High Radiation Levels Found in Fukushima Groundwater
According to Yahoo news, high levels of radiation have been found in groundwater taken from a well at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The sample contained various radioactive substances including strontium, a known carcinogen.
Tepco believes water from the leaking storage tanks are to blame. The leaking water apparently has reached the groundwater which eventually will flow into the sea.
The levels of radiation found in the groundwater were 3200 becquerels per liter. The government has set a legal limit of 100 becquerels per 1kg of food and 10 becquerels for 1 liter of water. In other words, the sampled ground water is 320 times that of the legal limit.
This comes just days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared the situation “under control”. On Tuesday following a meeting of cabinet ministers, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters, “We will consider ways to utilise the knowledge of people in and out of Japan… and to enhance our international communication on the waste water issue,”
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency plans to send a special mission to Japan, saying the contaminated water problem was “a matter of high priority that needs to be addressed urgently.”
While the high radiation levels in the groundwater are troubling, i am glad to see UN involvement and the statement of the Japanese government to allow more international involvement. Past mishandling of the crisis cannot be changed. What matters most is limiting any future contamination by bringing in experts and coming to real permanent solutions. Let’s hope that is done speedily.