The operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has released 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea, as had been announced on Monday.
The release of water took place Monday and Tuesday at the site, located on the northeast coast of Honshu, the main island of Japan.
The release coincided with statements from the plant's operator saying that radioactive iodine levels were as high as 7.5 million times the legal limit, even before the controlled release, in samples taken from the sea next to the water intake for one of the reactors.
Along with the radioactive iodine-131 isotope, radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137 were also present in concentrations more than 1 million times the allowable limit.
The operator has reportedly taken steps to control the spread of radiation from the intentionally released water, and from the ongoing leaks. However, the source and path of the leaks are not fully understood.
Any radioactive water escaping confinement will be subjected to the pull of ocean currents. Off northeastern Honshu, the foremost current is the southward-flowing Oyashio. This current normally drifts southward to nearly Choshi, on Cape Inubo. Choshi is located about 60 miles east of Tokyo.
Off Cape Inubo, flow of the Oyashio gets shunted eastward by the more powerful Kuroshio, a major current flowing eastward south of Japan, heading for the open Pacific Ocean.
Whatever the consequences stemming from the dumping of the radioactive water, they should be greatest near and immediately down-flow of the nuclear plant. The overwhelming volume of the ocean would increasingly dilute contaminated water with distance from the point of release, eventually lowering radiation levels to those not far from the natural background.
On Monday, it was reported that fish caught off Ibaraki Prefecture, south of the Fukushima site, had an abnormally high concentration of iodine-131.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
As the start of the Major League Baseball regular season approaches, teams have headed to Florida and Arizona for spring training.
The "Beast from the East" will not only bring unusual late-February cold to the United Kingdom next week, but also several opportunities for disruptive snow.
Following a storm that brought snow Thursday night, two more snowstorms are lining up from parts of the central and northern Plains to the Upper Midwest into next week.
Archaeologists with the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, announced the discovery of 300 year-old human remains Monday that may belong to one of the most prominent men from the Golden Age of Piracy, "Black Sam" Bellamy.
The women of cross-country skiing will compete for medals in the 30 km event on Sunday afternoon.
Heavy rain left communities in the central U.S. under water, while Mt. Sinabung erupted and spewed ash more than 100 miles away.
While strong winds and cold dominated weather headlines at PyeongChang, South Korea, during this Winter Olympics, snow is expected during the final weekend of competition.
As winter draws to a close across the United Kingdom, lingering chilly air is set to delay the onset of spring.