TEPCO struggling to find somewhere to store contaminated water

This December 2011 file photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) shows radioactive water leaked from a building with a purification device placed inside at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. AP/TEPCO

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  • 16

    Rick Kisa

    Thats why it is obvious nuke energy business model is dirty, risky, environmentally suicidal, unethical and mind-bogglingly expensive. Nuke energy is not for Japan and the earlier it is eliminated, the better...

  • 9

    zichi

    TEPCO is close to running a new treatment system that could make the water safe enough to release into the ocean.

    seriously?

    Can the storage tanks withstand a powerful earthquake. They were built in a hurry and just sit on the ground. If split open and the water pours out, what would that mean?

  • -19

    issa1

    I'm tired of this kind of sensationalist news.

  • 8

    zichi

    The water in the basement of reactors 1-3 is 10 plus sieverts/hr. There are cracks in the containment vessels and the suppression chambers and the cooling water is leaking at 400 tons per day. The cracks can't be repaired, even by robots, until all the water is removed and the dangerous radiation levels drop which will probably take several decades so there's no immediate solution to the problem. By the end of next year, there will be no more space for more tanks on the site but they could continue to build them within the no-go zone if the owners of land are willing to sell or rent to TEPCO.

    A large quantity of debris is being removed from the No3 reactor building and also needs safe storage. When the reactor buildings are demolished where will TEPCO store the debris? France have offered to take all the spend fuel.

  • 0

    hkitagawa

    just do electrolysis on that and the remaining particles will be some milligrams of radioactive materials.

  • 6

    warispeace

    Haven't they been storing it in the Pacific Ocean?

  • 7

    zichi

    TEPCO have been trying to film the upper floors of the No1 reactor building to see the amount of damage from the explosion. Hitachi made a large ballon with a camera attached and sent it up the nuclear fuel elevator shaft to the 5th floor which houses the spend pool.

    There are photo's and video's on the TEPCO site. The damage is extensive and I guess the reason the reactor building was covered with a temp cover was because it was leaking the highest levels of radiation.

    http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2012/201210-e/121024-02e.html

  • 0

    GW

    Like I said way way back the contaminated water will mostly end up in the ocean, either but direct leaks, intentional dumping, new leaks in the reactor & these storage tanks, or by more earthquakes & or tsunami, only time will tell which of the above but it will be one of the above.

    The simply will not be able to "temporarely " store this stuff, cant be done long term simple as that, the ocean will continue to beckon this water

  • 0

    Robert Dykes

    Zichi. The whole world can't be earthquake proof. Something has to be done. What's your idea. The further they have to transport it the more risk of spilling it or spreading the radiation. I mean really. What is more of a great a gains massive ear quake, or a 1000 trucks moving radiative water and one of them getting in an accident and leaking¿

  • 6

    zichi

    Robert Dykes

    I have stated many times since the beginning of the nuclear disaster than there will be many difficult problems with no easy solutions and I do also except that TEPCO and other companies like Hitachi which are involved in the disaster are seeking solutions to those difficult problems, and there will be many over the coming decades.

    Everything so far at the plant has been on a ad hoc basis and some of the systems need replacing with permanent plant. I'm not suggesting that the water be transported to some other part of the country or even out of the immediate area.

    The gov't have already stated that the area around the plant will be off limits for decades and no one will be allowed to return,

    A water storage and treatment plant which is also built with earthquakes in mind rather than just plastic tanks on the ground could be built off site and within the area which will be a permanent no-go zone. This could also be used for building the storage needed for all the debris from the reactor buildings.

    That would depend on TEPCO being able to buy or rent the land needed.

  • 2

    Farmboy

    Well, I remember that they were using some French system for removing the radiation from the water, and wondered how that was going, and found an interesting, related article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2011/04/25/french-plan-to-clean-fukushimas-radioactive-water-detailed-including-risks/

  • 10

    zichi

    Farmboy

    so the article clears the matter, even the so called clean water won't be clean enough to think about dumping it in the ocean?

