Mainichi, Nov 18, 2014 (emphasis added): Attempt to stop water flowing into trench at Fukushima plant fails… TEPCO determined that the leak must be continuing… critics have pointed out the possibility of it escaping into the ocean… TEPCO planned to freeze the water… However, the water was insufficiently frozen to stop the flow, and while an effort continued until Nov. 6 to fill in the gaps in the ice with special cement, this effort also failed… While the water remains in the trench, TEPCO cannot create a planned underground wall of frozen soil around the No. 1 through 4 reactor buildings…
NHK, Nov 18, 2014: Officials… say a barrier designed to prevent radioactive water from entering underground tunnels is likely not doing its job… highly-radioactive water from tunnels under the facility… leaks to surrounding soil… Monday, workers removed 200,000 liters of water, estimating that water levels in the tunnels would drop by 80 cm. However, the levels went down by only 20.
NHK World (original): Officials [at] the Fukushima plant have another problem… Officials concluded more water was likely entering the tunnels from the reactor building than was being pumped out… Officials say workers [plan to fill tunnels with cement] carefully to prevent contaminated water from overflowing.
NHK World (updated): The aim is to prevent the water from leaking into the surrounding soil but the barrier is not holding back the water… Officials concluded more water was likely entering the tunnels from the reactor building than was being pumped out.
Japan Times, Nov. 19, 2014: Tepco unable to halt tainted water flowing… from the No. 2 reactor building to underground tunnels at [Fukushima Daiichi,] officials said. Tepco has injected cement… but water levels suggest the effort has remained unsuccessful… The company began the cement injections after failing to create an “ice wall”… Tepco pumped 200 tons of tainted water out of the tunnels Monday… [If] completely sealed, water levels would have fallen roughly 80 cm [yet levels only dropped 20 cm], the officials said, indicating the possibility that contaminated water is still flowing into the tunnels. The officials also noted the possibility that groundwater may be flowing into the tunnels. However… the amount of radioactive materials in the tunnel water is very high, an official in the Nuclear Regulation Authority said. “Concentrations should have been lower if large amounts of groundwater are really flowing in”
Jiji Press, Nov. 19, 2014:The tunnels are believed to contain some 5,000 tons of tainted water. Some observers believe the water may be leaking into the ground and reaching the Pacific.
Published: November 19th, 2014 at 12:15 pm ET