Typhoon Lionrock Targets Fukushima Daiichi

lionrock_path_2016Typhoon Lionrock has strengthened and changed course. Current predictions as of today shows it hitting the Tohoku coast as a category 1 typhoon. The center of the predicted path is around Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Fukushima Prefecture and Fukushima Daiichi are within the predicted path zone.

Even if it doesn’t directly hit Fukushima Daiichi, outer bands could still cause significant problems. High winds could damage contaminated water tanks in the process of being disassembled or assembled on site. The older bolt together tanks are a larger concern. These tanks are highly radioactive and some may still contain highly radioactive water or sludge. Cranes and other outdoor structures that could be damaged by high winds are a concern. The dust and debris on top unit 1 that is now uncovered due to ongoing clean up work could also be impacted by the storm.

The “K” drainage system connected to the roofs of the reactor buildings before the disaster. Post disaster we still see spikes in contamination in this drainage system. TEPCO has claimed unit 2 to be a major cause due to contamination on the roof. There are multiple other locations where this system could be fed contaminated run off. This drainage system has been redirected to the port but the port still exchanges water with the sea, so it isn’t a reliable solution. Heavy rains could influence contaminated groundwater and how it moves. Significant enough rains may also challenge the ice wall. A number of land side locations have not yet been turned on. This could allow excess water to flow into the frozen wall areas. There is a pumping system to pump contaminated groundwater out of the area near the reactor buildings then to contaminated water storage. It is not clear if it can keep up with both the ongoing groundwater intrusion and influx from a typhoon.

Prediction and storm imagery from Weather Underground

 

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