As if the situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant weren’t bad enough, we now have news that six clean-up workers were exposed to radioactive water when a pipe was mistakenly disconnected. According to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), several tonnes of radioactive water gushed out of the pipe, putting at least six of the workers at extreme risk for physical contamination. Although they were wearing protective clothing and masks, the workers will undergo extensive tests to determine if there was any internal or external exposure.
Although it has been two years since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered nuclear fallout, little progress has been made toward cleaning up the radioactive mess at Fukushima. In fact, the past few months have seen an uptick in the number of disturbing reports coming out of Japan.
Earlier this year Inhabitat reported on a disturbing announcement from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), concluded that clean up at the nuclear power plant disaster site could take more than 40 years. Then, just days ago, Inhabitat reported that yet another spill of radioactive water had made its way into the Pacific Ocean.
In the most recent incident, “11 workers were about to remove salt from hundreds of tonnes of water that had already been cleansed of almost all of its radioactive caesium content at another treatment facility,” reports the Guardian. When one of the 11 accidentally severed the wrong pipe, a “leak lasted almost an hour, during which about 10 tonnes of toxic water is thought to have escaped, but did not reach the nearby Pacific ocean,” Tepco told the paper.
Tepco is also the party responsible for hiding the fact that Fukushima had continued leaking for the better part of a year following the disaster, so one must take the assertion with a grain of salt.
Via The Guardian
Image via Mad House Photography