Where Will Tepco Put the Radioactive Water Leaking at Fukushima?

Fukushima Update # 85: April 11, 2013

by Nelle Maxey

Two more articles of interest this morning at Ex-SKF. The first discusses a leak at the pump connection which was moving water from one underground pond to another and makes the point of how contaminated this water is (a subject I didn’t broach in my email yesterday). The water is contaminated with strontium 90 and other beta wave radiation. This is very dangerous.

 http://ex-skf.blogspot.ca/2013/04/latest-on-fukushima-i-nuke-plant-waste.html

[TEPCO quotes from press conference]

“Transfer of waste water from the in-the-ground water storage pond No.3 to the pond No.6 started at 2PM on April 11, but a leak was found at the flange of the pipe of the transfer pump at 2:03PM, so we stopped the pump…We will disassemble the flange to investigate the leak that occurred during the transfer of waste water from the pond No.3 to the pond No.6….We will also start removing the soil that covers the top part of the water storage pond where the leaked water may have dripped.

[Ex-SKF comment]

The water contains 290,000 Bq/cm3 of all beta (mostly strontium), and 22 liters of this water leaked, as TEPCO's email notice No.36 confirms. That would be 6.38 billion becquerels of all beta (290,000 x 1000 x 22).

The second article discusses the inadequacy of the liners used in all 7 of the ponds.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.ca/2013/04/4112011-update-on-in-ground-storage.html

At the press conference, independent journalist Ryuichi Kino asked:

"So these ponds are constructed in the same way as a controlled final landfill site. Why? A controlled final landfill site is not meant to be waterproof. Why didn't you choose a covered final landfill site with concrete foundation, at least?"

There was no answer from the TEPCO spokesman other than to mumble they had their own reasons. I didn't hear any other reporter ask questions about the construction of the ponds.

Kino also reports that the company who supplied the polyethylene sheets says they are not responsible for the degradation due to radiation.

So what happens next?

Here is TEPCO’s plan for pumping the water out of the underground pools and investigating the leaks:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2013/images/handouts_130410_08-e.pdf

Here is a news article on the plan. However, neither addresses the question of where all the contaminated water which is being produced daily through the cooling of the reactors is going?

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201304110054

TEPCO to stop using underground tanks at Fukushima plant

April 11, 2013, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to stop using all the underground tanks to store radioactive water at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO President Naomi Hirose told a news conference at the company's Fukushima Revitalization Headquarters in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 10 that all of the water in those tanks will be transferred to surface tanks.

"We are deeply sorry for seriously troubling the public and the people of Fukushima (Prefecture)," he said in opening the news conference.

Four of the tanks currently hold 23,600 tons of radioactive water. According to Hirose and other officials, TEPCO will move 7,100 tons of the water to existing surface storage tanks, including one of the plant's filtered water tanks, between next week and early May.

The utility will also build 38 new steel tanks, with a combined capacity of 19,000 tons, and move the remaining 16,500 tons of radioactive water into them between the second half of May and early June.

The company previously only planned to transfer just over 7,000 tons of the water to existing surface tanks.

"I believe the new tanks will allow us a certain leeway in our operations," Hirose said. "We will commit ourselves fully to the task."

Hirose dismissed speculation that radioactive water could be released into the sea.

"That will absolutely never happen," the president said. "There is no change in our policy to use all available means to manage (the water)."

Hirose admitted TEPCO has yet to establish the cause of the water leaks from three of the underground storage tanks and indicated they will likely never be used in the future.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to stop using all the underground tanks to store radioactive water at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO President Naomi Hirose told a news conference at the company's Fukushima Revitalization Headquarters in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 10 that all of the water in those tanks will be transferred to surface tanks.

"We are deeply sorry for seriously troubling the public and the people of Fukushima (Prefecture)," he said in opening the news conference.

Four of the tanks currently hold 23,600 tons of radioactive water. According to Hirose and other officials, TEPCO will move 7,100 tons of the water to existing surface storage tanks, including one of the plant's filtered water tanks, between next week and early May.

The utility will also build 38 new steel tanks, with a combined capacity of 19,000 tons, and move the remaining 16,500 tons of radioactive water into them between the second half of May and early June.

The company previously only planned to transfer just over 7,000 tons of the water to existing surface tanks.

"I believe the new tanks will allow us a certain leeway in our operations," Hirose said. "We will commit ourselves fully to the task."

Hirose dismissed speculation that radioactive water could be released into the sea.

"That will absolutely never happen," the president said. "There is no change in our policy to use all available means to manage (the water)."

Hirose admitted TEPCO has yet to establish the cause of the water leaks from three of the underground storage tanks and indicated they will likely never be used in the future.

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