NHK: Tainted water leaks plaguing Fukushima ‘clean-up’ (VIDEO)

Published: September 10th, 2012 at 8:29 am ET


Title: Fukushima plant clean-up efforts face challenges
Source: NHK
Date: Sep. 9, 2012

Efforts to deal with problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan still face many challenges more than a year after the meltdown.


the leaking of tainted water and other troubles still plague the clean-up efforts.


[Tepco] hastily built a system to treat highly contaminated waste water and circulate it as coolant for the reactors.


troubles have plagued the cooling water circulation system.

So far, 56 instances of tainted water leaks have been reported.


Troubles have also increased with equipment and facilities that were installed before the accident.


Contaminated water levels have continued to rise at a pace of about 400 tons a day due to groundwater inflow.


Watch the report here

Published: September 10th, 2012 at 8:29 am ET


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19 comments to NHK: Tainted water leaks plaguing Fukushima ‘clean-up’ (VIDEO)

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Massive downplaying throughout the piece, even as it admits "troubles".

    "More than a year"… yes indeed, fifty percent more and it has only begun.

  • jec jec

    400 ton of "groundwater inflow"..doesn't mean the corium is at the water table…the GROUNDWATER table..or below it? If the HOLE from the cores were above the groundwater.there would not be INFLOW! Where else could 400 tons of water come from daily–or from sea water inflow. Either way the corium is out of the containment area and has sunk below groundwater table/and sea level. Right? I hope someone can prove this idea wrong..but don't think so…

    • dosdos dosdos

      TEPCO has been playing the odds at trying to balance the recycling since they started mid last year. Take out too little and the water leaks from the basement into the water table. Take out too much, and they create more contaminated water (although slightly diluted) by adding the water from the water table to it. This all assumes (by TEPCO) that the ground water is clean and free of contamination from the core meltdowns/meltouts via other routes than the basements.

      Keep in mind that they are only extracting the cesium, not the strontium and other isotopes present in the water. There is no clean water in the recycling system, unless it's the groundwater seeping in from higher up in the terrain, and with all the contamination, that's only a matter of degree, as the entire groundwater around the plant is probably unsafe to drink.

      • dosdos dosdos

        Speaking of unsafe to drink, whatever happened to the guy who drank the recycled water from Fukushima recycling to prove it was clean? (It was probably tap water from the building, but if it was genuine, I wonder how he's fairing with all the strontium and other stuff that he consumed.)

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hey jec, I don't read it as if the coriums had "opened the gate" for groundwater inflow. I'd guess the 400 tons/day is what gets in via cracks and leaks caused by earthquake and explosions.
      Let's see:
      if we assume that they speak only about the gw inflow into the 4 reactor buildings, there are 100 tons / building / day.
      As a reference: we have an about-to-crumble underground nuke repository in a salt cavern over here, which gets 12 tons of groundwater inflow daily.

      Given the impact of ongoing EQ activity and explosions and the sheer size of the structures, 100 to/building/day doesn't sound too far off to me. Even without corium effects….

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      The 400-420mT/day avg. groundwater inflow number is what TEPCO has been claiming for a while. This inflow was happening since at least July of last year. TEPCO claims (I know…) the amount varies with rainfall, suggesting its groundwater flowing towards the sea. They had plans to build a trench on the inland side of Death Row.

      If this is from radioactive hot springs caused by the coriums merrily on their way to Argentina, then that's… really bad.

      If this is groundwater inflow as TEPCO describes and is coming from the turbine and reactor buildings, then its really bad for a different reason: the buildings failed their claimed earthquake design resistance. The buildings didn't collapse – horray! But if their concrete cracked so much in so many areas below the water table, then it wouldn't matter if there was a tsunami. The design flaw is fatal – there shouldn't be ANY permissible level for 'reinforced concrete cracks with water inflow' level for a nuclear power plant. Does this mean that every seaside nuclear reactor in Japan leaks like a sieve = cracked foundation after a less-that-design-threshold earthquake?

      There's the obvious complications with turning the basement into a pool. There is also assurance that embedded rebar will passivate and corrode. The NRC is dealing with this here at Seabrook:

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Another unsolvable problem that displays to the world how helpless man is against a nuclear meltdown. With decades of troubles ahead.

  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    who knows really well how much water goes through there?
    I leave already charged from 1 reactor cooling inflow of 17-23m ³ / hour.( and in trouble higher press release of tepco old)
    because they have 3-8 stadiums with heat, well water rather accrue daily
    so 400t/ day~ 1liter more than 1kilo wight *~ nearly 380m² water
    maybe they said over 1 /4 or 1/8 from the water problem…

  • patb2009

    when in doubt, do numbers, to understand a problem.

    400 Tons/day = 16.6 tons/hour. = 0.27 tons/min = 555 lbs/min =70 Gallons/Minute.

    if you look here.
    it's the water coming out of a 1.5" pressurized line or a 2/5" gravity line.

    looking at it another way, 400 tons is 800,000 lbs of water or 100,000 gallons
    that's about a school sized swimming pool every day.

    Not a huge problem in volume but it's a b&*ch because it's radioactive.

    Very radioactive.

    Well, if TEPCO would stop screwing around before they kill us all, it would be nice.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "it's the water coming out of a 1.5" pressurized line or a 2/5" gravity line"

      So, the entire site is being 'cooled' by a 1.5" hose? Oh, that makes perfect sense.

      They can't even figure out how to put out numbers that make sense. I like to think they're all just psychopaths hanging on to their paycheck, but to know they're morons, too? Priceless.

    • Sickputer

      Or 50 million gallons the past 500 days if we accept Tepco's water estimates. I am more inclined to believe 20 times that amount (1 billion gallons of radioactive water flowing through the cripple reactors and then to thd Pacific.

      Some evidence there is vast Pacific Ocean contamination:

      High levels of cesium in Pacific cod at Hachinohe, Tohoku Prefecture.

      The official bullshit line from Tokyo bought-and-paid for ocean scientists is the affected fish ate radioactive prey near Fukushima NPP and then swam up the coast 214 miles where they were caught. Of course they conveniently profess to know very little about this species despite catching it for the past 6,000 years.

      Good article four days ago about the angst among Hachinohe fishermen:


      "Fishermen began voluntarily refraining from shipments of the fish in June, and the central government issued an order to restrain from shipments on Aug. 27. It is believed the polluted cod may have swum to the area from the sea off Fukushima Prefecture."

      "About 60 percent of the fish I handle from September to March is Pacific cod. Should the ban continue, I won't be able to make a living," said a 45-year-old fish broker who usually ships fish to the Tokyo metropolitan area."

      SP: So how long have the Tokyo citizens been lapping up cesium-tainted cod?

      Answer: 18 months

      Madness in Tokyo..

  • "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."
    – Albert Einstein 1953

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
    – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Andres Arce Andres Arce

    What I think is that the molten cores have landed, lying (somehow) on the concrete below, while Tepco has kept pouring tons and tons of water.
    Tepco has allegedly tried to filter and store such massive load, but it's an impossible task for sure.
    Again: all the money which has been invested in (last generation) plastic tubes and giant containers should have been used for the wages of the (million) people who would sacrifice their lives for cleaning that mess of the planet Earth.
    Tepco isn't either USSR or the United Nations, but it neither has asked (or accepted) help from US or UN.
    The whole thing a farce is, indeed.