Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 18, 2013: [...] The site receives so much groundwater that special equipment–rendered useless by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami–was set up to prevent the plant’s buildings from floating on the continuous flow. [...] The original site of the Fukushima No. 1 plant was a cliff more than 30 meters high. But 20 meters was lopped off [...] putting the groundwater level only a few meters below the surface. The plant itself was constructed on land containing gravel layers through which water can easily pass through. In the past, a brook trickled by the No. 4 reactor. [...] Without that pumping, the buildings faced the danger of being buoyed by rising groundwater. [...] TEPCO officials have pinpointed only two locations, including the turbine building of the No. 1 reactor, where groundwater is entering the building basements. They believe there are many more breaches. [...]
Atsunao Marui, head of Groundwater Research Group at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology: “About 4 million tons of rain falls on the plant site over the course of a year. Of that figure, it is believed that between 1 million and 1.5 million tons seep into the ground.”
Gordon Edwards, nuclear expert (at 39:45 in): This underground river that we talked about flowing thorough — the problem with this is they don’t really know how to stop it. […] They really don’t know how to stop this flow because it’s a major aquifer. One of the plans that they are talking about is… a wall of ice a mile long to act as a barrier to prevent the groundwater from going in to the cores of these damaged reactors, in order to try and solve the problem… And nobody knows if it’s actually going to work. In fact, some of the experts in Japan have said that by diverting the groundwater around the sides of the building, you may weaken the soil to the point where the buildings themselves topple — and that could be a far worse problem. So, they really don’t know what they’re going. They literally don’t know what they’re doing.
From Yesterday: Gundersen: Fukushima reactor buildings essentially now sitting in mud — Soil could ‘disappear’ during quake and bring structures down with it; That can result from what Tepco’s doing to groundwater (AUDIO)
Published: September 18th, 2013 at 9:43 am ET