Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Head of #Fukushima Fisheries Associations Agrees to the Release of Uncontaminated Groundwater from Fukushima I Nuke Plant

After the career bureaucrat at the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry spoke of his assumption at the August 7, 2013 press conference that "300 tonnes of contaminated (ground)water" is leaking into the sea every day, I wrote in my August 9 post:

Oh well. The horse is out of the barn. The powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has spread baseless rumors around the world.

I'm starting to believe it is deliberate. The Agency of Natural Resources and Energy wants TEPCO to be able to dump uncontaminated groundwater drawn upstream into the ocean, but the talk with the fisheries associations in Fukushima has stalled after the detection of radioactive materials from the observation holes in the embankment in June.

Here's the bargain the Agency could use with the fishermen: Do you want the leak of "300 tonnes of contaminated groundwater" to continue? Or would you rather have us release uncontaminated groundwater drawn upstream, and keep the contaminated groundwater in tanks?

I may be right after all. The head of the federation of the fisheries associations in Fukushima Prefecture wants to have uncontaminated groundwater released, aka "groundwater bypass plan", rather than having contaminated groundwater leaking unchecked. And he wants all the associations to come up with "yes" answer.

Here's the latest from Nikkei Shinbun (8/21/2013):


Head of the Fukushima Prefecture Fisheries Associations approves release of groundwater into the ocean


Mr. Tetsu Nozaki, head of the Federation of Fisheries Associations in Fukushima Prefecture, signaled his intention to agree to the release of groundwater drawn before it becomes contaminated with radioactive materials into the ocean, as "it will be helpful in realizing the fishermen's goal of stopping the leak of contaminated water". He requested each fisheries association to come up with the opinion as an association [i.e. agree to the release, in Japanese parlance], in preparation for the meeting of the association heads on August 28.


The officials from the government and TEPCO who attended the meeting asked again for understanding of their "groundwater bypass plan", in which uncontaminated groundwater will be drawn and released into the ocean. There were some at the meeting who were sympathetic to the plan, as "it may well lead to the release of contaminated water if we don't come to a conclusion soon."


However, there is a persistent fear of baseless rumors in Fukushima Prefecture on catch of fish, and the situation remain fluid whether the fishermen agree [to the bypass plan] as a whole. Governor of Fukushima Yuhei Sato spoke harshly in a meeting on August 20 that this was "a national emergency". He demanded the response from the national government, saying "The national government should lead the effort."

Mr. Nozaki speaks as if he was unaware of the 300-tonne highly contaminated water leak from a RO waste water tank. Unlike the slightly contaminated groundwater leaking through the embankment soil into the open culvert and the plant port, the drain near the RO waste water tank area (H4) goes directly to the ocean OUTSIDE the port.

Governor Sato, who was so glad that he became famous because of the Fukushima nuclear accident, wants the national government (= Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Agency of Natural Resources and Energy) to lead the work at the plant. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

" .. there is a persistent fear of baseless rumors in Fukushima .. "

Can we get the Japanese to tell us what a base-full rumor would be?

Rod Serling's Twilight Zone had nothing on these people.

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly the fishermen's concern was that once Tepco is allowed to discharge water no one will be able to check what they actually discharge, either by mistake or on purpose, and once it is into the ocean there is no way back.

Has any progress being made on the transparency side or are we and the fishermen just blackmailed by the usual folks who can't weld, can't do electric work, can't build tanks that do not leak, can't manage to set valves in the right position?

I am not really planning to buy any sea product from Fukushima for the next 40 years but still, the less cesium in the ocean the better it is.

Anonymous said...

Fishermen's primary concern has always been "baseless rumors".

Anonymous said...

is it much worse if a leak ends up directly outside the port? I mean, if the tanks leak, can we expect the port to be watertight?


arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Beppe, I think it may be much worse. Unlike groundwater seeping from the embankment into the port, what's leaking from the tank is the concentrated waste water with high beta. And this waste water may have been already leaking via the regular drain that goes out to sea, outside the port.

The plant port is not watertight, it has openings. But moderate control with silt screen is in place, and it is a limited area where you could do something, as opposed to open water.

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