Tuesday, December 10, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Saving Money Comes First Before the Need to Monitor Groundwater Leak Inside the Harbor in a Hilarious NRA Meeting

What's more pressing at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is not measuring radiation levels around the SGTS pipe where 25 sieverts/hour radiation source may be inside (to be sure, again, this 25 sieverts/hour was NOT measured but derived by calculation), nor removing the fuel assemblies from the Spent Fuel Pool on the top floor of Reactor 4 (again, not individual "fuel rods" that are inside a fuel assembly), which has the lowest radiation levels of all reactors (except for Reactors 5 and 6, which are in cold shutdown in the true sense of the word).

It is, as late-Masao Yoshida, Fukushima I NPP Plant Manager at the time of the accident, said, what to do with the contaminated water that keeps increasing. Of particular concern (supposedly) of the national government and TEPCO is whether the contaminated groundwater (albeit low contamination of gamma nuclides) is leaking into the plant harbor.

In the embankment between the plant harbor and the turbine buildings for Reactors 1 through 4, workers have been injecting waterglass into the artificial soil there to create impermeable walls in the soil to stop the flow of groundwater into the harbor. Never mind that their very work causes the groundwater to rise and go over the top of the underground impermeable wall, or go somewhere else and find its way to the ocean anyway.

From TEPCO, 12/8/2013 (red lines: silt fences, green lines: soil amendment by waterglass, yellow dots: groundwater monitoring locations):

TEPCO has been frequently monitoring radioactive materials (gamma nuclides such as cesium, all-beta including strontium, and tritium) in the water samples taken from these numerous observation holes in the embankment. However, samples from the seawater in the harbor are taken far less frequently. Nuclear Regulation Authority has been calling for continuous monitoring of seawater for some time, and the topic came up in the third meeting of NRA's ocean monitoring group on December 9, 2013.

But the word that came out of NRA Commissioner Kayoko Nakamura was, "Continuous monitoring system is an expensive purchase..."

From independent journalist Ryuichi Kino, and a togetter on the December 9 NRA meeting on ocean monitoring:

(Kino summarizes the relevant part of the meeting in a dignified way...)


TEPCO is considering three locations near the south discharge and the north discharge to install continuous monitoring system to detect the leak of contaminated water, and explains it is taking time to install because of the rough ocean. People questioning, why not install inside the open channel (inside the harbor near the embankment)?


The question is nothing new. When I asked TEPCO in January this year when they started digging the observation holes along the embankment and analyzed the groundwater samples, TEPCO answered that they were measuring in several locations inside the harbor, and they were measuring in the ocean, too. They could detect the change that way, no problem. That was the answer then, and that is the answer now.


What's at issue now is whether the highly radioactive water from the trench [where extremely radioactive water from March/April 2011 from the reactors sits] or from the reactor buildings is leaking from the embankment or not. The purpose of continuous monitoring is to know immediately if highly radioactive water is leaking. To monitor the change, it's better to monitor closer [to the embankment where the leak may be occurring]. But TEPCO insists on monitoring outside the harbor. I don't understand the reason.


NRA's Kayoko Nakamura says, "Continuous monitoring is an expensive purchase." So it takes time to select [the equipment], she says. Well, what does that mean? It's not the matter of how expensive or how cheap; the opinion of the members is to do it "soon". It is not the thing to be done leisurely over six months or a year.


Ms. Nakamura also says accuracy [of measurement] is important. It is important, as the accuracy has been questioned before. But no information has been disclosed as to which manufacturer and/or experts TEPCO is consulting with and on what. We still don't know the reason why the installation hasn't been done.

(The same discussion, from the togetter; it reads almost like a farce, a comedy routine, where research experts are at a loss what to do with TEPCO...)

TEPCO says it wants to install continuous monitoring instruments OUTSIDE the plant harbor. From NRA's reference document for the meeting (English labels and comment are mine):

Morita [from the Fisheries Agency]: As I said before, I don't understand why you want to install [the continuous monitoring system] outside the harbor. The discharge for Reactors 5/6 pumps out the water from inside the harbor, so there is no point in installing it outside.

Morita: The water is leaking into the open channel, or so it is said. Doesn't it make more sense to install the instrument there? Can you collect daily data outside the harbor?

[To this, TEPCO answers in non-answer by talking about detection limit...]

TEPCO: Detection limit is 0.1Bq/L. The problem is whether to exclude all-beta, but we are aiming at 20Bq/L.

Aoyama [chief researcher from Meteorological Research Institute]: Is it even technically and mechanically possible to continuously monitor all beta? (and Mr. Aoyama buries his head in his hands.)

Aoyama: gamma rays, you mean cesium-137?

TEPCO: Cesium-134 and -137 will be monitored.

Aoyama: I don't understand TEPCO's explanation. If anyone understands, please explain.

