(NaturalNews) The recent mysterious dumping of more than 200 tons of radioactive water into the basement of a building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has some crying "foul play." New reports suggest that international sabotage may be to blame for the "accidental" spillage, which is prompting calls for new security measures to be implemented at the stricken facility.
The plant's operator told NHK World that the dumping resulted from an alleged "mix-up over switches," which apparently sent the water into the wrong building. Normally, contaminated water at Fukushima is transferred to a special storage container prior to being delivered to a decontamination facility. But in this instance, the water was pumped into an open basement instead.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the Fukushima plant, says it is currently investigating the situation to see what went wrong. Company spokesmen told the media that plant workers may have accidentally redirected the water into the basement when trying to turn on air conditioning units, resulting in four pumps that were supposed to be offline delivering the water to the wrong place.
But there is also the possibility that the incident was a deliberate act of sabotage, something TEPCO officials are considering. The company is currently interviewing plant workers in an attempt to solve this mystery, which is only fueling further contempt from local authorities who have had enough of its mismanagement of the cleanup process.
"Someone did it on purpose," reads an English translation of a recent statement made by a TEPCO worker. "I'm convinced it was intentional."
Earlier contamination incident determined to be intentional
This is a much more likely scenario than the air conditioning excuse given by TEPCO, which is why local nuclear regulation authority commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa is calling for security cameras to be installed at the facility. Fuketa is also calling on TEPCO to come up with other preventive measures to avoid future breaches.
"It is probably not a human error," reads a Twitter "tweet" from the same worker. "In other words, someone did it on purpose."
Based on the immense volume of water dumped into the basement, experts say there is now 10 trillion becquerels per liter (Bq/l) of cesium, strontium and other radioactive materials that need to be remediated. Since the water was directly used to cool the damaged reactors, and had not yet been decontaminated, radiation levels are extremely high.
A similar "error" occurred back in February when more than 100 tons of radioactive water leaked from a containment tank at the site. Reports indicate that the valve responsible for the leak was deliberately opened, affirming the supposition that sabotage may be to blame. However, TEPCO officials claim they have not yet identified the culprit, and not everyone is convinced that malicious intent is to blame.
"I teach root cause analysis of accidents and incidents... [and] I am pretty skeptical that it was done on purpose, that it is the fault of one individual," wrote one ENENews.com commenter about the latest incident.
"The entire system is corrupt- the management plan, the procedures, the training, the supervision, the sharing of information, the risk assessments, the job hazard analyses and personal protective equipment choices, the marking and labeling of hazards, the medical surveillance, the communication of risk, the investigation of on site hazards and accidents... the entire system is a non system."