News / Asia

Fukushima Operator Under Fire for Radioactive Leaks

Members of a Fukushima prefecture panel, which monitors safe decommissioning of the nuclear plant, inspect the construction site of the shore barrier at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, in this photo released by Kyo
Members of a Fukushima prefecture panel, which monitors safe decommissioning of the nuclear plant, inspect the construction site of the shore barrier at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, in this photo released by Kyo
VOA News
Effects of radiationEffects of radiation
x
Effects of radiation
Effects of radiation
The operator of Japan's troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant is coming under fire over contaminated groundwater that has been seeping into the ocean.

The latest problem at the crippled plant involves a rise in ground water as workers have built underground shield walls to prevent contamination from leaking into the ocean. However, the walls built by Tokyo Power and Electric, or TEPCO, have forced water to accumulate and start rising toward the surface.

On Monday, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters the water is exceeding the legal limits of radioactive discharge and creating an emergency.

Rianne Teule, a nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace International, says the issue is a serious environmental concern.

"Most of all it proves TEPCO is incapable of dealing with this situation and that the Japanese authorities should really step in and ensure that proper action is taken to stop the leaks," said Teule.

But it is not clear what other actions TEPCO could take at this point. Former Nuclear power plant designer Masashi Goto worked on several projects with TEPCO.

"The situation is already beyond what Tepco can handle," said Goto. "If it  were possible to take proper measures, they would have done it already right? It's not as if Tepco is refusing to do what they can. They are doing everything they can but there are no perfect solutions."

TEPCO said recently that between 20 to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium is estimated to have leaked into the ocean since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. It is the first time the company has acknowledged that contaminated water is leaking into the sea.

Last week, TEPCO General Manager Masayuki said his company is doing everything it can to contain the water.

He said, "We understand that this discharge is beyond our control and we do not think the current situation is good."

A massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 shut off the plant's power and cooling systems, causing a meltdown in three nuclear reactors. It was the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the Soviet Union.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid