Tepco plans to dump ‘cleaned’ Fukushima No. 1 water


Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to dump contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean after removing radioactive substances to reduce contamination to legally permissible levels.

Tepco said Thursday the measure is necessary because the utility fears it will eventually run out of capacity to store radioactive water that continues to accumulate at the plant due to water being injected to help cool the three reactors that experienced core meltdowns in March 2011.

Despite the plan, the utility acknowledged it needs the approval of local governments and other parties before it actually discharges the water into the ocean. “Nothing specific has been decided at this moment,” one Tepco official said.

Water that has been used to cool the damaged reactors is recycled and used as coolant after radioactive levels in it have been lowered in a water-processing facility. But the total amount of contaminated water is increasing because the existing water flow allows an influx of about 400 tons of groundwater a day.

Tepco is increasing the number of storage tanks to deal with the situation, but warns they will eventually reach full capacity.

As a key step in the water release, Tepco will operate a new facility that can remove about different 60 types of radioactive substances, more than the existing water processing facility that has mainly worked to reduce the concentration of cesium. But as the new facility is not capable of removing radioactive tritium, an official said Tepco will consider diluting the processed water before releasing it to the sea.

  • Crank Dub

    So, forgive me if I’ve misunderstood this: they are going to dilute the contaminated water before putting it in the ocean. And what magic substance will they use to dilute this water? Perhaps water? Before putting it into the sea water? Genius. Whatever they’re being paid, double it.

    • Madner kami

      They put the water into a tank, leave it there for a dew days, open the tank’s drainage and out comes clean water, as proven and certified by governmental and TEPCo’s own experts on water decontamination. It’s working like magic, I tell you.

      • johnny cassidy

        Yeah – like black magic. I wish Crank Dub had been the reporter on this story. He/she would have at least asked the right questions.

    • Edohiguma

      Dosage. Think over it. Let’s say you have 100 liters of radioactive water, ticking happily at, let’s say 500 mSv. Now dilute it with an additional 10,000 liters of water (or even more.) What happens? Welcome to the inverse-square law that applies to all radiation.

      It all comes down to dosage.

      It’s like the reverse example cyanide. Apple seeds have cyanide, but you can eat them, because the dosage of the poison is far too small to harm you. Now if you go ahead and grind tons of apple seeds to extract the poison (which would take quite some time and a lot of seeds), and then swallow what you produced, eternal good night sweet prince.

      Besides, everything is poisonous, it just depends on the dosage.

      • afisher

        Didn’t you forget that whether is is 10 gallons of 500mSv or 100 gallons of 50mSv – it is all going into the same body of water? Perhaps I missed the indicator in this comment. Sounds like one of the oh-so bright legislator’s in US – that if we make everything “just a little radioactive” then we won’t have to store it in a singular location.

      • Brady2600

        “The solution to pollution is dilution” is about as old as environmental scams get.

  • ko

    shame on you japan, honorable wannabes

  • White Lotus

    This is nice.

    It seems the decision-makers haven’t learnt anything from the flotilla of toxins that can reach and harm an entire ocean.

    They can afford to shoot rockets into the sky, but cannot find a way to decontaminate nuclear waste.

    Keep the muck for research material.
    Once they find out how to decontaminate water from this toxin, they can then pretend to be equal to NASA.

    Meanwhile, all those responsible for making decisions must be moved, along with their ENTIRE families, babies and all, to Fukushima.

    Live with what you’ve got.

  • Isaac

    What are the permissible levels of the radioactive materials in the used water?
    I think in as much as the levels might meet the standards, the effects will always be there. Consider the thermal effects of the radioactive materials in water, the aquatic life will definitely be interfered. Why don’t they think of burring the wastes underground?

  • sidewalker

    Didn’t they mean they will dilute the rule of law by illegally dumping radioactive waste into the ocean?

  • fred

    stop blaming japan, the whole world is guilty as clearly nobody is considering that we all live on the same planet. if everyone chipped in to help rather then only giving a crap about keeping their own pockets lined with gold. if you read about nuclear history there is clean ways to use it with 0 waste but it cost more to set it up. the same plant could also completely burn waste that we have today. the way things are going the same pattern will continue like the guy mentioned below . eventually enough apple seeds will pile up to poison us all