Plutonium detected underground near Fukushima reactor — Test results not revealed publicly for almost a year after sampling date — Officials plan to pump up groundwater from same well it was found in and dump it into Pacific Ocean

Plutonium detected underground near Fukushima reactor — Test results not revealed publicly for almost a year after sampling date — Officials plan to pump up groundwater from same well it was found in and dump it into Pacific Ocean (PHOTO) (ENENews, Aug 13, 2014):

Kyodo News, Aug 11, 2014: Plan filed to build toxic water dumping facility at Fukushima plant […] TEPCO plans to conduct performance tests next week […] using water it will start pumping up on a trial basis Tuesday […] Radioactive substances […] have been detected in some water samples from the wells. TEPCO says it aims to clean the water to a level that would do no harm to the environment, but tritium will remain untreated as no water treatment facility at the plant is capable of removing the substance.

South China Morning Post, Aug 13, 2014: Tepco began pumping up groundwater from beneath the Fukushima plant [and it] intends to test the radioactivity of the water and examine whether levels can be reduced. […] fishermen are expected to voice opposition. The government is likely to step in to provide additional subsidies to help sway the fishermen.

NHK World, Aug 11, 2014: [Tepco] says the new system will improve the current situation, in which large amounts of contaminated groundwater have leaked into the sea.

Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug 7, 2014 (emphasis added): The government and [TEPCO] are considering pumping up contaminated groundwater [from] subdrain pits, the wells [that] surround the reactor and turbine buildings. […] TEPCO will build water purification equipment by this autumn to remove most radioactive substances […] Groundwater to be pumped up from some of the subdrain pits includes high levels of tritium […] that cannot be removed with the purification equipment.

Mainichi, Aug 7, 2014: Wells called, “sub-drains,” surround reactor buildings [and contain] a large amount of radioactive cesium and strontium

Tepco: Unit 1 Sub-Drain, Apr. 15, 2013 (pdf), published Mar. 19, 2014:

  • Pu-238: 8.7×10-6 Bq/cm³ = 8.7  Bq/m³
  • Pu-239 + Pu-240: 2.3×10-6 Bq/cm³ = 2.3 Bq/m³
  • Plutonium detected this time is supposed to be those accumulated on the ground after the accident (not from the new leak at the Building), and was flowed into the sub-drain conveyed by rainwater.”

Tepco: Unit 1 Sub-Drain, Oct. 14, 2013 (pdf), published May 2, 2014:

  • Pu-238: 6.5 × 10-6 Bq/cm³ = 6.5 Bq/m³
  • Pu-239 + Pu-240: 2.3 × 10-6 Bq/cm³ = 2.3 Bq/m³
  • It is considered that plutonium was temporary detected because fallouts of the accident piled on the soil were inflowed into the sub-drains with rainwater.”

Watch NHK’s broadcasts on the pumping plan here

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