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sci / tech + environmental news > Radioactive groundwater under Fukushima nears sea

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling

Deep beneath Fukushima's crippled nuclear power station a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant's reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea.

message 2: by Frank (new)

Frank Klus (ftklus) The article doesn't say what the impact on the ocean would be if radioactive water reaches the sea. Will it kill all the fish around Japan? How far will the radioactivity reach? Will currents take it around the world? What is the impact then?

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling In the water it will take 3 to 5 years to reach US waters, other countries sooner. Haven't seen any estimates for how fast or slow it will travel through the food stream. The current plan is not to eat any contaminated sea food. As it spreads that plan will become worthless for stuff outside of the known "contaminated" areas.

"Fukushima's Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know" National geographic

"Unfortunately, TEPCO must deal with an ever-increasing amount of contaminated water—nearly 150,000 tons (35.9 million gallons/136 million liters) a year—so it’s inevitable that the company is going to run out of storage space."

Too early to tell what the impact is. This second article mentions strontium 90 which is worse than the cesium as it accumulates in the bones. The cesium is being measured because it is the easiest to measure and interpret the results.

It slowly accumulates in the sea life and the fish will not stay in the exact area that is off limits. This fish will be caught and mixed in with the fish marketed everywhere. For some people it will increase their chances of getting cancer.

Another bad earthquake could knock over all of their tanks and send it all into the ocean.

The real point is that this mess is not going away anytime soon because it can't and because it is radioactive. Chernobyl is still a problem and needs a new cap built but no one cares about it anymore.

Another wildcard are the enhanced mutation rates of microbial life which is completely unknown at this time. The smaller the item in the ocean the more dispersed it becomes as time goes by. You can assume that nothing is changing but Mother Nature accepts all free gifts and sees to it that they are well used.

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