Friday, 27 February 2015

Nuclear news - 02/26/2015

Fukushima Has Been Leaking Radioactive Water Since May, But Tepco Didn’t Tell Anyone

Fukushima Daiichi
Workers in protective suits and masks wait to enter the emergency operation center at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, November 12, 2011. 

25 February, 2015

The fallout from the Fukushima disaster is far from over.

The operator of the crippled nuclear power plant announced Sunday that sensors in its drainage system had detected a leak of contaminated water 50 to 70 times more radioactive than radioactivity levels already seen on its campus—which the AFP points out were already quite high.

The drainage system discharges water into a nearby bay, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. The operating company, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), said it shut down a gutter to prevent the contaminated water from reaching the Pacific on Sunday morning. The radiation levels dropped off steadily throughout the day, but were still 10 to 20 times higher than usual later in the day.
Yet more bad news surfaced just days later: On Tuesday, Tepco announced it had detected elevated levels of radiation in rainwater pooling on the roof of a plant building back in May, but had failed to disclose the finding until now, according to NBC News. The radioactive water had likely leaked into the sea through a gutter when it rained, Tepco announced.
Tepco has been “aware since last spring” that the rainwater pooling in one corner of the roof contained 23,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive material cesium 137, which is more than 10 times more radioactive than samples of water taken from other parts of the roof, Reuters reports.

Local commercial fishermen are reportedly outraged at the announcement.
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, The Japan Timesreported on Tuesday.

The decommissioning of the Fukushima plant has been plagued by a staggering number of accidents. This week’s leak announcements are the latest in a string of high-stakes radioactive water errors since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant in 2011. A highly diluted radioactive plume from the original incident, meanwhile, has reached the waters off of California.

Fisheries ‘shocked’ at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant
Japan Times, 25 February, 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.
Latest Headlines
03:49 PM EST on February 25th, 2015 | 217 comments

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11:38 AM EST on February 21st, 2015 | 140 comments

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09:52 PM EST on February 19th, 2015 | 219 comments

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08:58 AM EST on February 19th, 2015 | 217 comments

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02:47 PM EST on February 17th, 2015 | 186 comments

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11:37 PM EST on February 16th, 2015 | 226 comments

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02:42 PM EST on February 16th, 2015 | 231 comments

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03:15 PM EST on February 15th, 2015 | 176 comments

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03:59 PM EST on February 13th, 2015 | 339 comments

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09:28 AM EST on February 12th, 2015 | 438 comments

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01:14 AM EST on February 11th, 2015 | 231 comments

Japan TV: Failure at Fukushima — Cement not stopping highly contaminated nuclear waste from flowing out of reactor buildings — IAEA: Radioactive releases from plant into ocean “a challenging issue” — Officials: Don’t know what to do next, or how this will affect whole ‘decommissioning’ project (VIDEO)

10:12 AM EST on February 10th, 2015 | 298 comments

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04:48 PM EST on February 9th, 2015 | 210 comments

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12:59 PM EST on February 8th, 2015 | 269 comments

TV: Shellfish disappearing along west coast, nobody knows why — Has become systemic crisis — Finding Pacific shellfish ‘next to impossible’ — Manager: “Recently there’s no local scallops at all, supply gone” — Chef: Began a few months ago, oyster farms flourishing for years all of a sudden had to shut down (VIDEOS)

10:36 AM EST on February 8th, 2015 | 310 comments

Japan Official: Fuel from Fukushima reactors is “melting down daily” — AP: No way of confirming melted fuel is at bottom of containment vessels — Tepco Adviser: “Schedule for decommissioning the plant is pure supposition” — The Economist: This is ‘Mission Impossible’ (VIDEO)

12:58 PM EST on February 5th, 2015 | 658 comments

Marine mammal strandings shatter records on West Coast — 10 times worse than they’ve ever seen before — Expert: “3 years of babies have crashed & burned… doesn’t make sense that they’re fine, then all of a sudden 3 years in a row, they’re not” (VIDEO)

09:56 AM EST on February 4th, 2015 | 746 comments

VIDEO: Cancer epidemic underway in Fukushima — Rates up 6,000% says head of cancer research center — “This is definitely a holocaust… everything’s being swept under the rug” — “Very, very frightening… my family members are brainwashed”

12:00 PM EST on February 3rd, 2015 | 307 comments

Japan & U.S. Gov’t Experts: West Coast hit by radioactive plumes from massive explosions at Fukushima Unit 1 & Unit 3 — Maps of L.A. and San Francisco covered in red clouds removed from latest paper — Total releases ‘clearly larger’ than previously claimed — ‘Significantly’ higher discharges flowed toward U.S.


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