Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fukushima updates - December 15 , 2013 - highly contaminated water in gutters and trenches - source may be reactor buildings...... #Fukushima I NPP: Workers Cleaning Out and Water-Proofing the Drainage Channel in Effort to Prevent Contaminated Water from Flowing into Ocean ( pity the poor workers doing that slave labor ) .... Fukushima is death by a thousand lies from Tepco and Government of Japan

drainage related issues - with high radiation naturally .......

High level of contamination in gutter near reactor2 / Tepco doesn’t mention the possibility of reactor2 leakage

Note : If you are from the international mass media, Don’t read this site before taking a contact with me.

Along a drain, the highest level of contamination was measured in the U-shaped gutter beside reactor2.
Tepco published the analysis result of the drain contamination in Fukushima plant area by taking samples in multiple points along the drains. All the outlets are in the sea.
From their report, the worst contamination was in the U-shaped gutter located on the slope, where is in the seaside of reactor2.
The contamination contained the high level of Cs-134/137 too. It proves it is not the leakage of contaminated water tanks.
The readings are below,
Cs-134 : 78,000 Bq/m3
Cs-137 : 220,000 Bq/m3
All β (Including strontium-90) : 410,000 Bq/m3
Tritium : 170,000 Bq/m3

There is the possibility that it is due to the direct leakage from reactor2 vessel. However Tepco’s spokesman only stated in the press conference of 12/13/2013, they think it’s because the gutter collects fallout.

[Possible new leakage] All β nuclide increasing outside of the port / Zero announcement from Tepco

Note : If you are from the international mass media, Don’t read this site before taking a contact with me.

All β nuclide density is increasing near the water outlet outside of Fukushima plant port, according to Tepco.
The data is taken to detect the possible leakage from the water purification system. From the daily report, all β nuclide (including Strontium-90) density has been increasing since 12/11/2013 to suggest the on-going leakage.
However, there is no announcement of any leakage from Tepco yet.
The high level of contaminated is estimated to spread in the Pacific. This is near the sampling location where Pu-239/240 was detected from seawater this September.
(cf, 0.014 Bq/m3 of Plutonium-239/240 detected in seawater [URL])
[Possible new leakage] All β nuclide increasing outside of the port / No announcement from Tepco

“Nothing has improved about contaminated water problem”, NRA chairman

Note : If you are from the international mass media, Don’t read this site before taking a contact with me.

The situation has not been improved about the contaminated water problem, the chairman of NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) Tanaka commented in the regular press conference of 12/11/2013.
Tepco officially admitted the increasing contaminated water is leaking to the sea this summer. They have been trying to build the underground wall and also the pumps etc..
However, the contaminated water is still cluelessly increasing.
Tanaka said, none of the countermeasures took effect sufficiently. The situation is not settled yet. Even the multiple nuclide removing system ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) can’t remove the radioactive material as planned.
We can’t still see the end of contaminated water problem in Fukushima nuclear plant.


#Fukushima I NPP: Workers Cleaning Out and Water-Proofing the Drainage Channel in Effort to Prevent Contaminated Water from Flowing into Ocean

Images of what it feels like to not have money to spend to do anything substantial.

There was a discussion on Twitter last night between two level-headed people I follow on the cost of decommissioning Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, decontaminating areas in Fukushima Prefecture, and paying compensations to the people who have been displaced by the nuclear accident - namely the residents in the former evacuation zones around the plant.

While the Japanese national government puts the cost of decommissioning of the plant, decontamination and compensations at only a few trillion yen (tens of billions of US dollar), the two's tentative conclusion was that it would be at least 20 trillion yen, probably more because the government didn't spend enough on the get-go in 2011, and therefore it would cost more in the future.

In other words, penny wise pound foolish.

What's more, the national government under the DPJ administration (Messrs. Naoto Kan and Yoshihiko Noda) didn't pay anything to deal with the problems at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, saying it was TEPCO's problem not theirs. (They didn't even offer emergency food for the workers who remained at the plant after March 11, 2011.)

Despite the promise by the LDP administration under Shinzo Abe that the government will be at the "forefront" in dealing with the accident, no money has gone to help TEPCO and workers trying to maintain the plant and contain the contaminated water. 21.5 billion yen has been pledged by the government to come up with a solution to the contaminated water, but it is just a pledge at this point.

So, when I saw this tweet and photographs from TEPCO, I was puzzled at first (I couldn't figure out what the workers were doing), and saddened when I realized what they were doing.

View image on Twitter

"Countermeasures for rainwater at Fukushima I NPP: The drainage channel that goes through the plant compound to the ocean. In order to prevent contaminated water from flowing into this drainage channel, we are waterproofing the channel and covering it. You can see the details here (link to Facebook page)."

