Blog Archive

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Manager at Japan's Fukushima plant admits radioactive water 'embarrassing'

[snip]


OKUMA, Japan Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:24pm BST
Naomi Hirose, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), which operates the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, bows before delivering his speech at an annual conference of the Japan Atomic Industry Forum (JAIF), an organisation made up of all major nuclear reactor makers and utilities, in Tokyo April 15, 2014. REUTERS-Issei Kato
1 OF 2. Naomi Hirose, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), which operates the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, bows before delivering his speech at an annual conference of the Japan Atomic Industry Forum (JAIF), an organisation made up of all major nuclear reactor makers and utilities, in Tokyo April 15, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ISSEI KATO






(Reuters) - The manager of the Fukushima nuclear power plant admits to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Japan's prime minister told the world the matter was resolved.
...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government pledged half a billion dollars last year to tackle the issue, but progress has been limited.
"It's embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don't have full control," Akira Ono told reporters touring the plant this week.
He was referring to the latest blunder at the plant: channelling contaminated water to the wrong building.
...
"But we were pressed to build tanks in a rush and may have not paid enough attention to quality. We need to improve quality from here."
The Fukushima Daiichi station, 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo, suffered triple nuclear meltdowns in the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
...
this is predicated on the state-of-art ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) project, which removes the most dangerous nucleides, becoming fully operational. The system has functioned only during periodic tests.
As Ono spoke, workers in white protective suits and masks were building new giant tanks to contain the contaminated water - on land that was once covered in trees and grass.
A cluster of cherry trees, unmoved since the disaster, is in bloom amid the bustle of trucks and tractors at work as 1,000 tanks in place approach capacity. Pipes in black insulation lie on a hill pending installation for funnelling water to the sea.
HUGE FLUSH
"We need to improve the quality of the tanks and other facilities so that they can survive for the next 30-40 years of our decommission period," Ono said, a stark acknowledgement that the problem is long-term.
Last September, Abe told Olympic dignitaries in Buenos Aires in an address that helped Tokyo win the 2020 Games: "Let me assure you the situation is under control."
Tepco had pledged to have treated all contaminated water by March 2015, but said this week that was a "tough goal."
...
In a rare success, the government won approval from fishermen for plans to divert into the sea a quarter of the 400 tonnes of groundwater pouring into the plant each day.
But things keep going wrong.
Last week, Tepco said it had directed 203 tonnes of highly radioactive water to the wrong building, flooding its basement. Tepco is also investigating a leak into the ground a few days earlier from a plastic container used to store rainwater.
...
A hangar-like structure houses Toshiba Corp's ALPS system, able to remove all nucleides except for less noxious tritium, found at most nuclear power stations, its planners say.
It sat idle for 19 months after a series of glitches. The latest miscue occurred on Wednesday, when a tonne of radioactive water overflowed from a tank.
....
The 1,000 tanks hold 440,000 tonnes of contaminated water. Some 4,500 to 5,000 workers, about 1,500 more than a half year ago, are trying to double the capacity by 2016.
Once the deal was clinched with the fishermen, Tepco embarked on a plan to use a water bypass, from as early as next month, to funnel clean groundwater to the sea.
But the latest samples next to the bypass found elevated levels of radiation and the project was placed under further scrutiny. Tepco said the radiation was within permitted limits.

[end snip]

Embarrasing?...
:WTF:

Full article:
Post a Comment