Somber developments in the latest Fukushima Japan tragedy news raises more questions than answers concerning the handling of the historic nuclear meltdown in 2011 by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO. The catastrophe was only one in a serious of unprecedented events, a 9.0 underwater earthquake – the fourth largest recorded since 1900 – followed by a tsunami with 30-foot waves that crippled nuclear reactors and led to contaminated water polluting the Pacific Ocean.
The death toll stood at 15,893, but the latest events have experts concerned that it will inevitably increase with the breaking news that the first cancer case has been confirmed in a worker – one of approximately 45,000 – who were involved with the clean-up effort at the Fukushima plant. The worker was employed at the plant for approximately a year, from 2012 to 2013. Japan’s health ministry stated that the worker was entitled to workplace compensation due to the dangerous work and high levels of radiation he was exposed to resulting in his leukemia diagnosis.
Greenpeace responded to the tragic news, “This is a massive blow to the IAEA, which stated in September of this year that no discernible health effects due to exposure to radiation released by the accident are to be expected.”
TEPCO offered condolences to the workers family, and added “TEPCO will continue working on the reduction of radiation at the site as well as thoroughly controlling the radiation exposure of the workers.” Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, is responsible for the storage of massive quantities of contaminated water that cooled fuel as it melted in the reactors that were crippled by the 2011 tragedy.
TEPCO also recently released another bulk of 850 tons of filtered radioactive groundwater into the Pacific Ocean on September 14 – days after pumps at storage facilities were overburdened by torrential rains from tropical storm Etau, as agreed in the “sub-drain plan” – and has the approval to release more when radioactive content is below measurable limits, says The Japan Times. The plan will “allow one Becquerel of radioactive cesium per liter of decontaminated groundwater, three Becquerel for elements that emit beta rays and up to 1,500 Becquerel for tritium, which cannot be removed with existing technology.”
TEPCO plans to release 100 to 200 tons daily, and then increase to 500 by dumping treated water into the ground, in hopes of reducing approximately 300 tons of contaminated water, which is still being produced daily, by 50%. Questions are unanswered as to how to dispose of the 680,000 tons that initially cooled the reactors in the 2011 tragedy.
F Force, which monitors the health of oceans around the globe, encourages the public to visit their website to read more about the Fukushima disaster and continuing effects on the Pacific Ocean.
Release ID: 94870