New Leak of Radioactive Water Hits Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Thierry Ehrmann/CC BY 2.0

So, there's a new leak of radioactive water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The Telegraph reports that sand bags have been placed around a water treatment system condensation unit to contain 45 tonnes of water which have pooled around it. Apparently some 79 gallons of water containing cesium, iodine and potentially strontium escaped into a nearby gutter which leads into the the ocean. It's going to take a couple of weeks to make a determination on how much, if any, strontium was actually released.

TEPCO, the power plant operator, says the new leak will not delay plans to bring the power plant to a cold shutdown by the end of the year.

More than anything, the thing that strikes me here is that nine months after the tsunami-earthquake-nuclear disaster in Japan reports of radioactive water being released (albeit small amounts this time) are still coming in. I just can't help but thinking that though I know the stats on nuclear power being safe in ordinary operation, when things go wrong the worst case is truly, deeply worst case. This has been going on for nine months and has largely slipped out of the grips of the news cycle, even though in many ways Fukushima is still ongoing, even if it as disasters go it's a slow-moving one at this point.

Tags: Japan | Nuclear Power

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