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Nuclear plant must release contaminated water

71 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Massive amounts that add up to a drop in the ocean and relatively harmless? Or a toxic substance that effectively means we are poisoning ourselves?

If you talk to different people they tell you different things, so whats a fella to do?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Did anyone else expect to hear anything different from someone in his position who has to toe the party line?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Another old man who wants to (try to) make profit without considering consequences.

Yes, we (NO!!! THEY) are going to poison us, but do they care? I don't think so!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

"People be damned, we need profits again". Isn't that what got TEPCO into trouble in the first place?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The smell of bombast in the morning, smells like arrogance.

More stupidity will equal more disaster, this guy has the recipe.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Wow, the absolute blindness of this is beyond anything I’ve read for quite some time. No remorse, no regret no understanding or insight. The boomers have to be stopped. They’ll be the death of us all with their ‘Magic Atom’.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

How about these fat cats from tepco store this water at their houses then they will have a lifetime supply.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Between more money & people's safety plus environmental health, Kawamura has chosen money. Appointing a business capitalist to resolve an environmental crisis is basically getting a Square Peg to fix a Round Hole. Fukushima nuclear crisis Chairman needs to be replaced by an environment/nuclear expert.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I'm not a scientist so my question my be stupid....Can the contaminated water be frozen and then shot into space where it will remain frozen forever?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sam.

Could be done, needs a LOT of freezers and Hundreds if not more rockets just for the current amount, more is being generated right now.

Add in time to build and finance all of it.

Article states that the IAEA agrees with the release.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

TREATED CONTAMINATED WATER = UNTREATED

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If he guarantees, in writing, legally, that he and his family will eat only from the waters and land around areas affected by the release, and nothing else, I'd think about it.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

You have to wonder how these jokers will go down in history. Fukushima is a disaster on so many levels, yet will they learn?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So he's concerned that no profit is being made and is all too ready to blame the facility. Yet he failed to question the government on the missing billions in donations that have never been seen since being received. Nor did he question when those in temporary government housing, for 6 years, will be given insurance money and a new home.

Darn those pesky profits.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Even if he doesn't get his way, be on the lookout for a headline soon, alerting us of another 'accidental spill' .

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tritium cannot be removed. Keep it. Now you just need deuterium for a fusion reactor.

Ahhh... If only we had he technology...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These 770,000 tons of treated water are truly a drop in the ocean. Real eased gradually, they pose no treat to human or fish health. Let's advance from blame-throwing to solution-finding. Off course TEPCO needs to keep going and earn money, else all you Tokyo-dwellers would have no power to post your nagging. Go Tepco, go Kawamura. You are doing the right thing!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

So business as usual then at J..ltd

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"I'm not a scientist so my question my be stupid....Can the contaminated water be frozen and then shot into space where it will remain frozen forever?"

A million times no. It costs roughly $1000 per lb to send something to outer space. We are talking 770,000 metric tons of water. It would cost more money than the entire world has combined. Like the man said. Overall, its not much radiation. Its just a lot of water.

The same goes for nuclear waste. Its too dangerous to send into space. If their is an accident it will send waste raining down into the atmosphere, which did indeed happen. Its one reason why we no longer send nuclear reactors into space (we do send different nuclear material into space, but its much safer, they are Thermoelectric Generators, like the mars rovers use). Back in the day Russia TRIED sending up a few reactors and one failed spectacularly and it rained radiation over much of northern Canda. Kosmos 954

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you talk to different people they tell you different things, so whats a fella to do?

Your own research.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why not use one of the traditional dumping grounds for nuclear waste? Like off the coast of Somalia. "What they don't know won't hurt them." (sarcasm)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Gotta make the money!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He should be jailed for this

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What if nuclear waste (which, unlike nuclear bomb attacks, is inevitable unless one renounces nuke power plants) proves more deadly for future generations than nuke bombs themselves? Storing it (at any expense) remains a headache for the land-rich USA, much more for Japan. The USA also stores those gruesome weapons whose deterrent effect is as nonexistent as the death penalty. They say criminals do not believe they will be caught (hence are not deterred by Draconian laws). Similarly, No. Korea and others do not believe they will be nuked prior to winning with their own set. See the article today in Japan Today on the NNPT (nuke non-proliferation treaty) for another argument against the theory of deterrence. Finally, let's face it: nuke power plants are not really good ecologically or even economically; they just enable the US and others to build bombs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

TEPCO has not removed one milligram of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel from three Meltdowns; Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3 Fukushima Daiichi in over 6 years. 200,000 Metric Tons waiting to be removed. Three Mile Island began removing Metric Tons of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel within months of meltdown and was finished within 7 years. Why does Japan allow TEPCO to delay removal of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Takashi Kawamura, an engineer-turned-business leader who previously headed Hitachi's transformation into a global conglomerate, is in charge of reviving TEPCO and leading the cleanup at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant.

