Fukushima: Towards the Formation of a Radioactive Graveyard in the Pacific Ocean?
Japanese Officials & Experts Late Decision to Expand Testing Around Fukushima Daiichi
by Lucas Whitefield Hixson
October 21, 2011
No one wants to think about the massive aqueous deposition of radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean, that much is now clear.
By September estimates of released contamination had risen to over 3,500 terabecquerels of cesium-137 released into the sea directly from the plant between March 11 and the end of May. Another 10,000 terabecquerels of cesium fell into the ocean after escaping from the reactors in the form of steam.
Initially reports had quieted concerns by stating that the materials would be diluted so vastly that the radioactivity would not be able to accumulate, and would not affect the environment. The experts claimed they would track the deposition and floating radioactive debris field making its way on a trans-Pacific trip to the United States.
Apparently, the experts in Japan didn’t get the message. The Japanese regularly tested the seawater only for ‘popular’ Iodine and Cesium isotopes instead of all known fission-produced radioactive materials, for the first 3 months after the disaster. By March 31st, radioactive contamination concentration was 4,385 times the legal limit, up from 3,355 times on Tuesday, according to Kyodo.
In response, the government had pledged to increase radiation monitoring on land and by sea and to consider increasing the evacuation zone — however time has shown little action would follow these vows.
Experts Don’t Fear A Radiation Graveyard
Water was constantly required for the workers to be able to get any cooling into Reactors 1-4, when water went in, steam came out. The ocean quickly became the radiation dumping ground, as untold tonnes of contaminated water has been confirmed to have directly flowed into the ocean, and TEPCO continually assured Japanese citizens that the majority of dispersal would occur over the Pacific.
TEPCO intentionally dumped radioactive materials into the ocean, as they had no additional room for storage, the levels showed no signs of decreasing, and all desalination hopes were falling woefully short. It would also be found that many leaks around, and inside of the reactors were also finding their way into the Pacific, but the public was told that there would not be any risk to them, or the living creatures in the sea.
After 7 months however, impact can be found all over the island nation, and spreading throughout the ocean, despite the expectations it would merely be diluted exponentially.
In September, scientists from the government’s Meteorological Research Institute and the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry announced their findings at a meeting of the Geochemical Society of Japan, adding that some of the cesium will also flow into the Indian Ocean and, eventually, reach the Atlantic.