Briefing: The Fukushima Daiichi Accident

出版物 - 2016-02-25
Current status and marine impacts -February 2016


The March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident led to the largest single release of radioactivity into the marine environment in history. In addition to the massive releases directly to the atmosphere, which deposited over a vast area of the North Pacific Ocean. Uncontrolled releases of radioactively contaminated water have entered into the ocean every day for nearly five years. The water crisis at Fukushima Daiichi was created in the first hours of the accident by the desperate need to maintain some cooling function for the hundreds of tons of reactor core fuel in units 1, 2 and 3, and the four spent fuel pools. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) opted to pump hundreds of tons of sea water in a desperate but doomed attempt to prevent multiple reactor core meltdown. In the five years since 2011, over one million tons of water has been pumped into the reactor cores of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. As a consequence, the Fukushima nuclear accident has created a radioactive water crisis unique in its scale and complexity, and with no prospects for a safe and effective solution in the coming years. 

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