Fukushima is Still Leaking, but at Least Farmed Fish are Cozy.

Today I discovered an article in the Seattle Times that caught my attention.  It was an article written by Mari Yamaguchi, entitled:  Japan: Radioactive water likely leaking to Pacific.

Ouch.

The Fukushima power plant, which is still using jury-rigged cooling systems, is stated to still be leaking contaminants such as cesium into the waters around Japan.

We've all suspected this for some time, of course.  

There's a reason, after all, that fish along the coast of Japan are barred from being exported to other countries, and fish further out are heavily tested. You don't have to be an expert to consider this is likely. 

What is interesting, however, is that it's finally gotten the attention of the Nuclear Radiation Authority. To quote Yamaguchi's piece,
"TEPCO has said it has detected "no significant impact" on the environment. It says cesium tends to be absorbed in the soil, and denies water contaminated with that element reached the sea.
But the Nuclear Regulation Authority said Wednesday that samples from both the pit water and coastal seawater indicated that contaminated underground water likely had reached the sea.
Watchdog chairman Shunichi Tanaka said he thinks that the seawater contamination has been happening since the accident, but that it was worst early in the crisis.
"What's most important is to minimize the leak to the outside and reduce the impact on the human society," he said." (source)
This brings up another question.

What can be done?  

Where does the problem lie, exactly?  While on the surface the answer seems to be centered around the plant itself - rebuild and contain - I question that.

I look at economy and wonder if perhaps they don't have the funding to do that.  

If they don't have the funding, why don't they?  I'm sure everyone remembers the red cross donations set up specifically to help with the tsunami that caused this.  You probably even donated.

But did any of that go toward the Fukushima nuclear plant?  Who, aside from Tokyo Electric Power Company, is putting any money into fixing this problem, which effects every single person living in Japan - and therefore the world?

Well, it appears that 1 billion yen did get alotted to power plants... but only one plant, Chubu, actually grabbed that money.
"The disaster fund disclosed by Asahi Shimbun allowed any nuclear plant operator to request funding to deal with additional costs due to the reactor shutdowns. So far only one, Chubu Electric in Shizuoka has taken the funds. The company’s reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear plant were ordered to shut down after the 3-11 disaster. Part of the 19.2 million dollars given to Chubu was used to offset additional costs for non nuclear power generation and to install a boiler in a fish hatchery." (source)
Yep.

Disaster funding is going toward keeping water nice and warm on a fish farm.

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                   ...maybe it's just me, but it seems like putting money into keeping the Fukushima plant from spewing toxins into Japan and its waters is a much better option.  I mean, I understand that Japan's staple food is fish, but protecting the naturally occurring fish population would have a much farther reaching, longer lasting benefit.

But then again, what do I know?  

Perhaps keeping a few farmed fish nice and cozy is more appealing.  Perhaps it's better to ignore the future in order to be more comfortable in the present.

I don't think so, though...  




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