Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fukushima Updates February 6 , 2014 - Japan and US impacts discussed , Tepco slow motion destruction of Japan through its incompetence , constant lying and withholding data documented .....

Ex - SKF....


#Fukushima I NPP: TEPCO Admits Error 7 Months Later, Says All-Beta from Observation Hole Along Embankment Was 10 Million Bq/L, Not 900K Bq/L

(UPDATE) It may not just be about groundwater samples along the embankment.All the high-density all-beta/strontium analyses done at Fukushima I NPP, including the analyses of all-beta/strontium in the RO (reverse osmosis) waste water, may be wrong. Or TEPCO says they "cannot deny the possibility that the analyses were wrong." (from a tweet by @jaikoman who tweets just about every single TEPCO and NRA press conference)

Jiji Tsushin just reported the same thing. The information is from the press conference on February 7, 2014.

For more information about the RO waste water leak of August 2013, go to this link.


Of that, strontium-90 alone turned out to be 5 million Bq/L. The reason (excuse)? Wrong measurement method used. Or something to that extent that even people who know a lot about nuclide analysis are scratching their heads trying to figure out how that happened.

Yomiuri Shinbun has the best summary of the situation (2/7/2014):

On February 6, TEPCO announced that 5 million Bq/Liter of radioactive strontium was detected from the groundwater sample taken on June 5 last year from one of the observation wells on the embankment of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant [the embankment is located between the turbine buildings and the plant harbor].


The density is 160,000 times that of the legal limit for release into the ocean, and it is about 1,000 times that of the highest density in the groundwater that had been measured so far (5,100 Bq/L). TEPCO didn't disclose the result of measurement of strontium alone, as the company believed there was a possibility that the result of measurement was wrong.


As to this particular sample, TEPCO had announced on July last year that the sample had contained 900,000 Bq/L of all-beta including strontium. On February 6, TEPCO explained that they had "underestimated all of the results of high-density all-beta, which [in fact] exceeded the upper limit of measurement." This particular sample may contain about 10 million Bq/L of all-beta, according to TEPCO. The company recently switched to a different method of analysis that uses diluted samples when the density of radioactive materials is high.

So this is the lowdown of the case of strontium more abundant than all-beta, all thanks to the faulty measurement by TEPCO.

Browsing through the documents released by TEPCO, the particular observation hole was No.1-2, which is no longer used as the result of waterglass injection into the soil in the embankment. It is close to where the extremely contaminated water from Reactor 2 turbine building had been found leaking in April 2011 (via the underground electrical trenches).

From TEPCO's document for the press (2/6/2014; English label is by me), the location of No.1-2 observation hole:

TEPCO inserted the newly disclosed 5 million Bq/L for strontium-90 but the number for all-beta remains uncorrected, at 900,000 Bq/L (which TEPCO now says 10 million Bq/L instead):

10,000,000 Bq/L of all-beta, or 10,000 Bq/cubic centimeter of all-beta. That's the same order of magnitude of all-beta in the water that gets contaminated after circulating through the reactors (see my September 2013 post), but the levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137 in this sample water is too low for this water to be the contaminated water that is currently circulating the reactors.


#Fukushima I NPP Groundwater Bypass Plan: TEPCO/METI Prepare for Release of "Uncontaminated" Groundwater into Ocean

The word "uncontaminated" in the title above is in quotation marks, because there may be radionuclides left in the groundwater to be released, particularly tritium, even though it is the water drawn from the wells placed on the west side of the reactor buildings - i.e. before the groundwater enters the reactor buildings and gets contaminated.

From Jiji Tsushin (2/3/2014), after the regular press conference by TEPCO:

Fukushima I NPP targets set for releasing groundwater into the ocean, tritium less than 1500 Bq/L


On February 3, TEPCO announced the operating targets for densities of radioactive materials in groundwater to be relased into the ocean. The groundwater is drawn before it enters the reactor buildings and gets contaminated. The targets for cesium-134 and cesium-137 will be less than 1 Bq/L each, all-beta less than 5 Bq/L, and tritium less than 1,500 Bq/L.


The groundwater release is part of the plan to reduce contaminated water. The densities of radioactive materials are less than 1/4 of the legal limits for release into the ocean. TEPCO will talk with the local fishermen to obtain their understanding of [consent to] the release.


If the densities are above the operating targets, the release will be suspended and the water will be purified before the release resumes. For beta nuclides, TEPCO plans to purify until the density is less than 1 Bq/L, lower than the operating target.

