Perhaps you’ve heard that radiation levels of the water leaving the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan and flowing into the Pacific Ocean have risen by roughly 9,000 per cent. Turns out, that’s probably putting a good face on it.
By official measurement, the water coming out of Fukushima is currently 90,000 times more radioactive than officially “safe” drinking water.
These are the highest radiation levels measured at Fukushima since March 2011, when an earthquake-triggered tsunami destroyed the plant’s four nuclear reactors, three of which melted down.
The water flow through the Fukushima accident site is substantial and constant, both from groundwater and from water pumped into the reactors and fuel pools to prevent further meltdowns.
In an effort to prevent the water from reaching the ocean, TEPCO is building what amounts to a huge, underground dike, “a deeply sunken coastal containment wall.” The NRA is calling on TEPCO to finish the project before its scheduled 2015 completion date.
Meanwhile, radiation levels remain high and no one knows for sure how to bring them down, or even if they can be brought down by any means other than waiting for however long it takes.