Fukushima Leak & Nuclear Contamination Causes Evacuations
300 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from storage tank
The amount ofradioactive water that has leaked from the Fukushima plant has been underestimated according to sources, and continues to contaminate the seawater around the nuclear plant. The effect on the environment is unknown, but it should be remembered that sea life and fish can be contaminated by radiation, which could concentrate as it moves up the food chain. In a society like Japan, where fish is a larger part of the diet, this could lead to serious health concerns. Additionally, the very presence of radioactive water at Fukushima makes the cleanup around the plant much harder, and endangers crews who are not only trying to remediate the fallout and damaged equipment but prevent further leaks.
The Fukushima leak, at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Reactor, has created a situation where radioactive iodine has gotten into the air and plutonium has gotten into the soil. The reactors, which were damaged in the March 11, 2011 earthquake, are (at the time of this writing) still damaged and some of them may have experienced meltdowns, in addition to the damage to spent fuel storage which led to the exposure of fuel rods. Hydrogen explosions at the reactors have not only damaged the facilities, but have also released radiation.
Outside the #2 reactor, radioactive water leakage has been measured at 1 thousand milliieverts per hour, which is enough to cause radiation sickness. Because of the tsunami damage to Japan's infrastructure, it is unknown where the radioactive water will be stored, and how radioactive contamination will be treated. Currently there is an evacuation zone around the plant, and people have been taking potassium iodide tablets to avoid sickness from the radioactive iodine leak at the Fukushima plant. http://www.npr.org/2011/03/29/134942677/toxic-plutonium-seeping-from-japans-nuclear-plant The plutonium leakage from the Fukushima plant is also troublesome, since this could prevent contaminated farmland from being used again.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: The damage at the Fukushima plant will take years to repair and may reveal the extent of the leakage and radioactive contamination.