And here's METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)'s effort in persuading the fishermen.

From Kyodo News (2/3/2014):
地下水バイパス稼働に理解求める 経産副大臣、全漁連に

Vice Minister of Economy asks National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations for understanding of the start of groundwater bypass


Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kazuyoshi Akaba asked National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations for understanding of the start of groundwater bypass, which is part of dealing with the contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The groundwater bypass will draw groundwater and release the water into the ocean.


[Vice Minister Akaba said] METI will apply the operating standards that are stricter than the existing standards in radioactive material density in the groundwater that will be drawn, in order to mitigate concerns from fishermen.


The groundwater that leaks into the reactor building is one of the causes for increase in contaminated water. According to the groundwater bypass scheme, the water will be drawn before it gets contaminated. However, concerns for baseless rumors remain strong particularly among fishermen, which has prevented the scheme from being implemented.
I wonder how TEPCO is going to "purify" the water to less than 1Bq/L. My guess is dilution, particularly if it is tritium which cannot be effectively removed on a large scale.

But it probably doesn't matter, as one day later Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry says METI has already obtained "a certain level of understanding" from the fisheries co-op.

From Jiji Tsushin (2/4/2014):

Minister of Economy Motegi says a certain level of understanding from the fisheries co-op in dealing with the groundwater at Fukushima I NPP


In the press conference after the cabinet meeting on February 4, 2014, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said [the ministry] has obtained "a certain level of understanding as to the necessity" of the groundwater bypass plan from the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Association in dealing with the contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Vice Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba had met with Hiroshi Kishi, Chairman of the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Association on February 3 to explain the outline of the plan and ask for understanding.

So the National Federation of Fisheries C-op Association will bear down on the Fukushima Federation of Fisheries Co-op Association, who will then bear down on the local Fisheries Co-ops in cities like Iwaki. The local Co-Ops will bear down on individual fishermen, who will probably need little persuasion, as they are eager to resume fishing.

TEPCO/METI plan to release groundwater seems to be back on track, as if the ground contamination in the very area where the wells were dug for the groundwater drawing had never happened in August 2013.

Right near where the wells are, there are huge tanks, mostly riveted together and meant to last for no more than 5 years, that contain highly radioactive (mostly beta nuclides, not gamma) waste water after reverse osmosis (desalination) treatment. Several of the tanks in the area were found to have leaked this waste wateralthough no one knows exactly how much waste water leaked or how it leaked, and the leak may be slowly finding its way towards the wells. The elevated levels of tritium have already been measured, although they are well below the operating target of 1500 Bq/L.

Locations of the wells for drawing groundwater for the groundwater bypass scheme, and the sample water analysis (from TEPCO, 1/30/2014): the highest contamination of tritium recorded was 1,000 Bq/L from No.12 well on 12/24/2013.

Latest measurement of contamination levels in the H4 tank area, located southeast of the wells (from TEPCO, 2/6/2014):

For more on the "RO Waste Water Leak of August 2013", click here.

Nuclear Regulation Authority is yet to approve the operating targets, so all is not yet clear for TEPCO/METI. It is muddled as ever as to who is in charge of regulating TEPCO on the Fukushima I NPP accident cleanup efforts. It is supposed to be NRA, but it is increasingly tied up with the evaluation of nuclear power plants under the new guidelines in preparation for the restart. It looks METI is there (as it has always been there) to give the plant operators like TEPCO a way out, a bypass around the regulators.

Energy News....

NBC News: Two Quakes Strike Fukushima — Kyodo: Quakes jolt Fukushima Prefecture

Gov’t: 75 Fukushima children with cancers confirmed or suspected in thyroid — ‘Genetic alterations’ to be analyzed — Expert: “Gene pool is damaged, next generations will carry burden catastrophe”; Surge in disease expected

Kyodo: ‘Massive’ amount of Fukushima data wrong? “Figures can’t be trusted” — NHK: Strontium-90 by ocean at 160,000 times limit — Tepco: Actual levels “exceeded the upper limit of measurement… We are very sorry”

Canada Newspapers Catch On: Gov’t “profoundly negligent” for not testing — Fukushima ocean plume detected at coast June 2013 — “My good feelings vanished… more I thought… less convinced I became” — Officials must be more forthcoming — “So-called ‘safe levels’… not safe”

Record-high 10 Million Bq/liter of strontium-90 & beta emitters finally revealed in Fukushima plant groundwater — 1,000% greater than what Tepco claimed for last 6 months

