Resumption of radiation decontamination system “not in sight” — Unclear whether recycling of water can be carried out as planned

Published: June 25th, 2011 at 11:01 am ET


Resumption of decontamination system not in sight, NHK, June 25, 2011:

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has still not resumed operations of a system to decontaminate highly radioactive water. […]

Tokyo Electric Power Company hopes to fully restart the decontamination system in the next few days. But it has experienced a number of problems and it is unclear whether the recycling of water can be carried out as planned. […]

Published: June 25th, 2011 at 11:01 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Water decontamination system halted after rapid rise in radiation — Reached radiation limit in 5 hours, wasn’t supposed to happen for a month June 18, 2011
  2. TEPCO admits decontamination system at Fukushima “not working” June 22, 2011
  3. TEPCO: We’ll do utmost to get plant under control; Still huge number of obstacles — Decontamination system malfunctions during test run June 11, 2011
  4. Report: Radiation levels double within 20 days of decontamination by Japan forces January 13, 2012
  5. Mainichi: Decontamination workers not showing up, worried about health — Went from 33 companies down to 2 — Radiation levels persisting — Expected to take much longer November 25, 2011

71 comments to Resumption of radiation decontamination system “not in sight” — Unclear whether recycling of water can be carried out as planned

  • ocifferdave

    Why was ENENEWS “down” last night? What could make it have blank pages like that? Why werent mlre peeps going to the enenews facebook page and laying down more comments than they were? I missed u guys…

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Hi ociffer! Good to see you. Yep, we were all worried I think..that enenews was gone for good.

      • ocifferdave

        Whoopie, those shill sharks are still at it. Here’s one of my latest rebuttles:

        @ Josh [a nuke plant worker], I agree about how safe it is when its a normal day at the plant. It’s insanely safe because it’s insanely unsafe if the unthinkable happens–like when something happens that the good guys cannot control above ground at a nuke plant (ie earthquake, tsunami, record breaking flood, wars, big airplane crash into building, etc) or when it is man made problem (ie safety regs becoming more slack, saving face, saving money, not wanting to spend the big $ to upgrade the plant at 40yrs as promised, etc).

        So basically the risk is too great. You could loose part of your country’s health and economy if the plant has a meltdown. Some in the USSR blamed chernobyl for the fall of their empire (sucked up lots of money and peeps health). Japan is having it worse. And it would hit us, a very developed country, even worse (more to loose $ wise, health wise, psychologically wise). RISK is much greater with these things.

        So then you have an easy choice or a tough choice. Tough being get rid of them like the Germans. Or easy if you keep saying its safe its the safest energy, I would rather have nuke plants, etc, than face change. Sounds like a relationship of a wife that is married to a rich husband that has been known to kick the crap out of anybody that is with him long enough. She becomes dependent upon him for her security and doesn’t want it to change all the while getting closer to that day he beats her so bad…

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          Wow. Can’t believe their still at it. You deserve a Gold Star for hanging there. or high five, thumbs up.

          • ocifferdave

            How ’bout get me a ride off this West Coast. 🙂

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Where was it I read that it’s gonna be about 1 to 2 years before the REAL BAD radiation hits us. I think it was yesterday I saw that SOMEWHERE.

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Or was it a DREAM? Waking up every morning is like waking up to a NIGHTMARE.

          • ocifferdave

            Yesterday I was so busy at work and then went down…I had a mostly enenews free day? Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need anymore? However, we do.


            Is that GOOD news or BAD news?

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            Thanks for the links BOTH.
            BAD NEWS I’d say…

          • alasanon

            If you all need to leave (advisable), I would get out before the first wave! The TSA is really cracking down…As you may know, they have NO respect for our Constitutional Right to Travel as it is.

