This was bound to happen and TEPCO had to have known this at the time they pushed for permission to use the groundwater wells. The big radioactive water leak at the H4 tank farm where highly radioactive sludge leaked out of the tank enclosure, contaminated the surrounding soil and groundwater and eventually made way to the sea is impacting the nearby groundwater bypass.
Well #12 of the groundwater bypass has been found to have levels of tritium above and around the government limit on releases to the sea. The wells between the H4 tank farm and the #12 well of the groundwater bypass system have been showing with high contamination for months. Monitoring wells E7 and E8, the ones closest to the #12 bypass well show levels around the ranges being found in the #12 bypass well. The released contaminated sludge migrated away from the H4 tank farm towards the bypass wells. TEPCO still pushed for permission to use these wells. Currently the wells are only tested for levels of tritium and beta emitters. They are not being tested for cesium. Cesium was found in these bypass wells in 2013.
We have been advocating for months that a bypass system further inland of the plant be used instead. A groundwater diversion system that would remove some of the groundwater infiltration before it reaches the uphill tank farms and later the reactor buildings is a far smarter option. We submitted this plan to IRID. Our plan along with two others that proposed similar systems inland from the plant were accepted for implementation at the plant by IRID. IRID even cited the potential for contamination in the existing bypass wells as reason to implement the further inland bypass plan. Since that was announced by IRID no further effort has been announced by METI or TEPCO, the two parties who would initiate actual construction. The concept seemed to evaporate as TEPCO instead promoted this use of the bypass wells between the tanks and the reactor blocks instead. Now this decision is proving to be as ill conceived as we said it was many months ago.
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