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Experts: 'Massive Problem' At Fukushima As TEPCO Tries To Downplay Extent Of Contamination

As I've pointed out before: If we're going to have nuclear energy, it needs to be a government utility, run by people whose main concern is safety - lying and covering-up to maintain corporate profits. Every step of the way, when confronted with

As I've pointed out before: If we're going to have nuclear energy, it needs to be a government utility, run by people whose main concern is safety - not lying and covering up to maintain corporate profits. Every step of the way, when confronted with a potential problem, TEPCO took the cheapest, most profitable path instead of worrying about long-term risk, just as we've seen so many companies do. We have the Gulf Coast as only the most recent example:

As a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled nuclear plant today, academics warn the company has failed to disclose the scale of radiation leaks and faces a “massive problem” with contaminated water.

The utility known as Tepco has been pumping cooling water into the three reactors that melted down after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. By May 18, almost 100,000 tons of radioactive water had leaked into basements and other areas of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. The volume of radiated water may double by the end of December and will cost 42 billion yen ($518 million) to decontaminate, according to Tepco’s estimates.

“Contaminated water is increasing and this is a massive problem,” Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University, said by phone. “They need to find a place to store the contaminated water and they need to guarantee it won’t go into the soil.”

The 18-member IAEA team, led by the U.K.’s head nuclear safety inspector, Mike Weightman, is visiting the Fukushima reactors to investigate the accident and the response. Tepco and Japan’s nuclear regulators haven’t updated the total radiation leakage from the plant since April 12.

Tepco has been withholding data on radiation from Dai-Ichi, Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Japan’s prime minister, said at a press briefing today. Hosono said he ordered the utility to check for any data it hasn’t disclosed and release the material as soon as possible.

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