An enormous reservoir of radiation-contaminated water beneath the disabled Fukushima atomic energy plant in Japan is on the verge of spilling into the Pacific Ocean, creating a new serious worry in the long-running effort of to contain the radioactive fallout from the 2011 atomic energy disaster, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
Concerns about the groundwater crisis have been piled on top of the problem discovered earlier this week: An enormous 80,000-gallon leak in one of the tanks that holds radioactive water used to cool the Fukushima reactor cores.
“It’s like a haunted house, one thing happening after another,” Shunichi Tanaka, Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman, said in discussing the ongoing challenges of dealing with fallout from the 2011 nuclear power catastrophe.
It is not yet apparent just how environmentally harmful the seepage of radioactive groundwater into the ocean will be, as the contamination will be watered down as it disperses through the ocean.
The groundwater became sullied when water used to cool the reactor cores, which was then stored in large surface containers, seeped into the immediate environment.
The radioactive groundwater is leeching closer to the ocean at a pace of approximately 13 feet every 30 days, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
“The water from that area is just about to reach the coast,” if it has not already arrived, Atsunao Marui, a groundwater specialist with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said in an interview.
The Fukushima reactor operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has suggested addressing the problem by encircling the reactor areas with a 90-foot deep underground ice wall that would cool the nearby earth. However, that proposed solution has yet to be tested and it would not be ready for deployment before 2015.
What We're Following See More »
"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."
Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.
"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."