water-tanks-2via The Guardian / November 14, 2014 / The man in charge of cleaning up the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has admitted there is little cause for optimism while thousands of workers continue their battle to contain huge quantities of radioactive water.

The water problem is so severe that the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco], and its myriad partner firms have enlisted almost all of their 6,000 workers in the 2tn yen (£11bn) mission to bring it under control, almost four years after a deadly tsunami sparked a triple meltdown at the plant.

But Fukushima Daiichi’s manager, Akira Ono, said he believed workers had turned a corner in the long road towards decommissioning. “For three years we were dealing with the aftermath of the accident, so there was no way we could plan ahead.

“Even though I have no intention of being optimistic, it’s possible to say that we can now start to look forward,” Ono told the Guardian.

Each day about 400 tonnes of groundwater streams from hills behind the plant and into the basements of three stricken reactors, where it mixes with coolant water being used to prevent melted fuel from overheating and triggering another major accident.

Most of the contaminated water is pumped out and stored in tanks, but large quantities find their way to other parts of the site, including maintenance trenches connected to the sea.

So far, the plant has accumulated about 500,000 tonnes of contaminated water, which is being stored in more than 1,000 tanks occupying a large swath of the Fukushima Daiichi complex. By comparison, the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in the US in 1979 produced 9,000 tonnes of toxic water.

“The contaminated water is the most pressing issue – there is no doubt about that,” Ono said. “Our efforts to address the problem are at their peak now. Though I cannot say exactly when, I hope things start getting better when the measures start taking effect.”

Previous versions of Tepco’s ALPS [advanced liquid processing system] water treatment unit were plagued by technical hitches. In addition, tanks used to store the contaminated water were poorly assembled and suffered serious leaks, while plans to freeze water that has gathered in a trench near the damaged reactors are eight months behind schedule.

Work has begun on a 1.5km frozen barrier to prevent groundwater from reaching the reactor basements, but some experts, including Dale Klein, a former chairman of the US nuclear regulatory commission who now advises Tepco, have questioned its viability.

Despite doubts about its effectiveness, Tepco officials say the wall should be finished by next March, and completely frozen by May.

Along with the underground “ice wall”, the utility is pinning its hopes on a new version of its Alps water treatment system that can remove more than 60 radioactive elements.

Recent “hot testing” of the apparatus has been successful, raising hopes that a solution to the water problem may not be far off, said Shinichi Kawamura, head of risk communication at Fukushima Daiichi.

“This is a high-performance system because it uses only filters and absorbents to remove the contaminants,” Kawamura said. “The old system depended on chemical agents, which caused problems and created a lot more waste. We have confidence in this machinery.”

As Japan moves closer to a return to nuclear power after the local authorities on the southwestern island of Kyushu this month gave their approval for reactor restarts, Tepco can claim a significant victory in its efforts to improve safety at Fukushima Daiichi.

CONTINUE @ SOURCE

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By Broc West| 6 Comments | Featured, News

6 comments

  1. Pride and money mean more than life itself to Tepco.

    RADIOACTIVE WATER DISCHARGE FROM FUKUSHIMA DIIACHI NPP INTO OCEAN CONTINUES

    TOKYO, November 14. /TASS/. The repair operations at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that were aimed at preventing radioactive water discharges into the ocean have yielded no result, the NPP operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) reported on Friday.

    http://en.itar-tass.com/world/759657

    JAPAN’S NUCLEAR CLEANUP STYMIED BY WATER WOES

    OKUMA, Japan (AP) — More than three years into the massive cleanup of Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant, only a tiny fraction of the workers are focused on key tasks such as preparing for the dismantling of the broken reactors and removing radioactive fuel rods.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/3a08d89ed7c24c11965536abef37399e/japans-nuclear-cleanup-stymied-water-woes