This guy is being given too much credit when he does not deserve one, Hitachi was already a global

conglomerate long before he headed the company.

In charge of reviving TEPCO ? the fellow who wrote this article must be under Kawamura's payroll

Taxpayers are reviving Tepco and not Kawamura or any other exec.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In 250,000 years this will be a non-issue and people will forget about it!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You do not sh*t where you eat.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This was an inevitable event due to TEPCO's incompetence in dealing with this water. They have been sitting on it with no effort put into finding a suitable solution for this contaminated waste and now, they have no choice than to dump it into the Pacific. This news is going to cause a huge international outcry when it hits the international news.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The guy in other media has already said, "The decisions's already been made," in a condescending voice to the media, like it's any of their concern, right to worry, or as if they had the power or guts to do anything about it. He had no reply to the fisherman concerned about how it will affect their business, and I'm sorry, but nations should be reimplementing bans in all areas where dumping occurs, with compensation added to TEPCO's list (they'll ignore it, but still).

the nerve of this guy, this company, the government, and the shills who pedal nuclear power as safe, friendly, and cheap!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I wonder if there would be any measurable effect if this contaminated water was dumped in the remotest part of the Pacific Ocean? Or perhaps, put into containers (or an old tanker) and sunk in the Marianas Trench?

The Pacific is vast and this is a relatively small amount of water.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And so it begins.........Death to the ocean. Hey Japan cannot blame Mother Nature for that one!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese business men have no business doing business. They always seem to do amazing research, discussions, charting, high tech wizardry.........then take the easy way out.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This called for reverse osmosis plus cultivating algae for the brine water to remove radioactivity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They're going to cry foul when businesses ban imports from Japan again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a joke, these guys shouldn't be allowed to make a profit. The "construction" companies are dragging their feet for the payout..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@PersonIamnow:

Massive amounts that add up to a drop in the ocean and relatively harmless?

Actually, yes. Look up the concept of "dilution" and look at the numbers. There is no there there.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

some time ago I was all for nuclear power, BUT, not now I can see the cost to build these plant is expensive, but whilst there running they are cheap, but when it come to decommissioning them they are ludicrously expensive to dismantle, so looking at the over all cost, its not cheap power, but to boot were left with thousands of tonnes of radioactive spoil, and that when it comes to the environment is not acceptable at any price. god knows how long its going to take to dismantle FDI plant, and what the final cost will be to the environment and human cost. I hope that this a lesson the whole world can learn from and that NOT to build any more nuke power plants

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Massive amounts that add up to a drop in the ocean and relatively harmless? Or a toxic substance that effectively means we are poisoning ourselves?

If you talk to different people they tell you different things, so whats a fella to do?

Read the science for yourself and realize there is already naturally many millions time more tritium in the oceans than the amount in storage.

200,000 Metric Tons waiting to be removed.

No where near 200,000 metric tons. Depending on how much other material has been melted into the fuel, the number is probably less than 500. TMI, which some people like to use for comparison had less than 100 metric tons or melted fuel.

began removing Metric Tons of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel within months of meltdown and was finished within 7 years.

Yes, and they didn't have 3 reactors to deal with, or the whole site being contaminated, or hundreds of tons of groundwater to treat, or the decontamination of the surrounding countryside.

Why does Japan allow TEPCO to delay removal of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel?

Fukushima is not TMI. The conditions at the sites are so completely different as to make any comparison almost inane.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why not transport the contaminated water into the driest desserts in the world? Nothing grows there so nothing can be contaminated that will enter the food chain?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Deserts or Desserts?

Like most other suggestions not realistic or feasible, real life Vs Hollyweird thinking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dom Palmer: "Read the science for yourself and realize there is already naturally many millions time more tritium in the oceans than the amount in storage."

