By Eiji Noyori and Hiroyuki Oyama / the-japan-times.com / September 11, 2014 / Three and a half years after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, efforts to contain water contaminated with radioactive substances at the plant are at a crossroads.A worker in a protective suit looks at tanks, under construction, to store radioactive water

Resolving the radioactive water issue is the first hurdle toward decommissioning the plant. However, despite the time that has passed since the beginning of the nuclear disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has been unable to curb the growing volume of contaminated water.

The following is an on-site report about how work to address the contaminated water problem is being carried out at the power plant, where workers are struggling with this difficult task.

Stemming underground flow

As Yomiuri Shimbun reporters entered the Fukushima No. 1 plant on Monday morning, a series of vertical pipes could be seen inserted in the ground at intervals of about one meter, on the inland side of the No. 4 reactor building.

This was the construction site of an “ice wall” intended to freeze soil around reactor buildings Nos. 1 to 4 using coolant, circulating within 30-meter-long pipes, to block the flow of groundwater into the reactor buildings. The ice wall is planned to stretch for about 1.5 kilometers.

Out of 1,545 pipes scheduled for installation to create the ice wall, drilling work has only been completed for about 400 pipes. The government and TEPCO plan to start freezing the soil toward the end of this fiscal year, and to maintain the ice wall for seven years.

“It’s necessary to dig straight and deep into the ground without misalignment to freeze the soil for a long period of time with certainty. We’re gathering veteran drilling experts from across the nation,” said Tadafumi Asamura of Kajima Corp., a major construction company in charge of ice wall works.

Goal remains distant

On a hill overlooking the reactor buildings, about 200 meters toward the mountains from the construction site, wells that resemble metal barrels protrude from the ground. They are a part of the “groundwater bypass system” in which untainted groundwater is pumped up from 12 wells and released to the sea.

The ice wall will be completed next spring or later, but to pump up as much untainted underground water as possible before it flows into the reactor buildings, TEPCO started operating the bypass system in May.

About 300 to 400 tons of groundwater flows into the reactor buildings each day, and becomes contaminated with radioactive substances. Over the past 3½ years, TEPCO has been keeping the contaminated water in tanks, but these tanks can now be seen everywhere across the plant premises, thick like a forest, and they are steadily approaching the limits of their capacity.

Ocean still remains vulnerable

Leakage of highly contaminated water into the sea is another problem that must be dealt with immediately.

In areas around sea walls near the turbine buildings of the Nos. 1 to 4 reactors, structures destroyed by the massive tsunami remain as they were 3½ years ago. The removal of debris containing radioactive substances has been inadequate, with radiation levels still relatively high.

In coastal areas, another array of steel pipes, this time one meter in diameter, has been driven into the ground. This is the “ocean-side wall” intended to prevent contaminated water from leaking from the buildings into the port. Construction is still underway.

In addition, the government and TEPCO announced a plan in August to construct 42 “subdrain” wells near the turbine buildings and five wells near sea walls to pump up contaminated groundwater, and discharge it into the harbor of the plant after purification.

TEPCO expects leakage of radioactive strontium to be reduced to one-fourtieth of the current 4.8 becquerels a day if contaminated water is pumped out from the subdrain wells and pits after construction of the walls is completed.

However, such new measures are seen by a local fisheries cooperative association as additional burdens. Trial fishing began two years ago, with initial catches of three kinds of marine life, including octopus. This month it widened to 51 species.

“We’re getting back to a life where we can fish,” a fisheries cooperative association official said. Amid such circumstances, the new measures are a source of growing concern among local residents.

SOURCE: The-Japan-Times

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By Broc West| 29 Comments | Featured, News

29 comments

  1. Why would anyone believe what Tepco says? Why would Tepco knowingly keep lying year after year? Could it possibly be that if Tepco told the truth the resultant would be worldwide mass hysteria?

