The aftershock of Japan’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami can still be felt by the continuous cleanup at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two years of nuclear runoff spilling into the ocean have caused environmental activist Joe Martino to warn: “Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.
His choice words on the activist website Collective Evolution are quantified in this infographic compiled by German researchers at GEOMAR. The animation shows the dispersion of Cesium-137, a radioactive byproduct, will reach every corner of the Pacific by the year 2020. (Via GEOMAR)
Martino’s claim comes after the latest numbers by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, show more than 300 tons of contaminated water seep into the Pacific Ocean each day.
NHK News confirms: “A low wall surrounds tanks at reactor No. 4. Workers found a puddle forming just outside it. Officials with Tokyo Electric Power Company says the water in one of the tanks dropped from 1,000 to 700 tons.”
Martino clarifies the severity of the new numbers, saying, “To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945.” (Via Collective Evolution)
March 11, 2013, marked the two-year anniversary of the disaster. And while activists like Martino recount new numbers that continue to grow, other voices like energy consultant Mycle Schneider are asking for a call to action.
On Friday, he wrote in CNN saying even Japan’s top brass see the slow-paced cleanup as “careless” and “shocking.” (Via CNN)
So to save Japan’s coast and fishing community, Schneider says Fukushima “needs international help.” He proposes global liaisons compile a task force to hold Japan accountable for the cleanup.
However, Japan’s domestic problems could also be to blame for standstill. A report Friday from Bloomberg reveals clashes between Japan’s deep fishing culture and TEPCO aren’t making things move faster.
Currently, fishermen are butting heads with the Japanese energy company over a pipeline that could divert inland groundwater away from the Fukushima disaster area. This could possibly cut the amount of contaminated water reaching the Pacific by 25 percent, but Japan’s fisheries have yet to sign off on the deal. They worry the plan will spread radioactive water to clean areas. (Via Bloomberg)
With a limited supply of seafood, no one might hurt more than Japan’s population. The country imports more seafood than any other. Data from the United Nations shows 6 percent of the world’s fish harvest is eaten in Japan. Its citizens make up 2 percent of the global population.