Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fisheries ‘shocked’ at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant


Feb 25, 2015 
 
Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May.

“I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it. Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials.

Local fishermen have already given Tepco approval to dump groundwater into the ocean before it becomes tainted, to reduce the volume of water stored in tanks at the site. The operator is now doing this, pumping water from wells, monitoring it and piping it into the ocean.

The latest incident threatens to delay a second round of approval that Tepco wants the fishermen to provide.

The utility admitted Tuesday it failed to disclose leaks of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch at the stricken plant even though it was aware of high radiation in the water last spring.

The ditch receives runoff from the roof of the No. 2 reactor building, which is highly contaminated with radioactive substances such as cesium.

Tepco has said it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. It also detected some 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium and 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter near an outlet leading to the sea.

Tepco said there is no major change in the concentration of radioactive substances in seawater it sampled about 1 km from the drainage outlet.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Tepco reported water contaminated with high levels of radiation was flowing into the ocean at the plant’s port through another drainage ditch.

Yuji Moriyama, a Tepco spokesman said the utility did not disclose the information because there is no evidence of environmental impact.

“We were aware that the levels of radioactive materials around the drainage ditch were higher than other places,” Moriyama said, adding that they have been investigating the sources of contamination since last spring.

Source: Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/25/national/tepco-admits-failed-disclose-cesium-tainted-water-leaks-since-april/#.VO4-Cy4bKKG

Fukushima cleanup fails to convince as just 10 to 20% of evacuees seek return


February 25, 2015

Less than one-fifth of evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster say they want to return to their homes, despite government efforts to speed up reconstruction in areas with lower radiation levels.

The finding came from a survey by the Reconstruction Agency conducted between August and October last year that covered about 7,100 evacuee households in Namie; 2,400 in Futaba; 4,000 in Okuma; and 5,600 in Tomioka.

Between 51 percent and 60 percent of the households responded to the poll, including those living outside Fukushima Prefecture.

The four towns, all situated near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, are divided into three zones based on annual radiation dosage levels: “difficult-to-return zones” with 50 millisieverts or more; “no-residence zones” between 20 and 50 millisieverts; and “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order,” with 20 millisieverts or less.

The central government has placed priority on decontaminating and reconstructing infrastructure in the latter zones to enable residents to return to their homes.

However, the survey showed that just 19.4 percent of evacuee households from “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order” in Namie wanted to return, while 14.7 percent of those in the zones in Tomioka felt the same.

Among evacuees from no-residence zones, 16.6 percent of households from Namie and 11.1 percent from Tomioka said they plan to return home when they are allowed.

Among those evacuated from difficult-to-return zones, 17.5 percent of households from Namie and 11.8 percent from Tomioka said they hope to resettle in their homes some day.

About 80 percent of all households in Namie and 70 percent of those in Tomioka are from no-residence zones and “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order.”

Still, even if the government lifts the evacuation order for these areas, only a handful of evacuees are likely to return, which would crimp revitalization plans for the towns.

Meanwhile, 32.4 percent of households evacuated from no-residence zones in Okuma, which cohosts the crippled plant with Futaba, said they want to return home.

The higher figure reflects preferential construction by the central government and town office of key facilities to promote the town’s reconstruction, spurring hope among residents to return.

Decontamination work and restoration of a local highway route are also nearing an end in Okuma.
However, just 3 percent of Okuma residents are from no-residence zones, while the rest are from difficult-to-return zones.

Source: Asahi Shimbun
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201502250050

Tepco covered-up an ongoing leak into the sea since last year April 2014


 February 24, 2015

Tepco admits that it failed to disclose a leak since last year April 2014.
Unit 2′s roof and downspouts have been draining directly out to sea since the disaster. Water found on unit 2′s roofs was highly radioactive with 52,000 bq/liter on one roof

TEPCO did attempt to manage this by throwing down bags of zeolite at the downspout entrance and again at the drainage canal exits. Plans submitted to IRID for a drainage canal filter system called for a much more sophisticated system that would have forced any water leaving these drainage canals through a series of filters.