Professor: “Fukushima spillage affects the life of the world ocean”; Must have very careful control of all Pacific seafood without exception — Gov’t Scientist: “It is a huge question” — Biologist: “The public wants to know… People think there’s a conspiracy”

TV: “Imminent situation” at U.S. nuclear site — Emergency operations center evacuated due to fire deep underground — “One of most serious incidents” on record — Anonymous footage of thick black smoke coming from ground (VIDEO)

U. of California Dean: We detected “far more than I expected” of Fukushima radioactive sulfur after 3/11 — “Unprecedented increase” reported by chemists — Statement to Media: “I don’t think we’ll see anything”

California Kayakers report ‘radioactive residue from Fukushima’ — Universities testing ocean: Higher levels “should happen soon” — Every person interviewed in newspaper article is concerned about radiation

Top Radiation Expert: ‘Extremely dangerous’ situation in Japan — 14,000 km² of land contaminated by Fukushima — Mayor: Country will be dealing with this for generations to come — Officials thought hot spots would diminish with distance from plant… Why didn’t they?

Senator: Gov’t warning that “violent extremists” obtained insider positions at utilities — Nuclear plants at risk of takeover — “I’m completely flummoxed” by NRC’s inaction on this… “You’ve got to be kidding” (VIDEO)

AOL: “Just How Dangerous Is Radioactive Kelp?” — Scientists say nuclear waste in kelp beds off California coast is from Fukushima (VIDEO)

Marine Expert on MSNBC: Months of uncontrolled radioactive releases from Fukushima a problem for Pacific, radionuclides building up in food chain — Health threat to Americans not likely if leaks ended soon after 3/11 (VIDEO)

Kyodo: Dumping Fukushima radioactive water is gov’ts only solution — Risk of “damaging effects” from toxic discharges — Even if fully implemented, around 300 tons of contaminated groundwater will still flow into Pacific every day (VIDEO)

Report: Fukushima nuclear waste will merge with radiation from U.S. reactors when washing up on West Coast — “Startling amounts” released from operating plants — Diablo Canyon officials admit to recently discharging more tritium than Fukushima (VIDEO)

TV: Scientists have found nuclear waste off San Diego coast — Fukushima’s problems now being felt in our local ecosystem — Professor most worried about finding ‘pools’ of cesium — “Time will tell how this plays out” (VIDEO)

Fukushima Diary.....

Multiple nuclide removing system can’t filter 4 

sorts of radionuclide

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On 2/5/2014, NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) announced the multiple nuclide removing system, ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) can’t filter out 4 kinds of radionuclide.

Tepco and the government of Japan are expecting ALPS to remove 62 of the major nuclides from contaminated water, and discharge it to the sea. (Tritium still remains in the water.)
The specific names of those unfilter-able nuclides are not announced. Tepco is trying to add further absorption parts in the system.

Since they had ALPS in test operation in March of 2013, the system has never been in the full operation.

New leakage : 1,700,000 Bq of All β nuclide 

absorbed in soil / Pressure gauge was frozen

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Tepco found the new leakage of the coolant water on 2/6/2014. In total, 1,700,000 Bq of All β nuclide (including Strontium-90) was leaked and absorbed by the ground, according to Tepco.
Tepco desalinates and circulates the coolant water for the reactors, which is significantly contaminated. The leakage occurred on the pipe.

The leakage volume was approx. 600 L. Tepco ended up removing 1 m3 of soil. They assume the differential pressure gage was frozen due to the cold weather.
The accident shows their coolant facility is still provisional and fragile, which can never last until Fukushima plant is finally decommissioned in 60~ years.

5,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of Strontium-90 measured 

from groundwater last July / Tepco not 

announced for half a year

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Following up this article.. Strontium-90 was detected from only 1 of 755 nuclear waste samples before 311 in Fukushima plant [URL]

On 2/6/2014, Tepco announced they measured 5,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of Strontium-90 from groundwater last July.
Tepco hasn’t announced it for over half a year.
The sampling location was the seaside of reactor2. From this sample, 380,000,000 Bq/m3 of Tritium was also measured.

In August, when one month had passed since last measurement, they measured 4,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of Strontium-90 from the same boring again.

From this newly released data, Strontium-90 was measured from all the boring holes of the seaside of reactor2 and 3.

Regarding the delayed disclosure of data, Tepco stated they were taking time to investigate the cause of wrong analysis. However after all, they didn’t release the data, which strongly suggests the on-going sea contamination, before IOC selected Tokyo as the host city of Olympic 2020.

