Locals Furious At Plan To Dump Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into Pacific Ocean

In the latest sign that the area surrounding the destroyed Fukushima power plant is far from ready for the return of human inhabitants, locals and fishing groups are criticizing a plan to release water containing radioactive tritium from the ruined Fukushima power plant into the ocean, according to the Telegraph. Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, say tritium poses little risk to human health and is quickly diluted by the ocean. But for some, the plan undoubtedly dredges up uncomfortable memories from 2013, when it was revealed that 300 tonnes of radioactive material had been leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the devastated plant every day. It was also revealed that TEPCO had known about the leaks, but had tried to cover them up.

TEPCO has been tasked with decommissioning the plant, and has been using robots to find and clean the melted nuclear fuel debris that is believed to be creating exorbitant levels of radiation in the area surrounding the plant. Though the company had to pull some of its robots out in February after radiation reached such high levels that not even machinery could function correctly, according to the International Business Times.

In March 2011, a magnitude 9 undersea megaquake triggered a massive tsunami that battered coastal North Eastern Japan, and triggered the level seven meltdowns of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and the evacuation of 160,000 residents and the implementation of a 310 square mile uninhabitable zone. The quake was the worst to ever hit Japan, and it caused the worst nuclear disaster the world had seen since Ukraine’s Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant melted down when the tsunami caused a blackout at the plant that shut off its cooling systems.

Six years after the disaster, some residents are beginning to return as the Japanese government prepares to lift restrictions on four towns in the affected area. But a completed cleanup effort could take decades, and the government must still find a way to exterminate the radioactive boars that have overrun the area.

Takashi Kawamura, chairman of TEPCO, told local media "The decision has already been made” regarding the tritium infused water. He added, however, that the utility is waiting for approval from the Japanese government before going ahead with the plan and is seeking the understanding of local residents.

The tritium is building up in water that has been used to cool three reactors that suffered fuel melt-downs after cooling equipment was destroyed during the earthquake and tsunami. Around 770,000 tons of highly radioactive water is being stored in 580 tanks at the site. Many of the contaminants can be filtered out, but the technology does not presently exist to remove tritium from water.

Environmental activist say dumping the tritium-infused water is part of a pattern of negligence on the part of TEPCO stretching back to before the earthquake even happened, when the company failed to take proper precautions to reinforce the cooling systems at the plants’ reactors.

"This accident happened more than six years ago and the authorities should have been able to devise a way to remove the tritium instead of simply announcing that they are going to dump it into the ocean", said Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan.

"They say that it will be safe because the ocean is large so it will be diluted, but that sets a precedent that can be copied, essentially permitting anyone to dump nuclear waste into our seas", she told The Telegraph.

Fishermen who operate in waters off the plant say the release of any radioactive material will devastate their industry, which is still struggling to recover from the initial nuclear disaster, according to the Telegraph.

"Releasing [tritium] into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumours, making all our efforts for naught", Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishing cooperative, told Kyodo News.
 

Comments

NoDebt Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:48 Permalink

The solution to pollution is dilution.Show of hands:  who thinks they could stop it from going in the ocean even if they wanted to.  Yeah, that's what I thought, too.  

solidtare Mtnrunnr Fri, 07/14/2017 - 20:43 Permalink

"Legit"http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-marine-010816-060… arrival of FDNPP-derived radionuclides off the west coast of North America was documented by measurements of 134Cs and 137Cs on the Canadian continental shelf in June 2013 (Smith et al. 2015). By February 2014, the 137Cs signal had increased to 2 Bq m?3 throughout the upper 150 m, doubling the signal associated with fallout background from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (Smith et al. 2015). These activities have continued to increase over time, with offshore 137Cs values in the eastern North Pacific approaching 6 Bq m?3 in 2014 and 10 Bq m?3 in 2015, approximately 2,000 km north of Hawaii. The first arrival of FDNPP Cs on the shoreline of North America was detected in February 2015 in British Columbia by citizen scientists and was distinguished by 137Cs and 134Cs activities of 5.6 Bq m?3 and 1.4 Bq m?3, respectively (6.1 Bq m?3 for 137Cs and 5.0 Bq m?3 for 134Cs when decay corrected to a 2011 release date; hence, the difference of 1.1 was background 137Cs at this site prior to the initial FDNPP releases). By 2015, FDNPP radiocesium had been detected as far north as 55°N and as far south as approximately 25°N at activities marginally above the fallout background (data from http://ourradioactiveocean.org/results and http://fukushimainform.ca/archived-monitoring-results). "Fake"https://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?Division=FRD&id=20593Good map of dispersal:https://swfsc.noaa.gov/uploadedImages/Divisions/FRD/Large_Pelagics/Tuna… 

In reply to by Mtnrunnr

kaboomnomic solidtare Sat, 07/15/2017 - 07:08 Permalink

From your own article, "hence, the difference of 1.1 was background"That sea water radiations of yours? 2 bacquerels now, from 1.1 bacquerels BACKGROUNDS!!That is PER METER CUBIC!! Which water mass is about 1kg = 1L? That's 2 bacquerels per 1 THOUSAND LITERs of sea water!!Who are you trying to kid??Human body? EVERYDAY generates radiations decays of 8000 bacquerels!! Here the links,Thttp://www.radioactivity.eu.com/site/pages/Activity_Doses.htmThat is about MICRO-SIEVERT dosage dude!!The limit for HUMAN general? Here, from IAEA directly,https://www.iaea.org/Publications/Factsheets/English/radlife1 mSv (MILI-SIEVERT PER YEAR!!). Everyday? You received at least 2.2 uSV (MICRO-SIEVERT per day!!) From your surrounding environments. That about >10.000 bacquerels ALREADY!!If you wants to scare somebody?? Use a better MORE BELIEAVABLE reference for your doom story...      

