WOODS HOLE – A Cape Cod-based researcher says leaks continue at the Fukushima power plant site in Japan, five years after a tsunami struck the region and led to a nuclear disaster.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Radiochemist Ken Buesseler says that releases of radioactive cesium from the plant are still not under control, but finds that levels are thousands of times lower than immediately following the accident.
“Levels today off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011,” Buesseler said, “But we are not seeing the steady decrease we would expect to see off Fukushima if all sources had stopped; rather, we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”
Buesseler has conducted seven research trips off the coast of Japan.
Contaminated water in the region, now exceeding 760,000 tons and still growing, has been a major challenge that has distracted from decommissioning the plant. According to the Associated Press, the utility that ran the plant believes it will need an additional four years to battle the leaks.
Content from the Associated Press was used in this report.