[Video] Tepco identified a leaking part on reactor1 vessel / Pipes are rusted and starting deteriorated
Kyodo News, May 28, 2014: [Tepco] has identified the location of a leak at the bottom of the container in the No. 1 reactor [...] water was leaking from a joint in a pipe [...] The metal bellow joint is likely to have been corroded ["destruction of materials from chemical reaction"] by seawater [the Tepco official said.] The official denied the possibility that the leakage was caused because the earthquake damaged equipment. He said the company will continue to investigate if there are other areas of leakage nearby.
Jiji Press, May 28, 2014: Tepco said it had confirmed water was leaking from a pipe in the reactor containment vessel inside the plant’s No. 1 reactor building. The utility used a camera-mounted remote-controlled robot [...] water was leaking from the vessel’s bottom near the pipe, at a rate of up to 3.2 tons per hour [76.8 tons/day]. In the No. 1 to No. 3 reactor buildings, highly contaminated water leaking from the vessels has amassed, preventing work to remove nuclear fuel.
NHK, May 27, 2014: The water is leaking from a point on a pipe leading to the containment vessel. An image taken by a robot probe shows a black area on the brown pipe. The leak point is above a donut-shaped unit called a suppression chamber where a robotic investigation detected flows of contaminated water last November. The chamber is in the lower part of the containment vessel. [...] A contaminated water leak has also been found in the containment vessel of the Number 3 reactor. Officials say they will now investigate the suppression chamber and other parts of the Number 2 reactor.
Watch footage of the Unit 1 suppression chamber survey published on May 28 here
Watch NHK’s broadcast here
Watch NHK’s broadcast here
Jiji Press, May 28, 2014: Tritium levels at Fukushima No. 1 well top Pacific dumping limit, Tepco admits [...] The discovery was the first report of over the limit tritium in groundwater at the wells since Tepco began discharging water [...] from one of the 12 wells on Monday, 1,700 becquerels per liter of tritium was detected, exceeding the maximum limit of 1,500 becquerels, the utility said on Tuesday. [...] Tepco stopped pumping water from the well on Tuesday night, and said it plans to step up groundwater monitoring. The utility is now releasing groundwater from the 12 wells into the sea after temporarily storing it in tanks and checking radiation levels.
Measurement result nuclide of fish at Fukushima Daiichi, Tepco, May 16, 2014:
- Sample: Spotbelly rockfish (muscle)
- Location: Inner port (Near south breakwater) in Fukushima Daiichi
- Date: Apr 09, 2014
- Cs-134 @ 53,000 Bq/kg; Cs-137 @ 140,000 Bq/kg; Total Cs @ 193,000 Bq/kg
The Big Picture, May 27, 2014 (at 45:00 in): Radiation levels keep rising near Fukushima plant— “Radiation levels have spiked to an all-time high in the seawater surrounding Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant. Earlier this month Tepco announced they detected similar levels in groundwater at the plant. They say that the cause of the spike is still unknown. […] Tepco has proven that they are not capable of dealing with this massive problem. The situation at Fukushima has gotten worse, not better. It’s time for the international community to step in and prevent an even more serious disaster.”
See also: Japan Times: "Radiation has spiked to all-time highs" in ocean off Fukushima plant -- Jiji: "Record-high radiation levels have been observed" Tepco says -- Officials: "Cause of seawater spike is unknown"
Vice on HBO, Season 2 Episode 10, May 24, 2014:
At 2:45 in
- Hiroshi Kawauchi, former Japanese house representative: The havoc Fukushima has wrought is not acknowledged by the government. [Fukushima Daiichi] emitted airborne radioactive cesium levels that exceed the Hiroshima bomb by 168 times. But we’re always told everything is OK.
- Vikram Ghandi, Vice: [We were] wondering why radiation levels 168 times worse than Hiroshima could ever be perceived as OK.
At 11:00 in
- Anonymous Tepco Employee: There are many more problems that we have here [other than contaminated water]. The equipment that we brought 3 years ago, like pipes, hoses, the buildings themselves, all of these have started to break down. Even the cooling system ceasing to function is a possibility.
At 13:00 in
- Ghandi: The future of Japan begins to look even more bleak.
- Kawauchi: It will become harder to access the truth [because of the new state secrets act].
- Ghandi: The government trying to silence people cannot change the dark reality of radiation that may only rear its head in generations to come.
- Kawauchi: If we continue, not only Japan, but also Earth, is in peril.
Kyodo, May 27, 2014: The Nuclear Regulation Authority has decided to allow [...] building an underground ice wall [...] despite safety concerns [...] The NRA has been wary that building the ice wall could cause the ground to sink around the reactor and adjacent turbine buildings [...] the agency accepted Tepco’s explanation that any sinking would not be significant enough to put safety at risk. A Tepco official told NRA members and experts that the ground may sink up to 16 mm in some spots, but that the utility believes it won’t pose a problem to the stability of the ground. “I think we have been able to confirm today the scale of ground sinking, which is what we have most feared as side effects of building the wall,” NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said after hearing Tepco’s explanation [...] he noted that other issues concerning the project must still be discussed, including ways to accurately measure the level of radioactive water accumulating inside the reactor buildings. [...]
NHK, May 26, 2014: [NRA] reviewed the project at a meeting in Tokyo on Monday. Officials from TEPCO said their estimates show the ground around the Number 1 to Number 4 reactors would sink as much as 16 millimeters after the underground walls are built. [...] tunnels will be dug on the mountain side of the plant’s buildings [...] The NRA will continue to examine plans to construct similar frozen soil walls on the seaside of the facility. It will also consider ways to prevent wastewater in the reactor buildings from seeping into the environment.
AFP, May 26, 2014: “We had some concerns, including the possibility that part of the ground could sink,” one official said on condition of anonymity. “But there were no major objections to the project during the meeting, and we concluded that TEPCO can go ahead with at least part of the project as proposed after going through further necessary procedures.” However, TEPCO may have to review other parts of the project amid fears it might affect existing structures at the plant such as underground drains, he added.
ABC Radio (AU), May 22, 2014 — Ken Buesseler, Sr. scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: [...] if you divert that water flow, what does that do to the stability of the site itself? The soils? Or things happening such as saltwater intrusion? Would you get a flow back of the ocean water, now that you’re not letting all of the fresh water out? Those are pretty key questions [...] people have lost confidence in TEPCO [...] I think they really have a challenge rebuilding the public trust in general [...] One of their first priorities has to be clean-up of what they’ve already collected, but they’ve been unsuccessful so far at doing that.
CNN, May 21, 2014: [...] This is my first time visiting one of the most dangerous places on earth. [...] the highly contaminated “red zone” [...] remains a desolate wasteland [...] Impact underestimated? The true scope of the contamination is a subject of debate, with a research team from Fukushima University recently releasing a study that claims [TEPCO] grossly underestimated the amount of radioactive poison cesium-137 released into the environment. Exposure can heighten the risk of cancer. [...] TEPCO acknowledges it’s impossible to know for sure how much cesium was released [...] Researchers told me they don’t believe the risk extends far beyond Japan and the North Pacific Ocean, even though small traces of radioactive ocean water have been detected as far away as Canada.
Transcript Excerpt – Will Ripley, CNN: A senior scientist and his research team at Fukushima University just published a study claiming the power plant’s operator Tepco grossly underestimated the amount of radioactive poison — Cesium-137 — released during the meltdown. This material has already gone into the ocean. It’s already there. He’s especially worried about contaminated fish in a country where most meals come from the sea. His research team says cesium spewed into the air during the meltdown and later fell into the water contaminating the North Pacific Ocean and the Japanese mainland. Tepco says the company’s radiation estimates come from the best information they have, but a spokesperson admits nobody really knows for sure. [...] The invisible danger from Fukushima is why these town will continue to sit empty for years, as crews try to contain the slow moving catastrophe that turned their homeland into this wasteland.
CNN Student News, Daily Curriculum, May 22, 2014: Where is Fukushima? What disasters struck the city three years ago? What does the city look like now? Why are fields that once were full of crops now full of bags of soil? What radioactive poison was released during the nuclear plant meltdown? Why is the professor seen in the video especially worried about the poison’s effect on fish? What does the reporter have to do before he enters the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant? What are workers there trying to do to the plant? How long will the cleanup take? According to the video, why will the town continue to sit empty for years?
Wall St. Journal, May 16, 2014: The ice-wall plan has already met a hurdle. [...] the Nuclear Regulation Authority [...] expressed concern about an unexpected change in the water route, which could cause a leak of highly contaminated water.
Asahi, May 17, 2014: “Once the project is started, it will be difficult to turn back,” said Toyoshi Fuketa, an NRA commissioner who is screening [the ice wall project,] “We have to thoroughly examine every aspect of this project because it is such a drastic measure.” [...] Experts have warned that if something goes wrong with the walls, it could critically affect work to handle the contaminated water and decommissioning operations. [...] The NRA told the utility to provide answers to 24 items that the watchdog is concerned about, such as the possibility of land sinking, leaks of contaminated water and countermeasures in the event the frozen soil thaws.
Mainichi, May 17, 2014: [...] experts have questioned both the safety and effectiveness of the proposed subterranean ice wall. [...] the NRA submitted 24 questions on the safety and effectiveness of the ice wall plan to TEPCO and the national government, and it now looks like the operation — scheduled to commence in June — will be delayed. [...] The plan, however, could fail, and there is a further risk that the excavation work could disturb the crust around the reactors.
AP, May 4, 2014: Toyoshi Fuketa, a commissioner with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, said the hydrological impact of creating a frozen wall in the area was unclear. “We need to know if a frozen wall is really effective, and more importantly, we need to know whether a frozen wall may cause any trouble,” Fuketa said. International experts have raised similar concerns.
Tepco, May 21, 2014: Today, we have commenced operation of the groundwater bypass at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to many parties, including Fukushima Prefecture and members of the fishing industry [...]
Yahoo News, May 21, 2014: Wednesday [TEPCO] began to dump controlled quantities of water with low radioactivity into the sea. This is the method it plans to start using to reduce the alarming accumulation of contaminated liquid [...] TEPCO revealed that around 560,000 litres [~148,000 gallons] of water was emptied Wednesday.
Japan Times, May 21, 2014: [Tepco] said Wednesday it began dumping into the Pacific Ocean hundreds of tons of groundwater [...] The next release is expected to involve about 790 tons of groundwater stored since last year [...] the official said there could be a water discharge roughly every week.
The Australian, May 21, 2014: Nuclear water released into sea off Japan [...] not clear whether the water was more radioactive than normal
Xinhua, May 21, 2014: [Tepco] has also been slammed by Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka for incorrectly measuring levels of radioactive materials in groundwater [...] Tanaka has said that even though three years has passed since the reactor meltdowns at the plant, TEPCO is still “utterly inept” when it comes to taking accurate readings [...] and “lacks a basic understanding of measuring and handling radiation.” [...] A spokesperson for the utility said the massive error [measuring strontium-90] was due to a “calibration error” [...] He added that other machines had also been mistakingly calibrated [...]
Kyodo, May 21, 2014: The official said the amount of water seeping into the reactor buildings may be reduced by up to 80 tons per day [out of the 400 tons per day of contaminated water that flows into the Pacific], but added that the effect of the groundwater bypass system needs to be checked through actual operation.