Fukushima's Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know
The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has failed in an effort to control radioactive water leaking into the sea. What does it mean for people and the environment in Japan, and across the Pacific Ocean?
It marked a significant escalation in pressure for TEPCO, which has come under severe criticism since what many view as its belated acknowledgement July 22 that contaminated water has been leaking for some time. The government now says it is clear that 300 tons (71,895 gallons/272,152 liters) are pouring into the sea each day, enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool every eight days. (See related, “One Year After Fukushima, Japan Faces Shortages of Energy, Trust.”) While Japan grapples with the problem, here are some answers to basic questions about the leaks:
Shunichi Tanaka, head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, has told reporters that it’s probably been happening since an earthquake and tsunami touched off the disaster