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Possible radioactive water leak at Japan’s crisis hit Fukushima nuke plant

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November 28, 2019
TOKYO, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) — The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan said Thursday that radioactive rainwater may be leaking into the ground through an exhaust stack.
According to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), rainwater leaving the ducts of one of the crippled plant’s 120-meter tall exhaust stacks contains high levels of radioactive materials.
The exhaust duct became highly contaminated when an earthquake-triggered tsunami battered the plant in March 2011, knocking out its key cooling systems and leading to core meltdowns and hydrogen explosions, resulting in the worst global nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
The embattled utility, in a bid to collect and contain the radioactive water, said it has installed a concrete box designed to automatically distribute the water among storage tanks when the concrete box reaches a certain capacity.
TEPCO said, however, the concrete box it has installed is leaking, with radioactive water possibly flowing freely into the ground through the holes in the box.
The utility said, ostensibly confirming the leak of radioactive water into the ground, that water levels in the concrete box are falling, even when the contaminated rainwater is not being sent to the storage tanks.
TEPCO said it has not detected any “major” changes in levels of radioactivity in groundwater surrounding the leaking box and claimed there has been no adverse affects on the environment.
As the nuclear disaster at the stricken plant in Japan’s northeast continues to rumble on, the government here said earlier this month it would be safe to release radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
The plant in Fukushima Prefecture has being storing water that has been used to keep the nuclear cores cool after the meltdowns.
The water used to cool the melted-down cores and the groundwater at the battered plant, however, are contaminated with highly radioactive materials.
The plant is struggling to store the contaminated water in tanks at the plant and the amount of water collected has already exceeded 100 tons, with the amount rising on a daily basis and space rapidly running out.
TEPCO has said it expects the plant’s water storage tanks to become full by the summer of 2020.
Concerns have been voiced, however, over how different factors could affect the impact of the release of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, such as the weather and the currents of the sea.
In addition, concerns have also been made over the actual amount of radiation that humans could be internally exposed to, if and when the water is released, when factoring in the consumption of contaminated fish and seaweed.
While the government has suggested dumping the excess water into the ocean would be safe, local fisherman have expressed their vehement opposition to the move.
They argue that such a move would adversely affect the reputation of their produce and, once again, make it extremely difficult if not impossible for them to earn a living.
Some neighboring countries, including South Korea, have also voiced their opposition to the idea, citing concerns over the impact on the environment if radioactive water is released from the crisis-hit plant into the Pacific Ocean.

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Possible water leak from Fukushima exhaust stack

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November 28, 2019
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says rainwater contaminated by an exhaust stack may be leaking into the ground.
The 120-meter tall chimney was heavily contaminated in the 2011 accident, and rainwater coming out of the duct contains high levels of radioactive substances.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has installed a concrete box to collect contaminated rainwater.
The box is designed to automatically send the water to designated tanks when the water level exceeds 40 centimeters.
But TEPCO found that the water level falls even when rainwater is not discharged to the tanks.
The company suspects that’s because the concrete box has holes from which the stored water is leaking.
TEPCO says there are no major changes in radioactivity in surrounding groundwater and that it has not confirmed any impact on the environment so far.
But the operator says it will consider measures to prevent leakage.

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Radiation leaks at Japan’s Tokai plutonium lab; ‘no workers exposed’

