Water highly irradiated near leaky tank

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said groundwater at an observation well near the site of a leaky storage tank at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has shown high levels of radiation.

Tests found 3,200 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting materials, including strontium. As a result, it “now seems more likely” that radioactive water from leaking tanks at the crippled facility became mixed with groundwater in the area, Tepco said Monday.

The level of contamination far exceeds the government limit of just 10 becquerels of strontium per liter in drinking water and 100 becquerels per kilogram for food. If ingested, experts say, strontium accumulates in bones and can cause cancer.

Many of the tanks were used to cool molten fuel in the No. 1 plant’s three reactors that experienced core meltdowns from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Last week, the government unveiled a ¥47 billion plan to stem the leaks by creating a wall of ice under the plant. Tepco also plans to use wells to pump out groundwater before it seeps into the Pacific Ocean.

The latest findings could affect that plan, as the nearest pumping well is only 130 meters from the monitoring site where the highly irradiated water sample was taken.

  • moar_coffee

    Where are the cores of those reactors again?

    You know, the ones that melted down.

    • Starviking

      Probably at the bottom of the reactor vessels.

  • John Grey

    We will hear a lot of truths like that from now on.

    The Olympics have been decided…

    I just hope the “new” decision maker quickly replace the leaking tanks, which of course will not be paid for by TEPCO, but by the taxpayer.

  • Starviking

    And once again, we have the misuse of the word “irradiated”, and a supreme logic fail.

    The water is not “irradiated”, this word means “exposed to radiation”, it is either “radioactive”, or even better “contaminated with radioisotopes.

    Also, the water “includes strontium” – there is no figure for the amount of strontium, it could be a little, a lot, or somwwhere in between. So this statement makes no sense:

    “The level of contamination far exceeds the government limit of just 10 becquerels of strontium per liter in drinking water and 100 becquerels per kilogram for food.”
    Typical reporting on Fukushima.
    Can we please have some reporters and news editors who have a modicum of a science education?