Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station was destroyed in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, but instead of the cleanup reducing radiation leaks, it has now become clear that extremely dangerous Strontium-90 is entering regional ground water at an ever increasing rate. This is believed to come from a crack in reactor two, but TEPCO refuses to confirm this. Right now, contaminated water is stored in huge drums on the facility site, but if there is a reactor crack, the amount of contaminated water will over time become enormous. TEPCO claims that it has plans to filter the radioactive material out of the water and release it into the ocean. This filtration process will not completely decontaminate the water, and especially if Strotium 90 is present, it will persist in the environment for up to 30 years. Strontium 90 is notorious for entering bone tissue and causing bone cancer. Emissions of Strontium 90 are 30 times higher that expected at this time, and are rising.
Radiation from Fukushima is already being recorded up and down the west coast of the American continent, especially from central California to the Vancouver region, where it is carried by ocean currents. Seaweeds along the central California coast have been found to be contaminated, and an unknown amount of radiation from the disaster has entered the vast Pacific ecosystem.
The complex was destroyed in the 2011 tsunami because Tepco had refused to set its reactors on platforms even though they were sited in an area that was susceptible to extreme flooding during earthquakes. Because of this short-sighted small savings, Tepco has lost vast amounts of money and endangered millions of people and animals for years to come. It is similar to British Petroleum’s decision to use inferior cement in the Deep Water Horizon well, which saved them a few hundred thousand dollars, but ended up costing billions and nearly destroying one of the planet’s most important natural resources.
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