Earthquake in Japan over, radioactive waste continues to fill the ocean

Projected spread of radioactive waste.

Paulina Kempe, The Eagle Staff Writer

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On March 11, 2011 one of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit the northeast coast of Japan and damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. A nuclear power plant produces electricity with a nuclear reactor as a heat source. It is very useful to produce electricity but very dangerous when it gets damaged. Many countries do not use nuclear power plants anymore but there are still 439 nuclear power reactors in operation in 31 countries. The disaster in Japan had dire consequences for Japan but also for the rest of the world.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) constructed the nuclear power plant about 40 years ago and it has operated since then. TEPCO is responsible for controlling the nuclear power plant and tried to control the situation. But does TEPCO really control the situation or is it still dangerous? Occasionally the news shows some information about the situation in Japan. There are often many reports about tons of radioactive water being deposited into the ocean. Recently there was a story on an accident where about 300,000 liters of radioactive water was flung into the ocean for a week without being recognized by one of the workers.

TEPCO doesn’t truly have control over the situation. Every day they produce new radioactive water to cool the radiators and then store the tampered water in metal silos on the campus. About 70 % of the storage is at full capacity but TEPCO doesn’t have a plan for when all the silos are full.

Another big problem is that so much waste water flows into the ocean. Workers try to build walls that protect the ocean from the dangerous water from the nuclear power station but it doesn’t work. The full effects of radioactive water in the ocean are not clear, but scientists do know that it is dangerous for both animals and nature.

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