The workers are manually cleaning out the open drainage channel that goes directly into the ocean where rainwater and contaminated water (high in beta-nuclides) have flown since the accident.

These photos are posted only on TEPCO's Facebook page (or else I couldn't find it at TEPCO's website). According to the Facebook entry by TEPCO:

This measure is to turn the drainage channel into a culvert. The drainage channel leads to the ocean. To prevent the contaminated water flowing into this channel, we are waterproofing the surface of the channel and putting the cover over the channel.


The lower-right photo shows the workers scooping the remaining water in the channel with buckets. Normally, we use a pump, but as the water level goes low, the pump does not work. So, in the end, it is the patient manual work by each worker that does the job.


After the water is completely drained, we clean the channel, and apply epoxy resin on the surface (Photos at the bottom)


The drainage channel is 1,300 meters long in total. We will gradually work upstream, and aim at turning the channel into a culvert within this year.

When the earthquake, tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear accident hit Japan in March 2011, I remember having read several financial analysts outside Japan who said, "This may be Japan's end game, as it has no other choice but to print money in enormous quantities to pay for the disaster recovery and reconstruction." I thought so too. I thought, "The government should properly panic and commandeer all available resources and spend literally tons of Bank of Japan notes to contain the disaster."

It was a make-or-break moment.

Well the DPJ government panicked the wrong way and put their collective head in the sand, like the mascot of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant (ostrich); it resorted to the cheapest option of "talking" - everything is fine, there is no (short-term) health effect, only the baseless rumor of radiation harming the farmers in Fukushima, it's TEPCO's problem, etc., etc..

Sometime in middle of 2011, I think, I saw Mr. Taro Yamamoto, now an Upper House Councilman, in one of those mind-numbing Japanese TV talk-shows. The other guests were all saying that Japan has to spend money on economic growth, as if there had been no earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident. Yamamoto said, "We should spend whatever it takes to end the nuclear accident, decontaminate, test foods, whatever it takes. Even we go broke as a nation as the result, as long as people are here and are healthy, we will be able to recover some day."
Yamamoto was roundly ridiculed by the guests and the viewers.

I totally agreed with him. Now it's rather late. All the money that Abe is making Kuroda to print goes to financial institutions and accumulates at the central bank as "excess reserve" for the financial institutions to bet on risky assets.

Just like it's been happening in the US ever since Blackhawk Ben and Hank (Paulson) threatened the Congress with one sheet of paper and got $700 billion (70 trillion yen) in the fall of 2008 to save banks.

Energy News.....

Tepco: We should have told public this sooner… we failed to cool molten fuel after meltdowns began — Experts: Fukushima cesium release could be more than triple Chernobyl (PHOTO)

Asahi: Radiation levels spike to record high in Fukushima groundwater well nearby ocean — Trench failures to blame, says Tepco — Million times more strontium/beta-ray source than cesium

Japan’s Leader on 3/11: Most don’t know, but Reactor 1 melted down in 5 hours; We almost lost 1/3 of nation due to Fukushima — Tepco: Reactor 3 melted earlier than reported, water went in wrong pipes — NHK: Investigation into how such massive amounts of radioactive substances were released (VIDEO)

Remediation on the cheap always.....


#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Saving Money Comes First Before the Need to Monitor Groundwater Leak Inside the Harbor in a Hilarious NRA Meeting

What's more pressing at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is not measuring radiation levels around the SGTS pipe where 25 sieverts/hour radiation source may be inside(to be sure, again, this 25 sieverts/hour was NOT measured but derived by calculation), nor removing the fuel assemblies from the Spent Fuel Pool on the top floor of Reactor 4 (again, not individual "fuel rods" that are inside a fuel assembly), which has the lowest radiation levels of all reactors (except for Reactors 5 and 6, which are in cold shutdown in the true sense of the word).

It is, as late-Masao Yoshida, Fukushima I NPP Plant Manager at the time of the accident, said, what to do with the contaminated water that keeps increasing. Of particular concern (supposedly) of the national government and TEPCO is whether the contaminated groundwater (albeit low contamination of gamma nuclides) is leaking into the plant harbor.

In the embankment between the plant harbor and the turbine buildings for Reactors 1 through 4, workers have been injecting waterglass into the artificial soil there to create impermeable walls in the soil to stop the flow of groundwater into the harbor. Never mind that their very work causes the groundwater to rise and go over the top of the underground impermeable wall, or go somewhere else and find its way to the ocean anyway.

From TEPCO, 12/8/2013 (red lines: silt fences, green lines: soil amendment by waterglass, yellow dots: groundwater monitoring locations):

TEPCO has been frequently monitoring radioactive materials (gamma nuclides such as cesium, all-beta including strontium, and tritium) in the water samples taken from these numerous observation holes in the embankment. However, samples from the seawater in the harbor are taken far less frequently. Nuclear Regulation Authority has been calling for continuous monitoring of seawater for some time, and the topic came up in the third meeting of NRA's ocean monitoring group on December 9, 2013.

But the word that came out of NRA Commissioner Kayoko Nakamura was, "Continuous monitoring system is an expensive purchase..."

From independent journalist Ryuichi Kino, and a togetter on the December 9 NRA meeting on ocean monitoring:
(Kino summarizes the relevant part of the meeting in a dignified way...)


TEPCO is considering three locations near the south discharge and the north discharge to install continuous monitoring system to detect the leak of contaminated water, and explains it is taking time to install because of the rough ocean. People questioning, why not install inside the open channel (inside the harbor near the embankment)?


The question is nothing new. When I asked TEPCO in January this year when they started digging the observation holes along the embankment and analyzed the groundwater samples, TEPCO answered that they were measuring in several locations inside the harbor, and they were measuring in the ocean, too. They could detect the change that way, no problem. That was the answer then, and that is the answer now.


What's at issue now is whether the highly radioactive water from the trench [where extremely radioactive water from March/April 2011 from the reactors sits] or from the reactor buildings is leaking from the embankment or not. The purpose of continuous monitoring is to know immediately if highly radioactive water is leaking. To monitor the change, it's better to monitor closer [to the embankment where the leak may be occurring]. But TEPCO insists on monitoring outside the harbor. I don't understand the reason.

NRA's Kayoko Nakamura says, "Continuous monitoring is an expensive purchase." So it takes time to select [the equipment], she says. Well, what does that mean? It's not the matter of how expensive or how cheap; the opinion of the members is to do it "soon". It is not the thing to be done leisurely over six months or a year.中村座長は精度が重要ともいう。すでにこれまでの精度にも疑義が出ているのでこれは重要だけど、東電がいったいどこのメーカーや専門家となにを検討しているのか、中身の公表がないので、やっぱり設置が遅れている理由はわからない

Ms. Nakamura also says accuracy [of measurement] is important. It is important, as the accuracy has been questioned before. But no information has been disclosed as to which manufacturer and/or experts TEPCO is consulting with and on what. We still don't know the reason why the installation hasn't been done.

(The same discussion, from the togetter; it reads almost like a farce, a comedy routine, where research experts are at a loss what to do with TEPCO...)
TEPCO says it wants to install continuous monitoring instruments OUTSIDE the plant harbor. From NRA's reference document for the meeting (English labels and comment are mine):

Morita [from the Fisheries Agency]: As I said before, I don't understand why you want to install [the continuous monitoring system] outside the harbor. The discharge for Reactors 5/6 pumps out the water from inside the harbor, so there is no point in installing it outside.

Morita: The water is leaking into the open channel, or so it is said. Doesn't it make more sense to install the instrument there? Can you collect daily data outside the harbor?

[To this, TEPCO answers in non-answer by talking about detection limit...]

TEPCO: Detection limit is 0.1Bq/L. The problem is whether to exclude all-beta, but we are aiming at 20Bq/L.

Aoyama [chief researcher from Meteorological Research Institute]: Is it even technically and mechanically possible to continuously monitor all beta? (and Mr. Aoyama buries his head in his hands.)

Aoyama: gamma rays, you mean cesium-137?

TEPCO: Cesium-134 and -137 will be monitored.

Aoyama: I don't understand TEPCO's explanation. If anyone understands, please explain.

Horiguchi [National Science Laboratories Environmental Risk Research Center]: Like Mr. Morita, I don't understand either why the monitoring instruments are not going to be installed inside the harbor. Monitoring should be done at the locations where the leak is suspected. We're getting our priorities wrong. The most important thing is not being done.

Commissioner Nakamura: When you purchase the instrument, make sure you consult radiation specialists. It's an expensive purchase, you know...
Well the priority seems to be the cost.

After the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, they still think of cost as outlay of money to purchase goods and services. They don't consider the social cost of not starting monitoring the water inside the harbor as soon as possible, particularly inside the open channel right outside the embankment.

As it stands, TEPCO plans to start continuous monitoring OUTSIDE the harbor hopefully next spring, maybe fall.

For TEPCO and the national government, time is indeed money - i.e. money saving.

Reference documents (in Japanese) for the meeting:

Cheerful Commissioner Kayoko Makamura: