Nuclear Reactors to be Shut Down

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Tokyo’s electric power company, Tepco, have shut down their nuclear reactor system, after making the announcement three weeks ago following the earthquake.

The quake and following tsunami that hit Japan has taken over 11,000 lives since March 11th. Some of these deaths have been caused by radioactivity, which is why the power company was shut down as fast as they could.

Japan cannot just halt their main source of power immediately so the process will be gradual. The Tepco Chairman, Tsunehisa Katsumata, announced that the reactors haven’t yet been cooled, and reactors 1-4 would eventually be shut down completely.

Seawater is being used in efforts to cool the reactors, but this still failed to stop nuclear leaks. The water near the plant has also been hit hard with nuclear radiation, with readings from the shore showing iodine in the water supply at 3,335 times the legal limit.  Iodine has been known to cause thyroid cancer in the past, but ‘only has a half-life of eight days and will have deteriorated considerably by the time it reaches people’ Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of Japan’s nuclear safety agency spoke at a news conference.

The direct source of the leak is unknown, which is why efforts have been maximised to stop any possible place for leaking doing so. As the gradual shutdown of the plants continues, many are searching for other power sources to rebuild Japan upon.

By Alice

Kesteven and Sleaford High School