nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Tepco ‘s response to the article about the release of tritiated water into the ocean

n-tritium-a-20170716-870x580

 

A certain article reported today, “TEPCO decided to release tritiated water into the ocean” quoting the comment of TEPCO’s chairman Mr. Kawamura about the release of tritiated water into the ocean. The comment intended to say that TEPCO shares the same recognition with Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Dr. Tanaka, et al. that in accordance with the current regulation and standard based on scientific and technical ground, there should not be an impact of releasing tritiated water into the ocean. The comment did not intend to announce the concluded policy of the company on the matter.

We need to give our full attention to the satisfaction of both peace of mind of local residents and reconstruction of Fukushima, as well as the safety requirement to meet regulation and standard for the final decision. We will carefully examine our policy on the matter with the government and local stakeholders from such a perspective.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/announcements/2017/1444608_10494.html

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Tepco Dump 770,000 tons of Tritiated Water Into the Pacific Ocean???

n-tritium-a-20170716-870x580.jpg

 

Massive amounts of radiation-contaminated water that has been processed and stored in hundreds of tanks at the plant are hindering decommissioning work and pose a safety risk in case another massive quake or tsunami strikes.

“TEPCO needs to release the water — which contains radioactive tritium that is not removable but considered not harmful in small amounts — into the Pacific Ocean”, declared Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s new Chairman Takashi Kawamura during an interview at the TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

The method is favored by experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency and Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority as the only realistic option. Earlier, TEPCO had balked at calls by NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka for controlled release of the water, now exceeding 770,000 metric tons, into the sea, fearing a public backlash.

Tepco’s intention to release more than 770,000 metric tons of triated water into the sea was relayed by many media, the Japan Times adding to the volume number of 770,000 metric tons, that it was contained in 580 tanks. The volume number is right, to be precise it concerns 777,647 metric tons of tritiated water, but the 580 tanks number is wrong.

Knowing that those tanks have a capacity of 1000 metric tons each, 777,647 metric tons can only be stored in 780 tanks and not in 580 tanks only.

Of course in that 777,647 metric tons, are not included the other 202,565 metric tons of  only partially decontaminated water, in which Cesium and Strontium are been already filtered out but the other 62 radionuclides have not been yet filtered by the Multi-nuclides Removal System (ALPS). Those 202,565 metric tons stored in some additional 202 tanks more in the Storing Tank Area.

Bringing the total of contaminated water, Cesium/Strontium partially decontaminated water plus the 62 radionuclides decontaminated water (Tritiated water) to a total of 980,212 metric tons stored in 980 tanks.

goiklm.jpg

 

Of course it is not question to release the partially decontaminated water (202,565 metric tons) into the sea, only the fully decontaminated water (all radionuclides removed to the exception of tritium), the tritiated water, the 777,647 metric tons.

On the Tepco Press Release on Jul 10,2017, Tepco indicates quite clearly the actual volume of the 2 types of water stored in those tanks. Knowing that all those tanks have a capacity of 1000 metric tons each, the maths are easy.

hmlmlmùù

 

hgùm2

 

Some media along the way, I suspect the Japan Times AGAIN, added the 580 tanks number into its article, maybe a typo from 5 to 7, then the error was copied on and on by the other media.

It is sad to see professionnal media not capable to get their numbers right.

Since that July 13, 2017 declaration from Tepco’s new chairman, Tepco is now backpedaling, saying that they have not yet reached that decision, fearing a public backlash and the ire of the local fishermen.

The radioactive half-life of Tritium is 12,3 years, its radioactive full life is 123 years to 184,5 years. Once inside the body, tritium can lead to internal exposure. Its biological half-life of 10 days, full life 100 to 150 days.

Tepco Press Release July 10, 2017 Nuclear Power Station (310th Release) Nuclear Power Station (310th Release):  http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu17_e/images/170710e0201.pdf

 

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tepco backpedals after disaster reconstruction chief knocks plan to dump tritiated water into sea

 Hey, a change in the ‘official’ strategy: why admit it & damage your image when you can keep letting it happen & say you’ve decided not to do it ?

n-tritium-a-20170716-870x580.jpgThe Fukushima No. 1 plant and hundreds of tanks containing tritiated water are viewed from the air in February

 

Tokyo Electric backed off its tritium-dumping decision Friday after disaster reconstruction minister Masayoshi Yoshino said it would cause problems for struggling fishermen trying to recover in Fukushima Prefecture.

The remarks made Friday by the Fukushima native came shortly after the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. was quoted as saying that the decision to discharge tritium-tainted water from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant into the sea had “already been made.”

After Tepco Chairman Takashi Kawamura’s remarks were widely reported, the utility scrambled to make a clarification the same day.

According to Tepco’s clarification, Kawamura meant to say that there was “no problem” with the dumping plan, based on government guidelines and “scientific and technological standards.” The statement also said that no final decision had been made.

A government panel is still debating how to deal with the massive amount of tainted water stored in tanks at the atomic plant, where three reactor cores melted after a huge earthquake in March 2011 spawned tsunami that devastated the region and knocked out all power at the plant.

Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts. It remains in filtered water as it is difficult to extract on an industrial basis. Ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations.

At a news conference, Yoshino said there would “certainly be damage due to unfounded rumors” if the tainted water were dumped into the sea. He urged those pushing for the release “not to create fresh concerns for fishermen and those running fishing operations in Fukushima Prefecture.” He also asked them to take care not to drive fishermen “further toward the edge.”

Yoshino, who is not directly involved in the decision-making process for handling the water, was alluding to local concerns about how people’s livelihoods will be affected if people think marine products from Fukushima are contaminated with radiation. He added that while he is aware that many in the scientific community say the diluted water can be safely released, he remains opposed.

As I am also a native of Fukushima Prefecture, I fully understand the sentiment of the people,” the minister said.

Water injected to perpetually cool the damaged reactors becomes tainted in the process. A high-tech filtering apparatus set up at the plant can remove 62 types of radioactive material but not tritium. As a result, tritiated water is building up continuously at the plant. As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks on the premises.

On March 11, 2011, tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, which is situated 10 meters above sea level, and crippled its power supply, causing a station-wide blackout. The failure of the cooling systems in reactors 1, 2 and 3 then led to a triple core meltdown that became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/15/national/tepco-backpedals-disaster-reconstruction-chief-knocks-plan-dump-tritiated-water-sea/#.WWoQ3IqQzdQ

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tepco Says It Has Not Made Final Decision On Discharging Contaminated Water Into Sea

fukushima_crchecked_dd_Petr.png

 

17 Jul (NucNet): Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said in a statement on 14 July 2017 that it had not made a final decision on whether or not to release water containing tritium into the sea at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station.

Tepco, which owns and operates the facility, was reacting to media reports that its chairman, Takashi Kawamura, had said the decision had already been made. But Tepco said in its statement posted on its website, that while it agreed with Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) that there should be no impact from releasing tritiated water into the ocean, Tepco had not finalised its policy on the matter.

We need to give our full attention to the satisfaction of both peace of mind of local residents and the reconstruction of Fukushima prefecture, as well as meeting regulation and safety standards for a final decision,” the statement said. “We will carefully examine our policy on the matter with the government and local stakeholders from such a perspective.”

Tepco said tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.

As of 6 July 2017, about 770,000 tonnes of water containing tritium were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima-Daiichi station, which is running out of storage space.

Contaminated cooling water at the station is being treated by a complex water-processing system that can remove 62 different types of radioactive materials except tritium, which is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

According to the Japan Times, NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka has been urging Tepco to release the water. But fishermen who make their livelihoods near the station are opposed to the releases, the newspaper said.

http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2017/07/17/tepco-says-it-has-not-made-final-decision-on-discharging-contaminated-water-into-sea

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Minister opposes releasing treated water from Fukushima plant into sea

gllm.jpg

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s disaster reconstruction minister said Friday he is opposed to treated water from the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant being released into the sea, citing the possible repercussions for local fishermen.

Masayoshi Yoshino’s remarks came shortly after a top official from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said he is ready to see the tritium-containing water dumped into the sea.

A government panel is still debating how to deal with the water stored in tanks at the plant where three nuclear reactors melted down in the days after a huge earthquake and then tsunami struck the region in 2011.

Tritium is a radioactive substance considered relatively harmless to humans. It remains in the filtered water as it is difficult to separate even after passing through a treatment process. At other nuclear power plants, tritium-containing water is routinely released into the sea after it is diluted.

Yoshino expressed at a news conference his concerns over the potential ramifications of releasing the treated water into the sea, saying there would “certainly be (perception) damage due to unfounded rumors.”

The minister urged those pushing for the release of the water “not to create fresh concerns for fishermen and those running fishing operations in Fukushima Prefecture.” He also asked them “not to drive (fishermen) further towards the edge.”

He was alluding to concerns among local fishermen about the effects on their livelihood if the public perceives fish and other marine products caught off Fukushima to be contaminated.

Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tepco, said in a recent interview that the decision to discharge the treated water “has already been made.”

After Kawamura’s remarks were widely reported, the utility was forced to make a clarification through a statement on Friday. Tepco said its chairman meant to say there is “no problem (with releasing water containing tritium) according to state guidelines based on scientific and technological standpoints,” and that the decision to release is not yet final.

While the plant operator and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry want to discharge the water, the local fishermen, backed by the minister, are opposed to it.

At the Fukushima plant, water becomes toxic when it is used to cool the damaged reactors. It is treated through a process said to be capable of removing 62 different types of radioactive material, except tritium.

Yoshino said Friday that while he is aware of some scientists’ opinion that the water should be released after it is diluted to permissible levels, he is not in favor of the idea.

“As I am also a native of Fukushima Prefecture, I fully understand the sentiment of the people,” Yoshino said. However, the minister has no authority to decide how the treated water will be disposed.

An ever-increasing amount of water containing tritium is collecting in tanks at the Fukushima plant. As of July 6, approximately 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks.

On March 11, 2011, water inundated the six-reactor plant, located on ground 10 meters above sea level, and flooded power supply facilities. Reactor cooling systems were crippled and the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors suffered fuel meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170715/p2g/00m/0dm/064000c

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s Nuclear Waste Will Be Dumped Into the Ocean, Japanese Plant Owner Decides

Toxic waste produced by one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters will be dumped into the sea, according to the head of the Japanese company tasked with cleaning up the radioactive mess, despite protests from local fishermen.

Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), told foreign media that nearly 777,000 tons of water tainted with tritium, a byproduct of the nuclear process that is notoriously difficult to filter out of water, will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean as part of a multibillion-dollar recovery effort following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. That year, an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, killing over 15,000 people and leading to a series of meltdowns at the TEPCO-owned Fukushima No. 1, or Daiichi, nuclear power plant, causing it to spew radiation that has plagued the region ever since. While much progress has been made to clean the area, the company has only just resolved the debate over what to do with the water that was used to cool the plant’s damaged reactors, causing it to become tainted with tritium.

“The decision has already been made,” Kawamura said, according to The Japan Times.

We could have decided much earlier, and that is TEPCO’s responsibility,” he added, according to Reuters.

rtszxvl.jpgA member of the media uses a Geiger counter at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, February 23, 2017. The site includes hundreds of tanks containing about 777,000 tons of water laced with tritium that TEPCO has decided to dump into the nearby sea, despite opposition from local fishermen.

 

Tritium is relatively harmless to humans in small doses ( so they pretend), and Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Agency Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told The Guardian last year that the tritium in Fukushima’s tanks was “so weak in its radioactivity it won’t penetrate plastic wrapping.” Dumping tritium-contaminated water into the sea is not at all an uncommon practice at nuclear power plants, but it’s been met with opposition by local fishermen, who say their industry has suffered enough in the aftermath of the environmental crisis.

While TEPCO and Tokyo say that the low concentration of tritium would do little damage to the ecosystem and could prevent a more serious accident from occurring at the site, where around 580 tanks are stored, fishermen argue that the negative publicity would be devastating to their livelihoods. Dozens of countries and the European Union now ban certain fish imports from Japan following the disaster, and up to 33 continue to do so as of March. TEPCO’s decision also has been met with outrage by anti-nuclear activists such as Aileen Mioko-Smith of Kyoto-based Green Action Japan, a group created in 1991 that is “working to create a nuclear-power-free Japan,” according to its official website.  

“This accident happened more than six years ago, and the authorities should have been able to devise a way to remove the tritium instead of simply announcing that they are going to dump it into the ocean,” Mioko-Smith told the Telegraph.

“They say that it will be safe because the ocean is large so it will be diluted, but that sets a precedent that can be copied, essentially permitting anyone to dump nuclear waste into our seas,” she continued.

july 14 2017 evacuated zonesA map showing the status of restricted areas affected by radiation from the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant as of March 6, 2017. The nuclear disaster displaced up to 150,000 people, and many are reluctant to return to the region, despite pressure from the Japanese government.

 

TEPCO’s over-budget, oft-delayed effort to recover its former plant has been the subject of controversy for a number of reasons. Due to residual nuclear fuel, parts of the plant are so radioactive that they have even destroyed the robots specifically designed to survive in the deadly environment. Last month, Japanese company Toshiba announced it would send a new robot dubbed “little sunfish” to surveil the flooded area of the plant from which no device has returned, BBC News reported. A number of TEPCO officials have also stood trial for negligence over the nuclear disaster.

As for the rest of the Fukushima prefecture, life has started to resume, albeit slowly. Of the estimated 150,000 who fled, only around 13 percent have come back. The Japanese government has increasingly pressured the rest to return by pledging greater investment in Fukushima’s infrastructure and by withdrawing subsidies provided to the refugees and their families.

http://www.newsweek.com/fukushima-nuclear-waste-dumped-ocean-japanese-protests-637108

July 16, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO Announces Will Dump Radioactive Water at Fukushima Daiichi

From Majia’s Blog

TEPCO is announcing that its going to be dumping tritiated water into the sea:

Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says (July 14, 2017). The Japan Times, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/14/national/science-health/tepco-says-decision-already-made-release-radioactive-low-toxic-tritium-sea-fishermen-irate/#.WWjs_lHdnwk 

Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.

The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media.

Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.

As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.

TEPCO has been contaminating the ocean with tritiated water since the beginning of the disaster, inadvertently and also deliberately. In 2015 TEPCO was given formal permission to dump water measuring up to 1,500 becquerels per liter of tritium.

See my blog posts here:

http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/contaminated-water-at-fukushima-daiichi.html

http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/contaminated-water-at-fukushima-daiichi.html

TEPCO cannot filter tritium from water because tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that binds with oxygen, making radioactive water. So, all the water TEPCO has filtered using the ALPS and other systems is still highly tritiated.

TEPCO’s solution to unprecedented volumes of tritiated water is to dilute the filtered water to a level deemed acceptable for dumping in the ocean.

TEPCO’s maximum storage capacities for holding radioactive water in tanks at the site was reached years ago. Here is an excerpt from my book Crisis Communications, Liberal Democracy and Ecological Sustainability addressing the problems of contaminated water at Daiichi:

In May of 2013 The Asahi Shimbun reported the TEPCO was going to begin dumping groundwater at the Daiichi site because its storage capacities for contaminated water were nearly exhausted. There was considerable resistance from local fisherman because TEPCO lacked the capacity to remove Strontium-90 from captured water.

At that time, TEPCO reported that filtered water measured 710 million Becquerels per liter while unfiltered water was reported as twice as radioactive,[i] from tritium and strontium, the latter of which could not be filtered until the fall of 2014.[ii]

In 2015 the NRA approved a plan to allow TEPCO to dump decontaminated groundwater into the sea if the water registered less than 1 becquerel per liter of cesium, less than 3 becquerels per liter of beta emitters such as Strontium-90, and 1,500 becquerels per liter of tritium (NRA signs off on TEPCO plan to release decontaminated groundwater into sea January 22, 2015 http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201501220054).

Despite the low limits of contamination allowed by law in 2015, it appears likely from news accounts and TEPCO press releases that contaminated water has been deliberately and accidentally released into the ocean since 2013, if not earlier, because the reported volume of water in storage declined between 2014 and 2015, despite daily production of hundreds of tons of water that exceed decontamination capacities:

· May of 2013, TEPCO reported it held approximately 280,000 tons of radioactive water in storage, while an additional 100,000 tons were believed to reside in the basements of units 1 through 4, as well as in the turbine buildings.[iii]

· August 2013 TEPCO reported that approximately 300,000 tons of contaminated water leaked from one of the storage tanks and promised to treat all the contaminated water in storage by March 2015 (http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150123_30.html).

· January 2014 TEPCO announces at press conference that contaminated water in storage tanks is producing Bremsstrahlung radiation, which contributes to rising atmospheric radiation levels at the Daiichi site (Mochuzuki, 2014). The Nuclear Regulation Authority ordered TEPCO to lower radiation levels derived from tanks storing contaminated water to below 1 millisievert by the end of March 2015. Nagano

· February 2014 TEPCO reports a high of 360,000 tons of contaminated water in storage (Varma, 2014).Water measuring 230 million Becquerels per liter was reported leaking from storage containers at Daiichi in February 2014 (“TEPCO Finds,” 2014).

· September 18 2014: TEPCO reports 365,000 tons of highly contaminated water in storage tanks as of Sep 16 2014. (TEPCO begins test runs of new ALPS system at stricken plant. September 18, 2014). The Asahi Shimbun because the system in place since March 2013 has been prone to problems “So far, the existing trouble-prone ALPS equipment has processed 138,000 tons of contaminated water.”

· November 2014 TEPCO reports 500,000 tons of radioactive water is being stored in 1,000 large tanks, which include costlier new ones less likely to leak AP. Nuclear cleanup at Fukushima plant stymied by water woes November 13, 2014 http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201411130092

· January 15 2015 TEPCO reported it had 280,000 tons in storage and would not be able to meet its promised 2015 deadline (“TEPCO Racing Against Time, 2015)TSUYOSHI NAGANO TEPCO racing against time to process 280,000 tons of tainted water at Fukushima plant. (January 19, 2015)The Asahi Shimbun, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201501190050

TEPCO has struggled with its ALPS water filtration system from the beginning: the system could not beta-emitters effectively (e.g., strontium and tritium) and was prone to breakdowns.

The new filtration system adopted in the fall of 2014 was an improvement because it removed Strontium but TEPCO announced it would regard water filtered by that system decontaminated, despite its failure to reduce other radionuclides:

Nagano, Tsuyoshi.TEPCO racing against time to process 280,000 tons of tainted water at Fukushima plant January 19, 2015 http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201501190050

The company introduced additional ALPS systems last autumn [fall 2014] to treat up to 1,960 tons of radioactive water a day.

The maximum processing capability was still insufficient to complete procedures by the end of March 2015, so TEPCO later in autumn introduced equipment that only removes strontium, which accounts for a large portion of all radioactive substances in the water. TEPCO has since been working to meet the target date by regarding strontium-free water as being “processed,” even if other radioactive substances remain.

Water filtered for strontium alone is now being designated as “processed,” although TEPCO hopes to get both the new and the old filtering system running together sometime in the spring of 2015.

It seems clear from these news report that water contaminated with beta emitters has very likely been dumped into the Pacific since the Fukushima crisis began. How long will contaminated water continue to be dumped or flow uncontained into the Pacific Ocean? Lack of ongoing sampling on land and in fresh and ocean water may lead scientists to underestimate the long-term effects of the disaster on the environment, particularly the ocean.

REFERENCES

[i] S. Kimura (6 April 2013) ‘120 Tons of Contaminated Water Leaks at Fukushima Nuclear Plant’, The Asahi Shimbun, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201304060038, date accessed 7 April 2013.

[ii] Yoshida ‘Fukushima No. 1 Can’t Keep its Head Above Tainted Water’.

[iii] ‘TEPCO to Dump Groundwater to Ease Crisis at Fukushima Nuclear Plant’.

http://majiasblog.blogspot.fr/2017/07/tepco-announces-will-dump-radioactive.html

July 16, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | 1 Comment

Fishermen express fury as Fukushima plant set to release radioactive material into ocean

16939697_1209944395741555_1863834670856402842_n

 

Local residents and environmental groups have condemned a plan to release radioactive tritium from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, say tritium poses little risk to human health and is quickly diluted by the ocean.

