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As Fukushima radioactive water grows, situation hopeless for fishermen

water-radiationFukushima fishermen forced to test fish for radiation REUTERS, 31 May 13“….The fishermen of Hisanohama, forced out of work by the disaster, have had no choice but to take the only job available – checking contamination levels in fish just offshore from the destroyed nuclear reactor buildings. ”We used to be so proud of our fish. They were famous across Japan and we made a decent living out of them,” said 80-year-old Yaoita, who survived the tsunami by taking on the waves and sailing the six-person True Prosperity out to sea.”Now the only thing for us is sampling.”…..

The fishermen and Tepco are in dispute over the utility’s plans to dump 100 tons of groundwater a day from the devastated plant into the sea. The complicated clean-up plan for Fukushima could take 30 years or more. Tepco’s challenge is what to do with the contaminated water that has been pooling at the plant at a rate of 400 tons a day – enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in a week.


So far it has been racing to build tanks to store the contaminated water on the grounds of the plant, in which all the water is kept at the moment.It has also asked fishermen to support a plan to build a “by-pass” that would dump groundwater into the sea before it becomes contaminated by flowing under the reactor’s wreckage.

“We are staunchly against it,” said Tatsuo Niitsuma, 71, who fishes with Yaoita.

MORE CONTAMINATION, LESS HOPE Representatives from fishing cooperatives met Tepco officials on Thursday to discuss the proposal, with Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to instruct Tepco on what to do, although no final plans were announced. In addition to the “by-pass” Motegi, who also holds the energy portfolio, told Tepco to create “protective walls” in the ground by freezing the soil around the reactors to create an underground barrier to stop groundwater from flowing in and mixing with contaminated water inside the reactor building.

The fishermen, however, worry the “by-pass” plan risks more contamination and delays, possibly ending any hope for the only job they know.

Tepco officials have said it may take as long as four years to fix the problem, but have said they do not need outside help.

The uncertainty and stress have become problems. Many former fishermen live in temporary homes next to people they barely know after losing not only their jobs, but also family members……..


June 1, 2013 - Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, oceans, water

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