This article is now on the NYT homepage with the same photo but a different story:
2.5 years after the tsunami, the Japanese government is springing into action to take over the response to this crisis. I suppose giving the bumbling fools at Tepco a full 3 years to further ravage the environment with their complete ineptitude would have been just too much. But don't worry, the solution is the creation of an industrial feat (a "water-shielding wall with frozen soil") that has "no precedent... on such a large scale."
Also, don't worry about the fact that a frozen wall doesn't deal with the already discovered seepage into the area below, contaminating ground water.
Finally, the government's "help" apparently just consists of assisting in funding the project, not actually taking it over. I'm sure there won't be a single soul looking to skim government funds out of the projected $400,000,000 cost (which will undoubtedly triple in cost and has a low likelihood of success based on the response thus far.)
does not yet pose a health threat because levels of the contaminants are still very low in the open ocean, beyond the plant’s man-made harbor — a contention even critics support.
Tepco estimates that about 50 billion becquerels of tritium are currently flowing into the sea every day ... An American expert, Kathryn A. Higley, the head of the department of nuclear engineering and radiation health physics at Oregon State University, said the amount of strontium being released was “small potatoes”
Why is Kathryn A. Higley trusting Tepco on their estimates? Did she miss the memo that Tepco keeps consistently lying about things like this?
Maybe she should look into this situation?
This article seems to gloss over critics and instead embrace the opinions of people like Kathryn A. Higley who happen to have heavy ties to the nuclear industry.
I wonder what some less unbiased third parties have to say about how "small potatoes" this leak into the ocean is? Or is that too much to ask from journalists nowadays?
The more I learn and research the more I wonder if maybe the ocean's been telling us something here.
We've been mucking with our environment for ages now, and we have dumped more than a little waste at sea already (mostly the Russians), but the impact is invariably LESS than was predicted.
Meanwhile,everything ELSE we do is destroying so many of my favorite ecosystems.
This may be partly because I had an early burst of training on the Nuclear side (started as a Navy Nuke), but despite the fact that I don't want ANYTHING messing with my precious sea critters. . . I can't get over the feeling that maybe the Ocean is saying . . .
"THIS I can handle! Put reactors at sea, dump waste deep in the sediment beds (feel free to dig for old DNA first, there's a couple of neat bits hidden!). Use me to turn all those nuclear bombs into lead! I promise to buffer that if you use me to transition to renewables. Just please stop with all these other things!"
Well maybe if you think about available background radiation that You actually know about, you may have a point.
A Fukushima fisherman’s tale: Radioactive water
However when you consider what is measurably happening to the pH and the actual temperature of the ocean at this point in time, and what that portends for us because of the way it will easily impact our weather systems now and into the future, you may want to pursue your research on this for a few more years. You could begin with these books, and then get back to us:
A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest - William deBuys
Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North - Nancy Lord
Oh no! I'm thinking about everything. I actually have a knee-jerk reaction myself to ANYTHING ending up in the ocean (I wanted to be Aquaman when I was a kid)
I'm also very much not forgiving of the process that allowed us to maintain such a craptacular plant as what we had in Fukushima, nor am I in the slight bit sympathetic towards the concept of land-based nuclear reactors, I think that's a stupid idea.
However, I do have a pretty solid understanding of how biological processes and nuclear process work, and it seems fairly obvious to me WHY the few dramatic effects on actual nature are fairly narrowly restricted to compounds that can be biologically incorporated while actual water has such a mild effect.
Also, the results do speak for themselves.
Nuclear reactors in the deep ocean, powering floating cities at the sea, with the rectors suspended above stable sediment beds. That's what the planet wants us to do while we transition to renewables and become more efficient.
Not embracing RESPONSIBLE science-based nuclear power means we're using more fossil fuels and destroying the ocean in ways that are far, far worse. We need to look at the WHOLE picture, not just a narrow view.
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