Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tepco's Plan to Divert Ground Water By Dumping Into Ocean


Tepco cannot manage the volume of contaminated water being produced at the Daiichi site. It appears that between water injections and fresh water seepage, 800 tons of radioactive water are being produced in the Daiichi buildings every single day.

Tepco wants to divert ground water into the ocean to limit the build-up of water in the reactor buildings.

Japan's Fukushima fisheries associations are very wary about Tepco's plant to prevent ground water from entering the reactor buildings by diverting it into the ocean. The Asahi Shimbun has reported recently on their concerns that the ground water at the site is highly contaminated and will therefore further contaminate the ocean if diverted there.

My excerpt from the first article cited here describes the build-up of contaminated water. The second article excerpt describes the concern by the fishing industry that diverted ground-water is already contaminated:

Shunsuke Kimura and Takemichi Nishibori. (2013) Fisheries officials uneasy at TEPCO plan to release groundwater, The Asahi Shimbun http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201305130103

[excerpted] The overall amount of contaminated water at the plant now stands at 380,000 tons. It is stored at tanks and other facilities on the premises. The figure is expected to reach 700,000 tons in 2015.
Even if TEPCO releases groundwater into the sea, it does not mean that the entire inflow of groundwater into the buildings will stop. The utility estimated that pumping will reduce the total inflow by about 100 tons a day... [end]

Fukushima fishermen’s distrust leads to rejection of TEPCO groundwater plan May 14, 2013 http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201305140090

[excerpted] Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials underestimated Fukushima fishermen’s anger and distrust toward the company whose failures continue to threaten their livelihoods.

After meeting fisheries leaders several times since last summer, utility officials believed they had won approval from a prefectural fisheries federation for a plan to reduce the amount of contaminated water at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

However, the fishermen themselves lashed out against TEPCO at a meeting in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 13. [end]


Majia here: Fuel was scattered in the explosions at the site in March 2011. Ground water at the site is probably contaminated by dispersed fuel. Additionally, ground water doesn't just flow into the Daiichi reactors. It also flows from them. At least, that is the opinion of Masahi Goto.

 Al Jazeera reported in October 2012 that nuclear engineer and college lecturer Masashi Goto is concerned that radioactive water in Daiichi’s reactor basements may be contaminating the underground water system, potentially traveling long distances to threaten public water supplies.
Goto noted:  
‘There are pools of some 10,000 or 20,000 tonnes of contaminated water in each plant, and there are many of these, and to bring all these to one place would mean you would have to treat hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water which is mind-blowing in itself.’[i] 
High volumes of very radioactive water are threatening water supplies – rivers, aquifers, and the ocean – in Japan and elsewhere, for all water is ultimately connected and we are ourselves mostly made of water.



REFERENCES

[i]           Japan Struggling to Store Radioactive Water’ (25 October 2012), Al Jazeerahttp://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/10/2012102510561941251.html

see also M. Yamaguchi (25 October 2012) ‘AP Interview: Japan Nuke Plant Water Worries Rise’, Yahoo, http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-japan-nuke-plant-water-worries-rise-064339732.html, date accessed 26 October 2012.

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