Magnitude 7 #earthquake near #Fukushima, #Japan

There has been a M7 earthquake just offshore from Fukushima. Fortunately the geometry is not favorable for a tsunami, and it’s somewhat deep at 54km, and about 85km offshore (33 miles deep and 52 miles offshore for those of you still stuck in the Middle Ages). Effects onshore should be power outages (significant outages are being reported) and structure damage to varying degrees in the area marked orange in the map below. But the biggest fear is for the structural integrity of the thousands of tanks of contaminated, radioactive water stored on the site of the former Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Station. Here’s a view from last year showing, well, look for yourself … click to embiggen. Yes, all those round things are full of radioactive water.

Let’s store radioactive water in corroding tanks in an earthquake zone. What could go wrong?

Lots of these tanks are already leaking, and many show signs of structural degradation from the years of holding contaminated water. Subjecting them to MM VII earthquake conditions as happened a couple hours ago is potentially a recipe for disaster. There are no reports from on-site yet, and it’s the middle of the night Japan time (the earthquake was at 11:07 PM, and as I write this it’s only 1am local time so there hasn’t been time to assess the damage). Hopefully this won’t be a big story in the coming days … but it’s a dangerous situation, and with a quake this size there is a strong potential for aftershocks (or even that this is a foreshock of something bigger on the way). Here’s the impact area map …

Economic impact is expected to be around $1 Billion USD – assuming nothing broke that shouldn’t. Which is a big assumption at this point.

1 thought on “Magnitude 7 #earthquake near #Fukushima, #Japan

  1. Pingback: #Fukushima Followup | Enki Research

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