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Fukushima fishermen OK plan to divert groundwater into sea

32 Comments

Fishermen working near the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant agreed on Tuesday to allow the release of uncontaminated groundwater around the facility into the ocean, a fisheries union official said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima plant that suffered triple nuclear meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is trying to contain radioactive water at the site. It has lobbied local fishermen to allow a "groundwater bypass" for nearly three years.

TEPCO has built more than 1,000 tanks at the Fukushima plant that hold more than 431,000 tons of radioactive water. Contaminated water accumulates at a rate of 400 tons a day at Fukushima as groundwater flows downhill into the destroyed basements of the reactor buildings and mixes with highly radioactive water used to cool melted fuel. Radioactive water poses a long-term risk to the shutdown of the plant, a task expected to span more than three decades.

TEPCO's bypass will release 100 tons of decontaminated groundwater a day that flows downhill toward the devastated plant and funnel it to the sea before it reaches the reactor buildings.

Both Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency have said controlled release of low-level water should be considered to make storage space at the facility for irradiated water.

Local fisheries unions had been bitterly opposed to TEPCO's proposed bypass after irradiated water leaked from tanks that were just uphill of the proposed groundwater drains last year. The leaks sparked international alarm and led to a boycott of Fukushima seafood by South Korea.

Last year, fishermen requested a third party organization to check radiation levels of groundwater before it is released and any released water to have less than 1 becquerels per liter of Cesium-134, a radioactive element that has a half life of around two years.

The legal limit of releasing Cesium-134 into the ocean is 60 becquerels per liter.

A fishing ban along the coast of Fukushima after the nuclear accident pushed most fishermen out of a job except for occasional work catching certain types of fish deemed safe.

© Japan Today/Thomson Reuters

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
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I wonder how much money changed hands.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

How big we're the bribes? Anyway, fine. Let them approve without the okay of the consumers. But I don't want to hear about any more lawsuits or WHO claims about people or nations that "hurt Japan's feelings" because they ban products from the area or those surrounding. The farmers better have gotten enough to retire, 'cause I certainly am not buying anything labelled "pacific ocean" anymore.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

kawabegawa - you took the words right out of my mouth.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Best part is they are going to the WTO to pressure South Korea to accept their seafood. This will not make their job any easier

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Shilo The waste from Fukushima will be dangerous long after you are gone and will be here for generations to come-the banana comparison is old hat on this forum too....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

uncontaminated groundwater? wishful thinking and a big bribe methinks

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Last year, fishermen requested a third party organization to check radiation levels of groundwater before it is released and any released water to have less than 1 becquerels per liter of Cesium-134

and?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

it's not called a "bribe," peeps. it's called "increased funding to support tohuku."

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Don't eat bananas. Each banana contains 19 Becquerels of potassium which is radioactive. They are taking about 1 Bq per liter.

I would rather eat a banana with 19 Becquerels of potassium 40 plus the guaranteed carbon 14 than one Bq of the radioactive isotopes of plutonium, uranium, cobalt, iodine or strontium.

Did you know there is such a thing as alpha decay and beta decay and their effect on internal tissues is completely different? And even heavy metals that are not radioactive are toxic you know. Just doubly toxic if they are.

You are no physicist and neither am I. Common sense alone should tell you that there must be reasons safety precautions are taken with the wastes of nuclear plants but no general warning against bananas. But if you do a little research using this internet thingy, you will find that the physics and biology involved is actually quite complicated and you are not going to figure it all out by comparing apples to oranges, bananas to contaminated water, or potassium 40 with strontium 90.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"....... is trying to contain radioactive water at the site."

This says it all. And everything else was already written by others, like: "money, bribes and so on".

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Fukushima fishermen OK plan to divert groundwater into sea

Oh, didn't realize the fisherman spoke for the whole of Japan? I guess three years of bribery goes a long way!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No problem. TEPCO is totally reliable.

Totally.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if these fisherman feed any of the items they catch or cultivate from the area to there kids. Most likely send it to other places!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

except for occasional work catching certain types of fish deemed safe.

None for me, thanks. Anyone know which fish these are?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I guess there'll be a shortage of brown paper bags in Fukushima over the next few months. The real question is though, will the fish caught in Fukushima be labeled and tested to will they just be shuffled through the fish markets unscathed?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

as others have said - money speaks...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In true Orwellian doublespeak.....

"Both Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency have said controlled release of low-level water should be considered to make storage space at the facility for irradiated water."

