Asahi: Tepco to dump groundwater from Fukushima nuclear plant into Pacific Ocean — Trying to “avoid a total collapse” of system for handling radioactive water (PHOTO)

Published: May 8th, 2013 at 11:23 am ET


(Subscription Only) Title: TEPCO to dump groundwater to ease crisis at Fukushima nuclear plant
Source: Asahi Shimbun
Date: May 8, 2013

After a series of blunders, miscalculations and unresolved problems, Tokyo Electric Power Co. adopted a new strategy to avoid a total collapse of its system for handling radioactive water at its crippled nuclear plant. […]

[…] it plans to pump up groundwater before it can enter the facilities and become contaminated.

“We would like to release that water into the ocean if we can gain the understanding of the relevant officials” […]

[…] If approval is obtained, the utility plans to start dumping the pumped-up water into the ocean the following day.

“We would like to cooperate in settling the situation by giving our approval once safety has been confirmed,” Tetsu Nozaki, chairman of the federation of prefectural fisheries cooperatives, said.

The Math

400 tons of groundwater flow into the reactor buildings on a daily basis and mixes with the radioactive water. […] 300 tons of groundwater would still flow into the reactor buildings every day even after TEPCO starts pumping up the water through the wells.

See also: [intlink id=”bloomberg-increasing-risk-of-fukushima-radioactive-waste-being-intentionally-dumped-into-pacific” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: May 8th, 2013 at 11:23 am ET


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24 comments to Asahi: Tepco to dump groundwater from Fukushima nuclear plant into Pacific Ocean — Trying to “avoid a total collapse” of system for handling radioactive water (PHOTO)


    All they are doing is making a water loop to flow around the corium. The tide is doing this for them now. Why even build the wall, it's doing the same thing. Next thing you know they'll be bottling it to sell at supermarkets. Fukushima spring all natural water.

  • _ 😉 _ " strategy…"
    "…to avoid a total collapse."

    It's about time.

    • keywords: apparently, never considered

      "TEPCO officials apparently never considered 400 tons of groundwater would flow into the reactor buildings on a daily basis."
      – from article

      What is the plan if/when the new strategy fails?
      Have they considered that one yet?

    • They are announcing a new plan to shut the barn door after the horses get out too…
      But golly… I am convinced of Tepco wisdom and feel just great about how the situation is going. /sarcasm off

    • robertsgt40

      Makes perfect sense. I found a turd in my swimming pool. I got rid of it by scooping it up and dumping it at the other end.

  • Ancient Voices

    400 tons of groundwater flow into the reactor buildings on a daily basis and mixes with the radioactive water. […] 300 tons of groundwater would still flow into the reactor buildings every day even after TEPCO starts pumping up the water through the wells.

    PLEASE someone: I do not see how they got this math. Is it is the full article? Is is impossible to pump the entire 400 tons???

    Many thanks

  • Cisco Cisco

    Be sure to check out the illustration at [] where you can see the groundwater moving near and past the contaminated leaking storage tanks.

    Hey, it's only groundwater. It's not contaminated because TEPCO says so.

    What's another 300-400 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific. That's a drop in the bucket compared to what's been and being dumped already.

    Tuna fish sandwich, anyone!

  • weeman

    Let's hope they have went through all the variables or they will cause further much more detrimental effects, ie, land subsiding, enough water to cool corium, radiation level of water released, etc etc,
    I do not have any faith in there engineering, up to now it is well below par in fact dismal, just look at the dury rigged water supply, electrical connection, no secondary back up, it goes on and on.
    I know how to pay for it all, 50 percent of all lottery and gambling winnings world wide to go to the clean up, bet you don't like it but their you go, we would have a chance to clean up best we could, after all it is a long shot, but I am a betting man and I think the odds are good, any better ideas.
    And they are off.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Well, now what many of us here alleged has been happening for a long time is "official."

    Tepco is killing us softly, like frogs in a pot of simmering water. Turn up the heat slowly so the frogs won't feel it ….

    As usual, the truth coming out in dribs and drabs.

    "Most regrettable, we are so sorry to cause pollution of the Pacific Ocean."


    two things stick out from this story: an admission that the plant structure's been seriously undermined and collapse is imminent. Second, there will be no effort to cease dumping of rad-contaminated effluents into the ocean as this 'bypassing' of 'uncontaminated' water, will be used to hide the intentional dumping.

    If the stated quantities are accurate (tons per day discharge rate), this disclosure indicates that they have no viable plan for getting this under control and worse yet, the entire Pacific is doomed…

    • sadtexan

      >> as this 'bypassing' of 'uncontaminated' water, will be used to hide the intentional dumping.

      ding ding ding…once they get the 'ok' to dump 'uncontaminated' groundwater (whatever that means), there is no stopping them from dumping the ever more toxic stuff. Gah I feel sick.

  • dodge

    This is exactly the situation which should have been addressed and avoided over 2 years ago. Not only has there been nothing to stop the continued releases into the atmosphere, they have successfully created a life time supply (granted a short life time) of radioactive water which they now want to simply release. It boggles the mind that the world community will not step in and prevent the destruction of the world food supply with the destruction of the Pacific Ocean. It is evidently true – corporate profit for the few, trumps the future of the many. Sadly, even their wealthy children will suffer from their folly.

  • harengus_acidophilus

    I'm speechless.

    Do they really want to reduce the waterflow
    to the "natural corium cooling system"?

    Today I've found (in europe) a dandelion
    with a shaft of 3cm (1.2 inch) in thickness.


    • Cisco Cisco

      HA…years ago there was a saying/warning, "Don't play in the rain, you'll catch a cold". The current and contemporary version of that is, "Don't play in the rain, you'll be irradiated." WTF

      Welcome to the new world, right?


    This is not a solution to keep from contaminating ground water or the ocean.lts a solution for them to not have to deal with filtering and storing contaminated water. Where do you think the water they pump in for cooling will go? Enough said.

  • Sickputer

    The math is not flawed…the plan is.

    Fissures of groundwater from the coastal mountain ridge can't be detoured by a few scattered water wells.
    The cofferdam idea obviously was ditched long ago also.

    Tepco is past desperate for new ideas…and more money,

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    A Cofferdam Enclosure is proposed as an alternative to the TEPCO Pump and Dump Plan for reducing groundwater contamination:
    If you simply run the cofferdam in a rectangle completely around Unit1,2,3,&4, you can accomplish the groundwater bypass, using no power for pumping.
    Ground water would flow downhill to the cofferdam, then run along the cofferdam past Units1,2,3,&4. The ground water then turns to run downhill into the Pacific Ocean.
    Without a cofferdam, highly contaminated ground water near Units1,2,3,&4 could flow into the wells as the wells lower the water table.
    If the ground water inside the cofferdam enclosure is heated by any remaining underground corium, a Closed Loop Heat Sink can be installed, along the lines discussed in previous posts here on ENEnews.
    Part of the Tepco Pump and Dump Plan called for TEPCO to test the ground water for radiation, so that the Pump and Dump could be stopped if the water becomes contaminated. I assume that testing remains a part of this Plan.
    400 tons per day is given as the flow rate. I recall that the daily addition to the comtaminated water storage system has been put at 150 tons. Is TEPCO admitting that highly contaminated ground water has been flowing into the Pacific Ocean at a rate of 250 tons per day? If this is the case, TEPCO is responsible for 190,000 tons of highly contaminated ground water that has thus far flowed into the Pacific Ocean.


      good thoughts Philip…

    • KDM KDM

      That's the catch, Tepco is to do the testing. What a joke. They can't successfully store it in supposedly sealed tanks. How are they going to seal it off underground? They can't, sorry.

  • Doesn't matter what the plan is discharges of radioactive water are happening. Tepco is known for misleading info. A s?!t load of strontium and more laced water is leaking/being dumped into our Pacific ocean, ok?

  • We Not They Finally

    The only responsible thing to do (like they would ever consider being responsible…) is to leave the groundwater right where it is and EVACUATE JAPAN. Otherwise it's like saying, o.k., I'm going to shoot all of you (meaning the world's ecology) just to avoid shooting ME. Even though it's my gun, my bullets, my serial killer mentality. But no one in power is saying "YOU CAN'T DO THAT." In fact, the Japanese stock market is soaring along with the American one! All we who actually care can seem to do at this point is to remain personally sane, and to not let this travesty obliterate our care and compassion for others.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    First 200 tons of ground water were pumped and dumped today.
    This was a walk through of the operation.
    Water was tested, but results were not immediately released.
    Additional local officials must sign off before full-scale Pump and Dump Ops commence.