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August 7, 2013

Fukushima Ongoing: More Tragicomic Images As Contaminated Water Crisis Looms

Tepco water leak crisis 1a

So, I’m not sure what’s more terrifying. Is it TEPCO’s latest crisis, the company admitting they will soon be unable to prevent the large-scale release of radioactive water into the ocean, a problem so unmanageable the Japanese government is stepping in? Or, is it the relative lack of international attention and urgency to the situation? This current crisis, by the way, is in addition to the regular discharge of radioactive water into the sea that has been ongoing for the past two years.

Do you remember that tragicomic TEPCO image, released in the early days of the initial disaster, of the emergency worker suggesting the problems at the plant were isolated to one crack? The Kyodo News photos currently being circulated (which, for the lack of other imagery, are being distributed the most widely) have the same almost laughable quality to them. In the shot above, the dimension of the problem (storage tanks almost full; breach of underground barriers; impending breach of offshore water barrier) is, again, almost ludicrous as compared to a photo of a group of reporters busy scribbling as they observe one small, cordoned-off observation well.

Tepco water leak crisis 1

Another photo from Kyoto News ultimately conveys more helplessness and haplessness, especially with the sense of organization as the workers line up. This shot showing local officials inspecting a coastal embankment where contaminated leaks are occurring. Beyond intervention by the Japanese government and international observation by unbiased experts, I also hope for more coverage with more explanatory imagery.

(photo 1 & 2: Kyodo News caption 1: In this Aug. 6, 2013 photo, reporters inspect an observation well which is dug to take underground water samples near Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Unit 1 of Tokyo Electric Power Co., in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan. Japan’s government said Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, it will step in to tackle contaminated water leaks at the country’s crippled nuclear plant, and is considering funding a multibillion-dollar project to fix the problem. partial caption 2: In this Aug. 6, 2013 photo, officials and experts from local towns inspect a coastal embankment where contaminated water leaks occur near Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Unit 1 and 2 of Tokyo Electric Power Co., in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan.)

  • Dynapro

    Lack of reaction? …. the entire world is numb.

  • Minor Heretic

    It’s too big to look at. We are one large earthquake away from Japan becoming a failed state. “Failed state” is an understatement. More like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”

    If an earthquake of around 7 or greater on the Richter scale hits Fukushima Daiichi, the #4 reactor fuel pool is going to collapse. It might collapse with less. That’s about 8 Chernobyl’s worth of radioactive material right there going up in flames. Fukushima would become unapproachable, even by suicidal volunteers. The other fuel pools, including the main pool, would go dry and combust. That’s about 80 times Chernobyl. Japan would simply cease to exist as a government and a people. So the Japanese government is “considering” a project to fix the problem 2 1/2 years after the (first) disaster.

    If we as a species had any sense of priorities, every nuclear-capable industrialized government in the world would be swarming Fukushima Daiichi with *forced* assistance to empty the fuel pools and stabilize the contents in dry casks.

    • Stan B.

      Radiation- can’t see it, touch it, feel it! La De Da!!! And when it kills ya ten, twenty, thirty years from now- good luck proving it!

      Let’s face it, out of the two most anal retentive countries in the entire industrialized world- only one has had the strength of conviction to realize that this shit is just way too dangerous for any living thing to mess with. The other is now in complete denial mode as it continues to piss this mass poison into the very water it eats from. Meanwhile, every other country looks the other way knowing full well that if those two guys can’t do it right…

  • bks3bks

    That’s why it was built where it was built. It was always the plan that if things went south the waste would be dumped in the Pacific. It’s not that big of a deal but the AGW/carbon-reduction zeitgeist is to build 10,000 new nuclear plants!

  • Knazna

    This site used to be great….now, not so much. Please come back!

  • Minor Heretic

    A friend of mine used to work in power plants, including nuclear plants. He was a nuclear supporter for a long time. Now his attitude is just like yours; if the Japanese can’t do it right, who can? Our species isn’t conscientious enough to make it work.

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