Atmospheric dose of reactor4 pool area is 

nearly 0.1 mSv/h / Reaches the annual dose 

limit only within 200 hours

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Following up this article.. NRA “Radiation dose is too high in reactor4 spent fuel pool area” → Tepco covered lead plate over the crane [URL]

The radiation dose on the “stand” above reactor4 pool is 90 μSv/h, according to NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority).
The annual dose limit of workers is 20 mSv. The total exposure dose of fuel removing workers will reach this annual limit only within 200 hours.
Tepco is to keep removing the fuel until the end of this year.

However, Tepco announced they will not release the exposure dose data of the workers. The reason is not announced either.
(cf, Tepco not to announce the total exposure dose of workers for reactor4 pool fuel removing [URL])

Tepco not to announce the total exposure dose 

of workers for reactor4 pool fuel removing

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Following up this article.. NRA “Radiation dose is too high in reactor4 spent fuel pool area” → Tepco covered lead plate over the crane [URL]

Tepco announced they won’t publish the total exposure dose of the workers who were involved in reactor4 pool fuel removing.
Unlike they expected, the pool water is contaminated to raise the radiation dose in the pool area. NRA ordered Tepco to take measures to reduce the atmospheric dose.

The significant exposure is anticipated, but Tepco is not going to disclose the data. Additionally, Tepco stated they won’t announce the reason why they don’t disclose it either.

NRA “Radiation dose is too high in reactor4 

spent fuel pool area” → Tepco covered lead 

plate over the crane

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Tepco is removing the fuel assemblies from reactor4 pool. NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority) commented the radiation dose in pool area is too high, they ordered Tepco to take measures to reduce the radiation level.
Tepco was stating the pool water shields radiation from the fuel assemblies. However now that the pool water is highly contaminated, the workers also need to protect themselves from the increased radiation dose by the pool water.

The workers check inside of the water from above the refueling crane moving above the water. Tepco put lead plate over the crane to reduce the radiation level.

Strontium-90 was detected from only 1 of 755 nuclear waste samples before 311 in Fukushima plant

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Following up this article.. Tepco had been wrongly analyzing Strontium-90 since 2003 [URL]

From Tepco’s own data, Strontium-90 detection used to be very rare before 311.

According to Tepco, the measurement instrument had been analyzing 755 nuclear waste samples from 2003 to 311. However, Strontium-90 was measured from only one sample, and the reading was only 0.00014 Bq/m3.

It’s often said that those radionuclides flew from Chernobyl, not from Fukushima accident. However this is denying the hypothesis.

Tepco had been wrongly analyzing Strontium-

90 since 2003

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Following up this article.. NRA “Tepco’s past All β nuclide analysis may be wrong” [URL]

One of the measurement instruments has been having the wrong setting to analyze Strontium-90 even after 311, according to Tepco.
Tepco found the suspicious readings of Strontium-90 in contaminated water in June of 2013, they haven’t been announcing the Strontium-90 data for over 6 months to say they were investigating the reason.

The measurement instrument is located in the laboratory of reactor5, 6. It has been having the wrong setting since it was installed in 2003.
Even after 311, Tepco didn’t conduct any adjustment.
Tepco states Strontium-90 was overestimated due to the wrong setting.

Tepco plans to discharge Tritium to the sea up 

to 30,000,000 Bq/m3

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Related to this article.. Tritium density continuously increasing upstream of groundwater bypass wells since October of 2013 [URL]

Tepco plans to discharge the contaminated groundwater if Tritium density is lower than 30,000,000 Bq/m3, announced on 2/3/2014.
The groundwater is pumped up from the groundwater bypass wells.
Regarding other nuclides, they set the limits as 2,000 Bq/m3 for Cesium-134/137 and 10,000 Bq/m3 for all β. Tepco states even if someone drinks 2L of water for one year, the annual internal exposure dose would be only 0.86 mSv in this contamination level.

400 m3 of groundwater flows into the plant buildings every single day to turn to be contaminated water. By pumping up the water before it flows into the buildings, they expect to reduce the daily water volume. However, the simulation of their own shows the same volume of groundwater would be gathered even if they pump up, so it wouldn’t make any difference. This has never been reported by any media so far. The reason is not known.

Related article..Total Tritium in contaminated water increasing by 330 Trillion Bq per year / Beyond discharge-able amount [URL2]