    And continuing on that worldwide mass hysteria theme, why would anyone think that the Fukushima disaster on 3/11/2011 was (or is) just another effort of the New World Order, Bilderberg, Skull & Bones, etc., crowds to fabricate tension worldwide, such as Isis, or Isil, or Is, or whatever it’s called this week. Am referring to a recent New World Next Week episode.

    Lord have mercy, we are talking about radiation fallout. We are talking about Strontium-90, Cesium-134, Cesium-137, etc, all of which are lethal, both to humans and animals. And one portion of a recent New World Next Week episode says, to the effect that: Fukushima is just another tool the Rockerfellers, Rothschilds, Soros, Gates, etc., scum are using to fabricate worldwide tension according to their eugenic itinerary. WAKE UP.

    Here’s another lie from Tepco.

    http://enenews.com/record-high-strontium-90-ocean-water-every-location-destroyed-fukushima-reactors-levels-20-times-higher-reported-last-week-officials-contamination-highly-radioactive-debris-seeping-ground-flowin

    • Well, all you really have to do is consider the facts.

      * Ice wall – Who in their right mind thought this would be a feasable solution? Surely a time like this is not the place to try out different insane ideas that have no grounding in reality.
      * No containment breach – ok, so the fuel stopped fissioning by itself did it?
      * low threat to pacific ocean – perhaps in the short term, how about after 30 – 50 years worth of the same level of constant contamination. Not unreasonable considering the fact that TEPCo are unable to clean it up – look at Chernobyl
      * Pacific ocean will ‘dilute’ radioactive isotopes. Yep, however living beings will go ahead and concentrate it.

      TEPCO are lying. The Russians may have been able to assist them due to their experience cleaning up chernobyl, but it is too late. Unit 3 at the very least has undergone a complete meltdown (China Syndrome).

      No, I am not trying to spread unreasonable fear / disinformation. My opinion on Fukushima comes from a lack of credible information from TEPCO or the IAEA / NRC. An abundance of doomsday disinformation and my limited understanding of nuclear physics.

      Nuclear power is big business and the stake holders want to keep it that way.

      Well done FukushimaUpdate for trying to make the truth available.

  2. TEPCO has lied to the people of Japan and to the world about the true levels of radiation released into the atmosphere, ground and into the Pacific Ocean! TEPCO also continues to dump millions of gallons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean nonstop every single day to contaminate the fish, ocean life and animals. There is now verified proof of DNA damage and mutations throughout the food chain and we humans are next to suffer! Experts recommend to commence detoxing with the natural mineral called zeolite that is proven to safely remove both radiation and heavy metals from the human body.This MUST Be Done to help prevent DNA damage that will cause disease and future ongoing mutations! For more quality information do an online search for the single word Zeolite.

  3. “TEPCO also continues to dump millions of gallons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean nonstop every single day…”

    More like 80,000 gallons, highly diluted, but your number sounds much scarier, so go with it.

    • 400 tons per day ( tepcos #) x 2000=800,000lbs per day÷8 = 100,000 gallons per day x 30 days per month= 3 million gals per month x 42months = 126 million gals of water saturated to high levels with multiple types of
      radioactivity. Plus radioactive debris. Wake up is right Wake up world

      • erm.. what did you get the (*2000) (/8) from? your ass?

        • Matt, there are 2000 pounds in a ton, and a gallon of water weighs approximately 8 pounds (US).

          Since TEPCO is in Japan, they are probably referring to a metric ton, or approximately 2200 pounds (US). But still… “Watcher” was pretty close.

          • Thx brian
            I have been an Environmental Scientist for over 20 years and despite the nasty crap all over the U.S. this is the worst disaster during modern history.

        • erm…why did you not know that, did they kick “your ass” out of school at 3rd grade?

        • 2000lbs per ton, duh
          8.3 lbs per gallon

  4. I believe that this is done on purpose. First, get rid of the ice wall idea because it is going to take more energy and money to sustain it. Go for a more solid wall that does not take lots of energy to maintain over time. Next, why not electrically conduct the water in high volumes to kill off the remaining radioactive particles. It does not hurt to give it a try. Why are we was a world getting involved. I don’t blame people for being suspicious.

    • What I meant to say is why are we as a world not getting involved.

    • “Radioactive” means that atomic nuclei are unstable. Burning carbon monoxide to yield safer carbon dioxide works due to electric forces. Electrically conducting water to “kill off the remaining radioactive particles” won’t change the nuclear properties that make nuclei unstable. Now, there might be a chemical treatment that would cause some of the radioactive elements to clump thereby aiding filtration to concentrate the waste.

  5. Leader of Fukushima Study: “Intense exposure” headed toward US west coast; Plume traveling very fast via oceanic jet — “High concentrations” to impact California coastal areas; Prolonged period of radioactive upwelling expected (VIDEO)

    Article Link – http://enenews.com/leader-fukushima-study-intense-exposure-headed-west-coast-plume-traveling-very-fast-oceanic-jet-releases-radioactive-water-impact-california-coastal-areas-prolonged-period-video

    Video Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8vcUGfoiqkI#t=2446

  6. Moving up the animal chain. First sea creatures affected, now reports of birds being affected from Fukushima. Only a matter of time before human life will also become affected. Yet the world by and large seems not to care, Obama plays another round of golf amid a crisis, the news media (and that includes mainstream and most of alternate media) reports nothing, while the mere commoners are too busy playing their fantasy league sports leagues. Sad, sad, sad……

    Fukushima radiation a “major threat” to survival of baby birds — “Immediate and worrisome” impacts on marine wildlife discussed — More damage to come as radioactive material biomagnifies in food chain.

    Article Link – http://enenews.com/fukushima-radiation-threatens-survival-baby-seabirds-additional-negative-impacts-expected-biomagnification-radioactive-material-food-chain-concern-immediate-worrisome-consequences-marine-wildlif

  7. Why on earth are they contemplating resuming fishing after 3 and a half years of dumping radiated water back into the ocean? Everyone (should) know(s) at this point that Cesium 137 alone has a half life of 30 years. The seafood is NOT safe…and it won’t be for a long time to come. And by that time, it will be mutated. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to be free of the affects of radiation after this point…from the smallest of particles to the largest of life. In 20 years, cancer is going to be an epidemic that will drastically reduce the world’s population in ways never seen before.

  8. This is also the United Nations fault also…..they are suppose to be looking out for the world and has done nothing, nor or they trying to anything to stop this or try to find a solution to solve this deadly criminal action by a bunch of greedy bunch of ceo’s. These people are the ones that need to be in jail right now instead of trying to figure out on how else to lie about this and make more money for their greedy little hands while they have already killed the whole wonderful country and people of Japan……and soon the rest of the world. it is unreal how they are getting away with this, and getting away with this. I guess it is now ok to lie & steal and not having to worry about getting intoany trouble whatsoever—–what’s next?

  9. The “new normal” insanity running rampant with no end in sight. It will undoubtedly take Divine Intervention to end the global insanity.

    “”The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).””

    continued – http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-approves-raising-permissible-levels-of-nuclear-radiation-in-drinking-water-civilian-cancer-deaths-expected-to-skyrocket/5331224

    • Hello Anonymously concerned.and others..Concerning your stating “It will undoubtedly take Divine Intervention to end the global insanity” I wish to quote Matt in the New Testament: See 24:22 and 13:20. Jesus says “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days” (Mark 13:20). What does this mean?
      I guess that we are there now, staggering on the threshold of a new Era and that there will be disasters globally before we, the ordinary people will meet across all borders, classes,races and so on to form worldinstitutions that will end what “greed mascerading as market forces” has devastated. (Quote: from letter from Universal House of Justice.Haifa) I see the tumult and disturbances in the world as the sign of the absense of a fresh and wise type of spirituality. To summarize : when the single hawk comes, the sparrows gather and confuse it with their impressive mass.

