4 yrs on, problems accumulate at TEPCO’s Fukushima plant via The Japan News (The Yomiuri Shimbun)


In an area where storage tanks are located, workers were constructing additional large tanks with capacities between 1,200 tons and 2,900 tons, welding and hoisting parts with heavy machinery. As contaminated water treated by a system dubbed ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) is stored in tanks at the nuclear power plant, the number of tanks is increasing by one each day. The number of concrete containers for radioactive waste — such as absorbent materials used by water purification equipment — has been increasing, indicating the ongoing difficulties and the prolonged nature of the decommissioning process.

Outside the No. 4 reactor building, thin silver-colored pipes were stuck into the ground at one-meter intervals. This is the construction site for the underground so-called frozen soil walls intended to block the flow of groundwater to prevent it from becoming contaminated. Currently about 300 tons of groundwater flows into the building every day. TEPCO estimates that the amount will decrease to 30 tons when the frozen soil walls are put in place.

On Sunday, the plant’s drainage ditches reportedly discharged water containing radioactive substances at a density that exceeded normal levels by a factor of more than 70, and some of the water flowed into the plant’s port. As the ditches have covers, rainwater containing radioactive substances is said to be prevented from running into the ditches. The TEPCO official repeatedly stated, “We can’t figure out the reason [for the contaminated-water discharge],” his comment shedding light on the current situation in which the issue of contaminated water has yet to be solved even four years after the accident.Speech

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