Sunday, April 3, 2011

A leak of radioactive water into the sea raises concern in Fukushima

.- A leak of contaminated water into the sea from the central Fukushima today raised concerns about the extent of radioactivity, which continues to hamper efforts to revitalize the cooling system of the Japanese nuclear plant unstable. TEPCO, the company operates in Fukushima Daiichi plant, reported that a crack was found about 20 centimeters in the wall of a pit near the reactor two, flooded with highly radioactive water that seeps from there little by little ocean.

The workers are planning to pour concrete to cover the crack and stop the leak, whose existence was suspected after detection in recent days in coastal waters close to the central levels of radioactivity well above the legal limit. The grave, about two meters deep, contains electrical wires and is very close to the water inlet of the reactor two, like the one three units has a number of flooded areas with radioactive water further complicates the efforts of operators.

Nuclear Security Agency of Japan does not rule out that there are other contaminated liquid leaking into the sea, and has instructed TEPCO to make new evidence in coastal waters to assess the presence of radioactive materials. According to data released today the Japan Ministry of Science, in samples taken three days ago in waters 40 nautical miles south of Fukushima iodine-131 level twice the legal limit to 79.4 becquerels per liter.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Security Agency said, quoted by NHK television that the iodine is diluted and therefore not a health threat, but insisted that the agency is closely monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, inside the Fukushima Daiichi draining flooded areas has become one of the priorities of workers and experts who study the alternatives for storing radioactive water.

Among the options being considered is to use a floating artificial island that would accommodate ten thousand of the nearly thirteen thousand tons of polluted water have been detected in central facilities, according to TEPCO. The island, a large steel structure, will bring from the city of Shizuoka (about 360 kilometers south of Fukushima), where he currently serves as a floating fishing park.

Although the radioactivity leaks and further complicate the work of the operators, in the last few hours have also been some progress, including the installation of an interim pumping seawater into the four reactors. The system has not yet been implemented, as before should be examined if the pipes of the reactors were damaged by the earthquake of March 11 and high levels of radioactivity for now prevent this, NHK reported.

TEPCO also managed yesterday to launch eight checkpoints to mediate radiation at the plant and said it will activate the automatic transmission of data to make that information public through his website. In the works for central control involving hundreds of employees of TEPCO, firefighters and soldiers, some of whom received today the visit of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who traveled to a base located about 20 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

They encouraged workers to fight in Fukushima "with the conviction that this battle can not lose," he said, quoted by the local agency Kyodo. Earlier, Khan traveled for the first time one of the villages destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, which swept away thousands of homes and killed at least 828 killed eleven thousand and fifteen thousand 540 missing, according to last count official.

In Rikuzentakata in Iwate province, the head of government met with a group of evacuees and examined the damage that caused the tsunami in this town, virtually wiped off the map. In Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the three provinces hardest hit by the disaster, some 28 thousand troops in Japan and the U.S.

have launched a major deployment to recover the maximum number of missing, though until today, the second day of the operation, only had found 50 bodies.

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