Friday, 11 September 2015

Fukushima leaks radioactive water in floods

Fukushima leaks radioactive water after Typhoon Etau busts drainage system
Flooding from Typhoon Etau has caused new leaks of contaminated water to flow from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean. The incident came after a rush of water overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps.





RT,
10 September, 2015

Typhoon Etau brought lashing rains, floods and storm winds to Japan. Tens of thousands of Japanese people have been ordered to leave their homes across the country.
Freak #Japan floods: Houses swept away, people trapped on roofs, 170k evacuated (VIDEOS)http://t.co/yE6QbT6H6vpic.twitter.com/CAH0blJxBr
RT (@RT_com) September 10, 2015

Tokyo Electric Power CO. (TEPCO) informed the public today that hundreds of tons of radioactive water had leaked from the facility, but maintained that the incident posed no risk to the environment. Large quantities of contaminated water need to be stored in special reservoirs that were used to cool melted fuel rods from reactors at the TEPCO site, which was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

TEPCO had acknowledged the risk of the typhoon to the nuclear site on Tuesday, outlining the preventative measures it was taking. 

For heavy rains, TEPCO has standard procedures to install rainwater guttering on the upper part of the water storage tanks and also to construct dikes around groups of tanks, which is applied to all of the recently added storage tanks,” said the statement adding that “the drainage systems on the premises are most active during heavy rains to keep the site from flooding.”

Despite Tuesday’s statements asserting that the drainage system would protect the nuclear plant station and the operator company was ready to face the typhoon, today’s announcement would imply that TEPCO’s efforts weren’t enough.



To deal with the new leaks, TEPCO said on Thursday that it was sealing off the seaside of the nuclear plant with an“impermeable wall” which would “play a crucial role” in preventing contaminated groundwater from reaching the ocean





ABC: “Epic flooding in Japan threatening Fukushima… Serious concerns about nuclear power plant in flood zone”
  • Hundreds of tons of contaminated water have already flowed into ocean Torrential downpours overwhelm site
  • Worst rains to hit area in past 50 years

Residents are seen as they wait for rescue helicopters at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, caused by typhoon Etau, in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, September 10, 2015. © Kyodo
10 September, 2015


MainichiTyphoon causes injuries, cancelled trains and flights, radioactive water leak… [TEPCO] announced on Sept. 9 that rainwater contaminated with radioactive materials had leaked from the plant’s drainage system into the ocean. The heavy rains brought on by Typhoon Etau exceeded the capacity of a transfer pump… This is the seventh time of possible or confirmed leaks of radiation-contaminated water since the utility began transferring the water from canal to canal in April… TEPCO says it does not know how much contaminated water leaked into the ocean, and is currently analyzing the concentration of the radioactive matter in the leaked water.

ABC News transcript: Epic flooding in Japan threatening the Fukushima plant… Serious concern this morning about a nuclear power plant in the flood zone… Torrential downpours [are] raising concerns about the Fukushima power plant… Reports that these heavy rains may overwhelm the site’s drainage pumps.

Reuters: A spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) told the Guardian hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water have flowed into the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear plant… Rainfall reached 500 mm around Joso, NHK said, with weather officials expecting at least 200 mm more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, the site of the nuclear reactor crippled in 2011, before the downpour stops on Friday.

AFPJapan flags grave danger from floods and water tainted by Fukushima nuke plant radiation— Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate across Japan today as heavy rain pounded the country, sending radiation-tainted waters into the ocean at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant… The torrential downpour has also exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power said.

Weather Channel: JMA issued landslide warnings parts of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, including areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that suffered a catastrophic meltdown after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, a national newspaper, the heavy rain caused contaminated water from the site to run off into the Pacific Ocean for several hours early Wednesday.

UPI: More radioactive water has leaked out from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… The heavy rain has caused additional leaks at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where the site’s drainage pumps were overwhelmed — causing radioactive water to leak into the Pacific Ocean.

Telegraph: The huge rains also exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, sending radiation-tainted water into the ocean.

Guardian: The heavy rain, which is expected to spread north on Friday, has also caused additional leaks of radioactive water at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… The meteorological agency warned that heavy rain would continue in the northeast, including Fukushima prefecture, until early Friday morning.

Bloomberg: The storm caused contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant to leak into the ocean… Contaminated water at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi facility leaked into the Pacific Ocean at about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said by phone, adding that company is still investigating the leak.

ABC AustraliaFukushima tainted water flows into ocean… weather officials [are] expecting at least 200mm more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, the site of the nuclear reactor crippled in 2011, before the downpour stops on Friday. The torrential downpour has exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, sending hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water flowing into the ocean, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said.

