“We are in a situation where there is no time to lose,” said NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka today.
Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) admitted this week that one of about 1060 giant storage tanks at the plant had leaked 300 tons of radioactive water. The company says Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Iodine-131 and Manganese-54 are among the cocktail of toxins swimming in the water, which is radioactive enough to deliver a five-year dose of radiation to bystanders. They have yet to identify the precise source of the leak.
Critics fear the leak could be a harbinger of worse to come. The joints in about one third of the tanks are sealed with plastic packing that may have been damaged by radiation. “Our concern is that the problem is not just with this one tank, it may be generic problem with many of the tanks,” said Aileen Mioko Smith, an antinuclear activist with the Japan-based environmentalist group Green Action. “Sealant expands in the summer and contracts in winter. We don’t know what the cold weather will do to the tanks.”