It would be comical if it wasn't so tragic, and if for some inexplicable reason Japan hadn't been awarded the 2020 Olympics as a desperate measure to boost the economy with zero regard for the human cost. Following news of yet another radioactive spill taking place at Fukushima earlier this week, the latest in what is becoming a countless series if "incidents", overnight we learned that in the latest accident involving the exploded Fukushima nuclear power plant, which is now so very much out of control that even the government is considering removing Tepco from the containment effort, at least six workers were exposed to a leak of highly radioactive water on Wednesday, "the latest in a string of mishaps the country's nuclear watchdog has attributed to carelessness, saying they could have been avoided." They could have indeed, if only Japan were to formally recognize the severity of the catastrophe instead of constantly pushing it under the rug at a time when the only thing that matters for the successful, if ultimately doomed, implementation of Abenomics is the preservation of confidence at all costs.
In the latest incident, a worker mistakenly detached a pipe connected to a treatment system to remove salt from the hundreds of tonnes of water Tepco pumps over the melted fuel in wrecked reactors at Fukushima to keep them cool.
"It is serious in that it was another problem caused by carelessness, but I do not believe it is a seriously troubling dosage," Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, said on Wednesday. "But the fact that there has been a string of incidents occurring on a daily basis that could have been avoided - I think that is the large problem."
Tanaka urged Tepco to improve its handling of contaminated water, but stopped short of saying if it faced any penalties.
Tepco said seven tonnes of water were spilled in Wednesday's incident at the treatment facility but were contained within the site, adding that the leaked water had an all-beta radiation level of 34 million becquerels per litre.
Tanaka said the leaked water had already been treated to remove cesium, which emits strong gamma radiation harmful to humans.
Putting today's incident in context:
On Monday, Tepco said a plant worker accidentally halted power to pumps used to cool the damaged reactors. A backup system kicked in immediately, but the event was another reminder of the precarious situation at the plant.
Last week, Tepco said 430 litres (113 gallons) of contaminated water had spilled out of a storage tank at Fukushima and probably flowed to the ocean.
In August, a leak of 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water from a hastily built site tank was given a "Level 3" or "serious incident" rating on the INES scale.
Also in August, Tepco said two workers were contaminated with radioactive particles, the second such incident in a week involving staff outside the site's main operations centre.
And so on.
The only good news to come out of this tragic irradiation of innocent people who merely are serving a corrupt, lying government, is that it increasingly exposes the severity of the situation.
The accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 220 km (130 miles) north of Tokyo, are adding to a crisis no one seems to know how to contain, and stirring doubt over Tepco's abilities to carry out a complex cleanup widely expected to take decades.
Just last week, the regulator ordered Tepco to draft in additional workers and report within a week on its measures to tackle the hazardous clean-up.
The worst news for Abe, who obviously is oblivious to the human suffering aspect of ploughing on at all costs, is that with every passing incident the public opinion toward reopening Japan's nuclear power plants becomes ever more negative, meaning Japan's energy costs will continue to soar indefinitely, even as wages continues to implode as we reported before.
As for Fukushima: don't expect anything to change here - just like the financial system, which will be kept on life support until that is no longer an option, so the biggest radioactive catastrophe in history, by now having eclipsed Chernobyl because at least the Russians were quick to accept the severity of the cataclysm, will remain a dormant and latent Pandora's box a few hundred miles away from Tokyo, until one day not even the best, or rather worst, meaning intentions of central planners around the word, can shove the alpha, beta and gamma rays under the rug.