The unfolding of the Fukushima catastrophe continues to worsen. Here are today’s most important developments:
• A nuclear expert is now warning that it will take 50 to 100 years before the spent nuclear rods at Fukushima will cool enough to be removed from the site. In the mean time, Japan must keep pouring water on the fuel, and that creates highly radioactive water that’s being flushed directly into the ocean. So now we’re looking at the possibility of a century-long radiation leak (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/01/3179487.htm).
• The groundwater underneath the Fukushima nuclear power facility is now showing 10,000 times the level of radiation normally allowed by government authorities. This is from iodine-131 measured at 15 meters below one of the reactors. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/31/501364/main20049240.shtml)
• You’ve probably already heard that there have been efforts to use robots to help solve the Fukushima crisis, but those efforts have failed. Then again, who needs robots when you can just pay humans to do the same deadly work? Reuters is now reporting that a U.S. recruiting company is signing up U.S. workers to go to Fukushima and work on-site there as part of the crew that’s trying to save the reactors (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-wanted-u-workers-crippled-japan-nuke-plant-20110331-165506-832.html). Why would anyone agree to do such a thing? Because they’re being promised extra pay, if you can believe that.