Water samples recently taken just outside of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan have revealed radiation levels nearly 18 times higher than previously reported. Back in 2011, a tsunami rocked the plant, killing nearly 19,000 people in the process and causing a triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi. That meltdown forced another 160,000 people to relocate.
Although operator of the power plant, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), has yet to discover the cause of radiation spike, they vehemently deny allegations of any “leaks.”
Sick and tired of hearing about nuclear power plant disasters? We are, too.
This isn’t exactly the first public humiliation for Tepco, either. Last month, the company had a storage tank – not too dissimilar from the one in question at Fukushima Daiichi – leak 300 tonnes of radioactive water into the ground. That contaminated water could be destined for the sea, and if so, Japan will face a flurry of new ecological travesties. Fishermen to the south haven’t been able to fish commercially since the plant’s meltdown, while those to the north have only been cleared to catch whelks and octopus – a mandatory measure which has all but crippled the country’s fishing industry.
Japan's nuclear watchdog confirmed it raised the severity level of the Fukushima Daaichi leak from a 1, or just an "anomaly", to a 3 - a "serious incident" - on International Atomic Energy’s eight-point radioactive scale.
The heightened radiation level is a serious concern to the thousands of Tepco employees working overtime to contain, process, and store water safely. The firm’s failure to protect the environment has spread doubts about their ability to lead the cleanup. Decommissioning the plant would cost the Japanese economy tens of BILLIONS of dollars over decades if the cleanup is unsuccessful.
In response to the most recent environmental report, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, promises that the government will play a larger role in preventing water contamination.
"We cannot fully stop contaminated water leaks right away. That's the reality. The water is still leaking in to the sea, and we should better assess its environmental impact,” says Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the country's Nuclear Regulation Authority.
NRGLab is sick and tired of stories like this. It’s time to put nuclear energy to rest – Rest In Peace. It’s time to transition away from the goliath power plants and towards independent, renewable sources of energy. Because we don’t have to sacrifice employee safety, national security, or the environment just to generate a watt of electricity. Not anymore, at least.
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It all starts with you. Me. Us. It starts with us as a species making a unified push towards clean energy.
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