Ah, phew! So, it's okay to dump MORE into them!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

they pose no treat to human or fish health

Just curious since it seems you know more about this than me, what about the phytoplankton, kelp, and algal plankton?

They die, we all die. Right?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Fizzbit:

But they don´t die. And yes we all die eventually, but not because of the release of a tiny amount of isotopes in the ocean.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

But they don´t die.

Sorry, didn't mean to imply they would. Just asking.

Regardless of the release, if for some other reason the phytoplankton, kelp, and algal plankton die off, we're next. That's all I meant. But thanks for the answer. Just how sure are you it won't effect them? The dilution theory that others are saying?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Can't expect Kawamura to say anything else:

Kawamura says he believes nuclear power is still a viable business and one that will continue to be vital for Japan's energy security, despite the extra costs from stricter post-Fukushima safety requirements and the cost of processing spent fuel and waste.

Do these idiots really want to go through all of this again?

The pathetic irony is that the whole Fukushima debacle did not happen from direct human error, rather act of god so to speak. BUT IT STILL BLOODY HAPPENED.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I know plenty of pollution gets dumped in the environment worldwide, but I don't like to see people being so blase about it.

I don't like to see people being blase, i.e., "of course Japan has to have nuclear" about Japan's energy situation either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Folks like Dom and Willib are correct. The tanks appear to contain in total under 4 PBq/ltr of tritium. Some quick googling has taught me that the annual safe limit of tritium radioactivity in drinking water in Canada, to use a country with perhaps the lowest limit, is 20 PBq/ltr annually. It's already a trivial amount, and even more so considering the scale of the ocean. And oceans have water and currents, which are fantastic at dilution - deserts not so much, and as folks have pointed out shooting it into space is economically unfeasible (and absolutely unnecessary).

But the media uses language along the lines of contaminated water measuring 770k tons, knowing it sounds scary and that no one is going to think rationally and do some research. Don't call out the jgov for North Korea fear mongering if you fall victim to the same fear mongering yourself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fukushima nuclear disaster and radiation leaks is "not yet under control".

Yomiuri newspaper who support Abe government have insisted that 100 msv/year is safe.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Where are all the nuclear fan boys to tell us how safe and brilliant nuclear power is? What an utter disgrace Fukushima is. An ongoing massive embarrassment to Japan and should be the catalyst that ends nuclear power production across the globe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We know these thousands of tanks were made as a desperate temporary attempt to store the tons of tainted water being generated in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami. They were thrown together in a hurry, and never expected to last long.

Headline quote: "Nuclear plant must release contaminated water"

And there it is. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"hree Mile Island began removing Metric Tons of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel within months of meltdown and was finished within 7 years. Why does Japan allow TEPCO to delay removal of Melted Nuclear Reactor Fuel?"

Its not that simple at all. Three mile island was like a tiny zit. Chernobyl was like the flu and Fukushima is like cancer.

Chernobyl is only HALF way finished with the clean up and decommission and its been 30 years. The new dome they put on it Chernobyl only marks the halfway point.

Fukushima is worse for one main reason, and a good one. Safety precautions. Russia sent hundreds of people to their death to being clean up. They just jumped right in head first send people in. Japan and the rest of the world now has MUCH MUCH stricter safety regulations which is slowing things to a crawl. But I 100% agree in that they need to get their butt moving. While they have more precautions to take, it seems they have spent 6 years doing nothing but walking circles about this thing with ZERO plans on how to procedure. Even once they do we are looking at 50 years at least until Fukushima is decommissioned, cleaned up, and put behind us.

and BTW I love how whenever I post FACTS, not opinions, of things that can easily googled and verified like my above comment and this one people still downvote me. Lovely people. Really.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The unfortunate problem here on Earth is that Humans are destroying this "wonderful Place" through contamination. When are Humans going to wake up and admit there are too many of us this Planet?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Near to 97 million gallons of tritium ( hot radioactive ) water is to be released into the pacific. To combine with the leaked, spilled, dumped and discharged radioactive water the has been put into the pacific ocean for the past 6 years from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Meltdowns....... Why even say anything about the discharge until after it is done... like every other time....... No thought to the environment or the health of the people affected by all of the aforementioned discharges accidental or otherwise.... So this is really no different.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Paris Accord does seem to fail to mention the affects of tritium on the atmosphere as an attributive to global warming ..... I guess we are supposed to ignore the damage to the environment of nuclear power plant waste and excretion.... lucky us...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Near to 97 million gallons of tritium ( hot radioactive ) water is to be released into the pacific.