In an interview with local media, Takashi Kawamura, chairman of TEPCO, said: “The decision has already been made.” He added, however, that the utility is waiting for approval from the Japanese government before going ahead with the plan and is seeking the understanding of local residents.

The tritium is building up in water that has been used to cool three reactors that suffered fuel melt-downs after cooling equipment was destroyed in the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that struck north-east Japan in March 2011.

Around 770,000 tons of highly radioactive water is being stored in 580 tanks at the site. Many of the contaminants can be filtered out, but the technology does not presently exist to remove tritium from water.

“This accident happened more than six years ago and the authorities should have been able to devise a way to remove the tritium instead of simply announcing that they are going to dump it into the ocean”, said Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan.

“They say that it will be safe because the ocean is large so it will be diluted, but that sets a precedent that can be copied, essentially permitting anyone to dump nuclear waste into our seas”, she told The Telegraph.

Fishermen who operate in waters off the plant say any release of radioactive material will devastate an industry that is still struggling to recover from the initial nuclear disaster.

“Releasing [tritium] into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumours, making all our efforts for naught”, Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishing cooperative, told Kyodo News.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/14/fishermen-express-fury-fukushima-plant-set-release-radioactive/

 

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says. Does Tepco and Japan owns the Pacific Ocean?

We were all just kidding when we said we would save our ocean. Besides, what’s a little bit more poison in the Pacific? Pretending to manage the unmanageable. Dumping into the ecosystem is simply standard operation. The solution to pollution is dilution.–old adage.

Should all of us, all the other countries, stay silent while Tepco and Japan are deciding on their own to dump even more radioactive contamination into our Pacific Ocean?

I would like to point out that the Pacific ocean does not belong to Japan, it belongs to all of us; as my dear friend Sheila Parks already pointed out in her excellent December 2013 article which I recommend to everyone to read, https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Pacific-Ocean-Does-Not-by-Sheila-Parks-Energy-Nuclear_Fukushima_Fukushima-Cover-up_Japan-131215-303.html.

Now, a question: Will all the Pacific Ocean neighboring countries will stand saying nothing about Japan dumping all that accumulated contaminated water into the Pacific ocean? Mind you, in addition to all what Tepco has been already unwillingly and willingly dumping on the sly with all kinds of lousy reasons during the past 6 years…

Terrible, but tritium is actually released by all nuclear reactors. Legally and illegally, which reactor communities should point out every chance they get. Tritium (H3O) can go everywhere in your body water goes, even across the blood brain and placental barriers, and is thought to be a cause of elevated rates of childhood leukemia around nuclear reactors.

 

july 14 2017 To dump into the sea.jpgAn employee walks past storage tanks for contaminated water at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in February. Tepco needs to release the water — which contains radioactive tritium that is not removable but considered not harmful in small amounts — into the Pacific Ocean, Chairman Takashi Kawamura said.

 

Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.

The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media.

Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.

As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.

Tepco’s decision has local fishermen worried that their livelihood is at risk because the radioactive material will further mar public perceptions about the safety of their catches.

Kawamura’s remarks are the first by the utility’s management on the sensitive matter. Since the March 2011 meltdowns were brought under control, the Fukushima No. 1 plant has been generating tons of toxic water that has been filling up hundreds of tanks at the tsunami-hit plant.

Kawamura’s comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with the tritium issue, including whether to dump it all into sea.

Saying its next move is contingent on the panel’s decision, Kawamura hinted in the interview that Tepco will wait for the government’s decision before actually releasing the tainted water into the sea.

We cannot keep going if we do not have the support of the state” as well as Fukushima Prefecture and other stakeholders, he said.

Toxic water at the plant is being treated by a complex water-processing system that can remove 62 different types of radioactive materials except tritium.

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has been urging Tepco to release the water. Kawamura says he feels emboldened to have the support of the NRA chairman.

But fishermen who make their livelihoods from sea life near the plant are opposed to the releases because of how the potential ramifications will affect their lives.

Releasing (tritium) into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumors, making our efforts all for naught,” said Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishermen cooperative.

Tachiya, of the cooperative that includes fishermen from the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which host the plant, took a swipe at Tepco’s decision, saying there has been “no explanation whatsoever from Tepco to local residents.”

On March 11, 2011, tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, situated 10 meters above sea level, and flooded the power supply, causing a station blackout. The cooling systems of reactors 1, 2 and 3 were thus crippled, leading to core meltdowns that became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Water is being constantly injected into the leaking reactors to keep the molten fuel cool, creating tons of extremely toxic water 24/7. Although it is filtered through a complex processing system, extracting the tritium is virtually impossible.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/?post_type=news&p=1208906

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Tepco to speed up post-Fukushima decisions: new chairman

“Tepco wants to release the tritium-laced water currently stored in hundreds of tanks at Fukushima into the ocean – common practice at normally operating nuclear plants – but the company is struggling to win approval from local fisherman.”

s1.reutersmedia.net.jpgTokyo Electric Power Co Holdings new chairman Takashi Kawamura speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan April 3, 2017

 

TOKYO (Reuters) – The owner of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will push to resolve debate over the release of contaminated water from the site that has dragged on for years since the devastating 2011 quake, its new chairman said on Thursday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) 9501.1 would also speed up a final decision on the future of a nearby plant, Fukushima Daini, that suffered only minor damage, Chairman Takashi Kawamura, 77, said in an interview with foreign media.(For a graphic on Japan nuclear reactor restarts click tmsnrt.rs/1UTT0Tk)

“I’m very sorry that Tepco has been prolonging making a decision,” Kawamura, a former chairman of conglomerate Hitachi Ltd (6501.T), said. “Just like tritium, we will aim for an earliest possible conclusion.

