Waving Typhoon Man-yi as a reasonable enough excuse, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has again dislodged contaminated water, this time in the guise of rainwater, into the Pacific Ocean.
Japan Radiation Doomsday: Typhoon Man-yi Pushes Fukushima Operator to Release Contaminated Rainwater into Pacific Ocean, Assures Low Radiation Levels
Fearing the heavy rains dumped by Typhoon Man-yi will flood and further devastate the Fukushima nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) decided to open its barriers to release the water through drainage ditches into the ocean. This happened around 12:40 pm on Monday.
However, Japanese media outlets reported the amount of contaminated rainwater remained unknown. It further confronted TEPCO if it first measured the toxicity of the contaminated rainwater before releasing it into the ocean.
All TEPCO said was that the radioactivity of the water was "low enough" and did not even exceeded the 30 becquerels per liter government limit.
Yo Koshimizu, a TEPCO spokesperson, said the water that was released was considered rainwater because it had pooled within the circular barriers near the storage tanks that house the contaminated water. It did not come as a leakage from the tanks. The released rainwater contained low levels of strontium 90, he said, adding it was released through seven locations.
"The typhoon has little chance of destabilizing the reactors, but it will certainly add more water to a site already crowded with hastily assembled steel storage tanks and relatively poor oversight," Daniel Aldrich, a political scientist, told the Christian Science Monitor.
TEPCO workers, on a normal day, have struggled to contain the 400 tonnes of contaminated water being pumped out of the plant since it got crippled in March 2011.
"Added rain from Typhoon Man-yi makes matters more complicated."
.@barackobama Dear Mr. President, When does the radiation pouring out of fukushima constitute a national security risk?