As NHK reports, the meltdown was far more significant that originally publicly stated...
And now we find that TEPCO's clean-up plans are failing...Tepco finds meltdown of the fuel at Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 nuclear reactor began at about 5am on March 13, 2011, five hours earlier than co. previously estimated, NHK reports, citing co.’s latest findings.
Most of the fuel may have melted through the base of the reactor into the containment vessel by 6am the next day: NHK
And then there's this...TEPCO's attempt at removing toxic cancer-causing substances from the reactor's waters may exceed the stated deadline. Earlier, TEPCO's president pledged to terminate the filtering process by the end of March 2015.
The country’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga confirmed the deadline to journalists. The official, though, did not clarify the penalties TEPCO face if it failed to meet the target date.
The isotope Strontium-90 is believed to cause cancerous diseases. It has a half-life of about 30 years and can be deposited in fish bones. The fear of the radioactive substance's presence in the water has already become the reason for South Korea’s ban on seafood imports from Japan.
As of July 29, the site had more than 370,000 tons of water contaminated with radiation, with its levels rising at a rate of 400 tons a day. The measures taken by TEPCO included the launch of the so-called ALPS filtration system, capable of cleaning about 500 tons of water daily. The system is set to be expanded to process more than 600 tons a day additionally starting September. Also, another system to filter about 425 tons daily is to be launched in October.
However, even with the use of additional facilities, such as the U.S.-based Kurion Corporation’s truck-mounted filtration system, Bloomberg expects tens of thousands of tons of toxic water to remain at the site by the imposed deadline. Familiar with Bloomberg’s data, TEPCO's spokesperson has said: "We are doing everything we can do."
* * *Police have arrested four people on Saturday on suspicion of defrauding Tokyo Electric Power Co. of ¥12 million in nuclear compensation.
The four included a 42-year-old former official of a Tokyo nonprofit organization that does paperwork on behalf of clients for claiming damages from TEPCO from harmful rumors related to the March 2011 nuclear accident at the company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
They are suspected of filing false claims in April and May 2012 that an event company, based in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, faced a raft of cancellations from its customers due to concerns over radiation exposure.
The company was not actually operating, according to the police.
We anxiously await Shinzo Abe's statement of calm and that everything's ok...because he has been so honest so far. But we leave it to TEPCO to conclude:
"We have been saying that we cannot say when the (restart) will be," a TEPCO spokesman said.