Japan Admits Emergency Situation at Damaged Fukushima Nuclear Plant

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Japanese government officials are admitting for the first time the radioactive leak in the crippled Fukushima plant is causing contaminated water to pour into the Pacific Ocean at an alarming rate.

Two years after the powerful earthquake and Tsunami disabled the nuclear plant, and decimated northern Japan, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owners of the power plant have labeled the situation an “emergency” and admitted the repairs on the failing plant have been unsuccessful.

Residue from radioactive water, at the rate of 21.5 tons a day or 300mt over the last two weeks, is pouring into the Pacific Ocean and threatens not only the Asian shore but also the entire western shoreline from Alaska to the tip of South American including the entire west coast of the United States and with it some of the most pristine beaches in the world.

Government officials have ordered the owners to drain the water which, since May 2013, has resulted in dangerously high radiation readings in locals well. The retainer wall, created to stop this type of disaster was breached when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent Tsunami struck. The plant was closest to the epicenter.

The disaster on the scale of Chernobyl, has resulted in the continued enforcement of a 20km “no entry zone” area around the Daiichi Fukushima Power Plant, which has been off limits since the March 2011 quake.  

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale is continuing to monitor the deteriorating plant. Initial reports categorized the disaster as an upper 6, Three Mile Island was categorized a 5 and Chernobyl 7, indicating large amounts of radioactivity were released into the environment and "it is very likely that protective actions such as sheltering and evacuation will be judged necessary." As well as all safety barriers were breached and the event caused a problem beyond the design criteria.

 

Sources: Wikipedia, International Nuclear and Radiological Agency