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Rainwater flood in Shika nuclear plant raises concerns at NRA

Shika NPP Ishikawa Prefecture.jpg

The Shika nuclear plant in Ishikawa Prefecture operated by Hokuriku Electric Power Co.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has instructed Hokuriku Electric Power Co. to further investigate and prevent a recurrence of flooding that short-circuited the emergency lighting system at its Shika nuclear plant in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The 6.6 tons of rainwater that entered the No. 2 reactor building at the Shika plant in late September also came close to drenching power batteries prepared for emergency use.

It was never imagined that such a volume of rain would flood the building,” NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said Oct. 19. “There was the possibility of losing an important safety function.”

The Shika plant is currently offline, but the flooding incident could prompt the NRA to review the screening process required before the nuclear reactor is cleared to resume operations.

Hokuriku Electric President Yutaka Kanai apologized for the incident at a special meeting with the NRA on Oct. 19 and acknowledged that the downpour caught the company off-guard.

Measures to stop flooding were an afterthought because the altitude of the plant site is comparatively high,” Kanai said. “There was a delay in dealing with the warning signals because of a weak sense of crisis among those on duty at the time.”

According to the utility’s report submitted to the NRA, a drainage ditch next to the reactor building was partially covered for road construction work. The rainfall on Sept. 28 flooded the road, and some of the water entered cable piping leading to the reactor building because a lid had been partially moved to allow for passage of a temporary cable.

The rainwater eventually reached the first floor of the reactor building, and power sources for emergency lighting short-circuited. Some of the rainwater leaked through cracks in the floor and fell as far as the second floor basement, according to the report.

The water reached the floor just above the room on the first floor basement where power batteries are kept. Those batteries are a crucial power source for the plant’s operations in the event electricity is cut off in an earthquake.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, as much as 26 millimeters of rain fell per hour on that day.

The 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was caused in part by the loss of emergency power sources in the tsunami that swamped the plant.

That accident led to the creation of stricter safety standards on measures to prevent flooding of reactor buildings, including erecting levees against tsunami and installing watertight doors.

However, not much attention was focused on the possibility of flooding through piping.

Anti-flooding measures were not high on the priority list at the Shika plant because there are no nearby rivers. Piping into the reactor building was also not required to be sealed off.

The NRA will ask Hokuriku Electric for new safety measures when it screens the No. 2 reactor at the Shika plant under the utility’s application to resume operations.

The NRA is also expected to wait until Hokuriku Electric presents a more detailed report before looking into whether the incident was unique to the Shika plant or whether there is a need to expand the safety measures to other nuclear plants when conducting screenings before operations can resume.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610200027.html

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Contaminated Groundwater Pouring into the Sea

 

Fukushima Daiichi Groundwater Rises from Typhoon N°16 Sept. 21, 2016

« Groundwater level rises in the aftermath of Typhoon 16, due to its heavy rain the groundwater now reaches now the surface.

It is unclear as whether or not the groundwater has been contaminated with radioactive material as it poured out into the sea, To be determined later, Tepco says. »

http://www.news24.jp/sp/articles/2016/09/21/07341567.html

 

Tepco pumping groundwater from Fukushima plant.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station says it is pumping groundwater from under the plant to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the adjacent port.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Malakas have raised the underground water levels around the plant’s embankments.

TEPCO officials say they added pumps to prevent the groundwater from rising further. They say the water rose nearly to the surface shortly before 10 PM on Tuesday.

The officials say this has prevented rain from permeating the ground and increased the risk that the rainwater could become contaminated and flow into the port.
The utility says that while it is pumping the groundwater to prevent leakage, it will measure the radioactive substances in the water.
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160921_09/

September 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

395 bags of tainted material washed away in floods

Japan’s Environment Ministry says nearly 400 bags of weeds and other waste contaminated with radioactive materials were washed into a river during a torrential rain in Fukushima.

The plastic bags contained weeds, branches and soil from cleanup work in Iitate Village in the prefecture. The area was contaminated by fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

The bags were being stored on farmland near a river temporarily.

The ministry says that of the 395 bags that were washed away, 314 were recovered. But about half of them were torn, and their contents were empty.

Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki noted on Tuesday that the grass and branches in the bags had been collected recently and had relatively low radiation levels. He suggested that the possibility they will affect the environment is low.

He added that his ministry will work to recover the remaining bags and implement measures to prevent a recurrence. 

