Fukushima operator admits radioactive leaks while more strong earthquakes strike around the plant


Operator of tsunami stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP) admitted on Monday, July 22, 2013 that contaminated water had been seeping from damaged reactors into the Pacific (NYT). Though this was long suspected by experts, this is the first time officials have acknowledged the problem. 

FukushimaDiary writes:

In the press conference of 7/22/2013, Tepco admitted the seawater is coming up and down to the plant area.

They announced the seawater level (1m shift) and groundwater level (20 cm shift) are in sync.

Now it’s clear that seawater and the contaminated groundwater are freely traveling.

The seawater contamination and the rainfall are also in sync. Contaminated groundwater is obviously coming out to the sea.

On Tuesday, July 23, another steam was reported coming out from crippled facility, though again, officials claim radioactivity did not rise. This is the second time operator reported it in last 7 days.

Meanwhile, strong earthquakes are occurring around the plant.

At 02:03 UTC earthquake registered as M 4.5 (USGS) struck offshore Fukushima NPP at depth of 54 km. JMA registered it as 40 km deep, M 4.5 earthquake. Epicenter was about 67 km from Fukushima NPP.

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake was registered at 03:02 UTC at shallow depth of only 6.1 km (USGS). JMA registered this earthquake also as M 5.3 but measured depth at 10 km. The epicenter was about 30 km from Fukushima NPP.

At 10:58 UTC (19:58 JST) JMA registered another earthquake with same location as previous M 5.3. This was probably an aftershock as it was registered as M 3.6 at depth of 10 km. USGS has no records of this one.

Earthquakes at this locations are fairly common, yet it is very disturbing to realize nuclear power plants were built on such highly seismic area. Below is a map of nuclear power plants in Japan and a map with locations of devastating Tohoku earthquake and its aftershocks from March 11 – 14, 2011.

Since 1900, three great earthquakes occurred off Japan and three north of Hokkaido. They are the M8.4 1933 Sanriku-oki earthquake, the M8.3 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the M8.4 1958 Etorofu earthquake, the M8.5 1963 Kuril earthquake, and the M8.3 1994 Shikotan earthquake.

Map of nuclear power plants in Japan. Author: Roulex_45

Map of the Sendai Earthquake 2011 and aftershocks until March 14, 2011 at 11:20. The size of the circles is a function of magnitude, and the color indicates the date:  light green: March 11; yellow: March 12; orange: March 13; red: March 14. Author: demis.nl 

Featured image: Map of nuclear power plants in Japan. Author: Roulex_45

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  1. Look at the shrinking silver lining: It's a tremendous imperative to develop environmental disaster-cleanup technology. A lot of knowledge will come out of this.

  2. No they are never going to be able to stop this and I have to chuckle about the article's comment about faults. The entire island is one big fault and absolutely no Nuclear Power Plants should have ever been built there.

    This fact was well know in the 50's but remember the Japanese lost the war and we here in the US shoved this Nuclear Technology onto these people and where the Sun does not shine.

    If you are worried that you will die from cancer or some other disease from this forever pollution event, then you must thank your own USA government for this fiasco!

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