|Photograph allegedly showing the sea boiling near Fukushima nuclear plant.|
A troubling new report coming from the crippled Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan has revealed that radiation levels around its cooling tanks are up to 18 times worse than previously thought—high enough to kill a person within four hours of being exposed, the BBC is now reporting.
Although most of the world at large has completely forgotten about the nuclear accident—the worst in global history—the area around the plant has been shut off with only plant personnel given access to the highly radioactive zone. The plant was severely damaged in the March 11, 2011 earthquake—a 9.0 on the Richter scale and the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and went into a full-scale meltdown after a ten-meter high tsunami swept across the region, causing at least one of the reactors to explode and damaging three others.
A disturbing photograph—allegedly taken within the last week—claims to show the ocean by the plant is boiling, possibly from the intensely hot waters poured into the remaining reactors to keep them from overheating. Although there is no confirmation that this photograph is accurate or taken recently, TEPCO, the agency responsible for the plant clean-up, maintains that the area is stable and under complete control. Independent corroboration is not possible, due to the zone being restricted with only government approved workers given access to the area. All workers must sign non-disclosure agreements regarding their work at the plant.
Another alarming report is claiming the radioactive waters that have already leaked from the reactor—estimated at more than 300 tons of radioactive material, will begin to reach the West Coast of North America early in 2014 and peak by late 2016. Officials insist that the radioactive materials from the water will be diluted to "safe levels" by the time they reach the highly populated region.