Swopping one batch of irradiated cesium and strontium laden water for another batch of the same....

Still, it's ok because there'll be another 'Eat Fukushima San' at (insert embassy name trade fair etc) hitting the headlines soon.....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Are they still trying to force Korea to buy their contaminated fish thru WTO?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Since I am just as qualified to okay as a fisherman I say pour Sodium Bentonite along with the radioactive water and cement over the coastline till 5 miles out to sea, entomb the sea too

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How dare people suggest bribery! That's not very patriotic. Nigelboy, you tell'em

Gee Pukey2. I'm honored.

Thats a lot of members TEPCO needs to bribe. I'm quite sure these members won't disclose such bribe even if their identities are kept secret. This is a mass scale conspiracy that would no doubt be kept secret even from the environmental watchdogs, media, and the general public.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kurisupisu Yes I agree with you, it will be here for a long time. The article states

Cesium-134, a radioactive element that has a half life of around two years.

But it is Cesium-137, with a half life of 30 years that will be the problem. It is not a good thing what happened. But it must be dealt with. The intention of the banana reference is to explain radiation is not harmful in certain levels. The same as mercury or other hazardous substances.

We could definitely make nuclear safer by recycling spent fuel and prioritizing safety standards over profit.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some really silly conspiracy theories being alluded to in this thread.

Anyone who has actually been following the story knows that the idea is that the ground water is diverted around the plant, so avoiding contamination.

The only other option is to storing ever increasing amounts of water on the site - which is a non-starter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fisherjpjeople accept what? The pacific is ours, or what.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the idea is that the ground water is diverted around the plant, so avoiding contamination.

Can we be sure though, that that is the ONLY idea?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone who has actually been following the story knows that the idea is that the ground water is diverted around the plant, so avoiding contamination.

Star-viking

I believe there are two stages where the groundwater is pumped before it reaches the plant (uncontaminated) which is then released to the ocean and a sub drainage (ground water that escaped through the first pump and reached the plant) water that will be pumped and subsequently decontaminated and released to the ocean. Because of the reduced volume, the decontamination process becomes much easier. That's how I interpret it as.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Banana dose third entry upper left corner: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Radiation_Dose_Chart_by_Xkcd.png

Banana Equivalent Dose: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose

http://www.ianfairlie.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Summing-up-the-Effects-of-the-Fukushima-Nuclear-Disaster-10.pdf

In sum, the human toll from Fukushima is horrendous: 2,000 Japanese people have died from the evacuations and another 5,000 are expected to die from future cancers.

But TEPCO's off the hook and indeed is encouraged to reopen plants, so that's OK, then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" 1 becquerels per liter of Cesium-134, a radioactive element that has a half life of around two years" and the the other half ???

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Here is an idea! How about evaporate the contaminated water! This is the only way to get rid of it instead of moving it around.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks for the detail nigelboy!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

turbotsat

On Fearlie,

http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-fud/ian-fairlie-on-fukushima-errors-and-omissions.html

is untoward assertion that the UNSCEAR estimate of 48,000 person-sievert exposure to Japan over the 80-year period after the Fukushima accident will cause 5,000 future cancer deaths, is little more than an exercise in statistical manipulation and an intentional avoidance of the UNSCEAR conclusion. UNSCEAR said there will be no statistically discernible cancer deaths in Japan due to this nation-wide exposure.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How dare people suggest bribery! That's not very patriotic. Nigelboy, you tell'em

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Please be real. Don't eat bananas. Each banana contains 19 Becquerels of potassium which is radioactive. They are taking about 1 Bq per liter. How much of that is actually going into a fish. Then how much will reach your plate. Please stay with coal which puts mercury into the water. China doesn't even regulate the emissions of gasses stringently as they should. Eat that fish. Let's go with solar. The amount of toxic waste created from the production of photovoltaic cells is terrible. Given the amount of energy that had been created without any kind of environmental concerns compared to the amount of toxic gasses from cars, coal plants, disposal of household waste.

Unless you can find a better solution. Protest things that kill you more. Please write your political representative and make them find a more viable solution.

And don't eat bananas, or fish, drive, take the bus, or fart (as it has methane gas that breaks down the ozone.)

Please be aware that I don't advocate nuclear power or the disposal of radioactive waste. But given the current situation it must go somewhere. And given the current technology, nuclear opposed to fossil fuels is a better alternative when you compare the emmisions per kilowatt, respectively.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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