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The Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, is seen in 1997.
Radiation leaks at Japan plutonium lab; no workers exposed
Jan 30, 2019,
A Japanese state-run nuclear fuel laboratory near Tokyo said Wednesday it detected a radiation leak in its plutonium handling facility, but no workers were exposed.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency said a radiation alarm went off after nine workers changed plastic covers on two canisters containing MOX, a mixture of plutonium and uranium, and removed them from a sealed compartment.
JAEA said the workers, each wearing a mask, escaped radiation exposure after running into another room. No leak was detected outside the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering Laboratories in Tokai Village, northeast of Tokyo. The facility ended nuclear fuel production in 2001 and is being decommissioned.
The cause of the leak is under investigation. The agency suggested possible damage to the plastic covers during the routine change.
JAEA has been reprimanded repeatedly by Japanese nuclear authorities for its poor safety record in recent years. A bag of plutonium broke during an inspection at another facility operated by the agency in 2017, contaminating five workers. A plutonium-burning fast breeder reactor, Monju, is being scrapped after suffering an accident in 1995.
Japan’s possession of large plutonium stockpiles from its struggling nuclear spent-fuel recycling program has raised international concerns. Critics say Japan should stop extracting plutonium, citing risks of it being used to develop nuclear weapons. JAEA possesses about half of the 10.5 tons of separated plutonium that Japan has at home, while an additional 37 tons have been reprocessed and are stored overseas.
To reduce the stockpile, Japan burns plutonium as MOX fuel in conventional reactors. Restarts of halted nuclear plants have proceeded slowly amid persistent anti-nuclear sentiment since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.
Alarm triggered at onetime nuclear fuel facility in Ibaraki after leak of radioactive substances
Jan 30, 2019
An alarm was triggered at a onetime nuclear fuel manufacturing facility Wednesday after radioactive substances leaked from materials that were being transferred at the facility operated by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, company officials said.
All nine of the workers who were in the room when the radiation leak occurred were cleared with no ill affects to their health, JAEA official Shinichi Nishikawa told a news conference.
JAEA said the workers, each wearing a mask, escaped radiation exposure after running into another room. No leak was detected outside the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering Laboratories. The facility ended nuclear fuel production in 2001 and is being decommissioned.
The cause of the leak is under investigation. The agency suggested possible damage to the plastic covers during the routine change.
Officials told the news conference that they would begin assessing the site as soon as possible to determine how much radioactive material had been leaked and if it was still leaking.
The agency will file a report of its findings to the Nuclear Regulation Authority and come up with preventive measures.
The warning alarm that detects radioactive materials went off at around 2:30 p.m. as workers were removing radioactive materials — which were contained in a plastic bag — from sealed-up equipment that had been used for experiments.
The mixed oxide fuel (MOX) and plutonium was being kept in a sealed glove box container for future research.
The alarm is set up in an area of the facility once used for the production of MOX nuclear fuel made by mixing uranium with plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel.
In June 2017, a JAEA research facility in the town of Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, was the scene of another leak of radioactive substances, including powdered plutonium, when a plastic bag containing nuclear fuel remnants exploded. Five workers who were handling the materials were exposed to the substances.
JAEA possesses about half of the 10.5 tons of separated plutonium that Japan stores domestically, while an additional 37 tons have been reprocessed and are stored overseas. To reduce the stockpile, Japan burns plutonium as MOX fuel in conventional reactors.
Restarts of halted nuclear plants have proceeded slowly amid persistent anti-nuclear sentiment since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO failed to spot leak of contaminated water

 
 
Like they always say… “there is no impact on the environment.”
 
January 24, 2019
 
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has determined that water containing radioactive substances leaked from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant for more than two years. The company says there is no impact on the environment.
 
The utility says workers discovered water from an unknown source in an underground tunnel on January 10th at the plant.
 
The reactor complex was heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
 
Officials later found that the water level of a nearby tank had dropped since around November 2016. They say about 300 tons of water leaked from the tank.
 
The officials say the water contained 120,000 becquerels of tritium per liter. That is twice the allowable level for the release of contaminated water at a nuclear plant operating normally.
 
The officials report that the tritium level of the water found in the tunnel was below the standard.
 
They believe the water flowed into the turbine building for the number four reactor through pipes.
 
The officials say the tank’s water level declined by about 1.7 meters during the period, but measurements conducted four times each day failed to detect the tiny difference from the previous check.
 
The company will now work to uncover the cause.
 

January 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Contaminated water leak found at Ehime Pref. nuke plant

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In this file photo, the No. 3 reactor, center left, of Shikoku Electric Power Co. Ikata Nuclear Power Station is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on March 28, 2017.
IKATA, Ehime — Water containing radioactive materials has leaked from a purification system inside of a stalled nuclear reactor here, Shikoku Electric Power Co. and the Ehime Prefectural Government announced on May 9.
The leak occurred in the auxiliary building of the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata Nuclear Power Station in the town of Ikata, Ehime Prefecture. According to the prefectural government and Shikoku Electric, the coolant water was found to be leaking from the pressure gauge stop valve for the purification system at around 2:10 a.m. on May 9.
The radiation level of the materials in the roughly 130 milliliters of escaped water measured 20 becquerels, far below the standard for filing a report to the central government. The utility and Ehime Prefecture said there is no reported leakage outside of the facility, nor was there any danger posed to employees or the surrounding environment. Regardless, the reason for the leak will be investigated thoroughly.
The No. 3 Reactor at the facility was restarted in August 2016. However, while the rector was undergoing a scheduled inspection in December 2017, a temporary injunction was handed down by the Hiroshima High Court that halted operation at the site.
(Japanese original by Aoi Hanazawa, Matsuyama Bureau)

 

May 10, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | 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

Radioactive water leaks from storage tank at Fukushima plant

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The latest contaminated water leak at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant occurred at a flange-type storage tank, whose seams are connected by bolts.

