Earlier this week we posted an update to the situation in Japan. In the update we pointed out how massive amounts of radioactive materials were still making their way into the environment.
Well, things seem to just keep getting worse for Japan’s troubled Fukushima nuclear plant. Earlier this week, Plant operator TEPCO admitted that almost 12 tons of radioactive water and contaminated material just leaked from a treatment pipe into the pacific ocean.
Similar leaks have occurred several times since the initial damage but this is the second major leak in the last two weeks. The last spill reportedly sent 120 tons of radioactive water streaming out of one of the plants decontamination vessels.
The growing number of leaks are raising some serious concerns over TEPCO’s ability to keep the melted reactors cool and contain the radiation. It’s also has many experts questioning their overall ability to keep the plant stable. In fact, some experts are so concerned that THE Mainichi Daily News in Japan is reporting that the Japanese government is actually drawing up plans for the possible evacuation of Tokyo:
One of the biggest issues that we face is the possibility that the spent nuclear fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant will collapse.
The storage pool in the No. 4 reactor building has a total of 1,535 fuel rods, or 460 tons of nuclear fuel, in it and the storage pools are barely intact on the building’s third and fourth floors. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area.
The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate.