Tepco: Water used to cool Fukushima reactors could be released into ocean — Outside experts worried

Published: October 25th, 2012 at 8:33 am ET


Title: AP Interview: Japan Nuke Plant Water Worries Rise (PHOTOS)
Source: Associated Press
Author: MARI YAMAGUCHI (Malcolm Foster contributed to this report)
Date: October 25, 2012

Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store [… a]bout 200,000 tons of radioactive water […]

TEPCO is close to running a new treatment system that could make the water safe enough to release into the ocean. […]

Outside experts worry that if contaminated water is released, there will be lasting impact on the environment. […]

TEPCO claims the treated water from this new system is clean enough to be potentially released into the ocean, although it hasn’t said whether it would do that. […]

Watch a Japanese nuclear professor discuss the contamination under the reactors here

Published: October 25th, 2012 at 8:33 am ET


Related Posts

  1. AP: “As a last-ditch measure” water from Fukushima reactors to be released into ocean… after ‘purified’ — No ‘immediate’ plans March 6, 2013
  2. Report: Massive release of Fukushima radioactive waste being planned — Gov’t Official: I was overwhelmed by amount of contaminated water from reactors, we must dump it into ocean — Experts: Much of melted nuclear fuel is now particles which are inside the water (VIDEO) December 15, 2014
  3. Gundersen: They want to dump all Fukushima’s radioactive water in Pacific — Tepco: It will be diluted, then released — Professor suggests pumping it out in deep ocean (VIDEOS) December 2, 2013
  4. Officials have “admitted failure” at Fukushima plant — Giving up on attempts “to prevent highly contaminated water from pouring into ocean” — Regulator asks “What was all the trouble over the past months for?” — Gov’t experts worried cement barrier is going to crack (VIDEO) November 23, 2014
  5. Tepco: We should have told public this sooner… we failed to cool molten fuel after meltdowns began — Experts: Fukushima cesium release could be more than triple Chernobyl (PHOTO) December 14, 2013

42 comments to Tepco: Water used to cool Fukushima reactors could be released into ocean — Outside experts worried

  • markww markww

    What happened to the HUGE out door retention Pond or Tank holding areas

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      They are close to running out of room.. and this is only a small distance down the road. They say this crisis will take 20-100 years to handle.

      If everything is full in ONE year, what will they do in another 10 years?

  • Sickputer

    It's all a massive shell game. The magician (Tepkill) says we have problems here, but over here we are doing better. They are delusional to think they can stem the flow of highly contaminated water to the ocean because the coastline topology means the inaccessible coriums will never be stopped.

    They remove some contaminated cooling water, run it through a Rube Goldberg filter and produce a toxic sludge worthy of Hanford's worst debris. Meanwhile, ten times as much aquifer water in the fissures and fault line under Daiichi flows unchecked into the ocean.

    The other thread about the single researcher worried about ground water contamination is just a delaying disinformation news blurb. Any possible groundwater contamination that can miraculously flow upstream from the coast pales in comparison to the real tragedy of corium waste flushing into the Pacific every minute of the day.

    Filters never were more than a Bandaid on an amputation.

    This "stable, yet precarious" monster nuclear megaplex continues to surge tremendous amounts of airborne radiation into local Japan air currents and the jetstream. That is the immediate death threat to the Japanese inhabitants and not the ocean flow. The fact they won't or can't stop air and water blasts means the contamination will get much worse over time. 37 million Tokyo residents will be the guinea pigs for the scientific community to examine and see if they will survive until 2020.

    • gladys a milyon gladys a milyon

      This is an extinction level event ? Does anyone else see it like this ? At the very least as population reduction . Not accidental . purposeful .

      • WindorSolarPlease

        Hi gladys a milyon

        To me this is a "possible" ELE if this gets worse or if this isn't stopped. Honestly, I don't see this getting better. I think we need a miracle.

        I do think there are safer area's, I don't know how long those area's would be considered safer?

        Time wise I have no clue before it "could" get to be an ELE?

        Since there are Nuclear Plants all over, I think we are hanging on a thread anyway. If one doesn't get ya, the other one will.

      • Honestly…

        An ELE?
        I don't know.

        What I do know, at the very least, is that this cataclysmic catastrophe will be an Insidious Suffering Level Event.

        On Purpose?
        Debatable. I would like to think not. But I am aware that the other possibility exists. Self annihilation is a difficult concept.

        If one operates Nuclear Weapons or Power, then they know the risks, yet they train every day to press the buttons. Annihilation through insane arrogance, foolish greed and political power is the crux of the issue.

      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        'Extinction' kind of implies a sudden end to humanity. We won't be so lucky.

        This will be a long, slow, painful self-inflicted extinction if its allowed to get that bad. The problem is that its far from that point as far as most people are concerned. There will be a LOT more pain before people start getting it. We'll save ourselves at the last minute, and then promptly had over control to the next batch of psychopaths (with their newer, better flavor of extinction).

        Its like the Mayan stone wheel calendar. It never ends – you just keep spinning it around. Pen up the psychopaths on this planet and it wouldn't be such a bad place.

      • Arizonan Arizonan

        I dont believe we have evidence of purposeful pop reduction. We do have evidence of enormous and wilful ignorance and deceipt since the dawning of the nuclear age 60 years ago. If nothing is done about ongoing water and air emissions from this constant death factory, then yes it will eventually turn into an ele, but it might take 100 yrs before the mjrty get it. I have said the world already ended on 311, but no one noticed.

        • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

          The "cause" of the Japan Nuclear Disaster "may" have been the 3/11/11 EQ & Tsunami-a "natural" disaster,but for those who proposed "Agenda 21"~it was a GREAT day!! TPTB show no sign of any significant displays of regret or remorse when the public is already suffering the consequences of the convenient & toxic "flaws" of a technology & decrepit,money-making facilities that would've ALL been shut down IMMEDIATELY if they had a conscience or a soul,much less a level of competence that would allow some hope for those already suffering with terminal implications & prognosis's-the majority of which haven't yet learned or been told what WILL happen to them sooner or later! I noticed that the "nervous" investors have shifted their vestments from the proposed expansion of the nuclear power industry to the expansion and commercial advertising & promotion of Cancer Care Centers,etc.-so that they will make money from the killing machines they built from every exploitable aspect of the potential ELE that they refused to spend money & resources to "fix" by shutting down the worst of the offending facilities and/or retrofit them with additional safety measures based on the KNOWN failures,flaws & weaknesses Fukushima "should've" taught them a thing or two about??!! The blood-sucking parasites will line their pockets with the "blood money" of their victims one way or another-THAT we can count on!! They too will suffer their own consequences & horrors they've inflicted…

          • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

            sorry about my grammar and rambling rant!-not a day goes by that doesn't have me finding issues of great concern and potentially tragic consequences due to people whose money & position making decisions that could & usually do spell disaster(sooner or later)??!! I'm glad there are names & faces of those responsible for those incompetent choices being made so I can "deal with them" later if it becomes something high in priority on my "bucket list" should calls for justice not be answered-especially if my wife succumbs to her "rare & highly aggressive" form of cancer leaving me with nothing to lose??!! I try to be a good person,but I don't "pull punches" when people I love are hurt and yet I'm still remaining "civilized" and passively contributing to anti-nuclear activities because I somehow manage to cling to "hope" for a "miracle" and look for anything that would keep those positive thoughts alive. This whole issue and the questions surrounding the possibility that cancer,miscarriages and deteriorating health of myself and people I care most about keeps me on the "edge" and has ruined many an otherwise good day??!! I guess the damage is already so great that they HAVE to keep lying and covering-up & maintaining their original harmful "official" stance on Fukushima and the industry since there would and should be a "witch hunt" if the truth came out AFTER we all got dosed with varying amounts of internal radiation exposure?!!…I'm bummed out again…

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            Maybe if the new heirs to the British Royal Family are born with significant birth defects they'll begin to "get it." William and Katherine spent a lot of time in the Southern Hemisphere around the time of 3/11.

            One has to wonder what the news would be if the royal heirs were born with significant birth defects. Would they mysteriously die due to "unforseen complications" ?

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Very well put. Thank you. +1000

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      The "well put" comment was directed at sickputer. Thanks again for your considered writing and all your contributions here over this last year.

      • Sickputer

        Thank you Arizonan. I am like the the late great Ted Williams (minus having future plans to freeze my dead head) in that like him I absolutely hate to lose an argument. I will graciously admit I'm wrong at times, but I will find anything possible to back up my argument. And with the Internet I have lots of resources.

        Take care in Arizona. A beautiful place…I fished decades ago near the Superstition Mountains at Canyon Lake. Such a beautiful place. What a tragedy if such great places become spoiled by the actions of a few monster humans (aka the nucleocrats). How did they become so deluded by this dangerous technology that they ended up potentially killing their own offspring? If things really go bad at Fukushima or other blowups they will feel pretty stupid for killing their own families. You can't escape the winds of death.

  • Jebus Jebus


    M I C Caesium ya real soon! K E Y Why? Because we can!
    M O U S E

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Fukushima Nano Bucky Balls Weaponized With Uranium, Plutonium, And Cesium; via A Green Road

    Cancer – The Forbidden Cures; via A Green Road

  • weeman

    Their is hundreds of single hulled super tankers that are not able to carry oil, why not fill them with radioactive water till you can clean and release.
    Better than releasing raw contaminated water.
    Can you freeze this water or does the radioactivity produce it's own heat and can not be frozen, please clarify.
    If you distill the water is some of the radioactivity reduced, can you put the contaminated water through thousands of centrifuges to remove radioactivity from water, slow but a start.
    We need all ideas to be put on table.

    • Sickputer

      Weeman sez: 1. "hundreds of single hulled super tankers that are not able to carry oil, why not fill them with radioactive water till you can clean and release.
      2. "Can you freeze this water or does the radioactivity produce it's own heat and can not be frozen, please clarify."

      SP: The tainted water flows to the Pacific Ocean in a volume Tepkill cares not to estimate. Not enough tankers in the world to hold them and why try anyway? The nuclear fuel fragments leaching into the runoff water won't be safe for a million years. Filtration is an exercise in futility and the tankers will rust out in 50 years.

      Fukushima Daiichi is most certainly a death machine with no off switch. The question is how fast will it kill the Japanese population and how many other population pools will be decimated.

      Sorry to assess it as hopeless, but at current containment funding efforts the people in Japan are sacrificial lambs. Dead men and women walking.

      The rest of the world waits to see if the nuclear barbecue will toast them also.

      • Sickputer

        Forgot to address Number 2: Can they freeze the water?

        SP: Only if Superman can pick up the ice blocks and carry it to the sun.

        • kalidances

          And what are they going to do about storage of the water?

          Japan struggling to store radioactive water

          "Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tonnes of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors, the manager of the water treatment team has said.
          About 200,000 tonnes of radioactive water, enough to fill more than 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools, are being stored in hundreds of gigantic tanks built around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
          Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company has already chopped down trees to make room for more tanks and predicts the volume of water will be more than triple within three years."

          • Sickputer

            Thanks kd for that link.

            How useless is this strategy?

            "Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company has already chopped down trees to make room for more tanks and predicts the volume of water will be more than triple within three years."

            SP: So you filter some water and have this ungodly toxic nuclear sludge some poor little yakuza kid has to load into smaller tanks and then you bring in single walled tanks that will rust out in 50 years to hold more death-dealing radioactive water. Sounds like a public relations plan to me that is the cheapest idea Tepkill could convince the Diet to accept.

            Delay and stall on a real containment plan and eventually they get tent walls around Units 3 and 4 and walk away. No dome, no water wall. Just turn off the cameras and say everything is fine.

            The new class of mutant humans…coming soon to Honshu Island and all points east, west, south, and north.

            No place to run, no place to hide. Just eat your radioactive sushi and rice balls and shut up.

          • harengus_acidophilus

            Waiting for an earthquake? </sarc>

            "Ooops, we're so sorry, but it seems ,
            the quake has damaged our storing facility…"

            Personal I think, they have no clue.
            What they do is just for the audience.

            We (all human beeings on this lovely(?) planet) will have to sacrifice millions of lifes just to contain this single event.

            Wich way should it go?
            -economic pressure
            -open dictatorship

            Take your choice and remember –
            it's also the pathway to future for (hu)mankind.

            Additional, there are ~400 of these death machines on this planet
            and maybe a carrington event ante portas.

            Have a nice day.


        • weeman

          If you freeze it will not leach only accumulate and any waste that can be diverted from the ocean is better than nothing and tankers would give you 50 years to come up with a solution to clean, one supertanker sure holds alot of liquid would you not agree.

          • Sickputer

            Weeman sez: "If you freeze it will not leach only accumulate and any waste that can be diverted from the ocean is better than nothing and tankers would give you 50 years to come up with a solution to clean, one supertanker sure holds alot of liquid would you not agree."

            SP: The problem is they can't stop the underground ocean fissures that are leaking because the leaking fissures are hidden under the ocean coastline. Once it hits the ocean floor there is no way to bottle it. Maybe that is one reason they concreted the lagoon.. But it didn't stop the deeper fissure leaks. Reminds me of The Sorcerer's Apprentice…hard to stop the water flow.

            Crisscrossing on this thought to today's new fish thread of increasing cesium levels…perhaps that paved lagoon has most of Unit 3's explosion debris of MOX fuel fragments dumped there by bulldozers and cranes in 2011 and then they paved it to try and and hide their actions. Certainly we might argue such action (if they did do it) was criminal behavior by international law. Tepco might defend such action by saying they had no other choice.

  • "Meanwhile, ten times as much aquifer water in the fissures and fault line under Daiichi flows unchecked into the ocean." – SP

    The ocean has been and is most likely still being used as a toilet!

    That's the magic TRICK.

    Don't be fooled by slight of hand. The situation has been and is 'out of control' regardless of any 'official' status. Plastic lined swimming pools are not going to do this job. They know this, but it looks good in the promo photo.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "As anticipated in the cross-section…the excavation lowers the ground to 10 meters above the sea and the digging of the basement is below sea level."
    This is from before the Fuku NPPs were built. They should have had a high school geology class review this plan, since all the children would have agreed that building the reactor basements below sea level was a very bad idea. Fill them with borated sand, cover them with concrete, and hope for the best. This is terrible engineering, isn't it?


      what's apparent from this article Philip, is it's not just a matter of capping it off. It's also a matter of groundwater being contaminated and then making its way into the ocean. Building a moat of reinforced concrete, that conforms to solid bedrock, around these plants would help prevent ground water from insinuating itself into the basements and compromised containment areas. Problem is, these facilities were built on volcanic strata; which is in itself, a porous medium. Still, any reduction in groundwater pollution is worth a try…

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Did you see my Cofferdam discussion yesterday, Aftershock? If you did, then you know that I agree 100%. I was just re-reading a thread from last April, which announced TEPCO's plan to lower the water table by putting in wells uphill from the Fuku Units, then pumping it into the Ocean. This was going to be done last summer. Guess what? No wells! Why?
        My guess is that they know that Coriums1,2,&3 are in the mudrock under Units1,2,&3. They would be a gigantic problem if they weren't constantly cooled by the flow of ground water under the plant. Not saying that the loose coriums aren't a gigantic problem as they are, but they would be a gigantic problem for the entire planet, and would quickly require the evacuation of Japan. So no wells.
        The problem then becomes the contamination of the entire Pacific Ocean, with the ongoing destruction of the Pacific Ocean Fishery, as corium leaches.
        My solution is to use the Harbor, walled off from the ocean with a cofferdam, as a heat sink. Or build cooling towers. Hot water would be cooled, either in the Harbor or in the cooling towers, then pumped into injection wells built uphill from the reactors. A cofferdam running behind Units1,2,&3, then to the Ocean on either side of the Harbor would divert ground water around Units1,2,&3. Something HAS to be done quickly, or the collapse of the Pacific Ocean Fishery will, all by itself, push the entire planet into recession. Or worse, the human population dies off.


          I didn't see what you're referring to Philip. It's tough staying-up on every post. Can you append the link to your prior post, to this thread? I'd love to see what you have to say.

          Curious thing is, what we're both suggesting should've been a prerequisite to the remediation of this nightmare. Doubtless there are a host of reasons (money not being the least; especially when it comes to TEPGOV-think) why they haven't considered this obvious – albeit interim – remedy. Seems it would give them (including us) a fighting chance…

          • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

            Edited Repost from PhilipUpNorth October 24, 2012 at 9:04 am
            Some solutions for Fuku do not require hands-on work.
            Construct two parallel Cofferdams 50' apart, and 100' deep. Cofferdams enclose Harbor on three sides, leaving fourth side (the shore) as it is. Cofferdams run uphill from Harbor past Buildings 1,2,3,&4, then complete the rectangle by running on the inland side of Buildings1,2,3,&4. Excavate between Cofferdams, and fill with reinforced concrete. Channel ground water outside of Cofferdam into the Ocean. Between Cofferdam and Buildings1,2,3,&4 sink a series of shallow injection wells to the approximate depth of Coriums1,2,&3 into the mudrock just inland from Buildings. Run pipe from Harbor bottom to injection wells. Pump sea water from Harbor bottom into injection wells.
            Use Ship Unloader Mobile Spent Fuel Crane to empty spent fuel from SFP1,2,3,&4. Move intact spent fuel assemblies to Common SFP, then (after cooling), to dry cask storage. Fill SFP1,2,3,&4, and Containments1,2,&3 with sand, or with Markww's 8 element Concrete, and put a lead cover over each pool and reactor. Encase Buildings1,2,3,&4 in reinforced concrete caskets. Cover ground indide Cofferdams with 4' reinforced concrete, covered with roof membrane. Could be done without even 1 worker death. Stops contamination of Pacific Ocean.

            • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

              The Big Picture: Consider Coriums1,2,&3 as Rogue Nuclear Reactors1,2,&3, for that is exactly what they are. There are, of course, no reactor vessels, containments, control rods, buildings, pipes, cooling towers, control rooms, or human operators. Because these 3 Rogue Nuclear Reactors are located in the mudrock below Buildings1,2,&3. This is why I am no longer concerned about what TEPCO does with Buildings1,2,&3. (Altough, I want to see all spent fuel pools emptied ASAP). Baloon radition monitors, robots, tents, cranes, containment videos, radiation readings, debris removal, etc. absolutely do not matter to me. What does matter to me are the 200+ tons of nuclear fuel lava in the bedrock under the plants.
              Now, these 3 Rogue Nuclear Reactors have to be cooled, somehow. Or, all hell would break loose, and all of Japan would have to be evacuated. The RNRs are cooled by ground water. Any attempt to lower the water table, or to stop the constant movement of the water, would result in the boil-off of the remaining water, with abundant criticalities, and the rapid reheating of the coriums. So TEPCO has apparently made a decision to allow ground water to flow past the 3 RNRs to cool them. (No wells.)
              And this heavily-contaminated ground water flows on, and right into the Pacific Ocean. Which is a gigantic problem. Because what we are witnessing right now is the contamination of the entire Pacific Ocean, and the destruction of the Pacific Seafood Industry.

              • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

                FUKUSHIMA HEAT SINK PROJECT: What is needed is a HEAT SINK for the 3 Rogue Nuclear Reactors (RNRs) located in the mudrock under the ruins of the Fukushima nuclear power plants. A Heat Sink that does not use the entire Pacific Ocean. You see, the 3 RNRs currently use ground water flowing around the coriums in the bedrock under Units1,2,&3 to keep the corium cool and relatively stable. Although you can see from the rapid and alarming increase in radiation levels throughout the US and the world, that the continuous flow of ground water is not a substitute for the CONTAINMENT of the 3 RNRs. http://radiationnetwork.com/
                Not only is airborn radiation dramatically on the increase throughout the Planet, but the ground water flowing past the corium enters the Pacific Ocean only yards away. If the human race is to survive on our tiny planet Earth, we've got to build a little heat sink for Fuku, to keep its radiation contained. This is the Fukushima Heat Sink Project. You heard about it first here on ENEnews!


                  truly brilliant dissertation Philip. You are an exceptional thinking machine. I am genuinely impressed by your thinking on the necessary structural engineering issues. Hat's off dude…

        • weeman

          They should freeze the ground to bedrock that faces the ocean this will put a impregnable barrier till they construct the concrete one and keep radioactivity down in construction area, just my imagination running away with me, you all best to put your energies into solutions we can't go back, luv y'all don't back down from the bastards.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    One nuclear plant is utterly ruining people, land, crops, livestock, water, oceans, air ..the concept alone of using this failed technology is absurd.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Technology has lost sight of basic reason.
    Sometimes..I am afforded time to do a little substitute teaching..
    From this view point..I can also say that in science's quest to push technology..it has also lost..the sense of wonder..for the natural world.
    To try and control the natural world by artificial means is insane.

    Those without wonder..are lost.

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    If TEPCO doesn't entomb the reactors, they will have to continue to cool them with water, which will generate more contaminated water than can be stored. They WILL release this after a scrub into the ocean and every so often, will release higher and higher levels of contamination. These scrubbers are very expensive and once folks are acclimated to routine releases, it's not such a far step to simply only try and decontaminate the "worst" water and let the rest spill. I really think few in the industry want to entomb the entire Fukushima site because it could spell the death nell for the entire industry. It would show that after all this time since Chernobyl, we still have no way to deal with nuclear melt-throughs. I'm not sure how to go about it, but, i think a populous push for entombment is our best and most rational chance to slow this contamination down and hope we have figured something out in a few hundred years that can deal with it.

  • dosdos dosdos

    No, no, Fukushima is not as bad as Chernobyl. We all know that's true. MSM tells us so.

  • richard richard

    This article is now on huff.

    "Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Plant's Contaminated Water Storage Running Out Of Space"


    There's a comment field just waiting, go people 😉