‘Increasing alarm’ at Fukushima: Trenches filled with thousands of tons of plutonium contaminated liquid leaking into ocean — ‘Biggest risk’ at plant — ‘Exceptionally difficult’ problem — ‘Constant flow’ in and out of trenches — ‘Racing to stop’ more from coming in (PHOTO)

Published: August 7th, 2014 at 11:02 pm ET
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Wall St. Journal, Aug 7, 2014 (emphasis added): [Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority] said [Tepco] needs to get its priorities straight when it comes to work to decommission [...] Fukushima Daiichi [...] “The biggest risk is the trench water. Until that matter is addressed, it will be difficult to proceed with other decommissioning work,” [Tanaka] said on Wednesday at his weekly news conference. “It appears that they are getting off track,” he told reporters. Tepco has been trying to remove some 11,000 metric tons of water that contains dangerous radioactive materials such as uranium and plutonium from a trench that runs from the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s No.2 reactor building. […] “What if another tsunami hits the plant and the highly contaminated water in the trench is discharged… ?” Mr. Tanaka asked reporters.

NHK, July, 30, 2014: TEPCO initially planned to freeze radioactive wastewater that’s been flowing into underground utility tunnels [trenches] at the plant. It hoped the measure would prevent the wastewater from mixing with groundwater and flowing out to sea. But 3 months into the project, the water hasn’t frozen as planned.

Nuclear Engineering International, August 7, 2014: TEPCO has admitted that it has having problems with freezing contaminated water flowing in trenches  [...] The water in the trenches is [...] coming into contact with nuclear material [...]  because the water flows in and out of the trenches because of water pumping operations, it has proved ‘exceptionally difficult’ to freeze, TEPCO said. This was despite increasing the flow of coolant, adding ice and dry ice to the trench water [...]

Kyodo, Aug. 5, 2014: Tepco is racing to stop the buildup of radioactive cooling water in the trenches. […] Tepco inserted refrigeration rods in the trenches to try to freeze the water but abandoned the effort after more than three frustrating months. […] Though [Tepco has now put] 58 tons of ice in the trenches, the utility has “yet to see” whether it will work [...] The new method was introduced after an increasingly alarmed Nuclear Regulation Authority urged the company last month to take additional steps as soon as possible [...]

World Nuclear News, July 24, 2014: New approaches to removing the contaminated water from trenches [...] after attempts to freeze it failed. [...] The trenches contain highly-contaminated water that has flowed from the main power plant buildings [...] Tepco said that, despite the success of early experiments, “it has proved exceptionally difficult” to freeze the trench water. This, it said, is due to the constant flow of water into and out of the trench [...]

See also: TV: Nuclear waste “flowing out to sea” from underground tunnels at Fukushima — 950 Billion Bq/m³ of cesium in Unit 2 shaft next to ocean — 11,000 tons estimated in tunnels — Gov’t regulators ‘urgently assessing’ problems (VIDEO)

Published: August 7th, 2014 at 11:02 pm ET
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138 comments

Related Posts

  1. TV: Attempt to stop flow of highly radioactive liquid at Fukushima “in doubt” — AP: Much of it is pouring in trenches going out into Pacific — Experts: Amount entering ocean “increasing by 400 tons daily” — Problem “so severe” it’s consuming nearly all workers at site — Top Plant Official: “Little cause for optimism” (VIDEO) November 14, 2014
  2. Japan TV: ‘Problem on their hands’ at Fukushima, constant flow of water pouring from foot-wide leak at Reactor 3; “They don’t know where water it’s coming from” — WSJ: Radiation level spikes 60-fold in seconds nearby (VIDEO) January 18, 2014
  3. AP: ‘Time bomb’ in leaking Fukushima trenches — If Tepco removes extremely contaminated water as planned, it will only make more flow in since reactor buildings connect to trenches August 12, 2013
  4. TV: Fukushima underground dam not working, radiation levels now exceeding gov’t limit near shore — Tepco Official: “The flow of contaminated water into ocean is causing problems… It’s quite difficult to stop” (VIDEO) February 9, 2014
  5. NHK Special: Extremely toxic water 4,000,000 times gov’t limit in trenches between Fukushima reactors and ocean — Experts: “Source of contamination for Pacific” — “Levels too high for them to get more precise look at situation” — Reporter: Plutonium leaked out after fuel rods damaged (VIDEO) April 18, 2014

138 comments to ‘Increasing alarm’ at Fukushima: Trenches filled with thousands of tons of plutonium contaminated liquid leaking into ocean — ‘Biggest risk’ at plant — ‘Exceptionally difficult’ problem — ‘Constant flow’ in and out of trenches — ‘Racing to stop’ more from coming in (PHOTO)

  • razzz razzz

    Free markets never go away, normally referred to as black markets or underground economies. Here there are no outside interference with the transaction itself. Price maybe influenced and/or terms may have outside influence but the transaction is unburdened (no governmental oversight, pretty much pure bartering).

