Back in 2011, an earthquake followed up by a tsunami had destroyed the Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear plant. The plant had a lot of radioactive materials being processed. The latest survey shows that a lot of the radioactive compounds or waste had managed to leak from the plant. A surprisingly high amount of radioactive waste had seeped into the groundwater near a lot of beaches.
THE AFTERMATH OF THE DISASTER
Even though it has been six years after the disaster in Japan, the Fukushima nuclear reactor ordeal is not yet over. The latest findings have found that a lot of the radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is now found in the Pacific Ocean. Cesium-137 is a radioactive compound that has been found in abundance. It is known to be the main by-product of the nuclear power generation. The radioactive waste is found in the salty water that lies underneath and the sand, beaches that lie at large distances.
On 11th March 2011, a 100-kilometer area around the plant was taken under survey and the scientists detected the level of radioactivity at all the varied eight beaches. The plant got destroyed after an earthquake and tsunami killed its power source.
Even though the normal procedure calls for checking the radioactivity levels in oceans, groundwater and rivers after a nuclear accident, those weren’t the most contaminated one. The astonishing fact was the fact that the brackish groundwater that lay under the beaches consisted of most of the radioactive elements. It was the second highest contaminated source of radioactive elements.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS
After that accident happened in 2011, the sea water was contaminated with Caesium-137 at extremely high amounts. The element is known to be radioactive in nature and is toxic. The elements are said to have moved along the coast to settle down in the beaches and spread out.
The new study author suggests that the caesium elements stick to sand and hence has been able to contaminate the groundwater beneath the beaches. This way, the element is spreading inside the ocean. The reactor site releasing the caesium in the coastal ocean is now equal to that getting released in the ocean by migration itself.
There is no threat to public health since the water isn’t used for drinking purposes. However, there is a burning need for a check on the contamination reservoirs and a check on the factories for safeguarding the future accidents.