            Remember, many people who would have been executed by the Nazi regime, got out early…such as Albert Einstein of Germany. It’s sad that we have to harken back to pre-occupied Nazi Germany as a reference these days!!…But, take note!.. (it’s just a different kind of gas chamber)

          • Steven Steven

            “the troubled Monju prototype”

            “soaked in a sodium coolant that can catch fire when it comes in contact with air.”

            “Because it is meant to produce plutonium, were it to experience a leak accident, the danger would be grave.”

            …uh oh. Is Homer Simpson rostered to work at this one, also?

    • SteveMT

      Whenever ene goes down, I think that this is the end. The live cam was still going though, so I kept my eye on that.

    • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

      I noticed it was down, too. I like to read the latest reports before I go to bed, kind of comforting to know what’s going on…and a little disconcerting to see the page completely blanked out.

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        Yes it was an eerie feeling. Even this morning HP Japan thread comments didn’t load for awhile – I thought Oh No! I’ve lost ’em both. Paranoid.

    • occiferdave asked some civil and relevant questions about the ENENEWS outage in his initial comment. Myself and a number of others were also wondering the same things and said so in other comments. Your response was pretty strange, in that it was such an attacking and derogatory couple of sentences.

      Yes, you have put up plenty of good information and I appreciate that as I’m sure others do.

      Thanks for the responses here. I am certainly not trying to “pick on” you. My interest is in helping to keep this dialogue friendly and civilised, rather than it degenerate into personal attacks and name-calling.


  • decontamination system, It’s up and running, It’s down, It’s up, it’s down….. What is the truth, is the pipeing in the 4 km have too many cracks holes ? Or does the system keep clogging with sludge ? Last nights report:
    Water treatment system at plant achieves decontamination
    National Jun. 25, 2011
    TOKYO —
    The glitch-plagued water decontamination system at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex has been able to lower the concentration of radioactive substances in highly contaminated water to the targeted level, the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said Friday.

    The successful trial run of the water treatment system paves the way for the start, possibly by the end of June, of operations to cool the damaged nuclear power reactors using water recycled in the decontamination system to establish a circulating cooling system as part of efforts to contain the crisis triggered by the earthquake and tsunami in March.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Yep, strange. I read weeks ago that the water would overflow aon June 15 if they don’t get the system to operate properly. Now (on NHK) they say they have time left until July 5th. Huh?
      The whole equipment is not earthquake-proof anyway, so…when will they admit the whole mess is going into the ocean for weeks?

      • StPaulScout StPaulScout

        Thats because they dumped the ‘less radioactive’ water that was in storage into the Pacific so they could refill the tanks with the ‘really’ radioactive water.

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          StPaulScott, no, I meant the 110.000+ tons of highly radioctive water which was collected from reactor cooling in recent weeks. The less radioactive water they dumped in April without informing neighbour countries was something else.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Is the Waste Radiation Treatment Facility south of Reactor #4 part of the decontamination process? Was there a fire at the Waste Radiation Treatment Facility in June after suspending the decontamination process?

  • nomade

    So, according to NHK, the decontamination unit was up and running properly yesterday

    And today NHK say it has still not started decontaminating the water.

  • Hot Tuna Hot Tuna

    I’m guessing they can achieve ‘decontamination’ but what it means now is something like for every ton of sludge treated they end up with a couple gallons of clean water. Not exactly solving the problem.

    • Terranigma1 Terranigma1

      How long is canned tuna safe to buy?

      Also, I noticed the grocers advertising Atlantic fresh salmon this week.

      • Terranigma1 Terranigma1

        Also forgot to add that you can buy pears from Argentina. Bartlett, bosc, etc..

      • alasanon

        Canned tuna should last 5 years, but remember that it has a load of mercury prior to 3/11 anyway…small does to keep up your immune system!

        The sustainable catch canned fish that I buy has been dated to expire 2016 and got harvested last fall, 2010, per the company rep…they plan to start testing into the future, too.

        • alasanon

          …that should be small “doses” does it on tuna… 🙂

          Shopping detective hard at work!

      • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

        Keep in mind that when ever they say Atlantic salmon that that is code for farmed and artificially colored and a number of other issues.
        A lot like krab, which is usually pollock (fish) based and artificially colored.

        • jump-ball jump-ball

          (OT: fgj: My new solution to continuing my daily 4 hour desert cities CA heavy-breathing bike ride without inhaling bazillions of underreported hot particles, is the ‘full face’ bike helmet:

          What you don’t see are the 2 valved N95 masks tailored and taped together inside, behind the mouth air intake filter.

          This will look OK on me roadbiking: on runners, not so sure.)

    • Poor folk’s that would have to clean the HIGHLY Radioactive filters every few hours and deal with the sludge, would make much sense since it was suppose to run for weeks between cleaning !

    • SnorkY2K

      I have experience cleaning sludge in a factory and polishing it for reuse to clean smoke detector sensor parts. We used a sand filter to take the sludge out before de-ionizing which would take out cesium and iodine. Our system could process 100’s of thousands of gallons of water with some lumps of sludge in it. The more sludge, the quicker the sand filters plugged up. When the sand filters plugged up they needed to be backflushed automatically with about a thousand gallons of water. The backflush water would then be heavily contaminated and could not be filtered with just a sand filter since it would just clog right away. Common industrial filter presses would require manual labor to process and an automated system would probably take a very long time to implement. They are probably left with just evaporating the moisture out of the sludge and condensing the moisture out to feed into the system for hot particle removal. The remaining sludge is going to have to take a trip to a hot landfill for a few millenia or mixed with wood chips to make mushrooms for further concentration over a long time.

      The equipment used to remove cesium and iodine also will quickly degrade as well and needed backflush to remove load and that load will also be a highly concentrated thousand gallons for anions and thousand gallons for cations. The two waste streams can be combined to neutralize acid/base or they may find it better to neutralize them and keep them separate. I never had to face that decision.

      Water exiting this stage between occasional backflushes can be directed to secondary stages for further “polishing” The last plant that I built had up to 4 stages of polishing. In this case the polishing tanks would probably be used until expended then landfilled hot instead of attempting to reuse.

      Backflush from deionizing stages would probably need to be evaporated with remaining scale to be hot landfilled.

      The purified water at that point will be of several flavors

      There are three main isotopes of Hydrogen
      Protium (name rarely used), Deuterium, and Tritium (half life 12 years)the remaining isotopes have very short half lives and likely would not last to filtration.

      There are fifteen isotopes of Oxygen. But, most of them have very short half lives and would decay to nitrogen or fluorine leaving a little bit of nitric or hydrofluoric acid. (symptom of either acid would be accelerated corrosion) Two of the stable isotopes would on rare occasion cause false selection if centrifugally separated.

      So, once the water is only contaminated by isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen it would need to be centrifugally separated or biologically separated. Cells that have genetic material with deuterium or tritium cannot split.

      Since some of the water may have had a long period of exposure in a very radio-logically hot area, there may be a significantly higher percentage of deuterium and tritium than ordinary water.

      Because of the exposure of the water to intense radiation the ratio of hydrogen isotopes is likely far from ordinary tap water.

      Water flavors:
      Protium hydroxide (pure water no extra neutrons)
      (1_H)-(O(1_H)) what is normally thought of as normal water. Outside of enrichment most of the water is really protium -(oxygen -Protium)

      Deuterium hydroxide (heavy water with at least one extra neutron in hydrogen atoms)
      2_H-(O 1_H) or 2_H – (O 2_H)
      Tritium hydroxide (two extra neutrons in hydrogen)
      3_H-(O 1_H) or T-(O 2_H) or T-(O 3_H)

  • nomade

    Yesterday NHK also had a piece about the projected spread of contamination in the ocean which has now disappeared from their site after today’s news.

    I presume that means they were basing their estimates on contamination ALREADY in the sea knowing and will have to revise the projected concentration figures now.

