Engineer: Outright failures continue to plague Fukushima plant — “Public may think worst is over… Nothing could be further from the truth” — Japan TV: New method failing to stop flow of highly contaminated water — Experts: ‘Diluting’ radiation in ocean adds to danger; Spreading it out only makes health damages worse
Published: January 12th, 2015 at 10:24 am ET
Dr. Steve Elwart, professional engineer and expert for Dept. of Homeland Security, Dec 14, 2014 (emphasis added): With most of the media silent about the cleanup, the public may think the worst is over [at Fukushima Daiichi]… Nothing could be further from the truth… [Radioactive water is] leaking out into the ocean, allowing it to spread… around the world through ocean currents [and this has] prompted grave concerns over the impact on sea life in the area and around the world. [Officials] decided to build an “ice wall” around the reactor site… TEPCO conceded defeat and announced the efforts to construct the plug failed… As if things couldn’t get worse, less than two months ago, TEPCO once again came out with an announcement that it was having problems with the ice wall [and] was going to cease operations on the ice wall and pour cement… TEPCO President Naomi Hirose stated officials “will never give up” on the wall… debate continues over how to stop water from leaking into the ocean… outright failures continue to plague the Fukushima cleanup efforts.
NHK Transcript, Dec 26, 2014: TEPCO is still struggling to deal with contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
NHK, Dec 26, 2014: New method for contaminated water may be failing — [TEPCO] has indicated that a new method aimed at tackling a large volume of highly radioactive wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has not been entirely successful. TEPCO gave a progress report on its work to a panel of experts at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday. The utility last month began pouring cement into underground tunnels filled with the contaminated water from the reactor buildings to stop the water inflow. The water is believed to be leaking into the sea… officials said that when they pumped water up from one of the pits, the water level at another pit changed. That suggests that gaps exist in the concrete-filled tunnels.
Documentary featuring radiation experts (at 6:30 in):
Dr. Alice Stewart, physician and epidemiologist: All recommendations say one big hit is more dangerous than just a little one… It’s the basis of the control of nuclear waste — if you dilute it enough, it will be safe. Well, we say dilute it and it will add to the dangers.
Jan van de Putte, radiation safety specialist: There’s a philosophy called the dilution philosophy, which means if you dilute something, then it doesn’t give any harm. But with all the knowledge we have today, we must say radiation is inducing health damage regardless of how little the doses of are. If you dilute radiation… all the health effects will only be more widely distributed. This is the only effect of this dilution philosophy.
Dr. Richard Piccioni, biophysicist: Whether you have put it all in one place or have spread it out, the total irradiation of human beings… is the same. In fact if what some researchers like Dr. Stewart are saying is true, it will be even worse.
Watch the documentary here