Fisheries ‘shocked’ at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant

Kyodo, JIJI, Staff Report

Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May.

“I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it. Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials.

Local fishermen have already given Tepco approval to dump groundwater into the ocean before it becomes tainted, to reduce the volume of water stored in tanks at the site. The operator is now doing this, pumping water from wells, monitoring it and piping it into the ocean.

The latest incident threatens to delay a second round of approval that Tepco wants the fishermen to provide.

The utility admitted Tuesday it failed to disclose leaks of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch at the stricken plant even though it was aware of high radiation in the water last spring.

The ditch receives runoff from the roof of the No. 2 reactor building, which is highly contaminated with radioactive substances such as cesium.

Tepco has said it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. It also detected some 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium and 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter near an outlet leading to the sea.

Tepco said there is no major change in the concentration of radioactive substances in seawater it sampled about 1 km from the drainage outlet.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Tepco reported water contaminated with high levels of radiation was flowing into the ocean at the plant’s port through another drainage ditch.

Yuji Moriyama, a Tepco spokesman said the utility did not disclose the information because there is no evidence of environmental impact.

“We were aware that the levels of radioactive materials around the drainage ditch were higher than other places,” Moriyama said, adding that they have been investigating the sources of contamination since last spring.

  • Komakai Okane

    TEPCO sounds very casual about experimenting with the world’s water borne food chain. Intentional non-disclosure of a 10 month leak into the ocean. Has the government erased Minamata from the history texbooks as well? Japan seems to have no moral leaders.

    • Starviking

      Japan seems to have little scientific literacy, but then that’s a worldwide problem.

  • Starviking

    “Failed to disclose”? Loaded words again.

    These leaks only became newsworthy when the levels spiked an order of magnitude. Before that they were higher than other areas, but certainly not high enough to be of concern. Given the effect on the sea, it could be said they still are not worth concern.

    If TEPCO had decided early on to provide weekly beirfings on the state of all the drainage in Dai-ichi, the reporters would have declare it a waste of their time and cried off.

    • bob

      tell that to the dying of cancer that has increased but kept out of the media in those areas but not of high enough concern and the effects are not a concern. Yet Abe nor his administration visit the area much less even move up into that area as public figures. I wouldn’t put it pass any of the them to eat any foods, i.e. vegetables, fish, seaweed, etc. that comes close to that area or anything north of Tokyo or caught in that part of the Pacific.
      The way the have fooled the people is by increasing the standards of exposure limits from actual and keep that information to themselves so that any foods found to have contamination surpassing the original standard limit, is not suitable to consume for them but good enough for everyone else and thus use the new standard. That is reality.

      • Starviking

        Bob, I live in Tohoku. I have lived there for over a decade. There is no way an increase in people dying of cancer could be kept out o the media. How would they do that?

        Write to every clinic, threaten dire consequences?

        Nope, too many clinics, and sanctions against clinics are public in Japan.

        Write to oncologists, threaten them?

        Their job is to fight cancer – I doubt they would submit. Besides, sanctions would have to be public.

        As for food, it is checked by municipalities, prefectures, and the central government. Japan’s radioisotope food limits are the most stringent in the world.

        Please learn something from this.

      • bob

        really, whacha u talkn bout Willis?, then you’re an even more bigger fool if you believe in your response or you are bought and paid for. Shame on you for being in denial and believing that everything is hunky dory. N please…Why would Japan bother to admit to something that is true when they can’t even offer an official apology from their own Emperor which should have come a long long long time ago and not from the PM. When they were sneaking around preparing for an surprise attack in the US, that’s just to open the can of worms and you trust them? Please you’re definitely working for them as a media plant. I have the facts and seen the deaths stupid. So I take it since your Mr.Tohoku and lived there for a decade, you didn’t get the memo from the rad mushrooms in Towada? Did you or the recent fallout readings in Aomori prefecture of rad in the lakes, ponds, streambeds, hmmm…you better check again.

      • douglas black

        Yep.. hhh! The fisheries of Fukushima and all of the worried Mother’s living there should just do themselves the favor of calling ole Starviking for the facts first.

        Articles like these only stir memories of the ongoing tragedy (and total nuclear hoax), distracting focus from war biz investments, pure pride, & other Olympic fantasies of a future!

      • Starviking

        Well douglas, at least I am looking for facts.

      • bob

        Starviking is glowing that even if one traveling in the dark can’t be missed.

      • bob

        yes starviking’s brain is frozen from living up in that part of the world, that guy is dipweed.

      • douglas black

        I live near Fukushima myself…
        But Starvikings ‘facts’ are only nothing of the sort.

      • Starviking

        bob, even though it is not unexpected, it is always sad to see people use the “you are a shill” gambit. People use it when they do not have a reasoned response to make.

        As for living in Tohoku, yes, I do know about the minimal contamination of wild game and vegetables in my area. It’s to be expected, as the vegetation concentrates radioisotopes that fall from rain.

