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TEPCO admits radioactive cesium in water flowing into Fukushima plant

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Someone. Helps. Tepco. Seriously, they are not able to handle this disaster.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So ... if water flowing into the plant is already radioactive, how much more for the soil and plants around the area? If I remember correctly, the government is even starting to consider selling rice grown just a stone's throw away from the plant.

Radiation is not something anyone could just scrub off (literally).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"We'll have to correct the way we analyse sample data" said...a spokeswoman.

Translation: we must find a different way to reach an "everything is fine" result.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Where is the government??

I know they are busy printing money but more than 2 years later its just failure after failure.

The thing is, no one is surprised about this or any other of the findings, there was a massive nuclear power plant meltdown, what is surprising is that they still lie about how bad it is and are allowed to still be in "control" of the situation.

This company is just ridiculous, still they have problems with single points of failures because of animals and weather.. the same kind of lack of foresight and lack of safety that got us into this problem in the first place.

They need outside help, and I would say international outside help at that..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Follow up analysis showed the groundwater had 0.22 becquerel of cesium-134 per liter and 0.39 becquerel of cesium-137 per liter rather than an undetectable amount,

Before people bombard this thread with "sky us falling" circa 2011, they need to go and check the maximum levels of these. A refresher course sort of speak.

-13 ( +6 / -18 )

Get out you geiger counters and test the food and water again. It seems that the ground water is contaminated. Did think fallout would process into ground water. How do you clean that up?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TEPCO has by it's negligence,greed and ego threatened a vast amount of the sea as well as the fish/fishermen and who knows what else in the immediate and distant future!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ohhh, boy a complete debacle!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are plants and factories full of nice, well-meaning, and incompetent people all over the world. The problem is, with a nuke plant, it matters, and doesn't just affect the bottom line; it also affects public safety.

That said, if the government were going to do anything about this situation, they would already have done it. I'm not so hopeful about seeing the responsibility taken from TEPCO and given to someone more competent - at least not in my lifetime.

The only way forward is if the government lets them go bankrupt, and then has to appoint another electric company to do the job. Even then, there is no guarantee that the new batch of folks is any better than the old batch.

The situation would be a challenge even for the best and the brightest, but people would feel a lot better if they could believe that all that could be done was being done. As it is, we're all waiting for the next batch of duct tape to wear through.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The contamination likely comes from fallout from the radiation plume the station emitted during the meltdowns

Or maybe not ! Could very well be recent nuclear fission , after all, they haven't localized (or tell public) where is the corium . TEPCO must release if I-131 is also detected in the ground water. You want to know what is the most scaring ? Is that they do not allow independant labs to monitor, they are totally running on public money but hold every piece of valuable information to the very same public.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why doesn't Japan just swallow a little pride, admit defeat with the TEPCO fiasco, and reach out to the international community for help. Which I am sure they are just waiting for the chance to help their colleagues in Japan. As humans we are not perfect, and we are prone to mistakes, reaching out for help isn't a sign of weakness, it takes courage and strength to admit mistakes and ask for help. Politicians worldwide in general seem to be exempt from this category, they never admit defeat and just keep on bungling along, making one mistake after another.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Not a surprise. The only people remaining at this company are the morally bankrupt - from the office staff to the engineers to the CEO. They will lie through their teeth to retain their grubby money. Publicly humiliate a TEPCO worker today!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is very scary, there are a lot of people living near by, in the areas that the gov has considered safe, who would be subject to any contamination in the ground water. I wish people would be wiser and not wait for the government to tell them to move. Living close by and consuming local is all nice and good to the town but to do that hoping you won't be contaminated is only wishful thinking.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why not just take all of TEPCO's money, the money of their board of directors and do it for them?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, really. The entire area, including the mountains which is the source of the water, was contaminated at various levels of radiation. The areas closest to the power plant, like Futaba, and the mountain area will have some of the highest levels of contamination.

Recently, the Abe gov't declared just 3% of Futaba lower enough to be worthy of decontamination, which would be a total waste of public money since it also stated the other 97% would be off limits for tens of decades.

But contamination of less than 1 bacquerel isn't a problem and certainly there are other areas, like in Fukushima City with higher rates. No one is drinking the underground water, but they probably are in Fukushima City.

Basically, its all something of an nightmare but with varying degrees and this water contamination isn't high enough to cause any major concerns.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Ah, but hey... let's give them the additional bailout money they 'need' so they can try and get back into the black this year, jack up power costs to customers, and not adequately pay out compensation. Then when the next admittance comes, let's repeat.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

this water contamination isn't high enough to cause any major concerns.

Maybe not, but it's a major concern that TEPCO didn't know how to take the measurements to begin with, and that there is no verification of what they are saying now from any reliable third party.

I frankly distrust any and all data they come out with because they have demonstrated incompetence at every step, and I don't believe they are actively looking for the full extent of the contamination, from cesium or from other things that may have been released.

They are just trying to exist from week to week, and keep the public, the govenment, and the media off their backs.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

this water contamination isn't high enough to cause any major concerns.

Sure but only on the ground that you believe TEPCO. We are enough familiar now with their strategy, they already revised from "no detectable" to "detectable" , now wait for the next revision.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Everyone keeps saying Japan should reach out to the international community for help. But realistically, at this point in time, what could the international community do to help that isn't already being done at the Fukushima plant? Thousands of workers are still needed at the plant and the international community can't provide those. Also, there would be a language problem if the operation was handed over to foreign experts, leading to misunderstandings and even more dangerous situations.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Zichi, I completely agree. It is time to face reality: The entire area, from the mountains to - and including - the sea, must be considered unfit for any food-related purposes, whether farming or fishing, for about as long as humans can imagine. This is not necessarily a bad thing; like the area surrounding Chernobyl, it can become a magnificent and invaluable nature preserve. To pretend, though, that it can be returned to human service any time within a few generations simply deludes farmers and fishermen who would better work to build new lives in other areas.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/7302/20130604/fukushima-tuna-safe-consumption-radiation-food-minuscule.htm

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I thought Homer Simpson was a fictional character that worked at a nuclear plant, now I'm being to wonder.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Its going to cost at least ¥50 trillion over the next 50 years, and more if it takes longer, to clean up the TEPCO nuclear mess, and all of it will come from public funds, it'll keep TEPCO in hock for a thousand years or more. But I don't think any other company could do it for less.

TEPCO have made some good progress at the plant. The debris from the No4 reactor building was removed and the exposed spent fuel pool cover with thick steel plates. They have completed a new building to house a new overhead crane so the spent fuel can be removed by the end of this year.

Much of the debris from the No3 reactor building has been removed by remote control because the radiation levels are too high for anyone to work there. They have also covered the exposed broken spent fuel pool with thick plates. There are some problems to deal with before trying to remove the fuel, like a 30 ton crane which is in the pool.

TEPCO are ready to remove the temporary structure covering the No1 reactor building and replace it with a permanent structure which will enable the removal of the spent fuel from the pool. Both the No1 and No3 reactor building are releasing the highest levels of radiation.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Glad I and my family got out a few months after it happened. The move was stressful, but life is not any longer. I hope everyone is safe, but I was not prepared to take any chances with my health.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wichi-san,

Basically, its all something of an nightmare but with varying degrees and this water contamination isn't high enough to cause any major concerns.

This is probably true but are you sure we can believe them this time ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Decontamination of surroundings were done by pressure washing plus rains in these 2 yrs. What do you think those particle will go? probably small channels, big channels + ground water and finally to sea. Then it enters fish. Hold on farmers also grow rice using that contaminate water. TEPCO will need some kind of superpower now

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"this water contamination isn't high enough to cause any major concerns."

While it sounds positively delicious that really isn't the issue. It's this constant bungling and revising of results (up, of course) that is maddening.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TEPCO management, the worst kind of liars - the incompetent ones.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Brainiac: "Thousands of workers are still needed at the plant and the international community can't provide those."

I think what most people are referring to when saying international inspectors should be allowed is for INSPECTION, hence 'inspectors', since clearly TEPCO likes to both try and cover everything up and just try to ignore reality. Foreign inspectors would actually do their jobs, but hey... TEPCO prefers 'private inspections', so it's no wonder we hear every week about how they failed to see this, and failed to do that.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"But the results were false " nuff said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Such a joke. Is anyone surprised by this? Japan, wake up! Start demanding the government and TEPCO hand this over to folks with a clue because clearly, TEPCO is so far in over its head it is frightening.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Tepco is ONLY the tip of the J iceberg! I agree with Tmarie! Time for all of Japan to WAKE UP!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just another weekly SNAFU coming out of Fukushima from TEPCO. Move along people. Nothing new to see here. And, nothing will every change.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Zichi-san : apologies ! I was using a Japanese keyboard - set to write French...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smith, quote: "I think what most people are referring to when saying international inspectors should be allowed is for INSPECTION, hence 'inspectors', since clearly TEPCO likes to both try and cover everything up and just try to ignore reality. Foreign inspectors would actually do their jobs, but hey... TEPCO prefers 'private inspections', so it's no wonder we hear every week about how they failed to see this, and failed to do that."

