Friday, February 14, 2020

Significant Earthquake Near Fukushima Daiichi - Plant Update


A 5.2 earthquake shook Fukushima Prefecture in Japan yesterday, as reported by the US Geological survey https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70007nqa/executive

M 5.2 - 34km SE of Namie, Japan
2020-02-12 10:37:19 (UTC)
37.295°N 141.304°E
80.7 km depth
What implications for the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which is so precariously held up by supports to prevent water-saturated and earthquake damaged structures from collapsing?

I did see Tepco inserting what I have previously described as a "cooling" device into unit 1 yesterday.

In the past, I have seen this and similar devices installed when emissions seem to be growing, as visible on the webcam:
 

Today emissions look slightly higher than they have been over the last couple of weeks, but not spectacularly so:


In the absence of a very large and local quake, I think the biggest ongoing issue at Daiichi right now concerns the contaminated water problems.

Tepco announced in December that it has "no choice" but to begin releasing stored contaminated water into sea:
Japan could release Fukushima radioactive water into environment December 24, 2019 https://phys.org/news/2019-12-japan-fukushima-radioactive-environment.html

A Japanese government agency has proposed releasing radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the environment, as storage space runs out.

The plant suffered a meltdown about nine years ago after it was hit by an earthquake-triggered tsunami. About a million tonnes of contaminated water has built up since then and the tanks that hold it are almost full. The government's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy on Monday proposed three ways to deal with the water—releasing it into the sea, into the air using vaporisation or a combination of the two. "There is no option (any longer) of simply storing the water for a long period of time," an agency official told AFP on Tuesday.