Source: NHK 

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150915_24.html

September 16, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Bags of tainted waste swept into Fukushima river during torrential rain

hklmFUKUSHIMA–Seven sites for radioactive waste generated from the Fukushima nuclear crisis were submerged during torrential rain in eastern Japan on Sept. 11, raising fears over a possible radiation spill into the environment.

The temporary storage sites, located in Kawamata, Naraha and other municipalities near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, store soil, grass and other radiation-tainted waste generated by decontamination work due to the 2011 triple meltdown.

In Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, where all residents remain evacuated, at least 82 black polyethylene bags containing tainted grass and other waste were swept from a site of decontamination work into a river.

Each bag can hold 1 cubic meter of waste.

An Iitate town official alerted the Environment Ministry’s Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration around 6 a.m. on Sept. 11 that bags of waste were being swept away.

By 6 p.m., officials had retrieved 37 of the 82 bags. The remaining 45 bags got stuck under bridges and other obstacles along the river.

Ministry officials said none of the bags located thus far had spilled their contents and the impact on the environment was minimal.

At the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, heavy rain caused radiation-tainted rainwater to spill into the ocean outside the plant’s harbor from the drainage system that encircles the reactor buildings on Sept. 9 and Sept. 11, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Floodgates normally block tainted water from reaching the ocean from drainage ditches, but the torrential rains overwhelmed the gates twice in the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 9 and Sept. 11, the plant operator said.

Utility officials said rainfall increases the radioactive level of the water in the drainage system as rainwater accumulates radioactive materials in surrounding soil when it flows in the ditches.

While the drainage water usually contains less than 100 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances per liter, the water measured 750 becquerels per liter on Sept. 11, TEPCO officials said.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201509120043

September 13, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Flooding swept away radiation cleanup bags in Fukushima

11996924_497018070475332_90973300_nBlack plastic bags containing irradiated soil, leaves and debris from the decontamination operation are dumped at a seaside in Tomioka, Fukushima, near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1

nuclear power plant in February

Bags filled with grass and soil from work to remove radioactive substances spewed by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were swept away in the flooding of rivers in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, the Environment Ministry said.

A total of 82 of the bags were discovered, with 37 of them recovered Friday, though it remained unclear how many had been washed away, the ministry said.

Scores of 1,000-liter bags were used during the cleanup work, mainly to store surface soil that had been contaminated from the release at the plant, which was heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/12/national/flooding-swept-away-radiation-cleanup-bags-in-fukushima/#.VfWDgJeFSM_

September 13, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Bags of Radioactive waste spilled after torrential rain.

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First thing that came to mind was “how would those radioactive waste filled bags hold during yesterday’s torrential rain in Ibaraki, Tochigi and Fukushima which forced thousands and thousands to evacuate?” . Predictable answer is “they did not”!

Exhibit A; The village of Iitate Mura, Fukushima

Under the influence of heavy rain the river bed overflown and spilled and shredded bags of temporarily stored radioactive waste (tainted grass, soil and other radioactive substances removed during decontamination).

There were several places in Fukushima where radioactive waste was spilled, but so far, the most hit place is Sekizawa. It is reported there are unidentified number of similar black bags are scattered around at multiple locations like this one. And each bag contains radioactivity of 0.5 to 1 μSv/hour.

For years these bags have been piling up, in open air, often abandoned on the side of roads or hidden in a forest nearby. There are hundreds of sites hosting this dangerous material in those three prefectures. Most of the bags are starting to deteriorate as they are meant to last up 2 to 3 years only. But yet again, the government keeps on ignoring even the simplest of predictable outcomes – such as heavy rains from a Japanese trademark; Typhoons. We know that, most of the population knows that – but the government keeps on turning a blind eye and mixing up priorities. Securing these radioactive bags should have come before the Olympics. So much shame and laziness of the mind

Entire homes and cars were carried away on the torrent as the Kinugawa River burst its banks after two days of heavy rainfall.

In Tochigi, more than 500mm (19 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours in places, according to local public broadcaster NHK, which said that was about double what normally falls there throughout the whole of September.

Parts of central Tochigi have seen almost 60cm of rain since Monday evening, breaking records.

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

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.

Source:Evacuate Fukushima

http://www.evacuate-fukushima.com/2015/09/bags-of-radioactive-waste-spilled-after-torrential-rain/

82 Contaminated Waste Bags From Fukushima Washed Away By Typhoon Flood
At least 82 bags filled with contaminated material from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have been swept away by flood water as typhoon Etau hit Japan, officials said. TEPCO said rainwater from the nuclear plant has been leaking into the Pacific.
Flooding caused by Tropical Typhoon Etau has swept at least 82 bags suspected to contain radioactive grass and other contaminated materials that had been collected at the site of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP).