I agree. Tepco would probably not welcome any parallel team working in there, and apart from those translation problems, and the extra bother involved in laying on specialized translation, they would probably seriously limit the amount of information they might be willing to share. There is already a long-established mechanism of information release, (covering their rears) branded into their subconscious, which will prove impossible to unlock, is my guess.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There is already a long-established mechanism of information release, (covering their rears) branded into their subconscious, which will prove impossible to unlock, is my guess.

For those who are really interested beyond just negative comments, you only have to visit TEPCO website to find all the latest videos, photos, reports, all available in Japanese and English. They have been providing info for quite some time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cross your fingers and watch helplessly as there is no grain of truth in tepco's continuously changing statements on ** radiation levels

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thanks, zichi. I haven't been there for a long time, so good to know.

For your information, I support the idea of rechannelling the groundwater and releasing it into the sea before it bubbles up into the basements. Since this water should be entering the sea anyway, regardless of the power plant in its path, how can the fishermen complain?

Do they suspect that Tepco might try to mix other 'decontaminated' waters into the by-pass? This whole new ring of frozen rods idea seems barmy in comparison.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@nandakandamanda

I agree, diverting the groundwater away from the plant makes the most sense. There isn't anything for the fishermen to complain about because the water would be entering the sea regardless. It also means that the water wouldn't be further contaminated with radiation and then leaks into the sea.

I must say, the frozen ground idea is stupid but it was suggested by the gov't and not TEPCO.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In March 2013, the Japanese utility that owns the tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant said that it had detected a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in a fish caught close to the plant. That is 7,400 times the government limit for safe human consumption.[8]

The Gov needs to step in and provide some solutions to help Tepco out. Cesium is water soluble => It stays with the water and doesn't precipitate out. =This radioactive water could go all the way around the world. They need to collect it, Prussian blue it (30 days+), then release when the tanks get close to full. ==> this is a huge disaster and is going to take some innovation and $$,$$$,$$$,$$$ to solve it. Even tankers in the sea sorting these radioactive particles out and converting them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China has been buying lots of bottled water from Japan. It looks like we've just found a new source so now we don't have to send them water from Shizuoka!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's like we're all just the proverbial frogs being boiled alive slowly. TEPCO started out denying most everything and then released a little bad news. We got used to it and then they released a little more. We got used to that and then they released a little more and so on. Has the water started boiling yet because I'm starting to feel uncomfortably hot?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is the first nuclear disaster of this kind and in this type of location. There are some similarities with Chernobyl but there are many which are not. Chernobyl released more radiation and the release when on for a much longer period and spread across a great land mass. But Chernobyl was a reactor fire and all of the nuclear fuel burnt away. The damage was mostly in the reactor hall and much of the plant survived the fire. The answer was to cover the destroyed reactor hall with concrete, which they did.

There are many differences with Fukushima, it was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami, the No1-3 reactors had meltdowns and then there were the explosions destroying reactor buildings 3&4 and badly damaging reactor buildings 1&2.

There are no easy answers because this type of nuclear disaster has never happened before. TEPCO are looking for solutions to problems, but they don't always work first off. There's some trial and error. The insides of reactor buildings 1-3 are highly contaminated so workers can't spend too much time inside. Even the Quince robots they tried had their electronics fried by the radiation. Other companies are working on building robots that should be able to withstand the high radiation levels.

Removing the spent fuel from the cooling pools should be quite straight forward but will take time, maybe more than five years to complete. Removing the melted fuel remains a big question mark, especially since TEPCO isn't quite sure were it went.

Solving the problem of the leaking water into the reactor and turbine basements is a major one but because of the high radiation levels no worker can go inside to try and repair the leaks.

The nuclear disaster is only two years old, and this story will continue for at least 50 years more, and even probably 100 years and beyond. Its not going to be solved by TEPCO or anyother company for that matter in any shorter time. This disaster will continue on long after I've gone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

...After you've gone? zichi, I hope you are not planning to leave any time soon. Your generally balanced posts are refreshing, helping us to re-focus on the essential facts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"It is regrettable" that TEPCO is handling the whole situation at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@nandakandamanda

I guess I'll be around for at least another 15-20 years but TEPCO will have only scratched the surface by then.

