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Fukushima water headache: 1 million tons and counting

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Hundreds of storage tanks on the grounds of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant hold water contaminated with radioactive materials.
March 19, 2019
The crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached an undesired milestone on March 18: Storage tanks at the site now contain more than 1 million tons of radiation-contaminated water.
The announcement by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., came as the utility and the central government continue to weigh water-disposal methods while hearing the concerns of fishermen who fear for their livelihoods.
Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has repeatedly said a decision must be made soon on how to deal with the contaminated water.
Groundwater becomes contaminated when it flows into the buildings of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns in 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
… Water is used to cool the nuclear fuel debris, but its processing in order to remove radioactive substances is far from successful, which Tepco itself recently finally admitted after years of claiming that it was effective and that only tritium remained in the filtered water, lobbying for its relase into the ocean…
… These problems have forced TEPCO to store the contaminated water in hundreds of tanks installed at the Fukushima plant.
If more storage tanks are constructed, the overall capacity of 1.37 million tons at the site will likely be reached by the end of 2020….
… Fukushima fishermen are already on alert for the one option they have already criticized–diluting the water and dumping it into the Pacific Ocean…
… The government has spent about 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) to build a frozen underground earth wall around the three reactor buildings to divert the groundwater to the ocean. The “ice wall” has cut down the flow of groundwater, which at one time reached about 500 tons a day.
But still, groundwater continues to flow into the three reactor buildings at a rate of about 100 tons daily.
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March 25, 2019 - Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , ,

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