    The various socialism strategies try to smooth the up down cycles of marketplace prices by eliminating profit taking, costs of manufacturing and dictating conditions (as if they can control weather or innovation), these tactics always fail in the long run.

    Capitalism results in marketing as competition is fierce and demand is a creation. Capitalism will evolve into a form of socialism as politics enter the picture usually trying to control supply.

    Everything else is a variation of the three above items and the tools used to control them i.e. taxes, price controls, rules and regulations, lobbying, giveaways, etc.

    The banks went wild and belly up when Clinton abolished the decades old bank controls, Glass–Steagall. Betting with other peoples' money was now legal using a Ponzi scheme.

    Weekend backyard barbeques after a 40 hour work week of manual labor is not conducive to getting rich quick. You must over spend into debt to satisfy a growing economy or so this is how it is setup. Mundane lifestyles are frowned upon.

    China and Russia are hamstrung and rely on copying US free innovation for the future. Socialism dumb downs a mind with no rewards.


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  • jec jec

    Since EPA will likely RAISE the radiation levels to 350 CPM..the problem goes away.(sarcasm) I turned in MY comments, twice. Have yet to see anything posted. The increase in USA RADNET stations to levels over 100 CPM, by a factor of 2 or 3, is scary. Isnt EPA supposed to DO SOMETHING, warn the public? The answer is to turn off the radiation monitors…


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  • razzz razzz

    Have you ever tried to get another cable-internet supplier? There is only one dedicated to serve your area. Where's the competition? Congress did away with it. The reward for cable companies installing the infrastructure for cable networks around the country was, monopolies. Then they grow and consume upstarts or competitors leaving only a few gigantic companies to more like price fix even though consumers paid for the infrastructure via their monthly bills.

    Cell phones companies are no better. Consumer pay for the infrastructures and get overcharged. Cable and cell phones takes pennies on the dollar to operate. The government collects all the calls made every second in a wink of the eye, consumer and taxpayers pay for that too. There is no end to how they can spent other people's money.


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  • Ana Ana

    "Increasing alarm", "racing to stop" … blah blah blah. More meaningless words from the TEPCriminals and nothing effective will be done. Razzz is right. It is a money making monopoly. Build the death machines, melt them down, get paid for remediation, pay big CEO bonuses, siphon off tax dollars, rinse/wash/repeat. Capitalism at its best.
    Ana very angry in Sacramento


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  • FXofTruth

    Enough already.

    Everything has been out-of-control since day ONE.
    There never really was any chance of this EVER being stopped.
    It was designed to fail. How could it not have been?

    The whole nuclear complex is in an area where natural disasters have occurred throughout recorded history! What would stop future natural disasters from hitting that same area?
    Wishful thinking?
    Ignoring history?
    Not possible.
    Nature is unstoppable.

    This will forever be a hopeless, never-to-be-corrected disaster that can only get worst over time. That is the only thing to know! All the useless technical information is like knowing football stats…who cares? Did they win the game or not? That's the only important stat! Did they stop the contamination or not…yes or no? Everything else is useless info.

    So, unless a lot of really brilliant, talented, creative, and resourceful people from around the World take physical and total control of ALL strategic planning to deal headlong with this problem then, there really is no point in holding out for a miracle solution from the pathetic efforts of these plant operators who worry more about their stock price than they do their Public's health or saving the world's food basket, the Pacific Ocean.

    So much time and money has already been wasted and ALL for ZERO results. Tons of useless information has been generated and rehashed for years during all this. But all this info adds no value toward solving this disaster….zippo!


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  • Dick Shenary

    Fukushima has placed all of the world's nuclear governments in an extremely difficult position (especially USA). You see, what is happening at Fukushima is exactly what we have been told for many decades by these governments could never or would never happen. They were clearly wrong and unlike individual citizens who can admit that they were wrong and then change course, governments virtually never say "sorry we were wrong, let's change course". Denial will continue until disaster makes denial impossible.


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  • Preview of today's show with Dana:
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  • dan dan

    And all loans plus tax, less pleasant conversation….no doubt


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