Thursday, October 03, 2013

Blog 4: Second breach at Fukushima nuclear plant

Summary: The Fukushima nuclear power plant leaked again today, Thursday, for the second time with in months. A tank holding contaminated water was overfilled and flowed into the Pacific Ocean through runoff, rivers, and ditches. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has agreed to keep a closer watch in the plant though many question their ability to effectively manage a serious clean up. The government has promised to improve conditions to prevent accidents like this last month just after the first incident. The Japanese government claims to be in full control of the situation. 200,000 Becquerel's per liter of radioactive isotopes was spilt. The legal limit is 30 Becquerel's per liter. The spill lasted for 12 hours, releasing over a hundred gallons of the toxic water. On top of that, the tank was leaning due to uneven location. The company is used to filled the tanks all the way to the top because it doesn’t have much storage to spare. The company admits to polluting the surrounding waters of the plant but says the ocean will dilute the toxins, making the harmless to other countries.

Analysis: Japan is a core country and is expected to be able to handle situations like these the first time around. The fact that this happened twice within two months proves the countries lack of seriousness on the environment. The statement that the toxins won’t harm other countries is hardly positive. The oceans cycle around the world and with such as high toxicity of the water will most likely have an effect of the ecosystems not only in Japan but in the surrounding countries and might even affect the waters of western united states. Fish and other aquatic organisms in the waters will take in the toxins either killing them or spreading the poison the organisms that feed on them. Also to be feared is the possibility of future spills that could be more detrimental the environment. The Japanese government promised to secure the nuclear plant after the first accident. Now the for a second time. Who’s to say this won’t happen again. The facility itself is dangerous and in an inadequate area where the storage area is low and the ground isn't level. The plant runs hundreds of tons of water a day to cool the reactors. The storage won’t last forever and spill will keep occurring unless something is done.

Addie McKay
12:50 PM

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