Sharp spike in radiation levels at Fukushima

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Fukushima in Japan
The location of the Fukushima Prefecture in red on map of Japan.

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by an earthquake, and then a tsunami. One of the very dangerous conditions created by the Great East Japan Earthquake was the damage caused to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, releasing toxic levels of radiation.

Recently, there’s been a sharp spike in radiation levels in the pipes and water-holding containers at the crippled plant. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says believe it can provide safety for workers who are dealing with the problem. On Sunday, the company released a statement saying, “We will find out the cause of this issue and make proper counter measures immediately, and continue to make every effort to secure safety of workers.”

The enormous tanks where the radiation readings were taken are identical to the container that leaked 300 tons of highly toxic water last week. TEPCO is investigating the cause, but Toyoshi Fuket, who is the commissioner of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority says the inspection quality at the plant is “careless.”  China’s Foreign Ministry finds it “shocking” that radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean two years after the Fukushima incident.

The efforts by TEPCO to investigate and stabilize the site do not inspire confidence. Mycle Schneider, a CNN contributor who is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy, says, “The tank leak is just the latest in a long list of signs that things are going fundamentally wrong at the site of what could still turn out to be the most serious radiological event in history. And the situation could still get a lot worse… TEPCO’s inability to stabilize the site, and the dramatic failure of the Japanese government, now majority owner of TEPCO, should come as no surprise. Indeed, so far, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has seemed too busy trying to help restart the country’s stranded reactors to put adequate attention on stabilizing the Fukushima site.”

Featured image courtesy of KEI on Wikipedia. Map of Fukushima and Japan courtesy of Lincun on Wikipedia.