We documented the early information on the radioactive water leak at Daiichi here. TEPCO and the Japanese media have released some additional information on the situation. TEPCO still insists they don’t think the water has reached the sea but the only reason they give is because there isn’t a drainage ditch nearby.
Kyodo News reports TEPCO thinks the transfer to the other tank will take 5 days. TEPCO has added multiple pumps to try to expedite the process. What is not mentioned is that this effort now ruins another “clean” water tank TEPCO intended to use for storing the cleaner water produced by the ALPS system once it is in operation.
The Asahi Shimbun report cites from TEPCO that the water that leaked was about 710 billion becquerels. They do think it leaked through the welded seams of the liner. TEPCO mentions this water had been run through one of the filtration systems so the radiation level was about half of what comes out of the reactor buildings. The water has had most of the cesium removed by still contains high levels of strontium and other substances. TEPCO estimates the water contamination at about 290,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter. Asahi also cites that the bentonite layer was “6.4-millimeter-thick clay layer.” Other reports from TEPCO indicated it was a bentonite sheet substance.
In our earlier research on the use of these kinds of temporary holding tanks examples of such tanks used for chemicals or contaminated water used a thick layer of bentonite clay or similar substance to line the pit. This could be an instance of TEPCO or their contractors going on the cheap.
Various compiled updates on the progress from TEPCO:
At 5:43 am on April 6, we started transferring the water from the underground reservoir No. 2 to the underground reservoir No. 1.
At 5:43, we conducted an on-site survey and confirmed that there is no abnormality such as leakage on the transferring line.
We assume that amount of the leaked water is approx. 120 m3, the whole γ radioactive concentration is approx. 1.5 x 100 (Bq/cm3), the whole β radioactive concentration is approx. 5.9 x 103 (Bq/cm3), the whole amount ofγradioactivity is approx. 1.8 x 108 (Bq) and the whole amount of β radioactivity is approx. 7.1 x 1011 (Bq). We are conducting further investigations on this matter.
Since 5:43 am on April 6, we have been transferring the water from the underground reservoir No. 2 to the underground reservoir No. 1 utilizing the three temporary pumps in addition to the pump which started first.
To add one more temporary pump, we temporarily stopped the three temporary pumps at 12:07 pm. The pump which started first is still under operation.
Kyodo News Fly Over Photo Of The Tanks
TEPCO handout with background information on the tanks (Japanese)
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