‘Shock’: Water underneath Fukushima reactors to be dumped in ocean — Attempts to deal with problem have ‘failed’ — Officials: It’s better than radioactive substances just “spilling directly into the ocean” like it is now (VIDEO)

Published: August 8th, 2014 at 8:25 pm ET
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AFP, Aug. 7, 2014 (emphasis added): Tepco ‘running out of space’ for tainted water — [Tepco] on Thursday unveiled a plan to dump scrubbed water directly into the ocean, sparking concerns over whether it would be properly decontaminated. […] {Tepco] has admitted that it’s running out of space. It is also fighting to contain contaminated groundwater around the plant from seeping into the ocean […] [Tepco] said it now wants to start pumping out the underground water, purify it […] and then release it […] the firm has long faced criticism over delays in disclosing key information […]

NHK, Aug. 6, 2014: Highly radioactive water [...] is seeping into the earth and mixing with ground water. Experts estimate around 200 [or 400] tons of contaminated ground water are leaking into the ocean each day. [Tepco wants] to decontaminate ground water collected at wells near reactor buildings before releasing it into the ocean. […] They say their plan is an improvement on the current situation, as contaminated water is spilling directly into the ocean.

Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug 7, 2014: Groundwater to be pumped up from some of the subdrain pits includes high levels of tritium, a radioactive substance that cannot be removed [...] However, TEPCO believes it is possible to [...] meet standards if the water is mixed in tanks with water pumped from other subdrain pits.

Kyodo, Aug 7, 2014: Tepco to collect toxic groundwater at Fukushima, dump in ocean after treatment [...] it is unclear whether [the plan] will work as smoothly as expected, one of the officials admitted. [...] Radioactive substances such as tritium and cesium have been detected [but] TEPCO says it aims to clean the water to a level that would do no harm to the environment, but tritium will remain untreated [...]

Asahi Shimbun, Aug 7, 2014: [Tepco] wants to dump decontaminated water [...] into the ocean. [TEPCO] is in talks with government ministries to pump contaminated water found around the buildings [...] process it [...] then release it [...] “We would never consider dumping the water into the ocean unless we received the consent of local residents,” a TEPCO official said. [...] it would be the first time [...] for contaminated water to be dumped into the ocean after it has been purified. [...] “The water close to the plant buildings is already contaminated,” the official said. “Fishermen are sure to raise objections” [...]

Bloomberg, Aug 4, 2014: [E]stimates [...] suggest filtering the isotope strontium out of stored water will take more time [than Tepco's March 31, 2015 deadline.] Strontium has been linked to leukemia and can enter the food chain [...] Delays in the cleanup could extend a South Korean ban on Japanese seafood imports [...] Michael Friedlander, a former nuclear engineer [said] “They’re basically accumulating vast quantities of radioactive material that isn’t in control” [...] Corrosion has delayed full use of a filtration system known as ALPS [...] Tepco said a plan to divert groundwater into the sea [...] has so far failed [...]

NHK, Aug. 7, 2014: [TEPCO] is running a so-called bypass system [...] But groundwater continues to flow into the reactors’ buildings and become contaminated. Part of it is believed to be seeping into the nearby Pacific Ocean. […] In the closed-door meeting, the officials are said to have explained that they plan to collect contaminated groundwater both at wells near reactor buildings and [...] a coastal embankment. […] Fisheries association head Hiroyuki Sato told reporters that fishermen were shocked to hear that the measure is needed [...]

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

Published: August 8th, 2014 at 8:25 pm ET
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192 comments

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