Fukushima, that is. The damaged nuclear power plants in Japan that are contaminating the Pacific Ocean still to this day.
The plant(s) suffered major damage on March 11, 2011. More than 2 years ago.
The operators screwed up by the numbers after the quake and tsunami caused the (SCRAM) shutdown of the plant. Failure to provide for clean cooling water caused them to eventually have to use salt water to cool the spent fuel and the (now damaged) reactor core, damaging them further due to corrosion from the salt. Failure to set the emergency backup generators above the level of a potential tsunami when the pants were built caused the operators to have to scramble for other means to pump cooling water to the fuel and reactor core. Then they ran the fire truck they were using as a pump out of fuel. By the time they got fuel to the truck and found other methods of pumping cooling water, it was too late. They had a meltdown both in the spent fuel pools and in the reactor vessel, damaging the fuel rods and the reactor core and containment.
All of this happened more than 2 years ago.
Since that incident, a significant portion of that cooling water, now radioactive, has flowed into the sea. 24/7, the leaks have continued.
Now I was all for giving the Japanese time to fix their mess. The ocean is a big thing, and it can dilute a significant amount of that contaminated and highly radioactive water down to nearly nothing. After all, there are billions and billions and billions of gallons of Pacific Ocean to dilute that. Lots of water to absorb the mess...
But 75,000 gallons per day (by some reports) of radioactive water are flowing into the ocean..... Contaminating the sea for the 880+ days.
Isn't it time they did something to stop this? This isn't like Chernobyl, where the Russian government did have a release of radioactive material but then immediately took heroic steps to contain it and stop further contamination. Isn't it time the Japanese government took whatever steps are necessary to contain this continued outflow of contaminated water? I realize that this is a hazardous environment for people. But soon the sea will be as well.
880+ days. Thousands of gallons and many curies of radioactive materials into an environment we all share. An ocean which feeds millions of people. Like Pacific Salmon? Tuna? They will eventually become unsafe to eat. Not yet, but not too long in the future. King and Snow crab? Same thing.
Yeah, I know I sound like a refugee from the Green party in the late 1970's. Trust me, I'm not that kind of person. But really....How long will we let this go on? They are polluting the ocean with 30+ Three Mile Islands every week of radioactive water and substances (low estimates, who really knows? TEPCO ain't saying for sure...others say 10 times that). It's not the first few weeks that make me worry, it is the continuing weeks and years that become an issue.
The cleanup is being handled by the plant owner. TEPCO They are obviously not "sparing no expense" to keep the contaminated water from spilling into the ocean. Yes, I know that this isn't something you clean up overnight. I got that. But there is nothing being done to stop the pollution. Nothing being done to fix the issue. In the first few weeks they used large tanks to contain the water, but have apparently abandoned that idea (too costly? cheaper to let it flow into the ocean....) They have apparently chosen to give up on containing the water, which is both radioactive and contaminated with radioactive materials....These are not only dangerous due to their radioactivity but are also chemically poisonous. A portion of our food supplies live and grow in that ocean that is being polluted.
I think it is time that we begin to put pressure on our federal government to force the Japanese government and TEPCO to change the situation. To CONTAIN this issue. To stop polluting. Stop taking the cheap and easy way out. Stop letting their mess flow into the ocean.
Seriously. Call or write your senators and congressmen. Ask them to do something.You can find your senators and congressmen by clicking the "contacting the congress" link at the top of the left side.
Enough is enough. This can be fixed soon (and could have been already), if someone cared and was willing to spend enough money on containment. At a certain point the cost to contain this mess becomes meaningless compared to the damage they are doing.