Floods may pose threat not only to radiation under Fukushima but also structures - Recent News
September 17, 2015
Sept 10, 2015 (emphasis added): ‘Floods may pose threat not only to radiation under Fukushima but also structures’ — Severe floods have hit Japan sending tons of radiation-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. That has been confirmed by the facility’s operator Tokyo Electric Power. Authorities have declared the situation an emergency… Christopher Busby, who’s the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks, says that there could be serious radiation-related consequences if the situation is not handled properly.
Chris Busby, Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks: “There’s an enormous amount of radioactivity underneath the plant, the reactors are holed, and a lot of the fuel is actually in the ground. And that’s mixing with the groundwater. Well, normally what they do is they pump away, because the ground water becomes heavily contaminated, and they pump that into those big tanks. But of course if the ground water rises as a result of this rain, thenthat stuff will come out at the surface of the ground. And the second problem of course is that may affect the integrity of the structuresthe actual building structures of the four reactors and then, of course, you’re into really serious, serious nuclear nightmare territory then. It surprises me that they haven’t got enough pumps to deal with this situation. It is not a situation that’s impossible to predict. I mean all along the line we’re being told that TEPCO couldn’t possibly have predicted this, and couldn’t possibly have predicted that. Well the answer is they should have.”
Asahi, Sep 12, 2015: Bags of tainted waste swept into Fukushima river during torrential rain— Seven sites for radioactive waste generated from the Fukushima nuclear crisis were submerged during torrential rain… raising fears over a possible radiation spill into the environment… At the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, heavy rain caused radiation-tainted rainwater to spill into the ocean outside the plant’s harbor… Floodgates normally block tainted water from reaching the ocean from drainage ditches, but the torrential rains overwhelmed the gates twice in the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 9 and Sept. 11, the plant operator said. Utility officials said rainfall increases the radioactive level of the water in the drainage system as rainwater accumulates radioactive materials in surrounding soil when it flows in the ditches. While the drainage water usually contains less than 100 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances per liter, the water measured 750 becquerels per liter on Sept. 11, TEPCO officials said.
NHK, Sep. 11, 2015: Rainwater overflows from Fukushima plant … [TEPCO] said on Friday that it confirmed the leaks through video footage of the complex. The operator said the leaks occurred at 3 AM, 5:20 AM and 6 AM on Friday — for a total of more than 2 and a half hours. TEPCO is now checking the radioactive levels of rainwater samples taken from the channel…