A major bombshell has dropped concerning the failed cleanup efforts at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The shuttered plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has apparently been hiding for an entire year the fact that radioactive waste has been quietly pouring into the ocean from an onsite drainage ditch.
Sputnik News reports that TEPCO, which is also managing remediation efforts at the site (with guidance from the Japanese government), concealed from the public the fact that highly contaminated radioactive water has been flowing from the drainage ditch directly into the ocean. Local fishermen and others have since expressed outrage over the news.
“I don’t understand why you (TEPCO) kept silent about the leakage even though you knew about it,” stated Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, according to Sputnik. “Fishery operators are absolutely shocked.”
The news comes as TEPCO continues to sustain criticism over the way it’s handled cleanup efforts since the 2011 tsunami and earthquake took their toll. In recent months, TEPCO has been exposed for attempting to cover up the fact that U.S. Navy sailors were exposed to harmful radiation, as well as concealing true levels of radioactive waste releases into the Pacific Ocean.
And this latest revelation only reiterates TEPCO’s tarnished legacy, proving that the company can’t be trusted with adequately addressing the looming problems that are still present at Fukushima more than four years since the disaster occurred.
“This was part of an ongoing investigation in which we discovered a water puddle with high levels of radiation on top of the Reactor No. 2 building,” contended a TEPCO spokesman as to why the company delayed reporting the leak, adding that “because this also happens to be one of the sources for this drainage system, we decided to report everything all at once.”
Promises that Fukushima radiation is “under control” broken; TEPCO still sponsoring 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Since samples of ocean water collected from near the drainage pipe allegedly didn’t show any “substantial” radioactive spikes, TEPCO claims that it didn’t feel the need to report the leak, at least until now. This, as the company struggles to continue building radioactive waste storage tanks onsite at the plant to address the never-ending stream of waste pouring from the failed reactor buildings.
As you may recall from back in September 2013, when Tokyo was announced to be the site of the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised the International Olympic Committee and the world that all radiation leaks at Fukushima were “under control.” TEPCO was also named to be the primary sponsor for the Olympic Games.
But this latest disclosure proves that this simply isn’t the case, regardless of whether or not this latest leak situation violates the regulations set forth by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (which TEPCO claims it doesn’t).
“The trust of the people in Fukushima is the most important thing” to us, explained a company spokesperson in an apology. “We’ve been working with that in mind, but unfortunately, we have damaged that trust this time.”
Meanwhile, a major investigation is currently underway to assess how Fukushima radiation, as it continues to make it’s way into soil, water and eventually into food, is affecting the safety of what people are eating both in Japan and abroad. More on this is available in a recent report published in Nature:
Sources for this article include: