Updated December 05, 2011 20:29:02
By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy
The operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant says at least 45 tonnes of highly radioactive water has leaked from the facility, possibly into the Pacific Ocean.
A statement by the operator TEPCO said workers noticed a leak in a purification device, with radioactive water escaping through a crack in a catchment wall.
The leaking water contained about 1 million times as much strontium as the maximum safe level.
Strontium is easily absorbed by living tissue and can cause cancer.
TEPCO says some of the 45 tonnes or more of contaminated water may have reached the Pacific Ocean.
Last week, TEPCO reported that molten fuel rods at the plant may have eaten two-thirds of the way through a concrete containment base.
The statement was based on a new simulation of the March meltdowns.
It said the latest calculations suggest the nuclear fuel inside the No. 1 reactor has melted entirely.
Simulations predict the molten fuel has eaten through 65 centimetres of concrete in a containment base below, stopping just 37 centimetres short of an outer steel casing.
It is also believed the molten core has eaten part of the way through the concrete bases of the No. 2 and 3 reactors.
The findings indicate the facility came much closer to a cataclysmic meltdown than previously thought.
picture 3, the same car is parked there in both shots.
picture 8 after the click...
The most crazy photo from that group of crazy photos is No.4. You can see how much higher the sea level is going by the cliff over on the left hand side. The rock outcrop and small island aren't even visible when the tsunami hit. The mind boggles at the increase in cubic meters of water there...
I always find these figures mind-blowing.
(2004 Indian Ocean earthquake has equally incomprehensible figures associated with it - e.g. 30 cubic kilometers of ocean were displaced...)
Last edited by MickyD; 03-12-2012 at 02:49 AM.
ZOMG - Orchard Rd might flood again!
was apparently a horizontal movement, rather than vertical, which is much less likely to cause a tsunami.
incidentally, reading about the 2004 quake/tsunami is a bit of a spinout, 1600km length of seabed moved 15 metres, displacing 30 cubic km of water.... fark.
(we visited an orphanage for kids who had lost both parents in the Tsunami on a work trip to Phuket, seriously intense and emotionally draining day, yet amazing at the same time http://mpd.smugmug.com/Travel/Thaila...099227&k=BWRbB )
Well, I'm heading to Tokyo for a few weeks on Friday, so really hoping there won't be any swaying buildings while I'm there.
It was scary enough in 2007 when we felt the Nigata quake in Tokyo, can't imagine what people went through in 2011. And I would prefer to never find out
I know here in california earthquakes are no big deal, but it is quite strange to have such a large one on the same day as Japan did 2 years ago...