Kawamura, who previously sat on a government panel looking into the Fukushima cleanup, said he believed Japan needed to keep operating nuclear power plants for future generations and as part of national security.

The nationalization of nuclear power plants was a matter that could be discussed in the future as national policies had a role in the operations of nuclear power, he added, but did not elaborate.

Tepco wants to release the tritium-laced water currently stored in hundreds of tanks at Fukushima into the ocean – common practice at normally operating nuclear plants – but the company is struggling to win approval from local fisherman.

Missteps and leaks have dogged the efforts to contain water, slowing down the decades-long decommissioning process and causing public alarm, while experts have raised concerns that tank failures could lead to an accidental release.

“We could have decided much earlier, and that is Tepco’s responsibility,” said Kawamura, adding that he would push a government task force overseeing the cleanup to give a clear timetable on when a decision could be made on tritium.

Tepco is also under pressure from the central and local governments to decommission all four reactors at Fukushima Daini, 10 kms (6 miles) to the south of the wrecked plant.

“One of the sticking points is that it’s taking time for an economic check of all plants,” Kawamura said, referring to studies on whether the plants would be economic once the cost of beefing up safety was taken into account.

Daini is expected to close given widespread public opposition to nuclear power in the area, but Tepco is aiming to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in the country’s west.

Kawamura said he would cooperate with a review of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant’s safety by the local prefecture, which could delay any restart until at least 2020.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-tepco-idUSKBN19Y28M

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO chair: Nuclear plant must release contaminated water

WireAP_c73f0214bb5d41c09665a65081d8ae91_12x5_1600Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s new Chairman Takashi Kawamura speaks during an interview at the TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Kawamura said the utility needs to stop dragging its feet on plans to dump massive amounts of treated but contaminated water into the sea and make more money if it’s ever going to succeed in cleaning up the mess left by meltdowns more than six years ago at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant.

 

The new chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. says the utility needs to stop dragging its feet on plans to dump massive amounts of treated but contaminated water into the sea and to make more money if it’s ever going to succeed in cleaning up the mess left by meltdowns more than six years ago at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Takashi Kawamura, an engineer-turned-business leader who previously headed Hitachi’s transformation into a global conglomerate, is in charge of reviving TEPCO and leading the cleanup at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. In an interview Thursday with selected media including The Associated Press, Kawamura said despite the massive costs of the cleanup and meeting tighter safety requirements, nuclear power is still vital for Japan’s national security.

Below are highlights from the interview, where Kawamura spoke in Japanese:

———

CLEANUP REQUIRES RELEASE OF TREATED CONTAMINATED WATER:

Massive amounts of radiation-contaminated water that has been processed and stored in hundreds of tanks at the plant are hindering decommissioning work and pose a safety risk in case another massive quake or tsunami strikes. TEPCO needs to release the water — which contains radioactive tritium that is not removable but considered not harmful in small amounts — into the Pacific Ocean, Kawamura said. The method is favored by experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency and Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority as the only realistic option. Earlier, TEPCO had balked at calls by NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka for controlled release of the water, now exceeding 770,000 metric tons, into the sea, fearing a public backlash. “Technically, we fully support the chairman’s proposal,” he said, adding that there is still strong resistance from local residents, especially fishermen. “I think we should have acted sooner. … We should start moving faster.”

PROFITS NEEDED TO COVER CRUSHING COSTS:

Kawamura says TEPCO must become more profitable to manage to cover the gargantuan costs of cleaning up Fukushima Dai-Ichi after it suffered multiple meltdowns due to the massive March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO’S longtime status as a regional monopoly undermined its profit-making incentive, hobbling its ability to cover most of the 21.5 trillion yen (about $190 billion) price tag for decommissioning the plant and compensating dislocated residents. “To reconstruct Fukushima, we must make more profit, and I know we should not be taking about just money, but I think that is important,” he said.

DECOMMISSIONING IS THE FUTURE:

TEPCO’s main mission now is decommissioning Fukushima Dai-Ichi, an unprecedented challenge that experts say could take decades and will take still more research and development. “That’s our main activity and gaining new expertise in the decommissioning is far more important. But I believe there will be a time when decommissioning becomes an important business,” Kawamura said. “Decommissioning is a process which takes time, not only for accident-hit reactors but ordinary retired reactors,” he said. “I plan to coordinate with those who are studying the possibility of properly turning decommissioning of ordinary reactors into a viable business.”