  10. The root problem in this affair stems from the massive cover-up and disinformation campaign by TEPCO and its supervisory Economy Ministry, which leaves their every claim open to dispute or interpretation.

    Full Article – http://rense.com/general96/abesassault.html

  11. Why and how is the groundwater getting into the buildings? – is it able to gain entry due to structural damage due to the earthquake etc? – thanks

  12. The situation at Fukushima was extremely grim when this first started. There has been an awful lot of radioactive water leaking into the Pacific and no one will say when that will stop. This planet’s oceans are going to be very badly hurt. Tepco’s level of incompetence is shamelessly low. I sure hope that someone knows what they’re doing there. This is killing the planet.

  13. These IDIOTS ,built these 4 reactors right on a under ground river , how stupid is that???, also to build 6 nukes right next to each other on ground that has 1300 YEAR HISTORY OF SUNAMIES S,IS JUST FLIPPEN NUTS!!1 GREED IS THE REASON FOR THIS MADNESS !AND NOW THE WHOLE WORLD WILL PAY ,YEP !I AM ONE PISSED! DAD AND GRANDPA !YEP WE BE IN THE CRAP NOW FOR SURE!, I BELIEVE NO ONE, ANY LONGER !

  14. Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth. – Albert Schweitzer

  15. Have you ever noticed the concrete sound barriers that line many of our nations highways?……..Why not dig trenches and place these barriers inside the trenches as permanent water stops……..The cost has to be cheaper than a stupid ice wall that will surely fail at some point………These barriers cost about one million dollars a mile to construct.

  16. I think the solution would be to fill the cracks in the reactor walls with hydraulic cement and rocks then make a closed recirculating system similar to a radiator to disperse the heat. Then the system will become a closed system instead of an open system that is leaking. Machinery like cranes and pumps will need to be highly insulated with lead to keep them from shorting and will have to operate within the closed system. The whole area will need to be enclosed into a building and the work should be done remotely. The tanks that are currently holding the affected water will need to be drained and stored off site; so as to be able to accommodate the polluted water.

  17. Dear God help us.
    I live on the west coast of cape town South Africa. There are two french pressure cookers very close by. Guess what folks its built about 7 km from a fault line. now amid great secrecy the government of the day plans on building more Russian made reactors on this site as well. I think its time to run…………………………damn that’s right …………………….nowhere to run

  18. The scary thing is that this is ongoing…and no media coverage. Oh Ebola is plastered on every channel but the fact that this gets zero only proves without a nuclear shadow of an doubt that we are all doomed by the Illuminati- our country’s controller and owners. Haarp was involved- now they scattered, split town. A silent nuclear war has been started. THE WHOLE WORLD NEEDS TO GET INVOLVED AND FIND THE BEST THINKERS to solve this. If they can get away with no one knowing how devastating the situation there is, what else has happened across the globe. Well I have been worried and spreading the truth since march 2011- I’ve been to the beach cities in Ca. and they are SO OVERFILLED with people and business- and no one knows or cares. It is greed. Greed and people not wanting to give up all thier power sucking activities. What a sad tragic end to the pacific. It makes me ashamed to be a part of the species that has done this, and hid this. I don’t know, an extra hug and a longer smile to the people we love in our nearly perfect bodies. Gratitude for what is well RIGHT NOW. It’s all about to become uglier than the greed that caused it.

  19. Just chkin in again .wonder why no nov dec chatr. Maybe its somewhere else.
    Above nails on the head
    Why allowed to build on fault line? Dumba***
    Underground river again dumba***
    However now that the rods from multiple reactors are laying in the containment area below they must be kept undr water now or not so much the initial boom but the toxic fires would last basically for eternity at least our eternity.Well another issue.
    Why is this is still being ignored by the world?
    When there is news its cesium cesium that is one of the mildest elements to worry about
    What ive found is between 60 and100 different particules were/are being released ,cant prove that because reports are blacked out but with the unusually screwed up weather pattern i am sure fukashima puke can be detected around the world at this point.
    So spend your time diggin…a hole 6′ deep

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