“Growing sense of crisis” at Fukushima — Tepco “very concerned” about high levels of contamination in groundwater thought to be clean — Was to be pumped into ocean as part of bypass plan (VIDEO)

Saturday, September 7, 2013
By Paul Martin

September 7th, 2013

Reuters, Sept 6, 2013: […] Tepco said it was “very concerned” that radioactive water could flow towards a bypass it is digging to divert clean groundwater around the damaged reactors and into the sea. […] The tank that leaked radioactive water is at least 130 metres (426 feet) above the planned bypass area, but Tepco said the leak may have already reached groundwater – suggesting the bypass may have to be dug much further from the sea than planned, complicating an already fraught effort. […] Local fishermen have consistently opposed the bypass plan, and on Friday reiterated they would not accept any release of even low-radioactive water into the sea, as has been suggested by Japan’s nuclear regulator.

Bloomberg, Sept 6, 2013: […] The plan was complicated by the Sept. 4 detection of irradiated water in an area that had been thought free of contaminants. Inspectors found 650 becquerels per liter of beta radiation, which includes the contaminant strontium-90, Mayumi Yoshida, a spokeswoman for the utility known as Tepco, said today by phone. That’s more than 21 times government safety guidelines covering sea water near the plant for strontium-90, which has been linked to bone cancer. […] Since the groundwater would pass through the plant’s tank areas before entering the bypass system’s intake wells, the tainted water found this week could pose a contamination risk.

Japan Times, Sept 5, 2013: “There is the possibility that the contaminated water (from the tank), diluted by rainwater . . . has seeped into soil and reached groundwater,” Tepco said in a press release. […] The discovery of leaks from some of these tanks or from pipes feeding them, as well as radiation hot spots on the ground even where no water is evident, has created a growing sense of crisis.

NHK, Sept. 5, 2013: Officials at Tepco have warned of a potential new problem at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. […] Tepco says it collected samples of groundwater from a monitoring well about 10 meters from the faulty tank. Tests showed the water contained high levels of radioactive substances. […]

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