More Typhoons Approaching, Landslides & Earthquakes At Fukushima Daiichi

This is just not a good week at the plant and not looking to get any better.

Former workers at the plant Happy & Sunny were both tweeting about a possible small landslide at Fukushima Daiichi last week. They said TEPCO refused to report it. We have not been able to obtain additional confirmation on the incident. It is not unusual for something like this to happen. The plant has a number of areas where the land was cut down but only has turf to prevent erosion. They did mention it may have blocked or partially blocked one of the roads.

Happy11311
Uh-oh? I did not press! It was learned for the first time to see tweets of Sunny’s. I’ve had also place the road much would have been blocked, was depressed (> _ <) after law could face there had collapsed …. Next week, I wonder if the public? Typhoon No. 27 is also a worry about next week, and slope is likely to collapse still, and I wonder … I’m worried about.”

Happy11311
“~ N. Will not understand me collapse of the slope I was hesitation like to say in an easy-to-understand ;), bank is gone and landslides, it could do a Roadblock sediment collapsed is accidentally blocked the road (^ _ ^ (> _ <) main Because it is a road, and was glad of car workers not involved. You could do a worry because there is a full bank are other premises
.”

In the last week we have also seen what we have called in the past a “quake swarm” this is a phenomenon we have seen since 2011 where frequent earthquakes usually around 5.0 or lower will happen in the area near the plant over a series of days. These are likely just aftershocks continuing from the initial quake or small adjustments in pressure in that region. Either way these could contribute somewhat to problems at the plant and would be made worse by over saturated soil. There are concerns these quakes could facilitate another landslide.

Issued at Occurred at Region Name Magnitude
10:21 JST 22 Oct 2013 10:18 JST 22 Oct 2013 Fukushima-ken Oki M5.3
12:36 JST 21 Oct 2013 12:33 JST 21 Oct 2013 Tokachi-chiho Nambu M4.6
10:10 JST 20 Oct 2013 10:07 JST 20 Oct 2013 Ibaraki-ken Oki M4.4
00:17 JST 20 Oct 2013 00:14 JST 20 Oct 2013 Miyagi-ken Oki M4.9
11:11 JST 19 Oct 2013 11:08 JST 19 Oct 2013 Miyagi-ken Oki M4.0
13:35 JST 17 Oct 2013 13:32 JST 17 Oct 2013 Fukushima-ken Oki M4.1

 

Two storms are approaching the mainland of Japan. Typhoon Francisco and Typhoon Lekima. The current tracking shows them eventually going side by side on the east side of Japan’s mainland. This could create an unusual situation where Lekima could slow down Francisco’s easterly exit from over northeast Japan. This could be extremely problematic if the storm stalls over the area around Fukushima Daiichi as it would continue to dump large volumes of rain. This graphic by the Asahi Shimbun shows the potential for these typhoons to team up.

francisco_likema_asahi

 

Both storms also are fairly strong right now. Francisco may be down to a tropical storm by the time it hits Fukushima while Lekima will be a category 1 further out to sea. Various weather agencies still have varied predictions for Francisco with some showing it rolling up the middle of the Japanese mainland while others show it further out into the Pacific.

Adding to all of these problems, there was enough general rainfall at the plant to cause the tank weirs to overflow, sending contaminated water leaking out of the plant. With the plant already struggling with overflowing water, another storm is quite unwelcome. If TEPCO plans on keeping these leaky tanks in operation into next year’s storm season they should invest in covers for the tank groups to lower the amount of rainwater that ends up contaminated by entering the tank enclosures. They already have a variety of these industrial tent structures on site.

 

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