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April 2013

April 2013 - Fukushima Clean-Up and Incidents


April, 24, 2013,  Unit 3 Spent Fuel Protective Cover

TEPCO has partially cleaned up the 5th floor of unit 3 and is installing a protecive cover over the spent fuel pool and the skimmer tanks. Thus, two years after the accident, TEPCO has managed to build a cover over the spent fuel pool and the fuel elements in the pool are longer remain standing unprotected in the open. TEPCO does not reveal if the new cover is leak tight and if there is some kind of air filtering installed or if the cover only keeps the rain, the storms, the birds and the mice away. 



April, 19, 2013,  The great drama of the leaking underground reservoirs - continued

TEPCO has published press release no. 74 today. Basically salt water has been found in only monitoring hole, which is an indicator of a leak. the data for this sample are:

Leakage detection hole (northeast) of the underground reservoir No.1
Chloride concentration: 1200ppm (Previously announced)
Iodine 131: Below the detection limit (Detection limit: 2.0×10-1Bq/cm3)
Cesium 134: Below the detection limit (Detection limit: 2.6×10-1Bq/cm3)
Cesium 137: Below the detection limit (Detection limit: 1.4×10-1Bq/cm3)
Antimony 125: 2.8×101Bq/cm3
Ruthenium 106: 2.3×100Bq/cm3
All beta: 3.5×104Bq/cm3

The samples from the other hole are negative with only a few ppm of chloride and very low level af radioactivity.

April, 15, 2013,  The great drama of the leaking underground reservoirs - continued

TEPCO is still struggling with the water leak from the underground reservoirs. As of today TEPCO has published 59 press releases. The recent information contains some details on the underground reservoir structure


Basically these reservoirs are build like swimming pools made of concrete and not highly qualified, which is not necessary as the water has been decontaminated and is low level waste if it is has to be considered as radioactive waste at all. TEPCO has also published information on the location of the underground reservoirs.


April, 11, 2013,  The great drama of the leaking underground reservoirs

TEPCO's poor accident management of the undergroud reservoir leakage has resulted in a real drama as the makeshift equipment for pumping the water from one tank to another tank stumbles from one failure to the next. The drama contains all kind of failure scenarios: the reservoir into which the water was planned to be pumped is also leaking, the pumps fail, the power supply fails, the newly installed piping systems leaks. As of today, TEPCO has published 35 press releases! The drama started on April 5th und is probably going on like this for the next days.

The picture is showing underground reservoirs with a monitoring man hole.

manhole u-res

April, 10, 2013,  Comment on the leakage

The press is reporting hysterically on the underground water leakage. There is no reason for this panic: Here are the facts: The water is leaking from the underground reservoirs no. 1 and no. 2. This has been detected by evaluating water sampüles taken from the control pits at the reservoir borders. The reservoirs contain sea water which has been decontaminated, that means the main contributor to radioactive contamination, cesium 134 and 137, has been extracted, cesium is below detection limit, only some contamination with beta sources has been detected. Iodine has dissapeared and no longer plays any role to the short half-life of a few days.

It should be kept in mind that the Fukushima site is highly contaminated due to the accident and it is not clear where the beta sources come from. TEPCO has not published any data of water samples taken from pits at some distance of the reservoirs.

April, 8, 2013,  Underground reservoir is leaking

On April 3rd, TEPCO discovered elevated radiation levels in a water sample drawn at underground reservoir no. 2 The press reacted hysterically. The truth is: The radiation levels outside the underground reservoir no. 2 are extremely low. TEPCO is pumping the water from underground reservoir no. 2 into the other underground reservoirs. The table shows an overview over the available underground reservoirs.


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