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Experts Explain Effects of Radioactive Water at Fukushima

Japanese diplomat Akio Matsumura

June 19, 2013

In a post at his website, Japanese diplomat Akio Matsumura (photo, left) has written an introduction to essays by Dr. Gordon Edwards (President of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility), and Dr. Helen Caldicott (Founding President of Beyond Nuclear), about the management — or lack thereof — of the radioactively contaminated cooling water and groundwater, that has come to be the most demanding and dangerous issue that Tepco has faced since 2011 at the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

Gordon explains how the water — a whopping 800 tons per day, which then Tepco has to store and prevent from leaking into the environment — becomes radioactively contaminated in the first place. Tepco has resorted to vast “tank farms” of surface storage tanks, especially after underground storage tanks were discovered to be leaking in April. However, the surface storage tanks have now also been discovered to be leaking, as well. Besides that, Tepco has sought to simply release 100 tons of radioactively contaminated water per day into the Pacific, for lack of storage space — a move that local fishermen, trying to re-establish some semblance of a livelihood, despite the widespread radioactive contamination of seafood, are fiercely resisting.

Helen then delves into “Nine Medical Implications of Tritium-contaminated Water,” as efforts to decontaminate the cooling and groundwater cannot remove tritium (radioactive H-3, which combines with oxygen to form radioactive water), for water cannot be filtered from water. Helen points out that, “[b]ecause it is tasteless, odorless and invisible, [tritium] will inevitably be ingested in food, including seafood, over many decades. It combines in the DNA molecule – the gene – where it can induce mutations that later lead to cancer. It causes brain tumors, birth deformities, and cancers of many organs.” In fact, the contamination of the seafood chain bio-concentrates the radioactivity, so that those at the top of the food chain — humans — get the worst doses of harmful radioactivity.


June 20, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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