Tepco seeks fishermen’s OK for groundwater dump

Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. met Monday with fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture to seek approval for its plan to dump some of the groundwater accumulating at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the sea.

Afterward, Tetsu Nozaki, head of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, said the federation had not yet approved the plan and will make a decision after gathering members’ opinions.

Because groundwater seeps into the plant’s reactor buildings and mixes with the highly radioactive water accumulating inside, Tepco has created a system to direct some of the groundwater into the Pacific Ocean before it gets into the buildings. The accumulated water will be dumped after radioactive content is confirmed to be sufficiently low, Tepco said.

About 200 tons of groundwater has been pumped out in a test and has been stored in tanks. The density of radioactive substances in it is “the same as rivers in surrounding areas,” Tepco officials said.

About 400 tons of groundwater is seeping into the reactor buildings and adjacent turbine buildings each day, Tepco said.

When the system fully starts operating, the company expects the total groundwater inflow to be reduced to about 300 tons a day.