Mayor, Governor slam government as tons of radioactive water is poured into Pacific
April 4, 2011
The impact of the radioactive material on sea life could be catastrophic as over 11, 500 tons of contaminated water is now being intentionally released into the Pacific ocean by workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a last ditch desperate effort to clean out the area.
Meanwhile, local officials have roundly condemned the Japanese government’s response to the crisis as workers have been scrambling to plug cracks in a reactor pit using anything they can find, including bits of shredded newspaper, sawdust and super glue.
Highly radioactive water is flowing from the pit into the ocean, with the latest figures confirming radiation levels of contaminated seawater at 4,000 times above the safety limit.
Yesterday, TEPCO, the company running the plant released the above image of the toxic water pouring into the ocean.
After efforts to fill the crack with concrete failed, workers resorted to more desperate measures, as reported in the London Telegraph:
“From the afternoon, the workers began pouring polymeric powder, sawdust, newspaper – things we could think of to clog up the holes,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency.
“So far, there has not been any clear indication that the volume of leaking water has been reduced.” he added.
AP reports that workers “went farther up the system and injected sawdust, three garbage bags of shredded newspaper and a polymer — similar to one used to absorb liquid in diapers”
You could not make this stuff up.
The company says it needs to release the toxic water already leaking into the sea to create room to store even more highly contaminated water building up under complex.
If the crack in the pit is not fixed, this material will presumably also leak outside the plant.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s top spokesman, Yukio Edano, said in a televised press conference: “We have no choice but to release water tainted with radioactive materials into the ocean as a safety measure.”
As a result of the massive water dumping operations, “highly radioactive waste water has accumulated at turbine buildings at Fukushima Daiichi, especially at the reactor unit two,” said another TEPCO official.
“There is a need to release already stored water in order to accept the additional waste water” totaling 10,000 tons, as well as 1,500 tons of water from pits under reactor units five and six, he said.
TEPCO also announced early yesterday that the level of radiation in the air in the pit at reactor two was 1000 mSv/hour. This is an astonishing amount given that, according to the IAEA, the limit for public radiation exposure is just 1 mSv per year:
The dose limits for practices are intended to ensure that no individual is committed to unacceptable risk due to radiation exposure. For the public the limit is 1 mSv in a year, or in special circumstances up to 5 mSv in a single year provided that the average does over five consecutive years does not exceed 1 mSv per year.
Essentially, the level in the pit where the water is running into the sea is one thousand times higher per hour than an entire year of safe exposure.
While workers on a suicide mission armed only with trash and super glue scramble to do what they can, still the Japanese government maintains there is no risk to public health because the material will “dissipate”.
The governor of Fukushima has slammed Japan’s nuclear agency for failing to provide accurate and timely radiation data.
Japan Today reports:
Fukushima Gov Yuhei Sato expressed anger at the central government’s nuclear safety agency on Sunday for its late release of radioactivity data related to local farm produce, shipments of which have been partly restricted amid the ongoing nuclear crisis.
It takes a few days for the results of each test to be released, according to Sato.
‘‘Can’t you increase the number of examiners? The lives of farmers are at stake. It’s a matter of whether they can live tomorrow,’’ the governor said during a meeting of the prefectural disaster relief task force attended by an official of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
Sato said the results should be released in about a day and criticized the central government for being late in lifting restrictions, saying, ‘‘I wonder if our sense of urgency is being conveyed to the government…It is irritating.’‘
In addition, the mayor of Minami Soma, a city some 25 kilometers from the nuclear plant, issued an SOS message to the world, pleading for help in the wake of a near total lack of aid or information from the Japanese government.
The mayor noted that the situation is one of complete lockdown and said the city was “as if under starvation tactics” at the mercy of the government:
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.
This article was posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:40 am