In reply to by solidtare

Not Too Important Mtnrunnr Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:03 Permalink

Whatever they use this water for, let's call it X. So they're going to dump 700,000+ tons of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. The IAEA gave Japan permission to do this years ago, so the world governments have already braced for this decision.So, after they dump all this water, they still have to cool X, so that water which used to be stored will now be sent straight into the Pacific. The 700,000+ tons has been accumulated over 6 years and 4 months, or 9,200 tons per month since 3/11/11. At 30 days per month, that's 306.66 tons per day (no, those trips are not lost on me, they pop up a lot when calculating Fukushima math).So, in addition to the 300+ tons of highly radioactive water already flowing straight into the Pacific that isn't captured (non-Tepco estimates are from 400-800 tons per day), they're now going to add 300+ tons per day, bringing the daily discharge into the Pacific Ocean of 600+ tons of highly radioactive water per day (or 700 to 1,100+ tons per day, per non-Tepco sources). Highly radioactive water that will flow into the Pacific Ocean for a billion years.After almost 6 1/2 years, after over 95% of the sealife in the Pacific has died off, the radiation is now in the rain cycles, flooding North America, Japan and China something horrible at the moment with radioactive rain water, growing in intensity daily, and doing so for billions of years.I think you can see where this is headed, starting with Japan and North America.Hug your loved ones, especially the little ones - they're going first.GE - Life Too Cheap To Meter 

In reply to by Mtnrunnr

GUS100CORRINA Tenshin Headache Fri, 07/14/2017 - 20:37 Permalink

FUKUSHIMA ... still in the NEWS and we are half way through the year 2017!!!Here is MY PLAN ...1. Continue to let reactor cores melt their way to the center of the earth.2. Reactor cores will pierce the magma and trigger a volcanic erruption at FUKUSHIMA site.3. LAVA will pour out all over FUKUSHIMA and encase the entire site in molten rock.4. LAVA will harden into ROCK and make a terriffic site seeing spot.5. RADIATION will be sealed beneath the LAVA DOME forever.QED ...

In reply to by Tenshin Headache

OverTheHedge GUS100CORRINA Fri, 07/14/2017 - 23:55 Permalink

Eruption will send radioactive ash into the atmosphere, and cover most land masses with radiation within a year. But the good news is that spreads out, it hardly matters - this stuff is only dangerous when in highly concentrated amounts. Remember, folks: this stuff was dug out of the ground, it's perfectly normal, natural physical elements, just like in science class (except the ones that are completely unnatural, manufactured on purpose to create mega-deaths, but shhhh.)Good news! New.treatment in the workshttps://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/fukushima-absorbed-ho… see? Perfectly safe. Now don't panic, and carry on. Oh, and look over there - Russians! (I don't think we a e doing as well as they say we are doing, in any area of human endeavour. Frankly, I think we are all going to die. See zh tagline for details)

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

sauldaddy NoDebt Fri, 07/14/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

Dilution might be a sound argument if it was EVENLY distributedd across the entire ocean. However as even the most average intelligence person can understand that radiation travels with the Ocean Currents. And unfortunalyy the current outside of Fukushima travels straight to Alaska and right on down the West Coast of the United States.

In reply to by NoDebt

Dane Bramage NoDebt Fri, 07/14/2017 - 21:57 Permalink

"The solution to pollution is dilution" - you can't dilute a hot particle, only disperse it.  Bioaccumulation will then simply take place over a larger area.They can stop whatever they've collected from going into the ocean.  The question is what difference does it make if they've three coriums melted through into the water table, etc.,.  Not to mention all the bags of contaminated topsoil decomposing, creating methane and ready to explode, catch fire.  :-/ 

In reply to by NoDebt

political_proxy (not verified) NoDebt Sat, 07/15/2017 - 00:47 Permalink

Not much diferent than the previous six years where the solution was redirect and distraction.Don't talk about it and peopl will forget, yeah......worst nuclear disaster the world had seen since Ukraine’s Chernobyl...Worst ever, stop the lies, no more bullshit

In reply to by NoDebt

Not Too Important peopledontwanttruth Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:38 Permalink

The locals know how bad it is, but they're more interested in selling their food products to the people stupid enough to buy it.Or unable to determine that is was shipped to another country for relabeling...The new EPA trade treaty between Japan and the EU is, according to the press releases, all about allowing EU cheese into Japan in exchange for Fukushma food imports to the EU not being tested for the nasty.

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

Tenshin Headache Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:51 Permalink

"has been using robots to find and clean the melted nuclear fuel debris"Except it is the robots that are melting down (malfunctioning). They are nowhere near finding the corium. The technology to solve the problem does not exist, nor is it apparent on the horizon. Fukushima is just too hot. Or that is my understanding.

NoDebt Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:52 Permalink

"and the government must still find a way to exterminate the radioactive boars that have overrun the area."How many of you instantly thought what I thought?:  Texas-style hog hunt.  Helicopter and AR-15s with night scopes. 

OverTheHedge Mr. Universe Sat, 07/15/2017 - 00:03 Permalink

We are talking bacon for REAL men here - self basting roast pork on the bone. On the hoof, actually.Chernobyl has an excellent, thriving natural environment; I assume that fukashima will be the same. Odd - nature does well on land, but the seas are dying. I actually have no idea.What the truth is, but I really ought to stop eating Alaskan pollock.

In reply to by Mr. Universe

EuroPox Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:56 Permalink

Why did the entire team of the Israeli company that installed the security system at theFukushima nuclear power plant, go on leave a few days before all the systems failed?  Just asking for a friend...