Nuclear Fear Growing in the Pacific

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By Lindsey Blomberg

Worries about marine life in the Pacific Ocean outside of Japan’s failing Fukushima nuclear plant are escalating. Water samples taken 1,080 feet away from the plant show radioactive iodine-131 levels that are 4,000 times higher than normal and cesium-137 levels that are 527 times higher than normal. The ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima took another turn for the worse this past weekend. A crack was discovered next to seawater intake pipes at the plant’s No. 2 reactor that is causing approximately 1,800 gallons of water with 10,000 times the normal levels of radioactive iodine to gush into the Pacific Ocean per hour. After engineers attempted and failed to bond the crack with concrete, they are now trying to seal the leak using a mixture of 120 pounds of sawdust, three garbage bags of shredded newspaper and nine pounds of absorbent powder.  So far, the mixture hasn’t worked.  “There is still a steady stream of water from the pit,” said Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama.

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Posted on April 6th 2011 in Environment, Nature