There are many odd things in the reporting on Fukushima Daiichi. Let us just take the current news, like this gem in the Guardian, on the “Emergency” declared in Fukushima Daiichi.
The important bit is at the very end.
Tepco said on Monday that caesium levels at an observation post 53 metres from the sea had jumped in the past week. Readings for caesium-134 were almost 15 times higher at 310 becquerels a litre.
Caesium-137, with a half-life of 30 years, was also 15 times higher than it had been five days ago at 650 becquerels a litre. A much larger spike in radioactive caesium in July in a different well led to Tepco overturning months of denials and admitting that radioactive water had been leaking into the sea.
1000Bq per litre is five times the allowable limit for drinking water in Japan. Now anybody please tell me, why is this an “emergency”? In the article Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) taskforce, complains that Tepco’s “sense of crisis is weak”. And rightfully so!
Fukushima Daiichi is not – trust me on this – Fukushima Daiiichi is not considered to be a drinking water reservoir. And it never has been. Honestly. Even the most fervent antinuclear activist must cede this point.
So why should it bother you, that the water under a nuclear power plant that suffered major (though completely avoidable und unnecessary) damage after being hit by a tsunami has 5 times more Cesium activity than is allowed for drinking water? Especially why is this considered to be an emergency?
Sure, if this was a major reservoir providing drinking water for the population – I would agree. And I’m sure that “Tepco’s sense of crisis” would live up to it. But the “emergency” consists in this almost-fit-to-drink water entering the ocean where it would immediately be diluted by a colossally large amount of water that is so much more than 5 times the amount of water leaking from soil, that any talk of an “emergency” is what is technically called “batshit insane crazy talk”.