I have always been highly critical of TEPCO long before they even accepted full responsibility for the nuclear disaster and I've stated many times that TEPCO should be sold off lock, stock and barrel and a new power company formed to take over the business but the part dealing with Fukushima should remain because first they know the plant best and secondly it would be just too easy for them to escape and walk away so another company deals with it. The former directors should be facing criminal charges.

But because of all the unknown factors and problems without answers, I'm not sure another company could be doing it any better than TEPCO?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Zichi mght have more data available on radiation from Chernobyl ,the worst nuclear accident at level7. USSR did hide the accident from it's people which became acatalyst for it's collapse.we may put more psychological pressure on radiation exposed population by writing in mass media.In fact,it is proved that low-level radiation may be less dangerous than commonly believed.Yoshihisa Matsumoto, a radiation biologist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, cites laboratory experiments on animals to suggest there must be a threshold dose below which DNA repair mechanisms can completely repair any radiation damage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shame on Tepco. Watch out next thing to happen It will Blow up .This time because the fuel rods have a malfunction. They though keep insisting the area is safe to farm, oh! hope they are the ones to test the rice first, before putting it on the market and drink the water from the aquifer, Rice with Fish and Seaweed ,All from around the 20 kilometre perimeter of the reactor.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is and will always be a problem, lie or no lie , it's not going to go away cleaning just shifts the waste to other locations. The only thing that we can hope for is that it doesn't get worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eat seafood at your own risk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why haven't you reported this? http://news.yahoo.com/another-contaminated-water-leak-japans-fukushima-nuclear-plant-072121232.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TEPCO's only main operation is to accumulate cash and grow their current 15 trillion yen assets to 20 by all mean. I am not sure this makes them the best candidate for taking care of the Fukushima mess in the best interest of the population.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TEPCO management, the worst kind of liars - the incompetent ones.

They can be liars, or they can be incompetent. I don't think they can be both at the same time. It requires competence to be able to determine when a lie is needed.

For your information, I support the idea of rechannelling the groundwater and releasing it into the sea before it bubbles up into the basements. Since this water should be entering the sea anyway, regardless of the power plant in its path, how can the fishermen complain?

Ummm... you DO know what "groundwater" is, right? There's no channels that you can "RE-channel". "Groundwater" is water that has permeated porous sections underground. It's not like there's rivers, streams, or lakes there that can be "re-channeled".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Moshi moshi TEPCO! It is time to act as adult and responsible people because you will not be able to hide the real mess for 100 years. There is nothing to recover from Fukushima, thus play fair and transparent. Then you might get some respect and support back to cope with this unprecedented disaster.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WOW, so many "experts" wanting to save the poor Japanese people because in a hole 100 meters from a triple nuclear meltdown there are "0.39 becquerel of cesium-137 per liter" which is less of the concentration that the whole humanity had in its milk since the `50s!! http://archive.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/environment/radioact/radfallout.htm

It should be considered as a positive thing il you understood the numbers. Eating/drinking 86,000Bq of Cesium gives you an average of 1mSv, so with those 0.61Bq/liters you need to drink 16 liters per hour 24/7 for one year to have... NO radiological effect !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why haven't you reported this? http://news.yahoo.com/another-contaminated-water-leak-japans-fukushima-nuclear-plant-072121232.html

Because the headline as well as some of the contents are all screwed up.

The "leak" that's reported on your link is not a leak but a surge of underground water that flow into the reactor building. The said underground water (before it reaches the reactor buildings) was initially measured had neglible readings for cesium due to insignificant amounts. Now, the negligble readings was adjusted to 0.61 bq/L which is essentially what the article is all about. As to the said readings, the United States EPA has a maximum threshold of 7.4 bq/L for Cesium.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

nigelboy

"Follow up analysis showed the groundwater had 0.22 becquerel of cesium-134 per liter and 0.39 becquerel of cesium-137 per liter rather than an undetectable amount"

Before people bombard this thread with "sky us falling" circa 2011, they need to go and check the maximum levels of these. A refresher course sort of speak.

Yup, we are talking nano-sieverts here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The area around the Fukushima power plant has groundwater coming from several directions but probably starts off in the local mountains. Some of this groundwater is finding its way into the basements of the reactor buildings where also highly irradiated water leaking from the reactor containment vessels is also leaking into the basements. These waters, the groundwater and the cooling water are mixed causing a greater volume of highly irradiated water which TEPCO must pump out daily and store it in storage tanks, and then process it to remove the radiation so that it can be recycled back for cooling the reactors.

