It will be 300 years until the radioactive effects of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan nearly two and half years ago, go away.
The calamity knocked out power to the plant, sending its three active reactors spiraling out of control.
Since then, 400 metric tons of water a day is still being used to cool the melted fuel cores.
UC Davis Emeritus Professor Dr. Marvin Goldman says radioactive elements of concern include: radioactive strontium, which behaves like calcium and concentrates in bone; and cesium, a potassium-like chemical element that targets muscle tissue.
Traces have shown up in area fish. But the further away, the effects aren’t as strong.
The Japanese nuclear regulation authority said eventually contaminated water will have to be discharged into the sea.
More troubling is another 400 tons a day of groundwater flows down from the hills into the compound and toward the sea.
Dr. Goldman compares that to an Olympic-sized swimming pool, leaking out of that reactor once a week for some time to come.
But he says not to worry.
“If you talk about an Olympic-sized swimming pool, imagine how many Olympic-sized swimming pools are there in the Pacific Ocean? Even my 300 year story, it’s so dilute,” Goldman said. “It couldn’t even raise the radiation level you and I get each day in our body.”