Zeolite bags were also placed around the entrance to the downspouts on the building roofs. Radiation readings in the downspout water was significantly lower than the water on the roof. A filter that forces all outgoing water through the filter media would have at least worked to more effectively filter water.

Source: Tepco
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2015/images/handouts_150224_01-e.pdf

German Language Reports on continuing Contamination


German News organizations are also reporting on the continuing contamination reported in entry More Water Woes Tainted water leaking into sea from roof of Fukushima plant.

This is an international issue; German Reports confirm TEPCO “tepid” and slow in resolving leaks of highly radioactive water from the roof of the plant:
Alarm after the release of Radioactive Water:
Fukushima aktuell: Alarm nach Austritt von radioaktivem Wasser: [http://www.spreadnews.de/fukushima-aktuell-alarm-nach-austritt-von-radioaktivem-wasser/1145262/] by Jens Prol
Report notes TEPCO has known of problem since last April
Fukushima aktuell: Radioaktives Wasser sorgt weiterhin für Probleme: [http://www.spreadnews.de/fukushima-aktuell-radioaktives-wasser-sorgt-weiterhin-fuer-probleme/1145294/] by Jens Prol
These reports tell that the
a; the Fukushima plant is still releasing highly radioactive contaminants into the ocean. and
b; the authorities at Fukushima are making a pretense of fixing problems.

More Water Woes Tainted water leaking into sea from roof of Fukushima plant


[snip]
TOKYO —
The operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Tuesday it had found a pool of highly contaminated water on the roof of a plant building and that it had probably leaked into the sea through a gutter when it rained.
The finding comes four years after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc’s Fukushima reactors, and 1-1/2 years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that radiation leaks at the plant were “under control”.
TEPCO said it has been aware since last spring that radiation levels in water running in one of the plant gutters rise when it rains but had confirmed the source of the contamination only on Tuesday.
[end snip]
more JT:

7,230,000 Bq/m3 of all β nuclide leaked from drain to the sea / “Contamination level suddenly jumped up”


On 2/22/2015, Tepco announced the radiation level suddenly jumped up in the plant area drain to let it flow to the sea.
According to Tepco, 2 radiation monitors detected the rapid increase of all β nuclide density (to include Strontium-90) around 10:00AM.
The indicated radiation level was 5,050,000 〜 5,630,000 Bq/m3.
It made Tepco check the potential leakage of the contaminated water tanks upstream and contaminated water transferring system, but they did not shut down the drain outlet for nearly 3 hours for some reason.
Extremely high level of all β nuclide was detected from seawater near the outlet, which was 3,000,000 Bq/m3. The contaminated water flowed to the sea.

The highest density detected by the monitor was 7,230,000 Bq/m3, which was 10 〜 100 times much as usual.

After all, Tepco found no leakage from contaminated water related facility upstream. There is a possibility that highly contaminated groundwater moved and flowed to the drain.
Currently they are collecting the water from drain by vacuum truck.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2015/1248294_6818.html
http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2015/1248296_6818.html
http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2015/1248297_6818.html
http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/roadmap/images/l140616_04-j.pdf

Source: Fukushima Diary
http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/02/7230000-bqm3-%CE%B2-nuclide-leaked-drain-sea-contamination-level-suddenly-jumped/

Strontium-90 levels spike alarmingly at Fukushima No. 1 plant


Feb 22, 2015 

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sunday that an alarm went off at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant signaling high radioactivity levels in drainage ditches.

According to the NRA and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m., and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher levels. Officials said contaminated water may have been discharged into the ditches.

The levels of beta ray-emitting substances, such as strontium-90, measured 5,050 to 7,230 becquerels per liter of water between 10:20 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. Tepco requires radioactivity levels of groundwater at the plant discharged into the sea to remain below 5 becquerels.

Since the drainage ditches are connected to the port of the No. 1 plant, the NRA has instructed Tepco to shut the gates there, officials said.

Tepco confirmed that no leaks from tanks containing radioactive water were found, but said it was investing further.

Source: Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/22/national/strontium-90-levels-spike-alarmingly-at-fukushima-no-1-plant/#.VOoTGy4bKKG