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TEPCO, govt set up panel to study contaminated water problem

22 Comments

A special panel of experts set up by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has begun studying ways to deal with the problem of what to do with contaminated water at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The panel was set up in response to a visit from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection team last week. The team said that managing the steady increase of contaminated water would probably be the most challenging task for the plant in the foreseeable future.

After a series of contaminated water leaks were reported at the plant, TEPCO reported that groundwater had been steadily flowing into the reactor buildings' basements, resulting in a continual buildup of contaminated water at a rate of 400 tons per day.

The newly established taskforce held their first meeting on Friday, at which members discussed possible methods for slowing the influx of groundwater, TBS reported Saturday. Among the suggestions mooted was the construction of a groundwater barrier on the mountain-facing side of the reactor buildings.

The nuclear plant's storage tanks already contain around 280,000 tons of liquid radioactive waste. TEPCO is continuing to build more storage tanks, but IAEA team warned that at the current rate of inflow, the amount of contaminated water would double within just a few years.

The government said that it will collate the committee's proposals in May and draw up a construction schedule in June.

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The panel was set up in response to a visit from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection team last week. The team said that managing the steady increase of contaminated water would probably be the most challenging task for the plant in the foreseeable future.

So if I have this right, TEPCO has been pooring water on the reactors for two years, but it took a visit by the IAEA to make them realize they might have a problem in disposing of it. Unbelievable. The inmates truly are running the asylum.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So if I have this right, TEPCO has been pooring water on the reactors for two years, but it took a visit by the IAEA to make them realize they might have a problem in disposing of it. Unbelievable. The inmates truly are running the asylum.

Nope. The storage of contaminated water has been the central issue after the cold shutdown. That's why they've been building underground and outside tanks.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So if groundwater, flowing out to the sea from the mountains, is rerouted by pumps or walls so that it doesn't enter the underground tanks and cause an overflow, can't we assume that the reading of radioactivity within the tanks will increase since previous readings included the entering groundwater?

And then if groundwater is currently getting in, can't we assume, without the pressure of the groundwater from the outside, that more of the water with increased radioactivity will get out from wherever it's getting in?

TEPCO's website has pictures of the plan, but I don't see how this point won't be a problem. Zichi or others who follow this, what do you think?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TEPCO are dealing with many serious and difficult problems and since this is first nuclear disaster of this kind, there isn't any knowledge or experience from pervious ones.

There's a lot of trial and error in trying to come up with the best solutions to the problems.

One might think that if this is indeed the case, tepco would seek advice from other sources to be able to learn quicker. To my knowledge, this is not being done.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Check out the work just done on this. I especially like the Hello Kitty pink pump photo:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2013/images/handouts_130426_04-e.pdf

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many votes can I get to nominate Zichi for the board of TEPCO?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While I agree and understand the difficulties of the task at hand, I do not agree with the way TEPCO is trying to accomplish it cheaply by cutting corners and using untrained labourers to do a job that clearly needs to be handled by professionals. There have been many suggestions made ny international agencies since the meltdown that have been ignored. There were also many suggestions made before the meltdown that could have prevented it happening. It is now over two years the meltdown and they are still using make-shift fixes and do not have a solid plan. They should at least have a plan by now, especially for the contaminated water, which they have known about since day one.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Nope. The storage of contaminated water has been the central issue after the cold shutdown. That's why they've been building underground and outside tanks.

Nigelboy -- and they've been doing such a wonderful job that they've had at least three leaks in the past month or so, and are having to set up a panel to study the problem. Two years into it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Once when I was seriously ill I had a team of doctors, or a committee. While one doctor can easily make a decision, it can take forever fore a committee to argue their way through to the answer, if they ever reach one.

So this committee might do well enough if the problem has unlimited time to be solved. Otherwise, it might be better to hire a single person with full authority to actually do something and see what happens. But of course I forgot, the real need is to cover their hind ends, in case something continues to go wrong, which it most likely will based past history.

Actually solving the problem might mean taking risks and that must be avoided at all costs, after all the bottom line is the important thing. If the cost gets too high, some one might suggest something drastic, such as cutting the salaries and benefits of the big wigs and we cannot have that. That would not be according to recent tradition. Could we not just have the big wigs fall on their swords, which was also once considered traditional for abject failure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TEPCO and government? Sounds more like a money laundering operation to me.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

which problem ? sooner or later they will dispose it into the ocean anyways (which might be better than letting it get in the groundwater) . its done in france for years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lErodJy79p4

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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