Fukushima radioactive water likely breached barrier -panel head

TOKYO Mon Aug 5, 2013 4:45am EDT

TOKYO Aug 5 (Reuters) - Radioactive groundwater at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has likely risen above an underground barrier meant to contain it, presenting an "emergency" that the plant's operator is not sufficiently addressing, a regulatory watchdog official said on Monday.

This contaminated groundwater is likely seeping into the sea, exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, and a workaround planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co will only forestall the growing problem temporarily, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force, told Reuters.

"Right now we have a state of emergency," Kinjo said, saying there is a "rather high possibility" that the radioactive wastewater has breached the barrier and is rising towards the ground's surface, Kinjo said.

A Tepco official said the utility was taking various measures to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the bay near the plant.

It was not immediately clear how much of a threat the possible increase in contaminated groundwater could cause. In the weeks following the 2011 disaster that destroyed the plant, the Japanese government allowed Tepco to dump tens of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water into the nearby Pacific Ocean in an emergency move.

The toxic water release was heavily criticised by neighbouring countries as well as local fishermen and the utility has since promised it would not dump irradiated water without the consent of local townships.

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Comments (5)
tacyella68 wrote:
well I guess the japaese aren’t as smart as everyone thought,this is incompetence at a criminal level,how many monthe has it been since the tsunami,they should never have ben given that technology to begin with,they have shown heir true colors,yellow bellied.too scared to contain the heavy water,this cold be catastrophic for sealife.the Asians are singl handedly killing the oceans overfishing niuclear fallout,pollution from tsunamis never cleaned up,sushi,shark fin soup.thy should be banned from he ocean.but that isn’t possible unfortunately.make em eat peas porridge.

Aug 05, 2013 7:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
The article says “irradiated water”. Actually it is “contaminated water”. Irradiated refers to water exposed to radiation, which does not make the water itself radioactive. Radioactive particles would normally be contained inside the fuel rods. What they have is water contaminated with very radioactive material from broken fuel rods. Such as uranium, plutonium, cesium, strontium, iodine, xenon, etc. I recommend following enenews DOT com.

Aug 05, 2013 10:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
GEOMAN4949 wrote:
Reverse osmosis will solve the waste water problem for most radionuclides .Reverse osmosis membranes work by “straining” ions larger than water out of the water stream and rejecting them. Most radioactive elements are isotopes of heavy metals and as such have a very large ionic size with respect to chlorine and sodium, so a reverse osmosis membrane should yield a substantial reduction in radioactivity. It will not remove radioactive isotopes of hydrogen since they have size characteristics identical to normal water.Since hydrogen isotopes have a very short half life the removal of all other isotopes should yield a drastic improvement in the contamination situation.

Jim

Aug 05, 2013 10:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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