High Level Water Leak At Fukushima Daiichi

Update: Reporting from various sources that were following the press conference. TEPCO plans to move the water from the leaking tank (#2) to another underground tank (#1). TEPCO refers to them as tanks but they are the lined pools. They think it could take 2 weeks to completely transfer the water. The leaking pool sits 800 meters from the sea. They don’t think it is leaking to the sea by way of drainage ditches but said they have no way of preventing it from happening since the leak is underground.

Update: TEPCO admits that 100 tons of highly contaminated water may have leaked out of the pond. Fukushima Diary has been monitoring the press conference and provided an exchange between the TEPCO rep and a reporter from Asahi where TEPCO admits the estimated leak.

Update: Fukushima Voice pointed out a new TEPCO document on the ponds. The pond is made up of alternating layers of a non woven fabric, HDPE plastic membrane and one layer of bentonite membrane as the last layer. There is a concrete slab on the floor of the pond on top of the layers of sheet. There is no concrete used on the walls where the leak has happened. The radiation levels of the leak areas were tested on the 5th and showed considerably higher than testing of other areas of the pond. The leak is about 58,000 Bq/cm3 of Gross β (beta). There are photos of the pond construction in the TEPCO document.

TEPCO just announced that one of the temporary holding ponds for radioactive water is leaking. The layers of membrane used to hold the water in the pond are leaking with increasing radiation levels up into the liner layers. TEPCO is admitting the leaks into the soil with levels as high as 10^7 Bq/m3.

TEPCO mentions the liners are bentonite sheets. We were able to find what may be a similar is a sheet system made of HDPE plastic and bentonite clay. These liners must be heat sealed at the seams. Bentonite barriers have some history of being used in nuclear waste management.

Kyodo is already reporting the incident but without much additional information. They report the barrier was only 3 layers of membrane and that NRA is investigating.

Fukushima worker “Happy” has shared some background information on the ponds. They were not intended to hold highly radioactive water and were instead built to hold low level water after it would be cleaned by the ALPS system. Since the ALPS system has been delayed TEPCO began dumping highly radioactive water into these ponds designed for low level water. Happy also mentions they are only 3 layers of membrane without concrete liners as would be the norm in most construction designs. The bare minimum for these liners usually involve at least a compacted layer of bentonite clay. Apparently there is no such layer in these tanks and Happy things they could be vulnerable to burrowing small animals like moles. He estimated the beta activity of the water being stored as 200-1000 mSv/h. With water as high as 1 sievert/hour this is a very different condition than the ponds may have been designed for.

Machine translation of Happy’s tweets

But that I have to groundwater flow leakage of contaminated water from the reservoir in 1F, it is such that I can fully predict. It was concerned that I was awake. Water storage tank so I do something that was built to store the treated water of the Alps, not those made for storing water high pollution in the first place. Usage is so I do that is different.

One more: Use original stuff of feeling you have to cover and fill the artificial pond dug a hole in the Alps in order to collect the treated water. ‘m Not a high pollution of treated water other than Alps radioactive material have been removed from the tritium. ‘m Not even take into account the specifications of the cistern so high pollution.

A situation that I’m approaching the limit of the scene I’ve been building a water storage tank pollution, and still takes a long time, the capacity of the water storage tank pollution 2: Continued. That I was to use the water tank has not been used for production has been delayed in the Alps such a situation, the thought was in the last resort.

3 more: When I was in the field OIRA had to rush in the plumbing of water tank from the tank. But as I said, the water storage tank’m not considering the high pollution in the first place. Without strontium is removed but cesium contaminated water in the tank is being removed, dose β’ve got more than 200 ~ 1000mSv / h.

4 more: water storage tank I’ve been stacking type square that lay about triple sure the tarpaulin dug a hole, made of plastic material, maybe the soil around to prevent collapse, I’m from the general specifications all. I’m the same as underground water storage tank rainwater general earn something.

5 continued: I would not leak had been encased in concrete the edges of the hole dug,’m tarpaulin, then there is even a possibility that leak degrade the activation high line β, it is but not rat the other day, like a mole There ‘s even a possibility that small animals such break. TEPCO Maybe it was short … I’m going.

6 continued: troubles have recently make every wrong decision. It is the result of the workers have to work hard every day, and to ignore the essential crisis management and design philosophy. Cut the budget, I’m been explained exposed corresponding measures or informal or simplified design, shortening the construction period, per flying has become now.

7 more: 1F would compare the situation of this now, “even if the injury or illness the last two years, in order not to cure wounds and diseases from the root firmly in the hospital with good money, not heal the wound, before I knew it I think a situation would come to a head, the wound is open, festering is me “coming out. I’m such Nakya … it somehow.


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