The volume of the groundwater plus the leaking cooling water is creating a quantity greater than what TEPCO can currently handle.

The TEPCO plan was to divert the groundwater before it reached the power plant and send it into the sea, where it goes anyway. Initial TEPCO thought the radiation in the groundwater was too small to measure but further tests have shown there is a measurable level of cesium the groundwater, even though its very small.

The cesium in the groundwater must be from the first period of the nuclear disaster when the power plant was releasing high levels of radiation. That should be of no surprise to anyone since the whole area around the plant was contaminated at levels that no one will be able to live there again for tens of decades.

TEPCO will have to decide whether to continue with the idea of diverting the groundwater before it reaches the plant or abandon the idea and seek another solution to the ever increasing quantity of highly irradiated water which is currently about 300,000 tons in storage tanks.

Diverting the groundwater before reaching the power plant seems like the best solution. Otherwise, by the end of next year, there could be about 800,000 tons of highly irradiated water.

According to the link to a Yahoo news article, there seems to be another small problem when a worker discovered a small leak dripping from one of the storage tanks, which TEPCO will be able to resolve quickly.

The two events are not related.

Tokyo Electric Power, or Tepco, said a worker patrolling the area spotted the leak just after noon, with droplets of contaminated water leaking out between the tank's circular steel structure. Shunichi Tanaka, chief of Japan's new nuclear regulator, set up after its predecessor was discredited in the 2011 disaster, told a news conference that Tepco should deal with the problem immediately. But he said the regulator did not regard the matter as serious. http://news.yahoo.com/another-contaminated-water-leak-japans-fukushima-nuclear-plant-072121232.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In order to provide the reactors in Fukushime from the bottom you have the mechanical tunnel. Then insert the two meters in diameter with 20 tubes. , Do the holes from the top and side, and on the bottom line fire resistant ZrO2. For large pipes enter the small tube to remove radioactive leaks or cooling corium had reached there...

http://www.herrenknecht.com/fileadmin/reda...GB_09-12-21.pdf

http://www.herrenknecht.com/fileadmin/reda...GB_08-10-29.pdf

http://www.new4stroke.com/herenknecht.jpg

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another option TEPCO are considering is drilling wells around the power plant so that the groundwater can accumulate there, then it can be pumped out and released into the ocean instead of leaking into the reactor basements. Its this groundwater which was tested for the cesium and showed slightly higher than previously thought. This option might require the agreement of the local fishermen because this groundwater would be "considered to be coming from inside the plant".

The groundwater inside the plant could be contaminated after entering the power plant, since most of the site is highly contaminated or it could have been contaminated before entering the plant. TEPCO needs to measure the level of contamination in groundwater outside of the plant area.

It would be better if TEPCO could stop the groundwater before it reaches the power plant. This probably wouldn't require anyone's agreement.

NHK World video on the water problems. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpjqtGwrzyo&sns=em

TEPCO Press Release (Jun 05,2013) Water Leakage from G6 Area Tank at Fukushima Daiichi NPS http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2013/1228109_5130.html

For other press releases concerning recent water leaks http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/index-e.html

The Abe gov't is taking a more proactive approach with TEPCO and the Fukushima power plant, than the previous gov't did. They have started issuing various orders to TEPCO to carry out certain work. One of the orders is to build an underground wall to stop the groundwater reaching the reactor basements.

The government plans to set up a task force with Tokyo Electric, construction companies and plant makers by the end of June to discuss the details, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said today in Tokyo. He made the remarks at a meeting with Naomi Hirose, the utility’s president, which was open to reporters. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-30/japan-orders-tepco-to-build-underground-wall-at-fukushima-plant

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi mght have more data available on radiation from Chernobyl ,the worst nuclear accident at level7. USSR did hide the accident from it's people which became acatalyst for it's collapse

Rubbish. First, the dissolution of the USSR had nothing to do with Chernobyl NPP disaster. Second, Soviet authorities evacuated a huge amount of population inside 30 km zone without panic in a few days. Without hysterical leaks in mass-media. Third, the USSR made enormous efforts by building a protective Sarcophagus around a damaged block in 206 days. More than 90 000 personnel, including engineers, technicians, workers were working hard and accomplished their job perfectly. Now compare that to current TEPCO activity. They still have no idea what to do with contaminated water. Amateurs, by comparison to people, who created Sarcophagus.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stay on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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