Worse? I'll make wisecracks. You decide.
Today, TEPCO, the owner and operator of the destroyed reactors at Fukushima Daiichi issued a press release disclosing yet another release of radioactive water into the environment. Just a little bit, you see. Only 100 metric tons.
Workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station discovered and stopped the overflow of water from a tank storing radioactively contaminated water on Feb. 20, according to the plant’s owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
Not to worry, though, folks. TEPCO (whose every pronouncement, nearly, about safety and conditions at the devastated power plant since its destruction in the wake of the 2012 tsunami has proven to be utterly devoid of actual true facts) reassures us saying:
the overflow has been contained and poses no threat to public health.Boy, am I relieved. For a second, I thought that the rest of what they said about what happened might be a problem:
Approximately 100 tons of water, which is a part of the approximately 340,000 tons stored at the site, flowed onto the ground and the area adjacent to the storage tank through a rainwater pipe attached to the tank. However, there is no pathway leading from that area to the sea, which is approximately 700 meters away, and none of the overflowed water is believed to have reached the ocean. Nevertheless, TEPCO immediately began removing the overflowed water and soil in which the water has seeped into. Checks on the other storage tanks revealed no additional overflow, and the workers were protected from radiation exposure by appropriate protective clothing.So, to reassure everyone, TEPCO emphasizes that, hey, its only 100 tons. Compared to the 340,000 tons of the same stuff now stored on site, no biggie. That's only 2.77/100ths of 1% of the contaminated water that has accumulated since the reactor meltdowns and that TEPCO has no plan for dealing with permanently.
So, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked into the ground. What could go wrong with that? Water that soaks into the ground always stays right there in the very dirt you spilled in on, right? So why worry? Just dig it up and put it into bags. Water in the ground is impervious to gravity, I suppose, and has no tendency whatever to seek a lower level, like, I dunno, sea level, if it can find a way. Anyway, that ocean is way far away, like 700 meters.
I also want to emphasize that no one should express the slightest concern about the aforementioned 340,000 tons of the same stuff now stored on site. Industrial storage tanks, after all, never fail and never cause contamination of nearby water.
TEPCO is really sorry about this and promised to stare into the mirror until they figure out what went wrong.
"We are deeply embarrassed that this sort of unacceptable event would occur after the many steps we have taken to improve the management of stored water,” said Zengo Aizawa, Director and Executive Vice President of TEPCO, and General Manager of Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division. “We will therefore conduct a thorough investigation into what occurred and determine what additional steps must be taken to prevent any similar occurrence in the future, and will further strengthen field management of stored water. It also demonstrates the need for a permanent solution to the contaminated water issue."TEPCO says that it has "taken many steps to improve". They're going to scratch their heads until they think of "additional steps". I wonder what some of those steps might be?
Although the source is FOX, here is one report on that subject that is undeniably intriguing:
TEPCO said Thursday that plant workers attached a garbage bag to contain the leakage. It said the leak stopped after workers closed the valves and the water did not escape into the Pacific.Garbage bags. Well, then. Gosh, I feel better. Don't you? Oh, and they closed valves that shouldn't have been open in the first place.
The news from Fukushima never gets any better.