groundwater-bypassvia The Japan Times / June 28, 2014 / Tokyo Electric Power Co. can’t confirm whether the groundwater bypass operation at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is working, Tepco officials said.

The operation is intended to reduce the tons of radiation-tainted water being generated by the plant each day. The melted reactor fuel at the plant, which was heavily damaged by three core meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, must be perpetually cooled by water that then leaks into the basements and taints incoming groundwater from the hills behind the plant.

In the operation, which started about a month ago, the company pumps groundwater from wells dug near reactors 1 to 4 to intercept it before it can flow into the flooded basements and mix with highly contaminated cooling water. After being temporarily stored in tanks, the pumped-up water is released into the sea after radiation checks.

Tepco began pumping up groundwater in early April and releasing it in late May. More than 8,600 tons of groundwater have been released into the Pacific so far.

The problem is, the water levels in the observation wells near the reactor buildings haven’t fallen that much, officials said. The water levels tend to rise after it rains, they said.

“We will wait patiently until the effects of the bypassing operation become evident,” Naohiro Masuda, head of the reactor decommissioning division at Fukushima No. 1 told a news conference Friday.

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By Broc West| 5 Comments | Featured, News


  1. why is no one using the Roy Process a way to transmute nuclear waste into harmless isotopes?

    • Probably because it’s easier to do nothing 🙁

      Here’s a few links about the Roy Process for anyone interested:

    • Short answer. It’s expensive and energy intensive. In the long term it’s really the only answer though. Safely storing waste for several times longer then we’ve had recorded history makes too many assumptions, much like the one that no sane person would shut off the cooling to several nuclear reactors. In isolation true, and the likelyhood of losing the primary heat sink and all power and transportation at the same time was deemed so remote as to be unimaginable. Maybe the managers need larger imaginations. Short example, a clearly labled locked storage box with potentially dangerous contents was broken into at my home… reason “I thought you must have put the beer in there” . In 5,000 years who’s to say that someone will not assume a very well burried “treasure” doesn’t lay under all those warnings. Vandals already strip metals from contaminated sites, and they can probably read the signs. That said, treating thousands of tons of waste via irradiation is also a massive undertaking. All the processing has to be shielded or robotic, the process needs centuries to complete with some radio isotopes and that’s the easy part. Getting a politician to agree to a multiple century project with no immediate gain, that’s hard.

  2. Karen, that would only broadcast to the world that transmutaion is real, and according to high school textbooks, it is not. Remeber you get what you pay for when it comes to an education, and even then you must consider the source with a grain of salt. Question everything, test everything, and prove everything to yourself by not trust governors’s educations to include nuclear science, of any kind.

  3. You idiots…..All you have to do is put a dam upstream from the area and pump the water out to sea before contamination. The bedrock is 50 feet down and this could be done fast..the truth is yuo sre using the water as cooling and dont care that you are killing the ocean it cost less that is all you care about.

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