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    How much do you want to bet there will be an 'accidental' MAJOR 'leakage' into the ocean in the next few months (reported by foreign experts, of course)?

  • 4

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Japan and the Japanese got themselves into this fine mess, Japan and the Japanese and all of the other countries that "helped" Japan build these stupid nuclear reactors need to get on the ball, fix this mess, stop the nuclear leaks, contaminated water etc..ASAP, the IAEA etc...should also be on the ground up there in Fukushima, at least trying to help Japan clean up this horrible mess! I feel so sad for the good people of Fukushima who will never ever be able to go back to their homes, never will be able to tend to their fields, etc..not for many, many generations to come.

  • -5

    WilliB

    The article shows ignorance by the write (something that we have alas come to get used to). There is no such thing as "radioactive water". Water can not be radioactive by definition. What is radioactive are contaminants in the water. Filter them, and the problem is solved. The whole issue really is one of filtering capacity.

  • 6

    zichi

    WillB "filter them out and the problem is solved"

    Not so easy to do and the current plant can't deal with the amount of contaminated water so it end up in the storage tanks. Read the article linked by Farmboy.

  • 1

    Utrack

    It's leaking but I thought for sure the radioactive water was being dumped intentionally into the ocean. I remembered this article below.

    Published: April 24th, 2012 at 7:34 am ET By ENENews Tepco to dump groundwater from under reactor buildings into ocean — Kyodo: 1,000 tons a day; “Tepco would check contamination level before releasing it”

    Title: TEPCO seeks to reduce groundwater flowing into reactor buildings- 毎日jp(毎日新聞) Source: Kyodo Date: Apr 24, 2012

    http://enenews.com/tepco-dump-groundwater-reactor-buildings-ocean-kyodo-1000-tons-day-tepco-check-contamination-level-before-releasing

  • 4

    YongYang

    They knew they were producing tonnes of contaminated water, they haven't prepared for the possibilities, all too familiar the disregard of the consequences, the of cutting corners, the attempts at money saving, the diabolical incompetence these idiots are guilty of AGAIN goes beyond anything any one person in the history of humanity has been found guilty of. And GUILTY they are. Simply beyond belief. PLAN FOR the CONSEQUENCES! TEPCO 'management' really REALLY needs to dismissed and an international team brought in.

  • -3

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Here's an idea: build floating storage tanks out in the ocean. They will ride out any quake or tsunami.

  • 4

    waltery

    This is very disheartening but necessary news. I don't doubt that everyone possible is doing their best to solve the various problems and the comments here mostly seem constructive rather than in previous times where the lynching some one was the best solution. Its good to be informed and kept up to date with developments all be it not good. Thanks JT and those like "zichi" and others that make constructive comments here really do help me see the broader picture from many perspectives. I hope JT can keep this in the public eye and its picked up by forgien press so the world can work together to solve the problems. I often wonder about the situation in Chernobyl and saw some news about that at the time the Fukushima situation began.

  • 0

    Weasel

    TEPCO didn't seem to have too much a problem dumping into the ocean. It must be too great of an engineering challenge to recirculate the contaminated water to keep the reactor rods cool - in the sense fluids keep an combustion automobile engine cool.

  • 2

    kurisupisu

    The resources being directed at this problem are not at all adequate.Does the world wait until we are all sickening from radiation poisoning or does it make a concerted effort to contain these toxins now? It is cowardly and irresponsible to leave future generations to clear up this horrendous mess-we need to tackle it properly now.

  • 1

    yosun

    Nuclear engineer and college lecturer Masashi Goto said the contaminated water buildup poses a long-term health and environmental threat. He worries that the radioactive water in the basements may already be getting into the underground water system, where it could reach far beyond the plant, possibly the ocean or public water supplies. “You never know where it’s leaking out and once it’s out, you can never put it back in place,” he said. “It’s just outrageous and shows how big a disaster this is.”

