by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Section Editor
A power plant in Fukushima that exploded three years ago when Japan was hit by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake then slammed with a tsunami is creating more problems as the years go on.
On the International Nuclear Event Scale, the explosion first started out as a level one incident, which is still pretty serious, but nothing compared to a level seven that can cause major health issues. However, now Fukushima is ranked as a level three, which means that the nuclear power plant is a serious incident with no safety provisions remaining.
Last month, Japanese government officials admitted to the public that 300 tons of radioactive water containing cesium, one of the most dangerous radioactive elements, has been contaminating the ocean over the past few months, harming marine life.
Scientists estimate that the traveling radioactivity will most likely hit the shores of Oregon, Washington and Canada early next year. Since the flow of the water cannot be stopped, the radioactivity will then move to Hawaii, North America, South America, and Australia in several decades.
“It’s upsetting that a problem that could have been easily fixed by time management, escalated into something huge, especially since our food could be exposed to harsh chemicals that could end up killing us,” says senior Kaitlin Grassi.
Since marine life will be effected sooner or later, the government should start looking into monitoring foods that comes from Japan or the ocean to avoid any future accidents.
Another impending problem is radioactivity affecting Tokyo, who is hosting the 2020 Olympics. Many athletes who trained most of their lives for the Olympics, as well as visitors from all over the world, could easily get sick from radioactivity in air, food or water.
Most of the money relegated for the Olympics is going toward housing those athletes and constructing stadiums, even though 160,000 Fukushima refugees are still living in shacks, and many still live in highly radioactive zones.
“I always enjoy watching the summer Olympics when it comes around; however, I will be disappointed if my favorite athletes can’t compete in one of their routines because they’re sick from radiation in the air or food,” says senior Bryanna Rutzler.
After a two-year delay, the Tokyo Power Electric Company (TEPCO) has finally started to construct chemical blockades in the ground along the coast to stop any possible leaks.
The Japanese government announced earlier this month that it would contribute $470 million to build an underground ice reactor and turbine buildings to develop an advanced water treatment system, but that will not be completed until 2015.