Some experts believe Japan’s nuclear disaster could become worse than Chernobyl.
Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was heavily damaged by the tsunami from the massive March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake continues to spread extremely high levels of radiation into the ocean, ground, and air.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the company that operates the plant, said on April 5 that radioactive iodine-131 readings taken from seawater near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor reached 7.5 million times the legal limit. The sample that yielded this reading was taken just before Tepco began releasing more than 11,000 tonnes of radioactive water into the sea.
The radioactive water discharged into the Pacific has prompted experts to sound the alarm, as cesium, which has a much longer half-life than iodine, is expected to concentrate in the upper food chain.
“The situation is very concerning,” Dr MV Ramana, a physicist specialising in issues of nuclear safety with the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University told Al Jazeera, “They are finding it very difficult to stabilize the situation.”