Japan: Fukushima reactor pit leaking radioactive water directly into the sea

"Highly radioactive water is leaking directly into the sea from a damaged pit near a crippled reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant." (NYT, via NYTJim)


  1. I wonder how much will end up in fish caught? Someone should start measuring.

    Any desalinization plants in the area would probably filter out these heavy radioactive particles, I think. Depends on the method.

    1. Desalination plants would likely do just that. But then you’ve contaminated a desalination plant.

  2. That’s not going to help the fish. I’m hoping solar energy is looking a lot more viable to the world now.

    1. The danger of one certainly does impact the appearance of viability of the other. The ‘look’, if you will.

    2. “The danger of one type of power generation does not impact the viability of another.”

      Yeah it does. Of course it does. The viability of solar is directly related to the risk of nuclear because the risk of nuclear drives the cost of nuclear, and the cost of solar /compared/ to the cost of nuclear is what makes solar viable.

      The interesting bit is that the cost of nuclear is, at the moment, going up exponentially, and that’s because what was previously an externality has finally become a cost that TEPCO, et al, can’t pretend doesn’t exist. So the comparative cost between nuclear and solar is shifting rapidly in favour of solar.

      Whether those costs will drift back to being an externality over the next 5-10 years remains to be seen. Unfortunately, IMO, the answer is probably ‘yes’, because people have short memories and really REALLY want cheap, er, “cheap” power. TMI and Chernobyl didn’t make the shift permanent, so there’s no reason to think Fukushima will either.

      1. so there’s no reason to think Fukushima will either.

        I can think of one reason. Ukraine and Pennsylvania have not been known in modern times as hubs of pioneering electrical engineering. Also, the ocean in Japan is a little more sacred to the the Japanese than the ocean is to a lot of other nations.

        Seems to me the case for the EPA here in America was really driven home when the Cuyahoga river, which had once been the heart of a community, caught fire.

  3. At the risk of moving back on topic, according to the article the gov has yet to release readings from the sea following this incident, but the space above the crack is more than 1,000 millis/hour. Serious radiation.

    And they hope to have to cracks sealed up later today. Which is good news.

    Working hard to contain the spill, monitoring the levels. It would be nice if they would release the info. (Not clear from the article if they had measurements. Naturally, we don’t want people to take risks just for the sake of satisfying our curiosity.)

    On the whole, though, I’m not yet phoning the travel agent.

  4. Any 2011 power utility technology, including solar, looks better when compared to a 1967/1971 reactor.

  5. Without government subsidies Nuc energy is THE most expensive way of generating electricity plus dismantling the site always costs more than the original estimate. PLUS all the radioactive garbage is held ON SITE. PEOPLE are NUTS. There are SO many better ways of generating energy BUT the energy companies are in charge and only looking at their bottom line. Incinerating garbage properly; river turbines, tidal generation, wave generation, and so on are being used successfully. A dog park in Mass is using methane from doggy do to generate electricity for the park. The knowledge is there. Implementation awaits.

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