Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RO Waste Water Leak at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: TEPCO Says the Leak May Have Started A Month Ago after Examining Beta-Radiation Exposure of a Worker


I see. TEPCO may not have a water gauge in every 1,000-tonne tank assembled from metal sheets, rivets and rubber packing, but TEPCO has workers as a radiation gauge.

I first learned of this information via the tweets (here's one from @macomelo) from people who either regularly attend TEPCO's press conference or watch the live cast of the press conference.

They said:

  • TEPCO knew that the beta radiation exposure of workers had started to rise in July.

  • So, TEPCO now thinks the contaminated RO waste water may have been leaking since July.


I found Asahi Shinbun article (8/27/2013) which has more details:

  • The information was disclosed by TEPCO at a meeting of NRA's Working Group to deal with contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant held in the evening of August 27, 2013.

  • TEPCO examined the level of beta radiation exposure of a worker who was working at a radio relay station located at about 20 meters from the RO waste tank that leaked, and found that the beta radiation exposure had started to increase in mid July.

  • The worker worked at the radio relay station for about 2.5 hours per day.

  • TEPCO will examine the data for the previous months.

  • TEPCO speculates that it was initially a minute leak but the amount gradually increased. There have been occasional rainfalls since mid July with 30 milliliter per day precipitation, and the leaked waste water was spread and absorbed in the soil with the rainfalls.

  • NRA instructed TEPCO to conduct survey to determine the cause of the leak, and to dig observation wells in the areas around the leak to determine the spread of radioactive materials.


Many say "TEPCO lied again". I'm more inclined to say TEPCO couldn't connect the dots, as I do not believe any more that TEPCO is smart enough to come up with a lie.

(Or TEPCO dared not connect the dots because it didn't want to know.)

At Nuclear Regulatory Authority's site, there is a TEPCO document that contains charts that plot beta radiation exposure of workers who do the tank patrol, and of the worker who worked at the radio relay station (English labels are by me):


Location of the radio relay station (in red square) and the tank that leaked (No.5 in red circle, notation is mine):


The area where the relay station is located has been found with high beta radiation, up to 95.55 millisieverts/hour at 70-micrometer equivalent dose (to express the effect on skin and the crystalline lens (of the eye)).

TEPCO is being heavily criticized for "skimping" on the tank patrol by not assigning enough workers for the patrol and not doing the patrol long enough. After looking at the spikes August 19 in beta radiation exposure for workers who were doing the "hasty" patrol, I'm not inclined to blame TEPCO that much.

Maybe Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and his subordinates can make themselves useful and show TEPCO a proper way by example to carefully examine the tanks daily that contain highly radioactive waste water.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

That poor worker. 75 uSv/hr--if that is the notation. So 2.5 hours for the shift, 75 uSv for dose per hour. Number of shifts is not known, but the worker is likely VERY exposed. And WHY didnt a badge catch this sooner..if JULY is also suspected as leaking? A dosimeter badge? Did the Radio Relay worker have a badge? For one shift, close to 200 uSv of exposure to beta nucleaides. No mention of Gamma. So what is the allowable max dose is what for these workers? 1000 mSv (sarcasm). They are guinea pigs for TEPCO.

Anonymous said...

Tepco said it built the tanks cheaply, as a stopgap measure, and patrolling was intended to compensate for the cheap build. Then workers did not want to spend much time nearby water contaminated to the tune of 80,000,000 Bq/lt with environmental radioactivity at 100 mSv/hr, understandably.
So maybe the build was *too* cheap. Again.

Beppe

Anonymous said...

Also, shouldn't some prosecutor be questioning Fuku 1 plant management and try to assess any penal responsibility for these leaks?

Beppe

Hélios said...

Are you OK, Ultraman ?

Anonymous said...

OT: Niigata governor Izumida said that Tepco bankruptcy should be considered as an option if the company keeps failing to handle the crisis.

I like Izumida position but he looks a little timid this time. I would believe that after nearly 2.5 years time is out, Tepco should go bankrupt, management should take civil and penal responsibility for both the "100% human made disaster" and its subsequent handling.

Beppe

Gloria Rhea Grante said...

Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster continues unabated, but the article by Yoichi Shimatsu, former general editor, The Japan Times Weekly, ("HAARP and how Fukushima radiation beamed down to Australia," Rense, January 18, 2012, http://rense.com/general95/haarp1.html, accessed August 30, 2013) re-kindled my interest anew.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Hi Helios. I haven't been very OK and I am going back to bed right now. Bad case of food poisoning since Wednesday... Sorry Fukushima news has to wait.

kuma-shutsubotsu-chuui said...

Oh dear. Hope you're OK. Get lots of rest and feel better soon. We can wait.

Anonymous said...

laprimavera: please get well soon - and not only because we want you back! Best wishes.
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

Ouch... my worst food poisoning put me down for one week, hope yours is not that bad. At the time I was recommended to drink sports water (to restore salts levels) and yoghurt (to restore the intestine natural bacteria population).

Hope you get better soon,

Beppe

Ivan said...

Ariva, you know cure is vodka which is killing most pathogenic organisms. If you can get one bottle is infused with black pepper or garlic then you will be ok next day. In old days when there was no antibiotic available, people using ingestion of vodka for all kinds of remedies including to halt flesh eating bacteria. For this you must remain drunk constantly for few days and alcohol in bloodstream will get rid of Strep or Staf infection.

Try it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ultraman, sorry to hear that you are unwell. Take good care of yourself. I hope you feel better soon. :)

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Thank you for your concern. I managed to post one new post, now going back to bed and groan.

Thanks for your suggestions, Ivan and Beppe. I didn't know vodka is effective in killing staf infection...

Anonymous said...

It isn't, retards/ :)

Anonymous said...

Well,2:24PM, if ever you find yourself stricken with infection and without any modern drugs available except for booze, you can be the one who does nothing and dies while I will get pickled for a couple of days and maybe live. At the very least I'll go out without worrying about what is happening to me.

BTW, hot green tea and vodka will kill a cold. Not retarded at all.

Anonymous said...

For a cold this works fish oil+ vodka

Anonymous said...

Mr. Non-retard might want to try it for his bad breath, fetid feet and ticks.
Works good for butt acne too they tell me.

Anonymous said...

I tried the hot green tea and vodka for a day and a half because I wasn't feeling well and my throat felt itchy. It worked great but now I need a remedy for hangover.

Ivan said...

Remedy for hangover in Russia is strong tea, but in Finland is more vodka.

Anonymous said...

Can vodka do anything to loosen rusted bolts?

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