TEPCO says new leak has spilt 20,000 litres of radioactive coolant at the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Plant: It is now almost 7 years since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared everything is “under control,”

Friday, 17 January 2020

Radiation-contaminated debris and soil are stockpiled for disposal near the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

Tokyo Electric Power Company says coolant has seeped out from an underground frozen soil wall built around its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The frozen soil wall came into operation four years ago. It was built to keep groundwater from flowing into reactor buildings. They were damaged by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdowns.

The utility firm, TEPCO, says it found coolant leaking at three locations from components that connect pipes in the wall. The company had noticed a reduction in coolant in its tank earlier this month and was searching for the cause. TEPCO says it believes 20,000 of 1.1 million litres of the coolant has leaked, but that this will not affect the operation of the wall. The company says it will replace the components in the wall and repair another leak that was found in December. nhk.org

Almost six years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe famously declared the contaminated water problem at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant “under control,” today it remains anything but.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) continues to face difficulties in dealing with water contaminated with radioactive substances at its crippled plant. About 18,000 tons of highly contaminated water remains accumulated in reactor buildings and other places. Abe made the  “under control,” declaration in September 2013 while Tokyo was bidding to win the 2020 Summer Games.
In reality, however, the situation is not under control even now.

In a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in June, one of its members, Nobuhiko Ban, told TEPCO officials, “I want you to show whether you have a prospect (for the reduction of contaminated water) or you have given up.” The water level did not fall as planned in an area of a basement floor at the No. 3 reactor building for two months. Asked why the level did not drop, TEPCO officials offered only vague explanations in the meeting. Ban made the remark out of irritation. Highly contaminated water that has accumulated in reactor buildings and turbine buildings is a major concern at the Fukushima plant. In addition to water that was used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, groundwater also has flowed into those buildings through cracks. The concentration of radioactive substances in highly contaminated water is about 100 million times that of the contaminated water that has been processed and stored in tanks.

Immediately after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant in March 2011, highly contaminated water leaked into the sea through underground tunnels. As a result, radioactive substances whose concentrations were higher than allowable standards were detected in fish and other seafood. After the nuclear accident, about 100,000 tons of water initially accumulated in the basement portions of buildings that housed the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors and buildings that accommodated turbines. TEPCO has removed groundwater through wells.

It also created “frozen walls” in the ground by freezing soil around the buildings.
Using those methods, the company has decreased the flow of groundwater into the buildings and, as a result, the level of highly contaminated water has dropped there. Nine years since the nuclear accident occurred, the volume of highly contaminated water in the buildings has fallen to 18,000 tons. TEPCO aims to reduce the volume further to 6,000 tons by the end of fiscal 2020. Fairwinds.org

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6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes off Japan’s Chiba prefecture, Felt in Tokyo

Strong 6.0 Earthquake Felt in Tokyo – Reports

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A 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan Saturday evening outside Tokyo, shaking buildings in the capital, but no tsunami warning was issued, the country’s meteorological agency said.

The epicenter of the 6.0 magnitude earthquake was in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, at a depth of 50 km.

The underground shocks lasted for about 10 seconds and were felt in all prefectures in the central and north-eastern parts of the country, including the Japanese capital.

Local residents have been told not to panic and remain calm.

Despite the fact that the tsunami warning was canceled a few minutes after the earthquake, residents of the country have been asked not to approach the shoreline.

A crisis headquarters under the office of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been created to engage in collection and analysis of information as to the possible consequences of the earthquake and to coordinate the work of the relevant departments related to their elimination.

Unforeseen situations at Japanese nuclear power stations have not been recorded following the earthquake, the Japanese Committee for the Control of Atomic Energy reported.

The earthquake happened amid heavy rainfalls that have been afflicting Japan for several days, killing more than 30 people. (Click to Source)

 
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Contaminated Japanese rivers unleash ‘perennial supply’ of radiation into Pacific Ocean

(NaturalNews) A study published in the Elsevier journal Anthropocene late last year has revealed that many of the rivers, streams and other waterways located throughout coastal Japan have inadvertently become delivery systems for transporting radioactive waste directly from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility into the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers from both France and Japan discovered this after conducting a thorough sediment and soil erosion analysis, which revealed the presence of cesium-137, cesium-134 and even radioactive silver in the runoff from coastal rivers. A total of 2,200 soil samples were collected as part of the study, which was originally designed to look at the normal biogeochemical cycles and dispersion of contaminants via rivers and waterways.

Since it is already known that rivers play a functional role in cleansing the natural environment of toxins, a team of scientists from the Laboratory for Climate Sciences and the Environment in France and the Center for Research in Isotopes and Environmental Dynamics in Japan decided to look at how this process works with respect to radiation distribution.

With Fukushima radiation as the source indicator, the team looked for the presence of radioactive isotopes in soil samples collected all along the coastal regions of Japan. By tracking radiation in this way, the team was able to monitor from where the soil and sediment came to gain a better understanding of the transport patterns of particulate matter — and what they found is telling.

Based on the behaviors of the catchments observed, as well as their relation to the rivers that connect them to nearby mountain ranges, the team determined that many coastal rivers in Japan are a constant source of Fukushima radiation that ends up flowing directly into the Pacific Ocean. Early speculation that radioactive isotopes were probably concentrating in the upper layer of nearby soils also proved to be true.

“Our findings show that [the] Fukushima accident produced original tracers to monitor particle-borne transfers across the affected area shortly after the catastrophe,” wrote the authors of the study in their abstract. “We thereby suggest that coastal rivers have become a perennial supply of contaminated sediment to the Pacific Ocean.”

Contaminated rivers also sending deadly radiation into lakes, water reservoirs

But it is not just the Pacific Ocean that is suffering as a result of constant contamination from Fukushima. A similar study published earlier in the year in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivityfound that irrigation waters, paddy fields and lakes are all being poisoned by the runoff from Fukushima.

After collecting soil samples from two small rivers located in the mountainous region of Fukushima Prefecture, scientists from the Japan-based Institute for Environmental Sciences learned that aerial deposits of nuclear contamination are occurring all across the region, and especially in the top layers of soil found in catchments.

“Our results are extremely important to quantitative assessment of the migration of radiocesium and decontamination of radiocesium in the watersheds impacted by fallout from the accident,” concluded the authors about their findings.

Accumulation of radioactive cesium has also been identified in over 20 woody plant species tested in Abiko, which is located some 125 miles southwest of Fukushima and just to the northeast of Tokyo. Researchers from the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, or CRIEPI, found that the leaves of both coniferous and deciduous tree species had become contaminated as a result of radioactive rainfall.

“Further and continuous investigations are necessary to determine how long and how much radiocesium accumulates in the canopy and under the woody plants,” the researchers wrote.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.sciencedirect.com

http://www.sciencedirect.com

http://www.sciencedirect.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

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