In 2011, Japan’s nuclear regulator raised the risk level of a sustained radioactive leak from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to level 7 (out of 7). A storage tank has leaked 300 tons of radioactive water into the ground, officials said Tuesday (August 2013).
Here are five things to know about the Fukushima radiation leak and related investments:
1. Uranium investors are harmed:
The price per ton of uranium has been falling since the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011, taking a toll on anyone investing in uranium stocks. The shutdown of most of Germany’s nuclear reactors has pushed demand for uranium to further lows.
How much radioactive material from Fukushima leaked into the ocean?
Scientists have measured between 5,000 and 15,000 terabecquerels of radioactive material entering the oceans in 2011. The greatest threat comes from the radionuclide cesium. The radionuclides strontium and tritium pose a greater threat from leakage into the ground because cesium is absorbed by the soil while the other two do not.
A terabecquerel is 1 trillion becquerels, defined as the radioactive decay of one atomic nucleus per second; a sievert is a unit of biological radiation dose, equivalent to approximately 50,000 frontal chest x-rays.
2) Nuclear utility investors hurt:
Over the past five years, investors in nuclear facilities have enjoyed solid returns on their investments, typically in the range of 10% to 12% per annum. The Fukushima incident has severely damaged these investments, many of which have fallen by 30% to 50%. If they do, it could take years to recover. Some investors sell stocks at a loss, move on to other investments and try to start over.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) estimates that between 30 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have so far leaked into the ocean, polluting it for years, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported.
In 2013, the damaged factory was still leaking about 300 tons of water containing these radionuclides into the ocean every day, Japanese officials said. This massive amount of radiation is poisoning the entire Pacific Ocean, on which more than two million fishermen depend for their livelihoods and their families.
3) The livelihood of fishermen is destroyed:
The fishing livelihoods of millions of fishermen from the west coast of the United States, the west coast of Mexico, Japan, South Korea, the east coast of China, the west coast of Canada and the coasts of Alaska have been severely damaged. Japan’s massive radiation poisoning into the Pacific. Most of these fishermen put their lives into fishing and invested thousands of dollars in their boats and are now suffering huge loss of income and money, unable to pay the bank for their fishing boats. Many declared bankruptcy and took part-time jobs on land to make ends meet. Fishing in the Pacific Ocean, a once billion-dollar-a-year industry that has wiped out millions of fishing families, is a truly terrifying development. Japanese fishermen who followed their fathers in the fishing trade lost their lives due to the great poison of the sea around Japan.
How will radioactive material affect marine life?
Groundwater leaks could get worse, US scientists say. Nicholas Fisher, a marine biologist at Stony Brook University in New York, told Live Science in a previous article.But in the area, yes, the local seafood is probably contaminated enough so It is not wise to eat that kind of seafood,Fisher said.
3) Forcing fishermen to stop investing:
The fisherman’s family now does not have any additional funds for other investments such as gold, silver or stocks. Some have lost the house they have called home for the past 5 to 10 years due to mortgage defaults, a situation that has caused family displacement, depression and resulted in divorce. Christmas celebrations have been bleak as families struggle to put enough food on the table each week. In some families, parents are forced to take money out of their retirement accounts to help support the family.
4) Play the lottery:
With desperation constantly tormenting them, some fishermen set aside a few dollars a week to wager on their state lottery, praying and hoping to hit the jackpot and keep their families out of financial trouble. It’s a slim chance, but someone hits the jackpot every week, so more people keep playing the lottery to chase the one-in-a-million odds, even if it takes away from their bigger budgets.
5) Millions of farmers lose money from contaminated crops:
Farmers in Japan have suffered greatly, and most of their crops have been tested for radiation and are unfit for market. In the largest growing region in the United States, central California’s famed San Joaquin Valley, farmers have had to spend thousands of dollars per farm to implement conservation strategies to protect and clean their produce from any residual radiation particles. Dairy farms in Hawaii, the western US and Canada have found radiation particles in their milk and have been forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk. These farmers work hard every month to grow crops that are free from contamination. So the time and money they put into the farm is now questionable if the return on crop benefits outweighs the annual expenses. Some have turned to growing crops in indoor greenhouses, which provide a level of protection. Still, tiny particles of radiation can get into water sources and be absorbed by plants in greenhouses, so the problem remains. Many of these farmers are now struggling to pay mortgages on their farms and ranches and pay hired workers. Only time will tell how badly this radiation contamination affects the millions of people living near the Pacific Ocean.