    TEPCO tries to find somewhere to store contaminated water ? No, you can't! Do you guys want to further spread radioactive material to other places during the whole procedure like transportation; refilling; storing... etc., do you believe people of that somewhere will accept it and what's the radius of that zone need to evacuate people? If TEPCO people always consider works this way, I really worry their future.

  • 1

    Charles M Burns

    Where do you think the water has been going? In the ocean, shock.

  • 3

    HowardStern

    TEPCO have been trying to film the upper floors of the No1 reactor building to see the amount of damage from the explosion. Hitachi made a large ballon with a camera attached and sent it up the nuclear fuel elevator shaft to the 5th floor which houses the spend pool.

    Cant we just ask death row inmates to go in there with a camera? Make a deal with them. Let them live out their final months on Senkaku islands or something.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    Oh, F#€K! These idiots should be jailed! That have 18 months to get their shit together and have done bugger all! I remember them talking about building a water treatment facility on-site over a year ago. All they have done is cut down trees and made more tanks. And that little comment about radioactive water reaching the ground water is true. It is already there. It is just a comedy of errors and would be hilarious if they weren't stuffing with the health of nearly half the population of Japan and a large area of the N/W Pacific Ocean. I doubt if these twits could organize a root in a brothel, better less clean up the worst nuclear disaster in 30 years.

  • -3

    WilliB

    warispeace:

    " Haven't they been storing it in the Pacific Ocean? "

    It would be the easiest thing in the world, and you can bet your behind that if a similar nuclear accident happened in a less developed and less democratic country, that is EXACTLY what they´d been doing, and we would never hear anything about it. Does anybody here seriously think that if e.g. the Iranian mullah regime is reporting how it is dealing with the massive amounts of contaminated material that results from its nuclear bomb program?

    What none of the habitual complainers here seems to understand that it is actually a good thing that we can openly read about the problems that Tepco is dealing with. The majority of existing (not even to mention future) nuclear operators do not acto that responsibly.

  • 5

    hkitagawa

    Business ideas: Open a radioactive water treatment plant in Senkaku islands.

  • -7

    issa1

    To WilliB article shows ignorance by the write (something that we have alas come to get used to). There is no such thing as "radioactive water". Water can not be radioactive by definition. What is radioactive are contaminants in the water. Filter , and the problem is solved. The whole issue really is one of filtering capacity.

    You seems to me,as the only person to write something sensible in this topic

  • 1

    USNinJapan2

    Dump some red food coloring in it, bottle it, and sell it as beaujolais nouveau. It may even taste better than the real beaujolais nouveau. Voilas. Simultaneously solve the problem AND raise reconstruction funds...

  • 2

    morrison_rm

    I'm going to be very suspicious of free mineral water hand-outs from now on...

  • 1

    SquidBert

    For those here talking about filters and filtering out radioactive particles from the water. It is important to understand that many of the contaminants are not 'particles' that simply can be filtered out.

    Cesium for example, is a metallic salt, with very high water solubility. Once it is solved in the water it can not be easily filtered out again in the ways that people normally think about filtering.

    Perhaps reverse osmosis could be used, but the filters would quickly clog up from other contaminants I suppose.

  • 1

    SquidBert

    Additional info, I think it is safe to assume that most of the cesium in the tanks are actually in the form of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesium_hydroxide

  • 0

    sidesmile

    Just give it a good boil n strain it through a sock. Thats what Bear would do n he almost never gets sick.

  • 3

    japan123

    Can you imagine this nuke electricity thing was once sold as clean, sustainable, cheap, blah blah blah! Only one nuke site and the whole country is on its knees! how about if it were about 4 sites set ablaze by a terrorist gang? What would happen? where would people go to on this small island? Theres urgent need for leadership on this nuke energy thing

  • 0

    amerijap

    So they are having contaminated water at break neck speed--much faster than getting it purified and pumping it back to the reactor. And there’s little extra space available for water tanks? This is so called situation hanging on the cliff with nails.

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