The Japanese government put out the call for international help with the disaster response at Fukushima Daiichi. The new agency tasked with taking these responses and developing working plans is known as IRID.
Through our work since the initial disaster we have closely researched and documented the outcomes and technical issues at the plant. We have seen challenges at Daiichi in the past and TEPCO has implemented some of our concepts sent their way. The new opportunity through IRID was open to both contractors and companies but also researchers to offer technical solutions to the increasing problems at the plant.
IRID’s first request was for ideas to combat the contaminated water problems at the plant. The SimplyInfo.org research team already had some concepts ready and worked on a few new ones based on the needs list published by IRID. We have had six proposals accepted by IRID. Their team will begin reviewing all of the proposals sent in from around the world in November to determine what ones may be worth pursing further.
Below are our proposals for responses at Fukushima Daiichi:
The Wide Scale Groundwater Bypass:
This concept creates an interconnected network of groundwater wells off site from the plant. With wells further away from the contaminated soil inside the plant, uncontaminated groundwater could then be rerouted safely to the sea. Our system includes an underground barrier wall to facilitate and control groundwater intrusion at the plant. A secondary system to route some groundwater back into the plant is included to allow for full control and the ability to handle any unforeseen consequences of changing the groundwater levels. The system includes state of the art wireless monitoring and remote management.
Read the proposal here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e75n8287afiql5x/GroundwaterBypass_Attachment%20To%20Form%202.pdf
The Alternative Final Water Treatment System:
What to do with all the contaminated water after it is run through all of the decontamination systems at Fukushima Daiichi has been a major challenge. TEPCO insists no technology exists to remove the remaining tritium from the water and wants to dump it into the Pacific ocean. Of course many parties have a problem with this idea. We found an existing nuclear power industry technology for removing tritium from water that could be implemented. With usable land running out at Daiichi we proposed moving this final step to the now defunct Daini nuclear plant 6km away. By using a triple walled pipeline similar to those used in the natural gas industry, the tritium laced water could be safely routed to the nearby facility. Temporary storage in seismically rated nuclear grade welded tanks would house the water as it is processed. The now clean water could be released to the ocean after a full public approval process. One of the key factors of this plan involved full engagement and approval by local stakeholders and 3rd party citizens groups including allowing 3rd party testing to confirm the condition of the water before release. This kind of transparency has been lacking and is key to have both true accountability and public control over their environment.
Read the proposal here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0nv6ul49n1f6sjn/WaterTreatment_Attachment%20To%20Form%202.pdf
The Underground Zeolite Passive Filtration Wall System:
This system has already been put into use in the US and was the result of extensive research. The little known West Valley nuclear site in New York state reprocessed nuclear fuel in the 1960’s before being abandoned. The facility was found to have leaked a large amount of strontium 90 into the soil and groundwater through a broken pipe in 1993. The University of Buffalo did field trials to find a zeolite filtration material with the proper capability to trap strontium 90. This unique approach creates an underground filtration system by placing the zeolite in a deep trench capable of filtering groundwater flow as it passes. This tactic could be implemented in a number of locations around the plant where other options may not work.
Read the proposal here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5b19cjt6w5a7hos/ZeoliteWall_Attachment%20To%20Form%202.pdf
The Drainage Canal Passive Filtration System:
Fukushima Daiichi has two drainage canals in the plant grounds to remove surface water. These were never addressed as a potential route for contamination to leak out of the plant. Now with holding tanks at the plant beginning to leak these canals have become a route for this contamination to leak to the sea. We proposed a simple passive solution to filter down the water that does happen to make it to the drainage canal.
Read the proposal here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukfgz744oanoirk/DrainCanalFiltering_Attachment%20To%20Form%202.pdf
The Port Filtration System:
This system employs multi-nuclide filters to either passively or actively filter the water in the port. Our suggestion is that TEPCO seal as much of the port as possible and restrict ship access to the port if possible. The passive system would employ the port opening to install a filtration system similar to the drainage canal system. The active system would pump contaminated water from the port through canister filters and return it to the port.
Read the proposal here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/drgaudgyyiboi35/Portfiltering_Attachment%20To%20Form%202.pdf
Reactor Cooling Water Reduction Strategy:
TEPCO has been injecting water at largely the same rate since the initial meltdowns. With most modeling concluding that the melted fuel was likely completely ejected from the reactor vessels and may not be in the reactor pedestals either, this water may not be reaching the fuel. A slow reduction of water injection with a sufficient time frame to monitor for changes and trends in reactor data would show if water could be cut back. If water can be reduced without changes to the conditions within the reactor this would benefit by not adding more water to the growing contaminated water problem at the plant.
Read the proposal here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/agge4dcmvmj0gr4/IRID_Reactorcooling_Submission.docx
This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team
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