        However, I am surprised at your statement about Towada. I assume you’re talking about the lake? That’s almost as far north as you can get and stay on Honshu. Do you have a reference for that? Similar for your expanded Aomori claims?

      • bob

        Starviking, you need to climb out of the cave and into reality or as previously mentioned you definitely are on the take. Minimal is a far cry of exposure that you have bought into without looking at the hardcore facts not released to the public and under the auspicious of the soon to be “secrecy act” but no being enforced on a need to know basis, and asking me to divulge the real truth and sources rather than doing your own research tactic will not work. I have seen the data as I am privy to see such data but will not divulge at risk to myself or others but can only post what is real, so do your own investigation and see what it gets you. As far as Towada that too has been covered up at the expense of Russian tests, that seriously is nearly impossible to have impact on Japan at all if any. In fact the closest rad that has come into the air space from outside Japan was the nuke test by NK of which was minimal. I saw the data but yet nothing was published or mentioned to the public. Aomori City nor Towada are as far northern mass one can drive and be on Honshu, so your wrong again. I don’t where you are getting your data but give me something concrete not a bunch of hogwash made up lies. I really wish I could post what I know but under the secrecy and need to know I can’t for that I am sorry but if I could I would and I mean all of it. There is so much being covered up its even hard to start. Don’t blame me blame the US government for their part in the coverup.

      • Starviking

        Well bob,

        I know that Towada is not the furthest north you can go and still be on Honshu – that’s why I wrote ‘almost’.

        As for Towada, and it’s strange that your post on that has dissapeared, Sam has linked to the actual evidence on that. Do you ever wonder why the people who push those stories never update them? Who is being lied to, eh?

        And now, you tell me that you have seen the data, but cannot tell me?

        Right!

        You expect me to believe that massive contamination extends up as far as Aomori, but none of the Prefectures, Cities, Towns, Villages, Universities, and the countless citizens with geiger counters have detected anything. That makes you appear to be a fantasist.

      • bob

        As I said I am only skimming the top of the lid on factual and truthful data that does exist and yes of course the posts will be removed by those ordered not to have it leaked out. If my posts are being removed then I am on thin ice but dead on not a fantasist. If and when I am wrong about anything I post, I am man enough to admit it openly and have in the past and the many bloggers that do follow my posts, can easily verify it as so. The massive contamination is not spread out towards Aomori City but rad from rainfall and currents have been picked up and are being carefully monitored as rad contaminated water has been identified in the lakes nearest the Pacific coast,i.e. Lake Anenuma, Lake Ogawara, etc by means of incoming rising tides. The rad detectable can easily be found in the hilltops and mountain tops around Lake Towada, farms but spotty. Analysts were sent to comb the area out there but today due to snowfall it is impossible. Also the monitoring stations that were installed have are not being monitored due to weather. The gov of Japan and Tepco are in bed with this as they both knew about the start of bad rad leaking in large concentrations as far back as 14 March 2011 and didn’t make it known outside until much much later. Meanwhile the water seeped out. There are barrels or rather drums of contaminated water sitting out there one specifically in a warehouse under lock and key.

      • Starviking

        “Analysts were sent to comb the area out there but today due to snowfall
        it is impossible. Also the monitoring stations that were installed have
        are not being monitored due to weather.”

        Your analysts should be more familiar with Tohoku conditions. I would replace them if I were you.

        “There are barrels or rather drums of contaminated water sitting out there one specifically in a warehouse under lock and key.”

        Why? There’s plenty of large water tanks at Daiichi.

      • bob

        not filled with what is those tanks…and yes I am aware of the snow out there, as well as the analysts, they have trekked up there using snowshoes and other gear, they managed to get the data now waiting the results.

      • bob

        here since your so trusting of Tepco and government who turns the other way as TEPCO investors:
        Fisheries ‘shocked’ at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant:

        Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May.

        “I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it. Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials. The utility admitted Tuesday it failed to disclose leaks of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch at the stricken plant even though it was aware of high radiation in the water last spring.

      • Starviking

        I see you haven’t read Enkidu’s scoop in the comments.

      • bob

        I read it but Enkidu’s is off since Tepco and our gov knew well from the get go. Like I said “need to know” is highly in place here. Why do you think both gov’s are keeping tight of what is going on and anytime anyone gets too close they are immediately removed or restricted off this task.

      • Sam Gilman

        Regarding the specific case of the radioactive mushrooms from Towada, it turns out that this is not connected to Fukushima, but to the legacy of Soviet weapons testing and Chernobyl.

        http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201301060010

        That’s been known for a while now. (The distance from Fukushima always made the claim dubious).

        As for the more generalised antipathy you clearly feel towards Japan and its people today (who would have to be complicit on quite a large scale for any such cover-up of damage to themselves) over events three generations ago, it really doesn’t justify spreading fact-free gossip about human beings dying of cancer.

  • bob

    Abe and company are not interested in settling or fixing this issue, for the moment the administration and shadow bosses are busy railing in and buildup of a military, agencies one piece at a time as in the old days, while also forming closer and closer ties to China as it secures its future.

