Typhoon brings heavy rains to Fukushima
Typhoon Man-yi struck Japan on Monday causing at least 2 fatalities. The typhoon also brought heavy rainfall to the Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima. Workers pumped water out from the storage tank areas where it is believed contaminated water has been seeping into the groundwater. “But we decided to release the water into sea as we reached a conclusion that it can be regarded as rainfall after we monitored levels of radiation,” Tepco spokesman Yo Koshimizu said.
The released water contained strontium and other radioactive substances. According to the Tepco spokesman, the water had radiation readings of 24 berequels per litre, below the 30 berequels per liter limit set by the Japanese government for any releases into the environment. However Koshimizu stated the actual amount of water that was released is unknown.
This just highlights the precarious situation at the plant. If the typhoon had been stronger and approached closer, there could have been much more radiation released. The already heavily damaged buildings of reactors 1,2,3 and 4 have spent fuel pools with thousands of fuel assemblies sitting on top of them.
It is playing radioactive russian roulette to not firmly secure those buildings from possible natural disasters. Removal of the fuel assemblies stored in the pools is set to begin within the next 2 months. It will be a slow, dangerous and painstaking procedure. A collapse of any of the 4 buildings could cause a release of radiation worse than Chernobyl. Just doing some shoring up of the buildings and hoping they don’t collapse before removal of the fuel rods is accomplished is not good enough. Everything possible must be done to secure those buildings. To not do so is testing fate.
One typhoon that did not even hit the plant at full force caused Tepco to release unknown amounts of contaminated water into the sea. What happens when a bigger typhoon comes full force at the plant?