Fukushima Leak Causes Further Setbacks
Ellisha Rader Mannering
As if residents of Japan’s northeast coast haven’t Fukushima has suffered another leak. This time, 430 liters of contaminated and radioactive water leaked into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Company says that this water is thousands of times more radioactive than legal limits with radiation readings as high as 200,000 becquerels per liter.
Japan has been the site of some major disasters over the last few years. The 2011 earthquake an tsunami killed over 16,000 people and caused three nuclear meltdowns. Many people were forced to evacuate and over 1,600 were killed from the meltdowns alone.
The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company has worked hard to try to make the site safe again and a Japanese fast food company Yoshinoya Holdings had even planned to grow vegetables on a nearby island. This leak is just another setback for Japan.
The cause of the leak is due to a miscalculation on the amount of water the container can hold. Because the container was sitting on a slope, workers thought it could hold more than possible. The water overflowed from the container and leaked from the facility, according to a TEPCO spokesman.
According to TEPCO, the tanks were overflow but the amount of rainwater that rained into them during the recent tropical depression. The tanks hold water that is dumped on reactors to cool them whenever they overheat. When this water overflow it can mix with and contaminate groundwater. To prevent this from happening, Minister Shinzo Abe has made arrangements to have a subterranean ice wall built.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.