Einsteinium on the Beach: Japan’s nuke crisis spreads to ocean
Plutonium* has escaped the fuel rods in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and has now been found on the beach adjacent.
Workers are struggling to keep radioactive wastewater from reaching the ocean, where radiation has already begun to spread. Rumor has it that the Japanese government is so frustrated with the performance of TEPCO, the power company responsible, that it's considering temporarily nationalizing it.
Meanwhile, workers at the plant have to continuously douse the reactor cores and fuel rods with water, while simultaneously figuring out how to contain and dispose of the cooling water once it’s irradiated. If they don't continue to douse the reactors, there could be a full meltdown, yet continuing to do so could only exacerbate the risk of contamination in the immediate area.
*Yes, we're aware that Einsteinium is only produced in a few dedicated nuclear reactors. Blame Philip Glass.
US experts: significant water contamination in Japan, Reuters.