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TEPCO bungles it again in dealing with Fukushima tainted water

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Rows of tanks store water contaminated by radioactive materials at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant
 
October 9, 2018
Disturbing new revelations about increasing amounts of radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have undoubtedly further darkened the already dim prospects for solving this tricky and complicated challenge.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the nuclear plant destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, has said the filtering system to decontaminate the polluted water, known as ALPS (advanced liquid processing system), has failed to remove such radioactive elements as strontium 90 and radioactive iodine.
On Sept. 28, the utility acknowledged that about 80 percent of the water in storage tanks for ALPS-treated water on the plant premises exceeded government standards for radioactive materials.
TEPCO previously claimed that the ALPS system could remove all radioactive elements except for tritium, a mildly radioactive isotope of hydrogen.
But the fact is that of the 890,000 tons of water treated by the ALPS system and stored in the tanks, about 750,000 tons contain higher concentrations of radioactive materials than levels permitted by the safety regulations for release into the ocean.
In 65,000 tons of treated water, the levels of strontium 90 are more than 100 times the safety standards, according to TEPCO. The levels are as high as 20,000 times the standards in some tanks.
In explaining the reasons for this failure, TEPCO pointed to problems with the ALPS system shortly after it was first installed. The utility also reduced the frequency of the replacement of absorbents for removing radioactive materials to keep the system running as long as possible.
The company had long known these facts, but was less than eager to share them with the public.
TEPCO says it has disclosed the data on its website. But it is virtually impossible for an uninformed third-party information seeker to detect such problems in the massive reams of data.
The company deserves to be criticized for having deliberately concealed these inconvenient facts.
The utility reported the facts to an industry ministry subcommittee dealing with the problem of radioactive water and apologized. It appears that the company is not yet fully aware of its responsibility to solve this problem as the operator of the plant where an unprecedented nuclear accident occurred.
The ministry, for its part, should be held accountable for its failure to ensure appropriate disclosure of the information by TEPCO. The subcommittee should be faulted for concentrating its attention almost exclusively on tritium.
Tackling this formidable challenge requires debate from a broad perspective based on diverse information.
This point has been underscored afresh by the latest revelations.
The consequent radical changes in the basic assumptions concerning the problem of radioactive water have brought the process of figuring out a workable way to deal with the challenge back to square one.
TEPCO plans to treat the contaminated water with the ALPS system again to lower the levels of radioactive materials below the safety standards.
This approach, however, is expected to make the water treatment process far costlier and more time-consuming than originally expected, possibly affecting the entire project to decommission the crippled reactors at the plant.
The biggest blow comes from the serious damage the revelations have caused to TEPCO’s already strained relationship with local communities.
To build a broad consensus on how to cope with the problem, the government and the utility should work together to ensure timely and adequate information disclosure and set up opportunities for dialogue with local residents.
A system should also be created to promote a national conversation on this issue.
The tanks to store treated water is expected to be filled to capacity by around 2020, according to the government.
But no time limit should be set for debate on the problem. There is no shortcut to a solution.
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October 12, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Highly radioactive water leak at Fukushima No. 1 nuke plant

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In the background, from left, the No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 reactor buildings of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are seen, in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 31, 2016. In front are tanks used to store contaminated water.
Highly radioactive water has leaked from the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on Aug. 17.
The estimated 50 milliliters of contaminated water remained inside the station dike, and there was no leakage to the outer environment, plant operator TEPCO said. An analysis found that the tainted water contained 22 million becquerels per liter of beta-ray-emitting radioactive materials.
According to the utility, a worker from a company cooperating with TEPCO spotted water dripping from multi-nuclide removal equipment at the facility at around 2:15 p.m. on Aug. 16. After the worker mended the part with tape, the leakage stopped.

 

August 19, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fortum to supply more ion exchange materials for purification of radioactive liquids in Fukushima, Japan –

TEPCO and their contract partners have been fairly secretive about what exactly makes the ALPS system work. While they have provided schematics and some explanation of the systems processes, they have not said what filtration materials are being used in the systems.
Finnish company Fortum has been providing ion exchange materials to Fukushima Daiichi since 2012. In their recent press release they explain what some of those filtration materials used in ALPS are.
A proprietary ion exchange material called Nures® includes three proprietary ion exchange materials
CsTreat® removes cesiums
SrTreat® removes strontium
CoTreat® removes cobalt

FORTUM CORPORATION 22 September  2015 at 10.00 EET

Fortum has received a significant additional order from the American EnergySolutions for ion exchange materials for purification of radioactive waters at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Fortum’s ion exchange materials have been used in the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) in the power plant area to purify radioactive waters for the past three years. EnergySolutions’s most recent order is one of Fortum’s largest deliveries of Nures® ion exchange materials to date.

“Fortum’s ion exchange materials effectively remove e.g. caesium and strontium from radioactive water. In addition to purification effectiveness, another advantage of the Fortum products is their cost efficiency: the amount of the product needed is very small compared to the volume of liquids to be purified,” says Fortum’s Heikki Andersson, Vice President, Power Solutions.

Fortum’s method significantly reduces the need for intermediate and final disposal repository space for radioactive liquids. Fortum has sold ion exchange materials for some 60 different applications around the world. Fortum has supplied ion exchange materials to Fukushima since spring 2012.

Fortum Corporation
Corporate Communications

Further information:
Heikki Andersson, Vice President, Power Solutions, Fortum, tel. +358 50 453 4092

Nures® product and ion exchange materials
Fortum has over 20 years of experience in treating waste containing radioactive impurities with Nures® products. Fortum initially developed the product for use at its own Loviisa nuclear power plant. The Fortum-developed products are designed to e.g. remove caesium, strontium and cobalt especially from large volumes of liquids that are particularly difficult to treat and which typically are very difficult and expensive to purify. Nures® contains extremely selective ion exchange materials CsTreat®, SrTreat® and CoTreat® to absorb radioactivity. A very small amount of these materials are needed compared to the volume of the liquid to be purified. The purified water doesn’t contain any harmful substances and thus it can be released into a water system. Esko Tusa, who has developed and sold products at Fortum for decades, received the 2015 Finnish Engineering Award for his accomplishments. The award is granted by Tekniikan akateemiset TEK and Tekniska Föreningen i Finland TFiF.

Fortum
Fortum’s purpose is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. Fortum’s expertise is in CO2-free and efficient electricity and heat production. The company also offers energy-related products and expert services to private and industrial customers and energy producers. Fortum’s main areas of operation are the Nordic and the Baltic countries, Russia and Poland. In 2014, the annual sales (excluding the divested electricity distribution business) totalled EUR 4.1 billion, and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.1 billion. The company employs approximately 8,000 people. Fortum’s share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. www.fortum.com

Source: Nasdaq
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/09/22/769907/0/en/Fortum-to-supply-more-ion-exchange-materials-for-purification-of-radioactive-liquids-in-Fukushima-Japan.html

September 23, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment