Massive typhoon Wipha headed toward Fukushima

Typhoon Wipha
Public Domain JMA

Heavily populated Tokyo area also in crosshairs

As if the area around the Fukushima nuclear plant didn't already have enough problems, even years after the earthquake and tsunami that caused it to fail, there is now a huge typhoon named Wipha that is headed in its direction, following a path that will also lead it over Tokyo (with almost 36 million people in the metro area).

A couple days ago, Wipha peaked at category 4, which means sustained winds of 130–156 mph, but it has since thankfully weakened. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) gave a "greater than 90% chance of winds in excess of 55 mph (90 kph) in Tokyo and along the coast of Fukushima for the next 12 hours." These fast winds, along with heavy rain and storm surge, could cause quite a lot of damage.

Typhoon WiphaJTWC/Public Domain

Wipha has forced the caretakers of the Fukushima reactors, Tokyo Electric Power Corp (Tepco), to take extraordinary preparation measures for the second time in as many months, in an effort to avoid radioactive rainwater runoff to seep into the Pacific Ocean. In September, a weaker typhoon named Man-yi forced the construction of dozens of contaminated rainwater holding tanks, which subsequently sprung leaks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Japan’s nuclear oversight panel has again allowed Tepco to allow “lightly contaminated” water to drain to the sea, just because there’s nowhere else to put it. (source)

This is just another reminder that the situation at Fukushima is still not fully stabilized and under control.

Typhoon WiphaNOAA/Public Domain

Via WaPo, QZ

See also: Hero: Fukushima's ex-chief who spent 6 months at the station after the disaster just died of cancer

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