Up to 32 liters of radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, but the contaminated liquid has been contained, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Oct. 6.

The leaked water is currently within barriers surrounding the tank that are designed to block the flow of fluids, TEPCO, the plant’s operator, said.

The liquid contained water that had been treated to remove radioactive strontium and other substances, as well as highly contaminated water from the bottom of the tank that was stored shortly after the nuclear accident started in 2011.

A radioactivity level of 590,000 becquerels of beta ray-emitting materials was detected per liter of the leaked water.

The water seeped out of a tank with bolted seams on its sides, which are more prone to leaks than those with welded walls.

TEPCO continues to use the bolted containers despite the risk because production of welded tanks cannot keep pace with the buildup of contaminated water, mainly from groundwater entering the damaged reactor buildings, at the nuclear plant.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610070036.html

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Storage tank leaks at Fukushima Daiichi plant

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Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have found a leak of highly radioactive water from a waste water tank.

Its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says the water likely leaked from a seam of the tank.

The leaked water was spotted on Wednesday on the side of one of an array of steel tanks holding contaminated water that is continuously generated at the site.

TEPCO’s analysis found 590,000 becquerel per liter of beta-emitting radioactive materials in the water.

Tokyo Electric estimates that 32 liters of such highly radioactive water had trickled out, mixed with rainwater, and remained within a barrier around the tank.

Workers moved water in the tank to another one to lower the water level enough to halt the leak.

The leaking cylindrical tank is made by splicing steel plates with bolts. But they have had waste water leaks in the past from seams.

The operator has been replacing these leak-prone tanks with new seamless ones. But the increasing volume of waste water makes it difficult for the utility to completely do away with the old ones.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161007_02/

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO: Groundwater Surfaced and Possibly Leaked at Fukushima Plant During Typhoon

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Fukushima Daiichi Floods, Show Lack of Preparedness

News reports indicated that groundwater at Fukushima Daiichi had risen so high it broke the surface and flowed into the port as a recent typhoon passed through the area. As TEPCO prepared to close the steel sea wall and freeze the underground frozen wall, NRA stopped the process for a review of the potential for flooding within the reactor building area.
The conclusion was that TEPCO thought they could sufficiently remove excess groundwater with the sump pump subdrain system near the reactor buildings. There were also concerns of the groundwater dropping too low, allowing contaminated water to flow out of the reactor building basements.
With all this review, nobody conceived a need for more water removal capacity. TEPCO ended up employing some sort of makeshift pumps and also using septic tank trucks to pump up water. This lack of anywhere for rainwater to go may have contributed to the water flowing out into the port as it built up on the surface.
Without some major changes at Daiichi this problem of groundwater rising to the surface and flowing into the port or the sea will continue to happen when significant rainfall takes place.

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15765

Typhoon rain raises tainted Fukushima plant groundwater to surface

Heavy rain brought by Typhoon Malakas caused contaminated groundwater to rise to ground level at the radiation-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant Tuesday night, raising fears of tainted water flooding out to the plant’s port area, its operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said in a press release that plant workers are doing their utmost to pump up tainted groundwater at the Fukushima compound, while trying to measure the level of radioactive substances contained in the water.

Under normal circumstances, groundwater taken from wells around the damaged reactor buildings at the Fukushima plant is filtered and stored in numerous tanks built on the compound.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, groundwater reached the surface level at an observation well near the seawall at the power plant’s port, and at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, groundwater stood at 3 cm above the surface level, Tepco said.

The well has a far higher wall and the ground around it is paved, the company said, playing down the possibility that any water flowed out of the well.

By 9 a.m. Wednesday, the water level had dropped to 3 cm below the surface.

Meanwhile, some rainwater may have flowed directly into the port before seeping underground, according to the company.

Tepco will continue pumping groundwater around the seawall, located near the damaged No. 1 to No. 4 reactors, and carry out close examinations of water inside the port, the company said.

In order to curb the flow of groundwater into the sea, the company has covered the seawall with water shields and carries out groundwater pumping operations.