They had been stored in a nearby town in the same prefecture, the Environment Ministry said on Friday, according to local media. Though the Ministry went on to say that most of the bags had been recovered undamaged, local media reported that only 30 of the bags had been found.
Officials said the flooding had not reached the nuclear reactors damaged in the 2011 disaster, when the NPP was hit by a tsunami that had been caused by an earthquake. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima, which took place over four years ago, was dubbed the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Earlier on Friday, Tokyo Electric Power CO. (TEPCO), the company in charge of the damaged NPP, said that one of the holding tanks on the premises of the plant has been leaking drainage rainwater into the ocean. Later in the day, TEPCO said the leakage had been stopped. According to the company’s website, there have been several similar cases in recent days.
“On September 9th and 11th, due to typhoon no.18 (Etau), heavy rain caused Fukushima Daiichi K drainage rainwater to overflow to the sea,” TEPCO said, adding that the samples taken on Wednesday “show safe, low levels” of radiation.
“From the sampling result of the 9th, TEPCO concluded that slightly tainted rainwater had overflowed to the sea; however, the new sampling measurement results show no impact to the ocean,” it continued.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga warned that the rainwater drenching the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant could flow into the Pacific Ocean, the Japan Times reported on Friday. However, he told reporters that the radiation level of such rainwater would be “sufficiently below” the legally permitted level.
TEPCO said on Friday it will continue to monitor the ocean to “ensure the water quality” and has taken “multiple precautionary measures” to protect the ocean water nearby.
Tens of thousands of Japanese people were ordered to leave their homes across the country as typhoon Etau hit Japan this week. The flooding resulting from the torrential rains has been dubbed the worst in 50 years. As a result, three people have been killed, 27 injured and 26 are still missing across Japan.
Meanwhile, Japan officially restarted the No. 1 reactor of the Sendai nuclear power plant for the first time in two years on Thursday. The reactor resumed commercial operations after receiving the approval of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). Kyushu Electric Power Co., the operator of the Sendai plant, plans to launch the plant’s No. 1 reactor in mid-October.
After the disaster at Fukushima on March 11, all nuclear reactors in Japan were shut down. Due to electricity shortages, two reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s Oi plant in the Fukui Prefecture were temporarily restarted. However, they were taken offline again in September 2013.

Source: RT
http://www.rt.com/news/315098-radiadion-fukushima-waste-leak/

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima leaks radioactive water after Typhoon Etau busts drainage system

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Source: RT

http://www.rt.com/news/314973-fukushima-typhoon-etau-japan/

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan: Typhoon Etau floods send hundreds of tonnes of contaminated Fukushima water into ocean

japan-storm-etau-floods

Flooding caused by Typhoon Etau has sent hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, a Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) spokesperson said. Rain overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, they added.

Tepco is storing massive quantities of contaminated water that was used to cool melted fuel in the reactors damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the site. In a statement regarding Typhoon Etau earlier in September, the company said the site was at risk from the storm.

“Typhoon No.18 (Etau) is expected to approach the central area of Japan’s honshu island and could affect Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as well in the next few days,” it said. “To prepare for the heavy winds, the crane necks are lowered and all the equipment is secured with ropes and covers onsite as standard procedure for construction sites.

“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.”

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said large parts of the country remains either on a warning or emergency warning for severe weather, with Tochigi and Ibaraki at greatest risk. Fukushima prefecture, to the north of both Tochigi and Ibaraki, is at risk of heavy rain, with ground-loosening and inundation possible.

Etau has led to devastating floods in Japan, with several people reported missing and water levels at waist height in some areas. “This is a scale of downpour that we have not experienced before. Grave danger could be imminent,” forecaster Takuya Deshimaru said at an emergency press conference.

Nasa satellite images showed the storm as it moved across central Japan. The intense rainfall moved northwards over the main island of Honshu, with almost 12in of rain reported. The storm has now weakened and moved over the Sea of Japan, where it is expected to dissipate, but rain has continued to hit the country.

Tens of thousands of people have had to leave their homes, with dramatic footage showing floods sweeping away buildings and cars. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said officials are working hard to rescue people and aid those effected: He added: “The government will stand united and do its best to deal with the disaster… by putting its highest priority on people’s lives.”

Source: International Business Times

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/japan-typhoon-etau-floods-send-hundreds-tonnes-contaminated-fukushima-water-into-ocean-1519222

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment