Another reason for TEPCO's shares jumping 18% in the morning session at Tokyo Stock Exchange is this:
TEPCO may get to release groundwater into the ocean soon.
From Jiji Tsushin (5/14/2013):
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi commented in the press conference after the cabinet meeting on May 14 on the release of groundwater from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant [to the ocean] which has been postponed because of the concern from the locals, and said, "Obtaining the approval from those involved would be the prerequisite, and the national government will do its best to explain [to the locals]." As to the release of groundwater, he said "it is extremely important" from the standpoint of reducing the amount of contaminated water.
Why is Motegi saying this? Because that's what the Fukushima fishermen have said they need the government's assurance that the water is safe.
In other words, they will agree to the scheme as long as the national government tells them it is safe.
Trust in the government continues to run supreme in Fukushima after two years of pathetic performance by both the national government and the prefectural government when it comes to dealing with the accident and resultant contamination.
Also from Jiji Tsushin, from yesterday (5/13/2013):
The Federations of Fishery Cooperatives in Fukushima Prefecture held a meeting of the cooperatives presidents in Iwaki City in Fukushima on May 13 to discuss TEPCO's plan to draw groundwater in the plant compound and release it into the ocean as part of countermeasures against the increase of contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The groundwater is the water before it enters the reactor buildings and gets contaminated with radioactive materials. TEPCO asked for understanding, but no agreement was reached. They will meet again in June.
Tetsu Nozaki, president of the Federations of Fishery Cooperatives in Fukushima Prefecture, said to the press after the meeting, "There are fishermen who are confusing the groundwater with the contaminated water", and asked for further explanation from TEPCO. He also said, "We need to know clearly that (the national government) has approved [the plan]."
The meeting was attended by the senior members of the Fishery Cooperatives in Fukushima and the officials from the Fisheries Agency and Fukushima prefectural government. TEPCO's executive director Tsunemasa Niizuma explained the plan. There is no problem with safety, according to TEPCO, but fishermen are worried about damages from baseless rumors.
There you go. For the mayor of Iwaki City, his out is that he objects to the release of groundwater "at this point" (see my previous post on the topic). For the Fukushima fishermen, as long as the national government vouches for the safety of the water released, they will be OK with the plan. Just blame the fickle and ignorant consumers, as they've been doing for the past two years.
TEPCO seems to be trying to keep the water level in the reactor building basements at about O.P. (Onahama Peil) +3000 (or three meters above the standard sea level used for the plant), so that it is groundwater that's flowing into the basement instead of highly contaminated water flowing out of the basement.
Judging by the high, and increasing bioconcentration of radioactive materials in the fish inside the plant harbor, contaminated water from somewhere may be already leaking into the ocean anyway. That news died quickly.
Now with this cleaner water dump, TEPCO may be able to hasten the dilution of radioactive materials in the harbor.