ABC News: In addition to the clear danger facing residents, Japanese authorities are particularly concerned about the flooding, given its proximity to one of the country’s biggest nuclear power plants, Fukushima — damaged by the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami… “The torrential downpour is threatening safety at the Fukushima nuclear plant, closed since the 2011 disaster, as it has overwhelmed drainage pumps at the site’s contaminated water treatment facility,” a Japanese government official told ABC News.

NPR: Floodwaters also “overwhelmed the drainage pumps at the Fukushima nuclear plant,” Japan Times reports, citing a Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman who said the flooding sent “hundreds of tons of contaminated water” into the ocean.

Prensa Latina, Sep 10, 2015: Typhoon Etau Causes Leak of Radioactive Water in Fukushima — Typhoon Etau originated leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant in Japan… Leaks occurred in dams located around the tanks storing liquid used to cool the reactors. With this leak, there have been seven detected since last April when a pumping system was implemented to prevent radioactive waste emanating from the reactor to flow in a place away from the plant.

EFE: Contaminated water from Fukushima leaks into sea due to typhoon Etau — The Fukushima plant… has been found to be leaking contaminated water into the sea following heavy rainfall in the region caused by typhoon Etau, a spokesperson of Fukushima’s operator confirmed to EFE Thursday… The leaks have been caused in the embankments around the tanks where highly radioactive water is stored after they are used to cool the reactors…

USA Today: Tens of thousands of people are ordered to flee homes across Japan as heavy rain pounded the country, sending radiation-tainted waters into the ocean at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Kyodo: Heavy rains whose severity was described as occurring once in 50 years were observed in… Fukushima Prefecture.

CNN: Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 tsunami, saw more than 30 centimeters (1 foot) of rain in 48 hours — the heaviest downpour there in 50 years, NHK said.




No mention of Fukushima on BBC or Radio NZ

Massive flood swamps Japanese city

Widespread flooding and landslides in north-east Japan have forced more than 90,000 people to abandon their homes.

11 September, 2015



Rescue workers transport evacuees in a rubber boat through floodwaters.Rescue workers transport evacuees in a rubber boat through floodwaters.Photo: AFP

The city of Joso, north of the capital, Tokyo, was hit by a wall of water after the Kinugawa River burst its banks. Helicopter rescue teams have been plucking people from rooftops.

At least eight people were still missing and 100 need rescuing.
The rains came a day after a tropical storm brought winds of up to 125km/h to central Aichi prefecture.

Chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Takuya Deshimaru, said that the rainfall was "unprecedented" for that part of Japan.

"We can say this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger," he went on.

The hardest-hit areas have been Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. Japan's Meteorological Agency had put both regions on its highest level of alert.

Submerged vehicles in floodwaters after an embankment of the Kinugawa river collapsed.Submerged vehicles in floodwaters after an embankment of the Kinugawa river collapsed.    Photo: AFP

Saori Mori, who lives close to the Tone River in the town of Abiko, told the BBC that "the water is right up to the top of the banks now".

"We have been told to pack and prepare to evacuate as soon as we are told to," Ms Mori said, adding that she and her family were "getting ready for a fast exit".

Television footage from Joso in Ibaraki showed people clinging to the rooftops before helicopter rescue teams winched them to safety.

Entire homes and cars were carried away on the torrent as the Kinugawa River burst its banks after two days of heavy rainfall. The flood waters reached as far as 8km from the breach.

In Tochigi, more than 500mm of rain fell in 24 hours in places, double the amount that normally falls there throughout the whole of September, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

Parts of central Tochigi had seen almost 600mm of rain since Monday evening, breaking records.

Many other areas of eastern and north-eastern Japan had also been issued weather warnings, including Fukushima prefecture, home to the still-damaged nuclear plant hit in 2011's earthquake and tsunami.

Floodwaters from the burst Kinugawa river flow into a residential area in Joso, Ibaraki. Floodwaters from the burst Kinugawa river flow into a residential area in Joso, Ibaraki.   Photo: AFP

The downpour overwhelmed the site's drainage pumps, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said.

Huge volumes of water, used to cool the plant's crippled reactors, are being stored at the site.

Landslides and flooding


The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 15 people had been injured across Japan. Two were elderly women seriously injured after being knocked over by strong winds.

A local resident is rescued by a helicopter of the Gound Self Defense Force in a flooded area in Joso.A local resident is rescued by a helicopter of the Gound Self Defense Force in a flooded area in Joso. Photo: AFP

The BBC's Mariko Oi said seven people were missing in Joso and one in Tochigi prefecture, and the authorities fear that number would rise.

She said officials confirmed 265 people had been rescued, but at least 100 remain in need of help as rescue efforts are hindered by the night time.

Some areas have had power cuts and transport was disrupted, with many air and train services cancelled or delayed. Some roads were also closed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said authorities were doing their best.

"The government will stand united and do its best to deal with the disaster... by putting its highest priority on people's lives," he told reporters.

Last month, powerful Typhoon Goni hit Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu, killing at least one person and injuring 70 others.
-BBC






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