Fukushima Operator Reports Large Contaminated-Water Spill

Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 20, 2014, 8:20 a.m.

Ja­pan’s Fukushi­ma atom­ic en­ergy fa­cil­ity spilled 100 met­ric tons of wa­ter con­tain­ing large amounts of ra­dio­act­ive con­tam­in­ants, Re­u­ters re­ports.

The Fukushi­ma Daii­chi plant op­er­at­or said the ra­di­ation-tain­ted li­quid prob­ably did not reach the ocean — loc­ated nearly half a mile away from the site of the spill — due to the ab­sence of any nearby out­let. The wa­ter flowed out of a massive con­tain­er on Wed­nes­day, when work­ers ac­ci­dent­ally left trans­fer pip­ing open and per­mit­ted more flu­id to es­cape between parts of the dam­aged com­plex than in­ten­ded.

“We are tak­ing vari­ous meas­ures, but we apo­lo­gize for wor­ry­ing the pub­lic with such a leak,” Tokyo Elec­tric Power spokes­man Masay­uki Ono said.

The Fukushi­ma fa­cil­ity’s over­seers have struggled to con­trol massive volumes of ra­dio­act­ive wa­ter at the site since March 2011, when an earth­quake and tsunami led to melt­downs in three of the fa­cil­ity’s six re­act­ors. In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency ex­perts last week pressed Ja­pan to con­sider au­thor­iz­ing fur­ther “con­trolled dis­charges” of wa­ter from the sea­side com­plex, en­abling the na­tion to re­lease flu­id con­tain­ing lower con­cen­tra­tions of harm­ful ma­ter­i­als.

Wa­ter in the latest spill is nearly eight times more con­tam­in­ated than flu­id the op­er­at­or can leg­ally dump in­to the ocean.

The 2011 dis­aster promp­ted the shut­down of Ja­pan’s oth­er atom­ic re­act­ors for safety checks, and their pos­sible re­act­iv­a­tion has been sub­ject to do­mest­ic con­tro­versy. One in­sider, though, said the coun­try’s gov­ern­ment now plans to ref­er­ence the value of atom­ic gen­er­at­ors in a forth­com­ing power strategy for com­ing years, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Thursday.

Ja­pan­ese Cab­in­et of­fi­cials are ex­pec­ted to en­dorse the plan next month, ac­cord­ing to the wire ser­vice.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Maher Weighs in on Bernie, Trump and Palin
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.

Source:
×