    I would totally ignore the last paragraph BTW. What does a nuclear engineer know about marine dispersion rates or how radiation accumulates in the food chain? Why would fish be safer to eat next year? Doesn’t he know what the half life of Cesium is? It’ll be quite the opposite I’d have thought… sea fish will become MORE dangerous to eat as time goes on.

    PS. Have you noticed how hard it is to find anything using an NHK search? Blink and news items disappear without trace. They had a new airborne dispersion spread yesterday or the day before too…a bit more alarming looking than the previous ones. I didn’t save the link and I can’t find it anywhere now!

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Within Next 50 Years Exists A Possibilit­y that Massive Earthquake and Tsunami May Devastate Pacific Northwest

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      This issue has been a well known fact within the geology community since the 70s, if not earlier.
      Just so bizarre that I have only seen the idea referenced in MSM in maybe the last 5 to 10 years.
      The tectonic mechanics are already in place for the US west coast to have a 9.0 or greater any day now.
      I have researched it enough to be left with the nagging anxiety about how many extra csar keys to have outside the house and how much life support to keep outside of the house. Hence, the back of my truck has a lot of camping gear at all times, which compels any one who sees all of to ask why and what for.
      I quit offering an honest/literal answer years ago since it was ALWAYS laughed in derision.

  • SteveMT

    Big report to the IAEA just released:

    Report of the Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety
    – The Accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations –
    June 2011

  • nomade

    On June 5th Tepco said they had just three days before overflow started.

  • nomade

    Sorry, 2 days. ie June 7th.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Improvised Fukushima water decontamination system fails at first ‘skid’

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    TEPCO Still Not Aware Radiation Can Kill…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Japan still plans to proceed with Monju fast-breeder reactor located in Tsuruga on the coast of the Sea of Japan?
    Fallen device retrieved from prototype fast-breeder reactor

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Japan’s government to accept responsibility for hepatitis B infections

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Tepco pedaling more Nuclear Baloney:
    At least 3 of those reactors are having the HOT Nuclear “Runs” while we blog and TEPCO says everything is in “cold shut down”, which is just more Nuclear baloney for no problems any longer just like # 5 and #6…

  • Mark

    Hey could Administer explain what happened last night? We are a distrustful lot around here in regard to the powers that be and blank screens freak us out. Would be reassuring to have explanation for blank screen

    Thanks Whoopie, got this link from HP,
    guess shipbuilding has advanced since Titanic so why worry?

    In regard to water decontamination units, reading between the lines Tepco is dumping radioactive water into the sea (my humble opinion) nobodies there to see what they are doing right? Nuclear poison factory in an exclusion zone. Manned by a crew of junkie alcoholic criminal type temp workers who like getting paid in cash no questions asked. Nobody really knows for sure where fish go in the ocean. For example until they started tagging Sturgeon in the Fraser river they had no idea they swam in the ocean until Americans started catching BC tagged Sturgeon in the Columbia River. I believe (someone please say if I’m wrong ) that nobody knows for sure where pacific salmon go when they leave West Coast rivers. Where do the fish go that are off the coast of Fukishima? but we do know that as food goes up the food chain poisons of all kinds bio-accumulate in larger species. Total crime against humanity and Mother earth as temp workers open the tap and radiate Pacific ocean. But seriously, hows Jens new romance going?

  • sickputer2 sickputer2

    Old post several weeks ago answered your salmon question… Search sickputer enenews last month option in google. I am in a cadillac going 70 or i would repost.. 😉 (I am the passenger though) >;->

  • nomade

    “So far, there are still no permanent repositories in the world for high-level radioactive waste, though Finland and Sweden have finalized building locations.”

    It’s almost certainly a sludge problem.

    And Tepco will almost certainly decide that it’s far easier and cheaper to “dilute” the contaminated water in the sea.

    The public will be told the radiation levels will be minute and no there’s no immediate risk to health for them.

    Just a risk to health in a few years time from here to eternity across the entire planet.

    Oops sorry, the amount of radiation was higher than expected.Oops sorry, the effects on the marine ecosystem are worse than we predicted.Oops sorry there is no way we can clean the sea now.

    Sorry is just not good enough.Do not do this. Store that contaminated water in tanks, hundreds and hundreds of tanks till you figure out a way to deal with it instead. It’s not as if you haven’t got enough empty space nobody else can use around the plant now.

  • Number 4 reactor…

    Large hardware in the reactor was removed and was submerged in the pool to…

    Tokyo Electric Company discovered that the water level of the pool had dropped
    to about 1/3 of its capacity as of June 11th….
    The machinery is thought to have been exposed and releasing high amounts of
    The operator fears it could hamper restoration work in the Number 4 reactor.
    TEPCO says the radiation level on the top floor is so high that workers cannot
    enter, but if the equipment is submerged again, the radiation level will decline
    enabling operations to restart.
    Monday, June 20, 2011 05:53 +0900 (JST)

  • Mark

    From Wikipedia “Sockeye salmon ranges as far south as the Columbia River in the eastern Pacific (though individuals have been spotted as far south as the 10 Mile River on the Mendocino Coast of California) and northern Hokkaidō Island in Japan in the western Pacific, and as far north as Bathurst Inlet in the Canadian Arctic in the east and the Anadyr River in Siberia in the west.”

    So back to my original understanding nobody really knows where all the fish go but dumping huge quantities of radio-active water into Pacific by a company who isn’t forthcoming is bad

  • Mark

    “nobody really knows where all the fish go”
    meaning nobodies tracking all living creatures off Jap coast and exact movement of Salmon so quite possible that Salmon eat poisoned radiated fish from Japan carry that back to Canadian rivers bears eagles and others eat those fish and radiation enters North American food chain. Someone please tell me I’m wrong!

    • sickputer2 sickputer2

      Mark writes:

      >nobody really knows where all the fish go”
      meaning nobodies tracking all living creatures off Jap coast and exact movement of Salmon so quite possible that Salmon eat poisoned radiated fish from Japan carry that back to Canadian rivers bears eagles and others eat those fish and radiation enters North American food chain. Someone please tell me I’m wrong!

      You are not wrong…scroll down to Sickputer in comments on this link:

      (Tip…on the link below in Internet Explorer hit Control-F keys and type in sickp and Click Next…)

      I have some other research from 55 years ago showing tagging programs and they all show the salmon caught off Fukushima travel to Oregon and/or California offshore areas each summer without fail…probably for many centuries if not milleniuns.

      • sickputer2 sickputer2

        Sorry Mark…my bad…jet lag here…

        Correction….I was thinking of the tuna migrations not salmon. The fish are different for their territories so the salmon will be a little farther down the line for their contamination, but it will happen.

        • Mark

          Yeah I checked out as advised re 70mph cadillac post and found your posts re tuna so that led me to search wikipedia re salmon. They get as far as Northern Japan but salmon are predatory fish so who knows what fish they are eating in western Pacific and where small fish go from the shores of Fukushima. My Canadian government is more interested in selling uranium then testing salmon for radiation so I guess I’ll never know for sure but sadly I don’t see anything wrong with my hypothesis.

          I had an old Buick once and ran that thing 100mph all day long, one finger on the wheel! What fun!

          • sickputer2 sickputer2

            Mark writes: I had an old Buick once and ran that thing 100mph all day long, one finger on the wheel! What fun

            SP: I had a 1964 Buick LeSabre with the 410 cubic inch V-8 Wildcat engine. It would cruise at 115 MPH on the freeway. Once drove 250 miles in barely over 2 hours on the interstate (4 AM in the morning so not much traffic). Nothing like the autobahn however!

            Thanks for your salmon research…I love salmon and Hawaiian tuna steaks, but without any radiation testing I think I will pass for the near future.

          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            Yeah, what fun.
            Just like climate change.

        • lokay5 lokay5

          “Once drove 250 miles in barely over 2 hours on the interstate (4 AM in the morning so not much traffic)

          Yeah, not like the traffic at 4 AM in the afternoon…….

      • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

        Millennia at a minimum

      • tuna
        There are over fifty different “tuna” species…

        The various species of salmon have many names, and varying behaviors…

  • Follow along with Fukushima researchers
    Amplify’d from

    There’s a research cruise underway right now to study the impacts of radiation release from the Fukushima disaster in Japan, using the UNOLS/U. Hawaii ship R/V Kaimikai-O-Kanaloa. You can read the overview here and follow the at sea blog of the 17 researchers here. The cruise features scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic, U. Tokyo, U. Hawaii, Oregon State U., Stony Brook University, UC Santa Cruz, U. Barcelona and Scripps Institute
    Read more at …

    See this Amp at

    Daily Updates

  • nomade

    And don’t forget that it’s not just radiation in that water. Tepco has been pouring in hydrazine too…supposedly to inhibit corrosion but judging by the colour of that rusty looking water it didn’t work.

    Hydrazine is highly toxic too, it’s got a skull and cross bones sign and a devastated environment sign on the bottle.

  • bfly

    Hydrazine? omg! this just gets worse and worse.All that marine sad!

  • nomade

    Yes hyrdazine.

    Today NHK says that boric acid is being injected to lower the alkalinity of the water which now has a pH of 11.2.


    “Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun adding boric acid to the spent fuel storage pool of the No.3 reactor at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to prevent fuel racks from being corroded by alkaline water.

    The company started the operation on Sunday morning. About 90 tons of water containing boric acid will be poured into the pool through Monday.

    Concrete debris from the March hydrogen explosion of the reactor building has been detected in the fuel pool.

    Last month, TEPCO found that the water in the pool had turned strongly alkaline, with its PH level reaching 11.2. The leaching of calcium hydrate from the debris is believed to be the cause.
    TEPCO says the condition may accelerate corrosion of aluminum racks holding spent fuel rods and may cause the rods to topple in the worst case, which could lead to re-criticality.

    At the same time, TEPCO is preparing to install a circulatory cooling system at the fuel pool that will go into operation in early July.

    Why do they believe the debris for causing this alkalinity when the OBVIOUS reason for this alkalinity is all the hydrazine they’ve been pouring in?

    To get an idea of just how caustic that highly radioactive water is, the toxic red sludge in that accident in Hungary last October only had a pH of 9. It was causing skin burns, could blind you if it got into your eyes and was extremely dangerous if inhaled into the lungs.

    NHK news say they are doing this to stop corrosion of the fuel racks. They even show images of the fuel pool where you can clearly see the fuel rods all got blown to kingdom come in the explosion.

    So what is the point in “saving them from corrosion” and “preventing them from toppling”?

    According to wikipedia.

    “Boric acid is used in nuclear power plants as a neutron poison to slow down the rate at which fission is occurring. Fission chain reactions are generally driven by the amount of neutrons present (as products from previous fissions).”

    So it seems to me that they only true statement in that NHK report is the hint that re-criticality is a problem in #3…temperatures have been rising they are very afraid it’s about to blow up again.

  • nomade

    Christ they’re at it again!

    NHK news. The decontamination system will be fully operational on Monday say Tepco (…but it might not work).

    The news item from yesterday that is the title of this thread has vanished from NHK…ceased to exist.

    Ludicrous 180 degree turns in “the truth” every day. Yesterday’s truth never happened. It’s like something out of Orwell’s 1984.

    Japanese people must be paying close attention to Fukushima even if the rest of the world isn’t.

    Nobody’s attention span is THAT short….they can remember yesterday’s news.

    Why are they doing this? Raising people’s hopes and then dashing them day after day…up down up down psychological torture tactics…but why?