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World

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: À Fukushima, grave fuite radioactive

by Rosa Moussaoui

At Fukushima, a Serious Radioactive Leak

Translated Saturday 24 August 2013, by Henry Crapo

The leakage of radioactive water was classed as a "grave incident". TEPCO promises a solution.

The Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority has classed the leak as a "serious incident" of level 3 on the international scale of nuclear events. For several days already, the highly radioactive water has been escaping from the storage reservoirs at the Fukushima central production facility, devastated by the earthquake followed by tsunami on 11 March 2011. Officially, 300 tons of contaminated water is said to have spread out, infiltrating the soil. Measures taken above the surface water show a level of radioactivity of 100 millisieverts per hour. The TEPCO company, operators of the central, admit that a worker exposed to this level of radioactivity accumulates in only one hour the maximal dose authorized in five years for nuclear industry workers, according to Japanese legislation. This water, destined to cooling the damaged reactors and the pools for deactivation of nuclear fuel rods, should have been sent through decontamination circuits, but that this system is "under repair", TEPCO made public.

Each new incident confirms the negligence of the multinational company, which sacrificed safety on the altar of profit prior to the catastrophe in 2011. Hundreds of tons of radioactive water have already drained into the Pacific Ocean. And millions of tons of contaminated water are stored on the site, in thousands of reservoirs, no credible scenario for decontamination having been defined. Moreover, 470000 tons of contaminated wreckage have yet to be treated. An environmental disaster behind which emerges a sanitary catastrophe.

On the other side of the balance, only hollow promises. The TEPCO management promises to treat "in all seriousness" the problem of radioactive leakage.


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