JAPAN NEEDS NUCLEAR POWER:

Kawamura says he believes nuclear power is still a viable business and one that will continue to be vital for Japan’s energy security, despite the extra costs from stricter post-Fukushima safety requirements and the cost of processing spent fuel and waste. TEPCO is reviewing its business strategy, but based on rough estimates, “I still believe that nuclear is still superior for Japan, which is really a resource- poor country,” he said. “Even if we take severe accident measures and factor in spent fuel processing and other costs, I think there are some reactors that can still be profitable.” He said nuclear power includes a wide range of technologies that Japan should not abandon, for national security reasons, as China continues to build nuclear plants.

TEPCO’S OTHER REACTORS:

Kawamura said TEPCO hopes to restart the utility’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in northern Japan, even while the decommissioning at Fukushima Dai-Ichi is underway, so the operable plant can be a major source of revenue for the company. He said a decision on whether to resume operation of the Fukushima Dai-Ni plant, near Fukushima Dai-Ichi, will depend on a financial review. He said he regrets TEPCO’s slowness in making a decision and acknowledged calls from local authorities and residents to decommission the second Fukushima plant, which was also hit by the tsunami but avoided a meltdown.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/tepco-chair-nuclear-plant-release-contaminated-water-48618659

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

AMS analyses of I-129 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in the Pacific Ocean waters of the Coast La Jolla – San Diego, USA April 2015

It is very convenient for the nuclear industry to focus only on Cesium 137 and omit talking about all the other radionuclides released in our environment thanks to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Though less detectable and usually not looked for they are nevertheless present and harmful to life. This study from April 2015 about the Iodine-129 release is quite revealing, knowing that if Iodine-129 half life is 15,7 Million years, its full life is multiplied by 10: 157 million years.

Royal Society of Chemistry, National Institute for Physics & Nuclear Engineering, Romania, 2015:

AMS analyses of I-129 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in the Pacific Ocean waters of the Coast La Jolla, San Diego, USA — This paper presents the results of an experimental study we performed by using the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) method with iodine 129 (Halflife = 15.7 Million years], to determine the increase of the radionuclide content in the USA West Pacific Coast waters, two years after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident… The results of the experiments showed a significant increase of the radionuclide concentration during the late spring of 2013. Compared to the isotopic ratio 129I/127I, measured at a 40 km distance, offshore of Fukushima and immediately after the accident, our results show an increase on the USA West Coast that was more than a 2.5 factor higher. Also, compared with the pre-Fukushima background values [in San Diego], our results show an isotopic ratio of about two orders of magnitude higher

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… released an enormous amount of liquid waste of 129I and other fission isotopes directly into the Pacific Ocean that were subsequently dispersed eastwards. This paper reports on the determination of the nuclear plume impact on the West Coast of the USA that happened during April–July 2013… The determined maximum 129I concentration increase was in an amount of more than 2 times greater than the concentration of the isotope measured offshore of Fukushima at a 40 km distance immediately after the accident…

 

lajollasamples2013.jpg

 

129I concentrations were measured… from the ocean water of the West Coast of the USA [at] La Jolla, San Diego… This work reports two sudden increases of the 129I/127I isotopic concentration in the ocean water, which were observed at the end of spring 2013…

Our exploratory measurements on the USA West Coast started on samples collected at the beginning of 2013. The lowest 129I concentrations that we measured had values between [6-20 million] atoms per L. Such values correspond to the equilibrium concentration of iodine… offshore of La Jolla, San Diego…

Our results… measured offshore of Cove La Jolla, San Diego, USA, during the spring of 2013, are presented in Fig. 5. Two high and distinct spike maxima are visible. They reveal the maximum concentration values of [1.2 billion] atoms per L measured on May 24, 2013 and [1.7 billion] atoms per L measured on June 18, 2013, with 24 days in between. Both peaks occurred in the measurement spectrum after a slow increase in concentration that started about 15-20 days before the main increase…

 

lajolla129.jpg

 

Samples collected [by Fukushima Daiichi, Jun 2011] at a distance of about 40 km away from the coast [had] a maximum concentration value of [620 million] atoms per L for 129I in the surface water of the ocean. Taking into account this value as a reference value, the maximum 129-iodine concentration reaching the USA West Coast was 2.5 times stronger than in the contaminated ocean water offshore of Fukushima after the accident. If we compare it to the equilibrium value of 129I concentration in the ocean water [near San Diego], then during the impact its concentration was about 100 times higher

AMS measurements of 129I were performed on ocean water… offshore of Cove La Jolla, San Diego, USA, and definitely have shown an increase of the radioactivity more than two orders of magnitude over the natural level of the Pacific Ocean before the accident

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275056726_AMS_analyses_of_I-129_from_the_Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_accident_in_the_Pacific_Ocean_waters_of_the_Coast_La_Jolla_-_San_Diego_USA

January 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Still Outgassing Radionuclides

It’s still steaming away 5 1/2 years later and with the tent roof removed from Reactor 1 its poison continues to be widely dispersed.

Unit 1 side : 2016.08.14_00.00-03.00

 

Unit 4 side : 2016.08.14_15.00-18.00

 

13892061_10210684568776906_4386230908157672924_n.jpg

August 14, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan report on Chernobyl disaster’s health effects to be publicly released

 

A 50-million-yen Japanese government report on the health effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe that was not released to the general public will be released in the near future, the secretariat of Japan’s nuclear watchdog said on June 7.

The Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) indicated at a news conference on June 7 that the report would be released on the secretariat’s website. The secretariat will also comply with related requests for information disclosure that it had previously not accepted, it said.

The government’s investigation into the aftereffects of the Chernobyl disaster was budgeted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It was carried out between November 2012 and March 2013 — after the Fukushima meltdowns in 2011 — at a cost of 50 million yen.

The NRA secretariat, which took over the role of handling the survey in April 2013, placed it in the National Diet Library without publicly releasing it, drawing criticism from experts in information disclosure.

“It was inappropriate as a way of releasing it,” a secretariat representative said.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160608/p2a/00m/0na/017000c

 

June 13, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan Prepares for Release of Tritium From Fukushima Plant

Tritium may not penetrate plastic but goes everywhere H20 goes in the body. It can cross the blood brain barrier, the placental barrier, and is a known carcinogen. Just because they don’t know what to do with it doesn’t mean it’s ok to just release it. Something the nuclear industry is perfectly aware of.

Japan Prepares for Release of Tritium From Fukushima Plant

TOKYO — To dump or not to dump a little-discussed substance is the question brewing in Japan as it grapples with the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima five years ago. The substance is tritium.

The radioactive material is nearly impossible to remove from the huge quantities of water used to cool melted-down reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which was wrecked by the massive tsunami in northeastern Japan in March 2011.

The water is still accumulating since 300 tons are needed every day to keep the reactors chilled. Some is leaking into the ocean.

Huge tanks lined up around the plant, at last count 1,000 of them, each hold hundreds of tons of water that have been cleansed of radioactive cesium and strontium but not of tritium.

Ridding water of tritium has been carried out in laboratories. But it’s an effort that would be extremely costly at the scale required for the Fukushima plant, which sits on the Pacific coast. Many scientists argue it isn’t worth it and say the risks of dumping the tritium-laced water into the sea are minimal.

Their calls to simply release the water into the Pacific Ocean are alarming many in Japan and elsewhere.

Rosa Yang, a nuclear expert at the Electric Power Research Institute, based in Palo Alto, California, who advises Japan on decommissioning reactors, believes the public angst is uncalled for. She says a Japanese government official should simply get up in public and drink water from one of the tanks to convince people it’s safe.

But the line between safe and unsafe radiation is murky, and children are more susceptible to radiation-linked illness. Tritium goes directly into soft tissues and organs of the human body, potentially increasing the risks of cancer and other sicknesses.

“Any exposure to tritium radiation could pose some health risk. This risk increases with prolonged exposure, and health risks include increased occurrence of cancer,” said Robert Daguillard, a spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency is trying to minimize the tritium from U.S. nuclear facilities that escapes into drinking water.

Right after the March 2011 disaster, many in Japan panicked, some even moving overseas although they lived hundreds of miles (kilometers) away from the Fukushima no-go zone. By now, concern has settled to the extent that some worry the lessons from the disaster are being forgotten.

Tritium may be the least of Japan’s worries. Much hazardous work remains to keep the plant stabilized, and new technology is needed for decommissioning the plant’s reactors and containing massive radioactive contamination.

The ranks of Japan’s anti-nuclear activists have been growing since the March 2011 accident, and many oppose releasing water with tritium into the sea. They argue that even if tritium’s radiation is weaker than strontium or cesium, it should be removed, and that good methods should be devised to do that.

Japan’s fisheries organization has repeatedly expressed concerns over the issue. News of a release of the water could devastate local fisheries just as communities in northeastern Japan struggle to recover from the 2011 disasters.

An isotope of hydrogen, or radioactive hydrogen, tritium exists in water form, and so like water can evaporate, although it is not known how much tritium escaped into the atmosphere from Fukushima as gas from explosions.

The amount of tritium in the contaminated water stored at Fukushima Dai-ichi is estimated at 3.4 peta becquerels, or 34 with a mind-boggling 14 zeros after it.

But theoretically collected in one place, it would amount to just 57 milliliters, or about the amount of liquid in a couple of espresso cups — a minuscule quantity in the overall masses of water.

To illustrate that point, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, showed reporters a small bottle half-filled with blue water that was the equivalent of 57 milliliters.

Public distrust is running so high after the Fukushima accident that Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, the utility that operates the Fukushima plant and oversees its decommissioning, has mostly kept quiet about the tritium, pending a political decision on releasing the water.

Privately, they say it will have to be released, but they can’t say that outright.

What will be released from Fukushima will be well below the global standard allowed for tritium in the water, say Tanaka and others favoring its release, which is likely to come gradually later this year, not all at once.

Proponents of releasing the tritium water argue that tritium already is in the natural environment, coming from the sun and from water containing tritium that is routinely released at nuclear plants around the world.

“Tritium is so weak in its radioactivity it won’t penetrate plastic wrapping,” said Tanaka.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/04/12/world/asia/ap-as-japan-nuclear-what-is-tritium.html?smid=li-share&_r=0

 

April 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment