NHK made a new discovery about the early hours of the meltdowns at Fukushima. Through discussions and experiments conducted with experts they realized that units 2 and 3 likely received only a fraction of the cooling water injected via fire lines. The fire lines due to the lack of power allowed about half or more of the intended cooling water to instead backflow into the condensers.
TEPCO confirms this in an early report where they noted the condensers were full of water but failed to look into the cause. The small amount of water actually reaching the reactor may not have been enough to slow down a meltdown.
The forests in Japan are contaminated from the disaster. It isn’t just the soil and leaves but the trees themselves. Some have suggested cutting the trees down so they can’t transfer their contamination down into the soil. There is still an outflow of people from the damaged region with most areas having a net loss of population. Many were also forced to take new jobs as displacement and farming issues created wide spread job loss. Most are dissatisfied with those new jobs as they pay far less and many are not rewarding. Certain foods are still being found over the new lower government limit for radiation. Mushrooms and bamboo shoots top the list of most frequently found to be contaminated foods.
Reproductive health is becoming a larger concern as experts worry about the long term impact of radiation exposure. Domestic violence has also increased in the impacted regions of Japan. This is almost expected as stress high among those dealing with the disaster as most remain in some sort of limbo or struggle to get by with little help.
The tsunami debris issue will be a problem that will need to be managed for the next decade. Large objects are already washing up on US and Canadian shores.
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