‘Emergency’ Measure: Over 1,000 tons of polluted water dumped on ground at Fukushima — “There’s a limit on how much water we can store” — Never tested cesium levels — Sandbags swept away by typhoon (PHOTO & VIDEO)

Published: September 17th, 2013 at 8:00 am ET
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AFP, Sept. 17, 2013: The operator of the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant said on Tuesday that it dumped more than 1,000 tons of polluted water into the sea [...]  “Workers measured the radioactive levels of the water collected in the enclosure walls, pumping it back into tanks when the levels were high,” said a TEPCO official. “Once finding it was mostly rain water they released it from the enclosure, because there is a limit on how much water we can store.”[...] But the company also said at one site where water was found contaminated beyond the safety limit workers could not start the water pump quick enough in the torrential rain, and toxic water had leaked from the enclosure for several minutes.

NHK WORLD, Sept. 16, 2013: [Tepco] maintains that water levels increased just because of the rainfall, and that contaminated water did not leak from the storage tanks. Workers also took samples inside the containment barrier of a tank that leaked 300 tons of contaminated water last month. The samples yielded 170,000 becquerels per liter of [strontium and other] beta ray-emitting substances.

Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 17, 2013: [TEPCO] said it released 1,130 tons of water left behind by powerful Typhoon No. 18 on Sept. 16 onto the soil [...] The utility said its workers took the “emergency measure” after confirming that the water in each area contained lower radioactive strontium levels than the legal limit. TEPCO said it decided to drain the water because if another leak occurred in the storage tanks and went unnoticed, it could contaminate the rainwater accumulated inside the enclosure. [...] TEPCO said its workers did not test radioactive cesium levels [...]

Jiji Press, Sept. 16, 2013: Fukushima Tank-Area Water Drained without Cesium Measurement [...] But the move could draw criticism, because the company failed to set in advance safety standards for water to be drained from the area although the typhoon Man-yi was forecast to cause downpours, observes said.

Tepco Handout, Sept. 17, 2013: Sandbags at the Drainage Channel B Being Swept Away Due to Rainfall from the Approaching Typhoon at Fukushima Daiichi [...] At around 1:30 PM today sandbags that had been set at the drainage channel B in the contaminated water storage tank area were found to have been swept away due to rainfall from the approaching typhoon. At 3:20 PM on the same day, we completed work of resetting sandbags at this location. Before sandbags were swept away, we already collected residual water in front of the sandbags set at the drainage channel B [...]

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

Published: September 17th, 2013 at 8:00 am ET
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