TEPCO releases first batch of decontaminated Fukushima groundwater to seaTokyo Electric Power Co. was set to release 850 tons of treated radioactive groundwater into the sea off the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant by sundown on Sept. 14.
The discharge marks the first release under the utility's “subdrain plan," an additional measure conceived to help diminish the build-up of contaminated groundwater at the crippled facility.
TEPCO began discharging water after a third-party panel confirmed that the radioactive content was below the standard set by the utility.
The plan utilizes subdrains, which are essentially wells set up around the main buildings of the power plant to collect groundwater flowing into the complex. Once the groundwater has been pumped from those wells, it undergoes decontamination in a special facility for release into the ocean after being checked for radioactive content.
The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations gave the green light to the operation on Aug. 11, and TEPCO began pumping in earnest on Sept. 3.
The release of the first batch of decontaminated groundwater, which had been stored in a tank since last year, started around 10 a.m. The water collected from Sept. 3 will be released in a few days.
TEPCO's standard is set at 1 becquerel of radioactive cesium per liter of decontaminated groundwater, 3 becquerels for elements that emit beta rays and 1,500 becquerels for tritium--a substance which is very hard to treat.
As for now, the utility plans to pump 100 to 200 tons of groundwater daily, but will increase the volume to 500 tons if it does not encounter any problems with the decontamination facilities.
TEPCO believes the subdrains can halve the approximately 300 tons of daily groundwater buildup at the plant. However, the utility is uncertain how many months it will take to see whether this holds true.
Source: Asahi Shimbun
Partially Decontaminated Groundwater release starts at Fukushima DaiichiThe operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has started releasing groundwater into the sea pumped up from around reactor buildings. The water is decontaminated and monitored before releasing.
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Company say the release is aimed at reducing the daily production of radioactive wastewater by half. The work began at around 10 AM on Monday.
300 tons of contaminated water has been produced daily in the damaged reactor buildings due to flow-in of groundwater.
By evening the operator plans to release some 850 tons of groundwater. This is from the 4,000 tons it has already pumped up from wells around reactor buildings since August last year. The groundwater has been cleaned to permissible radioactive levels.
Workers will continue to release the stored water for 3 more days this time.
Municipalities and local fishermen worry about possible effects on the environment if something goes wrong. The government and the Tokyo Electric Power say they will conduct strict monitoring of the discharge.