Fukushima unit 3 will have contaminated water removed from the suppression chamber to help improve the earthquake resistance of the structure. Unit 3 has a higher internal water level in containment than the other units. This plan sounds good on the surface, the details are far more problematic.
The water in the suppression chamber torus tube is highly contaminated. This complicates any effort to pump out the water.
Water removal will be done through two methods as documented in the illustration below.
The water will be pulled from the suppression chamber then held in a pair of tanks. After water analysis TEPCO will determine what to do with the water. If the contamination is the same as the standing water in the suppression chamber room basement (aka: torus room), it will be dumped into the suppression chamber room basement.
Th suppression chamber room water is periodically pumped out of the reactor building basement into the turbine building basement then filtered and stored. A portion of this standing water leaks out into the ground water through various holes in the basement foundation and walls.
The work will take place between July and September.
July: placement of equipment
Late July – August: Begin to drain water and test the retrieved water
September: Removal of equipment and clean up
There is a catch, there is always a catch..
The top blue row in the table below is the estimated contamination levels of the water to be removed from the suppression chamber. The bottom white row is the contamination levels of the standing water in the suppression chamber room.
The note on the right indicates that they will dilute the contaminated water from the suppression chamber torus tube up to 150 times if needed to get the water down to level of the standing water it would be dumped into.
Diluting contaminated water to make the radiation levels per liter below government limits (or any other limits) is a slight of hand trick. The total amount of contamination would still be moved or dumped into the environment. It just now includes extra water beside it.
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