    MASSIVE RADIATION SPIKE AT FUKUSHIMA: 40,000% INCREASE BELOW GROUND BETWEEN UNITS 1 & 2 THIS MONTH – ORDER OF MAGNITUDE ABOVE RECORD HIGH SET LAST YEAR

    http://enenews.com/massive-radiation-spike-fukushima-40000-increase-month-below-ground-between-units-1-2-order-magnitude-higher-previous-records

    Video – FUKUSHIMA LETHAL AT ATOMIC LEVELS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plbTXqKvvnk&list=UUQHopfPwfFjn37JgO1l-axg

    Podcast – SOARING CHILD LEUKEMIA RATES NEAR NUCLEAR REACTORS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fuH_7LuzQM&list=UUQHopfPwfFjn37JgO1l-axg

  2. 1000 metric tons of radiation being dumped into the Pacific by the liars telling lies at Tepco.

    Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ojHkROzwjE&list=UUDGv5lznlcbgOeH5-pqo5MQ

  3. IN THE NAME OF GOD!! WILL YOU PEOPLE EVER LEARN? YOUR HOMELAND AND YOUR CHILDREN ARE POISONED!!

  4. Attempt to stop water flowing into trench at Fukushima plant fails

    An effort to stop contaminated water from flowing into a trench at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant failed to completely halt the flow, announced Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, on Nov. 17. A TEPCO representative said, “We believe we have not completely stopped the water. Groundwater may also be entering the trench. We will closely analyze the changes in water level in the trench.”
    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20141118p2a00m0na005000c.html

    Video – Nuclear Watch: Fukushima Ban food, Radiation water leak found at Ikata plant
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jvlIcPYPlLc&list=UUXVk0fj8eh6HxP_d3TvnH7g#t=630

    Tepco unable to halt tainted water flowing into tunnels at Fukushima

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. appears unable to stem the flow of radioactive water from the No. 2 reactor building to underground tunnels at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, officials said.
    Tepco has injected cement into the joints that connect the tunnels, which are used to run cables, and the building to halt the flow of contaminated water and remove accumulations from the tunnels.
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/19/national/tepco-unable-halt-tainted-water-flowing-tunnels-fukushima/#.VG1Om2fYtTF

  5. No amount of cover up can conceal the obvious.
    I recently created a petition to ask that Japan keeps its nuclear reactors turned off. It would be good if any of you reading this could share it.
    Please look for Care2 Tell Japan to Keep the Nuclear Reactors Off

  6. When all is said and done, the magnitude of this global killing disaster should have been and present now, the only important news head line all over the world. Humanity should have realized the nuclear industry never had a contingency plan …because it does not exist for this 4 reactor melt down accident with exposed core rods in open air.With hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water all over the island and pacific ,a debris field full of deadly levels,air,soil,sea life and food sources , not to mention humans receiving mega dosed exposure, no end in sight,a mass exodus from the main land ,an even deadlier plan to extract rods that may easily touch in the operation and cause a non stop fission process, which technically speaking hase been in progress for 4 years ,it is unimaginable how careless,incompetent,and stupid the leaders of every country that introduced GE and TEPCO as the standard for nuclear reactor construction to our world and fragile eco system! This is the final fatal mistake of man kind…..allowing the Japanese to sanction this project Fukushima, in an area with a history of Tsunami activity and unstable geo thermal activity, in a quake zone with a history of seismic activity…….stunning reckless hindsight. The stunningly stupid negro American dictator president assuring all of us that the radiation won’t “reach us here, nothing to worry about”, is but a pod in the pot of understatements and out right lies surrounding the hidden truth ……..that will eventually kill millions. When you consider the Chernobyl accident killed 250,000 people over the last 25 years, that was contained eventually and only 1 reactor blew up, that leaves us with a disaster 1000 times greater than Chernobyl in Japan………kiss your ass good by and pray that God forgives the assholes responsible for this mistake. Nuclear power was never the wave of the future, because only one oversight lasts a lifetime and eliminates any future for civilization. The government and military know this , and the underground cities and installations are ready when the rest of the shit hits the fan be it nuclear war,terrorist bio weapon, natural disaster(volcanic activity) etc…..our children don’t stand a chance!

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