One would be forgiven for feeling a weight on one’s soul with each sporadic, slowly unfolding fragment of unfortunate news from the Fukushima Daiichi reactor crisis. While not newsworthy in an “info-entertainment” sense it is probably inevitable that we continue to follow the sombre narrative as if a friend or acquaintance was declining slowly:
The government expects that several months may be required before radioactive particles stop being released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, its top spokesman said Sunday.
”If we apply methods considered to be normal, I believe that it will be something like that,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference, when asked whether at least several months would be required before the plant crippled by the devastating March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami is brought under control.
NYT caption: In an image provided by Tokyo Electric Power Company, contaminated water from the crippled No. 2 reactor is seen leaking through a crack and draining into the ocean at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in northern Japan on Saturday.
But several months of what?:
Experts estimate that about seven tons an hour of radioactive water is escaping the pit. Safety officials have said that the water, which appears to be coming from the damaged No. 2 reactor, contains one million becquerels per liter of iodine 131, or about 10,000 times the levels normally found in water at a nuclear plant.
Hiroko Tabuchi and Ken Belson – Efforts to Plug Japanese Reactor Leak Seem to Fail NYT 3 Apr 11
OK, we are surely getting a crash course on nuclear physics and public safety as the ramifications of the continuing radiation impacts are quantified locally and in the world at large.