An on-going creepy story not getting much airplay nowadays (via BBC News):
“The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic,” said Mycle Schneider, who has consulted widely for a variety of organisations and countries on nuclear issues.
“What is the worse is the water leakage everywhere else – not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that.
(Illustration found here).
Schneider, also lead author for the World Nuclear Industry status reports, added this ominous bullshit: “It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse.”
This was in response to an announcement this week that one of a 1,000 containment tanks on site at the plant has been leaking tons of radioactive water for nearly a month, and for a total fucked-up situation near-about out of control.
An an even worse-case scenario has been building since the March 2011 disaster — and there’s apparently no handle on it at all:
Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the Pacific.
Now, 2 1/2 years later, experts fear it is about to reach the ocean and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.
The looming crisis is potentially far greater than the discovery earlier this week of a leak from a tank that stores contaminated water used to cool the reactor cores.
That 300-ton (80,000-gallon) leak is the fifth and most serious from a tank since the March 2011 disaster, when three of the plant’s reactors melted down after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant’s power and cooling functions.
But experts believe the underground seepage from the reactor and turbine building area is much bigger and possibly more radioactive, confronting the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an invisible, chronic problem and few viable solutions.
Many also believe it is another example of how TEPCO has repeatedly failed to acknowledge problems that it could almost certainly have foreseen and taken action to mitigate before they got out of control.
Scientists, pointing to stubbornly high radioactive cesium levels in bottom-dwelling fish since the disaster, had for some time suspected the plant was leaking radioactive water into the ocean.
TEPCO repeatedly denied that until last month, when it acknowledged contaminated water has been leaking into the ocean from early in the crisis.
Even so, the company insists the seepage is coming from part of a network of maintenance tunnels, called trenches, near the coast, rather than underground water coming out of the reactor and turbine area.
And those containment tanks:
Workers spotted two more questionable tanks during an inspection Thursday.
After his inspection Friday, Fuketa, the regulatory commissioner, said that the plant’s twice-daily leak-spotting patrols were “sloppy,” and that there were hardly any protective measures taken in anticipation of a potential tank leak.
“It’s like a haunted house, one thing happening after another,” said Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka, referring to the spate of problems at the plant.
“But we must take any steps that would reduce risks to avoid a fatal accident.”
A horror story unfolding, and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe currently on a jolly-good tour promoting nuclear energy: On his Aug. 24-29 trip to four Middle East nations, Abe will offer “cooperation in the nuclear safety field” in Kuwait and Qatar, according to a briefing paper on the tour.
Like, total WTF!