The reason they didn’t divert the groundwater around Daiichi is because they need it to keep all the missing stuff cool & contained, relatively speaking …
“A sharp fall in the groundwater level just outside reactor buildings could cause contaminated water to leak from inside the buildings.”
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the groundwater level briefly plummeted near a building that houses one of the crippled reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says the fall was observed in a monitoring well about 11 meters southwest of the No.4 reactor building on Wednesday.
The utility says the groundwater level temporarily sank roughly 1 meter below the level of contaminated water inside the reactor building.
The firm says the groundwater rose above the usual level 23 minutes later.
A sharp fall in the groundwater level just outside reactor buildings could cause contaminated water to leak from inside the buildings.
TEPCO says it assessed the density of radioactive substances in the well water on Thursday and has confirmed no leak of contaminated water took place.
TEPCO stopped pumping out water from the well and reported the case to relevant local governments and the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
The company says it is conducting an investigation, suspecting that improvement work on another well 6 meters away may have caused the drop.
The utility publicized the drop on Thursday, one day after the phenomenon was recorded. The firm apologized for the delay in disclosure, saying it initially decided a problem had developed with the well’s water gauge as the water level in a nearby well remained unchanged.
The No.4 reactor building experienced a hydrogen explosion, but not a meltdown, during the 2011 accident.
Japanese government officials and the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant say they plan to dig and check the ground around reactors. They want to see if an ice wall installed there is working as intended.
The underground ice wall is meant to prevent groundwater from getting into the damaged reactor buildings and becoming contaminated.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been creating a 1.5 kilometer-long barrier of frozen earth since March. The ice wall is formed by circulating coolant in pipes buried around the reactor site.
Engineers believe that except for an area on the plant’s hillside, the freezing work has been completed.
Government and TEPCO officials have relied on thermometers in the ground to determine if the soil is frozen. But Japan’s nuclear regulator has urged them to more precisely check the conditions underground and the ice wall’s effectiveness.
This month, workers will dig several meters into the ground south of the Number 4 reactor to directly check the condition of the frozen wall. The area was chosen due to its relatively low radiation level.
Later this month, officials from a government task-force will inspect the site.
TEPCO’s decommissioning roadmap calls for most of the contaminated water to be removed from the reactor buildings in 2018. To achieve this, the ice wall needs to be completed and effectively preventing groundwater from flowing into the reactor buildings.
Up to October 14, 2016, Tepco has discarded 137 times Fukushima Daiichi untreated groundwater from the bypass into the sea, all totalling now 222,816 tons (58,861,760 gallons).
That not including the 300+ tons a day of untreated groundwater flowing through the plant and into the ocean 24/7 for 5.6 years now.
Fukushima Daiichi Groundwater Rises from Typhoon N°16 Sept. 21, 2016
« Groundwater level rises in the aftermath of Typhoon 16, due to its heavy rain the groundwater now reaches now the surface.
It is unclear as whether or not the groundwater has been contaminated with radioactive material as it poured out into the sea, To be determined later, Tepco says. »
Tepco pumping groundwater from Fukushima plant.
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station says it is pumping groundwater from under the plant to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the adjacent port.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Malakas have raised the underground water levels around the plant’s embankments.
TEPCO officials say they added pumps to prevent the groundwater from rising further. They say the water rose nearly to the surface shortly before 10 PM on Tuesday.
The officials say this has prevented rain from permeating the ground and increased the risk that the rainwater could become contaminated and flow into the port.
The utility says that while it is pumping the groundwater to prevent leakage, it will measure the radioactive substances in the water.
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant plans to start releasing groundwater from around reactor buildings into the sea next Monday.
The government and the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, are to formally decide on the discharge date on Wednesday. The water has already been decontaminated.
Officials hope the move will help to curb the accumulation of radioactive wastewater in the reactor buildings. The contaminated water is increasing at a rate of 300 tons a day as the groundwater flows in.
The officials plan to first release some 4,000 tons of water pumped up from the wells around the buildings on a trial basis since August last year.
They say they will continue to pump up water and release it after removing radioactive materials.
Later this week, the utility also plans to resume the construction of steel walls along the coast to stop the groundwater seeping directly into the sea.
The construction work has been suspended until the release of the groundwater becomes possible.