“There’s no foreseeable end to it… and nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it” — Japan gov’t worried that attempts to reduce leakage will cause even more radioactivity to flow into sea
Asahi Shimbun, Oct 26, 2015 (emphasis added): [TEPCO announced] the construction of seaside walls to block radiation-contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea has been completed at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant… TEPCO officials said the underground walls will reduce the daily flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea from the previous estimated 400 tons to 10 tons. However, they said it will take a month or two to confirm the effectivenessof the barriers.
Japan Times, Oct 26, 2015: Tepco hopes the wall will significantly reduce the amount of contaminated water that has continued to flow into the Pacific more than four yearsafter the 2011 meltdown crisis… 400 tons of groundwater was draining along the sides of the buildings and into the sea each day, after being contaminated with fallout from the 2011 meltdown crisis, according Tepco. The utility says an estimated 150 tons of underground water is still flowing into the basements of the damaged reactor buildings each day… Recent tests of water samples from the nearby sea have detected radioactive substances such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, but scientists have said the density is so low that it poses no immediate danger to human health. Yet, the ongoing flow of tainted water from the plant has raised anxiety and concerns among local fishermen and many consumers across the country. Tepco plans to keep monitoring the density of radioactive materials in the nearby sea over the next month. To isolate the four reactor buildings from the underground water, Tepco hopes to freeze the soil around them… The Nuclear Regulation Authority has yet to give permission for the operation, saying creation of frozen soil could drastically change the underground water level around the plant. If the water level outside falls lower than that inside, the contaminated water could leak out. Meanwhile, Tepco has not explained exactly how it will control the water levels, an NRA official said.
Dr. Keith Baverstock, former World Health Organization regional adviser for radiation and public health, published Oct 23, 2015 (at 37:00 in): “I’m really appalled at the way the international system has failed… Quite frankly, we don’t get anything through the media… There is no general understanding of the situation here in Europe, because the media are not putting this view forward. In fact, I think many people would be very surprised that it was still a matter for discussion. They would be even more surprised to learn that it’s still an ongoing accident, and that it hasn’t terminated yet. They’d be even more surprised that nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it. So this is a very big black point… for the nuclear industry — that they can cause a situation like this, where there’s no foreseeable end to it. It’s against international law to dump radioactivity into the sea, but that is precisely what is happening on a daily basis.”
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