This ads another big hit to TEPCO’s credibility or any notion they can handle the Fukushima disaster on their own. TEPCO has been telling the public there is no cesium in the bypass well water as part of their effort to convince fishing groups and others that they should be allowed to dump about 200 tons per day of groundwater from the plant.
Officials from the NRA noticed an error in the way TEPCO has been processing samples at Fukushima Daiichi. In the process they need to take into account the high background radiation at the plant but have failed to do this properly. This appears to not be an isolated incident but an ongoing problem. Radiation testing being done since 2011 could all be underestimating the levels of contamination.
TEPCO apparently knew of the need to test lower contamination samples somewhere away from Fukushima Daiichi as they admit they normally test such samples at labs located at Fukushima Daini or Kashiwazaki Kariwa. For some reason for this rather important testing they chose to do it at Daiichi. Ex-SKF has a translation of the Japanese TEPCO report.
This is an incredibly rookie mistake by TEPCO, one of the oldest nuclear plant operators in Japan. An expert from JAEA was highly critical of TEPCO in this statement to Reuters:
“Once again, they’ve missed something they should be aware of,” said Atsushi Kasai, a former researcher of radiation protection at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. This shows again they lack the qualification to be managing the plant, which is the root cause of their failure to contain the March 11 disaster.”
Many have said since the beginning of the March 2011 disaster that TEPCO can’t be trusted after so much lying to the public about the meltdowns at the plant. This again shows that nothing has changed at TEPCO. They seem to be caught in a new scandal every few months where they are caught in some way misleading the public. Reuters cites it as:
“The announcement is yet another example of Tokyo Electric initially downplaying a problem, only to revise its findings because of faulty procedures. It casts further doubt over its control over the cleanup of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.”
TEPCO also has a track record of not disclosing a problem they know about until it becomes impossible to cover it up any longer as seen with the water holding ponds and undisclosed inspection work inside the reactors. This is the same company that has staked everything on the hopes to restart their reactors at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant.
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