U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission document on ‘Water Situation at Fukushima’ as of Sept. 20, 2013 (.pdf link here): Over the past three months, radiation measured within the plant site [...] has been increasing. The increase in radiation in the water is caused by contaminated water traveling underground to the sea. Sources of the contaminated water include [...[ continued cooling of the damaged cores leaking directly from the reactor buildings. [...] contaminated water leaks out of the basements into the soil and the groundwater, despite the outside water table being higher. This contaminated water includes radioactive cesium, strontium, and tritium. Cesium moves very slowly in groundwater, since the soil adsorbs (holds on its surface) the Cesium. Strontium is adsorbed less than cesium and moves faster [...] TEPCO has plans to impede the flow of groundwater.
GLOBE (Asahi Shimbun), Jan. 10, 2014: Decommissioning [of Fukushima Daiichi] is uncharted territory. The authorities still do not know exactly what is going on inside the reactor. What is clear, though, is the presence of strontium and other radioactive materials not usually found at retired nuclear sites. The work is further complicated by the damaged state of the buildings and facilities. I heard that moves were underfoot to get foreign companies involved in the decommissioning process at Fukushima.
NHK, Jan. 12, 2014: A Japanese research institute on nuclear decommissioning will ask 3 non-Japanese experts for advice on scrapping reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi [...] The organization has been soliciting technological assistance in Japan and abroad. [...] Under the present plan, removing nuclear fuel debris from the reactors will start as early as in the first half of 2020. How that will be done is yet to be decided as not much is known about the exact state of the damaged fuel that will require sophisticated technologies to remove.
See also: Radiation Expert: Fukushima plant "out of control" -- Nuclear fuel "is now in the ground... no way they can get at it" -- "Will just wash uranium out to sea" -- Pollution of Pacific Ocean to continue more or less forever (AUDIO & VIDEO)
Published: January 13th, 2014 at 1:04 am ET