Scientists detect strong radiation 100 km from Fukushima

Scientists detect strong radiation 100 km from Fukushima

At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 on the Richter scale, and then a devastating tsunami, killed more than 20,000 people destroying the northeast coast of Japan and with it, the central Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The toxic radiation produced has poisoned the Pacific and the threat is growing.

Incalculable everything that needs to be built to be able to deconstruct this Japanese nuclear plant. Fukushima Dai-ichi, which stopped providing electricity to the Japanese network with the 2011 accident, will not operate again and now efforts are aimed at decontaminating and dismantling it, in a process that the experts in charge of the task calculated that it will take 30 to 40 years.

Decontamination tasks are costing the government of Japan billions of euros. In the areas closest to the establishment, the problem was solved, but as it was learned, scientists have detected a persistent source of radiation in a place they did not estimate, under beaches located about 100 kilometers away from Fukushima.

In 2013 the company TEPCO, owner of the damaged reactors (condemned in 2017 together with the Japanese government for the nuclear disaster), detected that contaminated water was leaking from the plant to the outside, but they never imagined that all that Cesium-137 (radioactive isotope of the chemical element cesium that is produced mainly by nuclear fission) that entered the ocean would end up accumulating without dissolving.

Scientists estimate that the amount of polluted water that flows into the ocean from this groundwater source under the beaches is as great as in the other two known sources: the water runoff from the nuclear power plant itself and the discharge from the rivers that continue to carry cesium from rains.

Since this radioactive isotope does not adhere the same to sand in the presence of salty water, with the tides it was detached from the sand and filtered back into the ocean.

Cesium can remain in the environment for more than 30 years. In the analysis of this chemical element on the beaches, the scientists detected that Cesium-137, which may have come from the Dai-ichi plant itself, could also be the product of nuclear weapons tested in the 1960s, including Cesium- 134, another isotope that, in your case, can only come from the Fukushima accident in 2011.

The nuclear disaster has polluted the world's largest ocean in just 8 years, and 300 tons of radioactive waste continues to leak out every day. Scientists are now saying that the Pacific Ocean is already highly radioactive and is currently at least 5-10 times more radioactive than when the US dropped numerous nuclear bombs in WWII.

Video: British, Japanese scientists study radioactive Fukushima particles (September 2021).