamination, Tepco said last week that
radioactivity was also...