Typhoon Malakas itself was downgraded to an extratropical depression at around 9 p.m. Tuesday as it moved along the coast of the Tokai region and swayed toward the Pacific. It was initially forecast to hit the Kanto region in the early hours of Wednesday.

The previous typhoon, Lionrock, earlier this month killed at least 17 people. Before Lionrock, two typhoons had claimed at least two lives in the northeast.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/21/national/typhoon-rain-raises-tainted-fukushima-plant-groundwater-near-surface/

TEPCO: Possible water leak at Fukushima plant during typhoon

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sept. 21 it will check for radiation contamination in seawater near its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after heavy rain from Typhoon No. 16 brought tainted groundwater to the surface.

The water reached the top of wells at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and there is a possibility that some of it spilled into the sea.

We will analyze the seawater because we cannot determine whether groundwater containing radioactive materials has actually leaked,” a TEPCO official said.

The official added that the company believes most of the water that may have poured into the sea was rainwater that had not seeped into the ground.

The utility constantly monitors groundwater levels in wells around the reactor buildings at the plant to prevent overflows.

TEPCO said groundwater in wells on the seaside area of the nuclear complex reached the surface around 10 p.m. on Sept. 20 amid the heavy rain brought by the approaching typhoon. The water kept rising despite workers’ efforts to lower the level using makeshift pumps and septic tank trucks.

The groundwater level remained the same as of 7 a.m. on Sept. 21 before it finally dropped to about 3 centimeters from the surface two hours later, the company said.

According to TEPCO, about 575 millimeters of rain fell in the area of the nuclear plant from Aug. 1 to Sept. 20.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609210047.html

 

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tepco admits they concealed the fact of meltdown 7 million Bq of all β nuclides leaked as contaminated water in Fukushima plant

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According to Tepco, highly contaminated water leaked from a water storage tank on 6/26/2016.

All β nuclides density is reportedly 96,000,000 Bq/m3. Cs-134/137 density is also 700,000 Bq/m3.

Tepco states the leaked volume was 72 L. Based on their announcement, at least 6,912,000 Bq of all β nuclides leaked to contain Sr-90.

Tepco says no contaminated water spread to the outside of the tank area.

The type of this tank has unwelded joint parts, which is vulnerable for leakage.

The life of these tanks was reported to be 5 years but in 2013 Tepco admitted it has no basis.

These tanks are not bearable for the contaminated water but these are still in use.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/mail/2016/1301003_8708.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/mail/2016/1301004_8708.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/mail/2016/1301009_8708.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/mail/2016/1301051_8708.html

http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/06/7-million-bq-of-all-%CE%B2-nuclides-leaked-as-contaminated-water-in-fukushima-plant/

June 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO says 5.3 tons of tainted water leaked at nuclear plant

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An estimated 5.3 tons of water contaminated with radiation leaked from a pipe in a building housing cesium removal equipment at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the facility’s operator said.

The leaked water contained 383,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter and 480,000 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances per liter.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said March 23 the water has not flowed outside the high temperature incinerator building. TEPCO said it was in the process of pumping up the water for storage.

The utility said workers doing remodeling work earlier in the day cut off a pipe inside the incinerator building. When workers subsequently operated radioactive material removal equipment in another building, contaminated water leaked from the cut section of the pipe to the floor of the incinerator building.

TEPCO said it is trying to determine the cause of the incident, adding that workers had confirmed that they closed a valve before cutting off the pipe to prevent water leakage

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201603240048

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

2,029,900,000 Bq of Cs-134/137 leaked as contaminated water in Fukushima plant

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According to Tepco, a leakage detector of waste incineration building went off around noon of 3/23/2016.

Tepco reports the leaked volume was 5.3 t. The leaked contaminated water was from the cesium absorption facility to contain extremely high density of Cs-134/137.

From Tepco’s announcement, Cs-134/137 density was 383,000,000 Bq/m3.

All β nuclides to include Sr-90 was 480,000,000 Bq/m3.

At the moment of the press release, Tepco had not completed removing the leaked water but they state the building is designed to retain contaminated water inside.

The pipe from the cesium absorption facility was cut off due to a construction however somebody turned on the facility to cause the large leakage.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2016/1270693_7738.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/cc/press/2016/1270654_7738.html

http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/03/2029900000-bq-of-cs-134137-leaked-as-contaminated-water-in-fukushima-plant/

March 24, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment