Title: TEPCO’s N-plant delays cause for worry
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun
Author: Takashi Ito and Takashi Maemura
Date: July 31, 2013
[...] On the sea side of Nos. 1 to 4 reactors, there are two types of tunnels [...] and more than 15,000 tons of contaminated water remains there.
Two years ago, the company did not conduct any work at locations other than the exit of test wells to prevent water leakage. It even failed to make any effort to remove the water from the tunnels at that time.
A source close to the matter said, “As problems occurred one after another at that time, [the company] couldn’t afford to work on the tunnels.”
As tunnels for electric cables are less resistant to earthquakes than reactors and other key equipment at the plant, they may have been damaged by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The bottom of the tunnels is lined with gravel, and leaked contaminated water may have moved to other spots where groundwater is located.
Some tunnels are connected to turbine buildings where huge amounts of radioactive water are concentrated. TEPCO plans to launch work to drain the tainted water but is likely to face many challenges, including how to close the connections to the turbine buildings. [...]
See also: Asahi: Tepco's done nothing for over 2 years to stop highly radioactive Fukushima leak -- Water above 1 sievert per hour -- Admits work "has not been done to this day because of difficulties involved"
Published: August 3rd, 2013 at 12:12 am ET
- Fukushima Plant Chief in 2011: If we fail to urgently deal with radioactive leakage, we can’t overcome the crisis — 2 years later Tepco admits they couldn’t afford to work on it September 11, 2013
- TV: Nuclear waste “flowing out to sea” from underground tunnels at Fukushima — 950 Billion Bq/m³ of cesium in Unit 2 shaft next to ocean — 11,000 tons estimated in tunnels — ‘Stream’ of moving water — Gov’t regulators ‘urgently assessing’ problems, ‘sense of crisis’ needed (VIDEO) July 30, 2014
- TV: “Barrier is not holding” at Fukushima plant — All efforts have failed to stop very high levels of radioactive materials flowing into ocean — Officials: More water’s coming in than we were pumping out — Workers now trying to prevent overflow (VIDEO) November 19, 2014
- Tepco to dump groundwater from under reactor buildings into ocean — Kyodo: 1,000 tons a day; “Tepco would check contamination level before releasing it” April 24, 2012
- Scientist back from Japan: I’ve seen data showing highest radioactivity levels in ocean that have been observed recently — NHK: Nuclear waste may be leaking “directly from buildings” not only going into groundwater via tunnels (VIDEOS) January 28, 2014