  • http://zi.n.gy/ Kirt Seth Cathey

    Another example of big government covering for big business to make a mockery of the masses.

  • Starviking

    Actually, let’s be honest here. These stories are orignialy of the form:

    TEPCO notices a problem.

    TEPCO takes prompt action to mitigate the problem.

    TEPCO identifies the source of the problem.

    TEPCO takes prompt action to deal with the source of the problem.

    Then it gets warped:

    TEPCO allowed a problem to occur.

    Prompt action to mitigate it does not matter, as they allowed it to occur.

    TEPCO identified the source of the problem? They should never have let it happen.

    TEPCO has dealt with the source of the problem? About time! Sheesh! losers – my grandma could have secured and remediated the site in a weekend!

    • http://zi.n.gy/ Kirt Seth Cathey

      That explains a lot around here.. lol. But I still prefer here than the US.

    • JD Sender

      The Actual Time Line is more like:
      TEPCO is warned that their storage and operating practices are vulnerable.
      TEPCO ignores the warnings to ‘save’ money.
      TEPCO responds to disaster slowly and with more Denial than action.
      TEPCO fails to stop the on-going damage FOR FOUR YEARS, relying on secrecy to hide their failure.
      Why are there no consequences for these environmental criminals?

  • Enkidu

    Something has gone horribly wrong in the first paragraph of this article. We knew about these “leaks into the sea” from the drainage ditches in December 2013 because TEPCO told us about them. Even back then, the “K” drainage area, the one being addressed in this article here, exhibited the highest numbers. (Please see the TEPCO report from December 13, 2013 entitled 構内排水路の状況について.)

    The only newsworthy item here appears to be that TEPCO found the source of the highest contribution to the radioactive load in this runoff.

    • Enkidu

      Thanks to the JT for amending the headline and article, but I think it’s
      important to note what was originally written so that readers can
      follow the conversation here in the comments. The original headline was
      as follows:

      TEPCO Admits it Failed to Disclose Cesium-Tainted Water Leaks Since April

      This is clearly erroneous given that, as I pointed out above, it had been disclosed in December 2013.

      Then, the original first paragraph, which I was objecting to above, was as follows:

      [TEPCO] said Tuesday it has failed to disclose leaks into the sea of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch linked to a building at its stricken Fukushima No. A nuclear power plant although it became aware of the leaks in April last year.

      • Enkidu

        Although the article and headline have been significantly amended, I still find them problematic. Again, anyone who has been paying attention (or who can use Google) has known about this “leak” since at least December 2013. There is no excuse for the fisherman to be “shocked” at this point in time. They owe it to themselves to at least monitor the disclosure that TEPCO is making so that they don’t get surprised like this again.

        Secondly, if I can dust off my environmental engineer hat for a second, in order for me to know if a “leak” is significant, I need to know two things: the concentration of isotopes in the effluent and the flow rate. This article gives me the concentration in certain areas, but without the flow rate it is useless for decision-making, let alone determining whether we should be worried about this. I was about to chalk up this oversight to TEPCO, as they have all-too-often neglected to provide this information in the past, but when I checked the presentation materials, TEPCO devoted two pages to this!

        There is just no excuse for technically incoherent reporting like this almost four years after the accident.

  • dj_spellchecka

    “A Tepco spokesman said the utility did not disclose the information because there is no evidence of environmental impact.”

    considering their track record, i don’t find this particularly reassuring….

  • Richard Solomon

    Why be ‘shocked?’. This is just the most recent time that TEPCO has failed to inform residents that problems have been going on at one of its plants. It gets away with this because the government allows it to. Only when the Japanese people rise up and demand that the government remove TEPCO from the oversight of Fukushima will this situation change. Until then one can expect that these kinds of disclosures after the fact will continue. Perhaps the prefectural legislature in Fukushima ken should call for a no confidence vote regarding PM Abe? Somebody haa to get his attention!

  • robertsgt40

    What did people think was happening for the last 4yrs.
    Fukushima has had three reactors in meltdown for 4yrs. The reactors will not heal themselves. Ask the Russians.

  • Starviking

    Given Enkidu’s revelations below that TEPCO HAD actually reported the contamination in the channel in the past I want to address this question to the editors:

    Can we expect the Japan Times to stand true to its byline of “All the News Without Fear or Favor”?

  • Kriton

    Incompetence and deceipt are rampant in this world. Look at this:
    The Mob Is Secretly Dumping Nuclear Waste Across Italy and Africa
    http://gizmodo.com/the-mob-is-secretly-dumping-nuclear-waste-across-italy-1513190243

  • Kazuto Matsumura

    This article is a reminder: TEPCO lied on March 11, 2011, has been lying, and will continue to tell lies for ever. Radioactivity won’t go away in a few hundred years.

  • Carole Menninger

    all I can say is after reading this is OMG!!!!!!!! And as one reader says below, TEPCO sounds mighty casual about this DISASTER!!!!!!!
    This is one of the most frightening things I have read recently – why the hell has this not been shared with the world before now????