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8 years on, contaminated water remains big problem for Fukushima clean-up

28 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka

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Many local residents hope TEPCO will just keep storing the water. If it does get released into the ocean, "everyone would sink into depression," said fishing trawler captain Koichi Matsumoto.

I really do feel for these people, but how many tanks can you build? Something has to give. Fukushima has become the victim of the perfect storm of nature’s fury, human error, corporate buckpassing, government ineptness, misinformation on all sides and a culture that struggles to communicate and have the hard conversations in an honest , pragmatic way. Very sad for these victims. Their nightmare just doesn’t end.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Those tanks were only designed to be temporary and last for five years the salt from the sea has already corroded many of the fittings that were not made in marine grade stainless steel due to trying to save money.

Its absolutely disgsting that cost is a determining factor for this clean up. It needs to be dealt with properly and quickly regardless of the cost. They have been dithering around and teeth sucking about this problem since day one and they stil do not have a solution. This amount of stored water is growing daily and they have admitted they are running out of space to store it. Releasing the water into the ocean is a viable option IF the water only contains tritium. Tritium is irradiated hydrogen and extremely difficult to remove from water although, some researchers have been able to remove it from small amounts of water, but not from a million tons of tainted water (and growing daily). Tritium is a light isotope and will disperse into the ocean with minimal environmental impact. However, these idiots at TEPCO didn’t even clean the water properly before they started storing it. It still contains many of the most deadly isotopes. If there is another tsunami or strong earthquake that results in the release of this water it will be the world’s worst nuclear disaster and could taint hundreds of kilometers of the Japanese east coast. It would seem that Abe was lying when he told the IOC that, “Fukushima is under control.” It is far from under control!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The tanks have a recommended lifespan of 5 years. Now there is a new problem with sulphuric acid being produced in them. The filter system only removes some iodizing radionuclides.

the sea around daiichi NPP is around 50,000bq.

Fisherman should give up and move away to Hokkaido or the other side, or become farmers. There is no hope left.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

*8 years on, contaminated water remains big problem for Fukushima clean-up*

Big ? Maybe very big or enormous, huge problem ?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In a country with daily almost daily earthquakes, nuclear power makes no sense whatsoever. There are plenty of other ways. Solar, wind, tidal. Why not use them?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

8 years on, contaminated water remains big problem for Fukushima clean-up

Yet millions are being wasted on the 5 ring circus. Go figure that one out.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Every LDP MP who supports nuclear should have to take one home

8 ( +9 / -1 )

People should have all be evacuated into other prefectures and the area blocked off for 200 years with only technicians allowed in for containment management

It's going to pollute the water table and ocean for generations eventually

6 ( +7 / -1 )

8 years on, continued leaks of irradiated water, lack of ability to repair failed reactors, and a complete lack of transparency and honesty on the part of the parties responsible remains big problem for the global environment...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

factcheckerToday 09:23 am JST

8 years on, contaminated water remains big problem for Fukushima clean-up

Yet millions are being wasted on the 5 ring circus. Go figure that one out.

Right on.

The Olympics dedicated to Tohoku's recovery.

Diverting US$billions upon billions away from helping the people of Tohoku who are still suffering.

And Abe had the gall on Friday to visit the area and bleat out "we will work harder for the suffering people".

A great foto-op with old folks bowing to and thanking him.

Meanwhile Rome (ala Fukishima) is Burning.

While we need some joy in our lives, free from depressing news, the on-going Fukushima tragedy/debacle should be in the main-stream media constantly. Deep reporting, explanations, monies spent, companies inviolved, real progress to date etc should never be far from the print and digital media.

A full weekly summary would be the minimum required to openly inform the people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I wonder, cant we make some closed space into the deep sea to store this water.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@browny1 - deep reporting, explanations, monies spent, companies inviolved, real progress to date etc should never be far from the print and digital media.

That will only happen in a few outlets.

Follow the trail of the billions of yen of advertising money paid by TEPCO to the media, through one of the biggest agencies (D....u), and you'll realise why there is very little critical, detailed reporting. The former owner of Yomiuri newspaper Matsutarō Shōriki was the de facto instigator of nuclear power in Japan, chairman of the first Atomic Energy Commission, and heavily supported by the USA. It's all documented and published. His legacy lives on their group.

