Friday, May 3, 2013

Three of seven Fukushima tanks leaking radioactiv​e water

Gordon Edwards
9:59 AM (3 hours ago)
to Gordon

The nuclear industry is famous for distorting language to
fit their public relations needs.  Thus a nuclear accident 
is called an incident, a runaway chain reaction is called
an excursion, a radioactive waste dump is called a
repository, and high-level radioactive waste is called
used fuel.
The owners of the catastrophically damaged Fukushima
Dai-ichi reactors have added to the legacy of "nukespeak"
by digging huge earthen pits, lining them with polyethylene
sheets, and then calling these holes in the ground "tanks". 
Radioactive ocean water is stored -- hundreds of thousands
of tons of it -- in seven of these underground "tanks".  The salt
water is heavily contaminated with radioactive fission products. 
Each litre of contaminated water contains millions of becquerels 
of radioactive waste material that is flushed out of the molten 
cores of the three demolished reactors.  It's an ongoing 
process as more and more water is used to cool the reactors
-- to prevent the cores from overheating once again.
Now it appears that at least three of the seven subterranean
reservoirs are leaking their radiotoxic contents into the soil.
So far at least 210 tons of liquid have escaped.  Either the
liners have developed defects or the radioactive liquid is
spilling over the tops of the liners.

Gordon Edwards.

P.S. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is
described in the first of the articles reprinted below as
a "nuclear watchdog", but this is quite misleading.  The
IAEA's principal mandate is "to accelerate and enlarge"
the nuclear power enterprise worldwide.  Safety has never
been more than a sideline for the IAEA, insofar as a lack 
of safety may impede the expansion of the industry.

Three of seven Fukushima tanks leaking radioactive water

AFP Photo / Pool / Issei Kato

Another toxic water tank at the Fukushima Daichii power plant is likely leaking, the national atomic energy agency says, bringing the total defective tanks to three of a total seven. The tanks were built to store contaminated water.
The new leak was detected in pool No.1 while water from the leaking pool No.2 was being transported [to pool No. 1], according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. The water transfer has been halted.
The plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) indicated they were "losing faith" in temporary storage pits for the radioactive water, but did not have anywhere else to put it.

"We can't move all the contaminated water to above ground [tanks] if we opt not to use the underground reservoirs. There isn't enough capacity and we need to use what is available," Tepco general manager Masayuki Ono explained at a news conference.
Meanwhile, the nuclear watchdog IAEA has announced its experts are set to come to Fukushima to inspect the situation at the nuclear plant.
A day earlier, the operator admitted that they are running out of space to store radioactive water from the facility.
The company is still dealing with the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, as it attempts to keep reactors and spent fuel pools in a safe state known as ‘cold shutdown.’
On Saturday, as much as 120 tons of contaminated water seeped from an underground tank; a new leak was spotted on Sunday. The cooling system for the plant has also failed twice over the past three weeks.


Tepco halts transfer of radioactive 

seawater after seepage is found 

in receiving reservoir

Fukushima springs new cistern leak

JIJI, KYODO, Japan Times, April 9, 2012

Tokyo Electric Power Co. had to halt the transfer of radioactive seawater from one leaking sunken reservoir to another at its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after it found a new cistern leak, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said Tuesday.
Tepco had been moving the tainted water from reservoir No. 2 [to reservoir No. 1] when water samples taken Tuesday morning from between waterproofing sheets of reservoir No. 1 showed salt concentrations had risen sharply from a day earlier. Tepco was also testing the water for radioactive substances.
The current water level of the No. 1 reservoir was unclear because Tepco had been in the process of transferring water.
There are seven sunken reservoirs at the Fukushima plant, whose surfaces are capped above ground, and three of them so far have been found to be leaky.
On Saturday, Tepco announced that 120 tons of seawater containing about 710 billion becquerels of radioactivity had escaped from reservoir No. 2 and leaked into the ground.
Because of that leak, Tepco had planned to transfer about 9,200 tons of its water to reservoir No. 1. But because of the leak in that cistern, the utility will move 6,200 tons of water that had already been transferred, as well as the remaining water in reservoir No. 1, to above-ground storage tanks.
Tepco said Tuesday it will continue using the remaining four [underground] reservoirs that haven’t leaked.
The utility has introduced a system to purify contaminated seawater leaking from containment vessels — first by removing radioactive substances and then removing salt — and recycling it as coolant for the crippled reactors.
The reservoirs were used to store water removed in this process that has high salt concentrations. Although cesium is removed, strontium still remains. Tepco has been testing a new purifying system called ALPS, which can remove 62 kinds of radioactive substances — including strontium, since the end of March.