Water that the Japanese government is planning to release into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant contains radioactive material well above legally permitted levels, according to the plant’s operator and documents seen by The Telegraph. The government is running out of space to store contaminated water that has come into contact with fuel that escaped from three nuclear reactors after the plant was destroyed in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck north-east Japan. Its plan to release the approximately 1.09 million tons of water currently stored in 900 tanks into the Pacific has triggered a fierce backlash from local residents and environmental organisations, as well as groups in South Korea and Taiwan fearful that radioactivity from the second-worst nuclear disaster in history might wash up on their shores. Tokyo Electric Power Co., (Tepco) which runs the plant, has until recently claimed that the only significant contaminant in the water is safe levels of tritium, which can be found in small amounts in drinking water, but is dangerous in large amounts. The government has promised that all other radioactive material is being reduced to “non-detect” levels by the sophisticated Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) operated by the nuclear arm of Hitachi Ltd. Documents provided to The Telegraph by a source in the Japanese government suggest, however, that the ALPS has consistently failed to eliminate a cocktail of other radioactive elements, including iodine, ruthenium, rhodium, antimony, tellurium, cobalt and strontium. Hitachi declined to comment on the reports on the performance of its equipment. The Japanese government did not reply to multiple requests for comment. A restricted document also passed to The Telegraph from the Japanese government arm responsible for responding to the Fukushima collapse indicates that the authorities were aware that the ALPS facility was not eliminating radionuclides to “non-detect” levels.
Telegraph 16th Oct 2018 read more »
Irish Independent 17th Oct 2018 read more »
A former vice president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. refused to take any responsibility for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, testifying in court Oct. 16 that he was never made aware of the possibility of destructive tsunami striking the facility and, therefore, did not authorize countermeasures. Sakae Muto, 68, is on trial on a charge of professional negligence resulting in death and injury over the March 2011 catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, along with Tsunehisa Katsumata, a former TEPCO chairman, and Ichiro Takekuro, another former TEPCO vice president.
Asahi Shimbun 16th Oct 2018 read more »
Kyodo News 16th Oct 2018 read more »
Even now, almost eight years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the disaster’s physical legacy is impossible to avoid. The shells of gutted homes stand in barren rice paddies that lay in the path of waves that killed more than 18,000 people across three prefectures in north-east Japan – including 1,600 in Fukushima – on the afternoon of 11 March 2011. The Fukushima brand may forever be associated with nuclear catastrophe, but some residents, angered by persistent rumours about the dangers of even making brief visits to the area, are turning to tourism to show the world that, for some, life in Fukushima goes on.
Guardian 17th Oct 2018 read more »