The media are not going to bite the hand that feeds them billions in advertising fees.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Fukushima debacle sums up everything that is wrong with Japan: cronyism, obfuscation, deceit, a populace lied to and going along with it all, sweeping things under the carpet, ineptitude by the governmnet, bullying of anyone questioning things, and let's not forget that no one has gone to jail at TEPCO and no proper compensation paid yet , no one has been sued either..... incredible...

Japan should never have been given the Olympics, all based on lies.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yet millions are being wasted on the 5 ring circus. Go figure that one out.

yes greed, corruption and a complete disdain of the populace. Abe and his cronies couldnt give a damn about the people of Fukushima..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Like I have been saying since the beginning this stored water WILL end up in the ocean no matter what anyone says!! Mother nature will ENSURE it DOES!!

Reality needs to start kicking in wrt to 3/11 its been 8 bloody years & stupidity & idiocy remain the norm mostly.

I feel for the fishermen etc BUT this water MUST be processed as best it can & BE RELEASED into the ocean, THAT...……...sadly IS the only option available.

It SUCKS but it is the truth...…….sadly, carry on!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The rational solution is to run a second cleansing through ALPS and then disperse the remaining water with tritium traces in the ocean. This will have none or minimal impact on the environment. The problem does not lies in danger of contaminated catches, but as always peoples perception of danger. Which as also in most cases are scientifically unfounded and exaggerated by fear mongers with own agendas, or simply ignorant or with confirmation biases.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The tsunami and subsequent (manmade) meltdowns were a disaster. However, the way this clean up is being handled is a catastrophe in the making!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"But after newspaper reports last year questioned the effectiveness of ALPS-processed water, TEPCO acknowledged that strontium-90 and other radioactive elements remained in many of the tanks."

Note that there are no statistics about how much strontium-90 and how much and the make up of the "other radioactive elements", so we are still left in the glowing dark.

TEPCO only admitted to this after being caught out by unnamed investigative journalists from an unnamed newspaper source. TEPCO surely knew claiming the water was tainted with the relatively innocuous Tritium. And that, folks and fishermen, is why the public "understands" the Fukushima situation is not under control and TEPCO is not to be trusted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

TEPCO surely knew claiming the water was tainted with the relatively innocuous Tritium. = TEPCO surely knew claiming the water was tainted with the relatively innocuous Tritium was highly misleading.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some years ago I was big fan of nuclear power, but seeing and reading these articles on FNPP, The benefits are out weighed by the cost of making a power station, the cost of decommissioning it and not only that the health implications for the workers who take them apart, and the major factor is what to do with all of this highly radio active waste. so am I still a big fan? no way! not now. I still look at what happened in Chernobyl in 86 and that's still a mess.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yet millions are being wasted on the 5 ring circus. Go figure that one out.

Could not agree more. Solving the Fukushima issue should have priority over the massively expensive short-term 5 ring circus.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

brian weeaway:

Some years ago I was big fan of nuclear power, but seeing and reading these articles on FNPP, The benefits are out weighed by the cost of making a power station, the cost of decommissioning it and not only that the health implications for the workers who take them apart, and the major factor is what to do with all of this highly radio active waste. so am I still a big fan? no way! not now.

With 4th generation technology, that is not issue any more. Your thinking is like complaining about the problems with horse-drawn carriages.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-but I thought it was safe, cheap, and environmentally friendly?

Gotta love how Tokyo uses this disaster to secure the Olympics, then uses the money for the disaster for the Olympics instead of securing the disaster.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Even if it is for 123 years at least some are getting to the bottom of the problem, and working toward making the area safe again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr Takenaka believes this to be a ‘fresh obstacle’ -it is not.

Where to store radioactive material in Japan?

The damaged plants are being cooled with water which runs off, here and there.

Everyday large quantities are released into the sea, only a small amount is captured.

As GW points out, most of it will be released into the sea where the environment will suffer.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I sent TEPCO the solution to this problem about 4 years ago. They would not even meet with me so I could explain all the details and provide evidence that it works.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And this is why the former occupants of this New Chernobyl should not be cajoled into returning here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you buy a water purifier and fix it to your kitchen faucet or tap, you will get cleaner water. Gradually however, the filter will get clogged and work less effectively. For this there are replacement filters. Each household will have a different policy on when to change the filter. If the filters are expensive, then many people will keep the old one going for longer, or... forever. Household economics and human nature at work.

The article states: TEPCO said the problems occurred because absorbent materials in the equipment had not been changed frequently enough.

As with the mushrooming proliferation of extra small tanks, another example of too little, too late?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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