I'm not sure where you got the number from. The article talks of 770,000 metric tons of contaminated water. (That's about 170 million imperial gallons.) It contains some tritium.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah, phew! So, it's okay to dump MORE into them!

Yes, it is, glad you understand.

Near to 97 million gallons of tritium ( hot radioactive ) water is to be released into the pacific.

And the Pacific Ocean contains 187,189,915,062,857 million gallons.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Let's not forget 2 points: (1) the clean up has to be paid for, whether through profits (i.e. by power users) or through taxes (by everyone) or some other means; (2) the earlier the decommissioning takes place, the less contaminated water is created. So, if controlled dumping of the contaminated water into the Pacific ocean is the best method experts can think of, TEPCO should get on with it soon. This problem has to be resolved without further delay.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seriously , release "treated" contaminated water into the coastal waters of Japan. Green Peace will have a hay day with this one, not to mention the contamination to the fishing grounds All along the Japanese coastal waters flow routes. TEPCO is worried about its bottom line, their not making a profit while have to foot-the- bill for their failure to utilize proper quality controls pfocrfures.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

While I agree this is an ugly business tritium is not anywhere near the danger level of other materials. Probably better to get rid of it now and get the plants cleaned up sooner.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now your cesium infused fish will come with a sprinkling of tritium!

Fukushima san produce, soon coming to a store near you...,,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

780,000 tons of water stored on the hillsides, filtered but with remaining tritium content.

The new charman wanted to shake things up and get movement. Tepco are today backtracking and saying that a final decision has not actually been made. They are afraid of making the fishery cooperative angry again, so now it seems to be back to square one. Even though rusty, leaking and bulging tanks are reaching the end of their useful life and there is very little land left to build more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the article is a stupid nonsense to the glory of money, greed over safety&polution&progress and why Fukushima AKA "TEPCO the men made disaster" will happen again, disgusting!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean like Bikini Atoll instantly irradiated lots of sea water

It's all diluted and ok now though

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now your cesium infused fish will come with a sprinkling of tritium!

They already have a sprinkling of tritium. In fact virtually every food you eat has a sprinkling of tritium. Heck even YOU have a sprinkling of tritium.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think writers do a disservice by saying that the tsunami cause the meltdown.

It was criminal incompetence of building the plant in an area that had a massive tsunami in the 1800's and in the design of the backup generating system being installed at sea level and not the higher ground to the rear of the plant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Freezing the water and rocketing into space? 770,000 metric tons worth?

Yeh, right. But the wackiest thing is Abe plans to have Olympic activities in the Fukushima area, to prove 'everything is under control - no danger here'.

Well, he might be surprised at how many athletes and spectators decide to boycott such events, not being as 'trusting' of a politician's word.

But we'll see....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Should effectively cripple whatever is left of their fishing industries

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My post was removed yesterday so perhaps I phrased it wrongly.

The new chairman's voice is important but there is really no change in the situation. The buck is still being passed around. He might just become the driving power to cut the seals on these tanks, but his word alone will not do it. My guess is that they are hoping that pressure from three sources, ie the government  committee, the NRA, and Tepco itself and his personal threat will be enough to overcome the resistance of the fishery union.

There is quite a useful chart, and some background regarding the lobbying toward getting this water released here, in Japanese though.  

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/economics/list/201707/CK2017071402000135.html

Incidentally, the idea would be to add water for dilution down to international standards for NPP water release into the ocean.

All NPPs worldwide release water to the sea already, with tritium content.

It was a surprise to me though, to hear that they are still considering restarting reactors 5 and 6 at Fukushima No 2.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Should effectively cripple whatever is left of their fishing industries

Should have absolutely no effect on the fishing industry. If done correctly in a controlled manner, as mentioned by nandakandamanda, it won't even be detectable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kawamura backtracks in public on release of water. Clarification, or Trump-style obfuscation?

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170720_02/

Maybe this time NHK is a more reliable news source than Yahoo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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