I’ll echo Boing Boing’s thoughts on this story: This is no joke. Apparently a series of preventative polymeric water absorbent dams (the diaper-like material) have been unable to stop radioactive water from leaking into the Pacific Ocean.
The situation sounds disastrous, with little if any of the contaminated water being absorbed by the super-absorbant material:
Engineers put 8 kilograms of the polymeric water absorbent together with 60 kilograms of sawdust and three bags of shredded newspaper into pipes leading to a pit connected to the No. 2 reactor building where a 20-centimeter crack has been found to be leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the agency said.
However, those materials injected at a point 23 meters away from the seaside pit have not been sucked into the water flow, leaving no impact on the rate of leakage, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the governmental Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.