Horiguchi [National Science Laboratories Environmental Risk Research Center]: Like Mr. Morita, I don't understand either why the monitoring instruments are not going to be installed inside the harbor. Monitoring should be done at the locations where the leak is suspected. We're getting our priorities wrong. The most important thing is not being done.

Commissioner Nakamura: When you purchase the instrument, make sure you consult radiation specialists. It's an expensive purchase, you know...

Well the priority seems to be the cost.

After the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, they still think of cost as outlay of money to purchase goods and services. They don't consider the social cost of not starting monitoring the water inside the harbor as soon as possible, particularly inside the open channel right outside the embankment.

As it stands, TEPCO plans to start continuous monitoring OUTSIDE the harbor hopefully next spring, maybe fall.

For TEPCO and the national government, time is indeed money - i.e. money saving.

Reference documents (in Japanese) for the meeting: http://www.nsr.go.jp/committee/yuushikisya/kaiyou_monitoring/20131209.html

Cheerful Commissioner Kayoko Makamura:


Anonymous said...

Gee, who would have thought that dealing with a nuclear accident could cost real money ...

As for TEPCO's reason for wanting to install the continuous monitoring equipment outside the harbor instead of inside, I can only come up with one speculation: you get more watered-down (literally) measurements and it's easier to explain (or explain away) any inconvenient discoveries.

IMHO, they should be continuously measuring both, inside and outside the harbor, to get a full picture.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious? Funny as a heart attack.

Japan fiddles while corium burns.

Anonymous said...

If China and Japan go to war I will make it my life mission to insure the USA does not aid Japan. The handling of this disaster has been beyond belief since day one and only seems to get worse as the situation worsens. The Mr. Zero in the Whitehouse should be mounting an international effort to clean this mess up but he is too busy golfing and being serviced by Reggie Love.

Anonymous said...

It's not hilarious, it's just sad, very very sad. Horiguchi made a very clear comment what this desaster handling and or the Japanese government and even the Japanse sociaty is about these days:

"We're getting our priorities wrong. The most important thing is not being done." I could not have said it any better,

Off course it is applicable to any government anywhere in the world, but Japan will have the highest score by far. It's really sad and the saddest thing: hardly anyone gives a sh!t about it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Bud-O, you tell one too many lies in the position you hold and you get stuff like this,

As for "Cheerful Makamura", I won't even begin how appropriate she looks for a starring role in the upcoming Dance of the Retards, lol.

Anonymous said...

I think all the newborns are being killed off in japan because they are guilty of having compromised genetics ie "unacceptable freaks that deserve to die" a minute amount of highly radioactive material ingested/integrated in2 the body is all it takes and japan has more thana little allover it. If you don't believe it=good, ignorance=exposure= a hell of a way to die/be born then killed. You will see if you can't see yet, I look forward to the results as it should prove to be quite releavtory and educational to the more than 99% who are as yet unfazed ie "EXTREMELY FUCKING IGNORANT" and maybe we'll actually learn from this real life tale of woe. There is no reprieve, this reality WILL move FORWARD. /PROOOOVEN

Anonymous said...

Do it the hard way. Die.
The choice is not mine to make.
Suck your thumb
Play dumb.
Reap the rewards.
IT is time to Reap the Rewards, Retards.

Anonymous said...

The human species needs a lot of people to die to gain some semblance of understanding and to LUHRnn something,it's the truth, and it's being proven and i can and will say it with my fist if need be.

Anonymous said...

I guess they haven't looked at the cost of decomissioning reactors.
Wait, what am I saying? They intend to keep them going long past their lifespan.

Anonymous said...

12:42/12:47/12:54 PM, why don't you start by punching yourself in the head.

Anonymous said...

Kayoko Makamura--she(?) needs one of those extreme makeovers that include tons of plastic surgery on every part of the body so that at first glancing her, one is not reminded of Goofy.

IntelAgent said...

@6;02 pm...LOL. Then can u offer the facts? Pleeasee, try at least. Next come the papal MSM pills, I assume? or perhaps fungus? already offered joint.

Are u paid? If u r, do u feel now lots wiser?

Suggest u try CTRL W

Funny night from Finland

Anonymous said...


Did you see the majority of the Vatican Bank's transactions .. are cash?

That should fuel the fire.

Anonymous said...

Funny night from Finland

Oy, again with the gay sex thing...

Anonymous said...

mscharisma is right, measure both. May be Tepco actually does, and provides only the watered-down measurements.
A possible reason for that : less scary numbers, and a helping hand to fisheries.
By the way, wasn't there a time when atomic tests were like wonderfull shows in the US ? And wasn't there a time when the GE nuclear division succesfully spread its Mark 1 BWR although it was already thought of as ill-designed and very dangerous ? Let's give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.
Just a bit bored of easy Japan bashing, especially when it probably comes from the US. A better place to do it would be enenews : they're fantastic at the job.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am under the impression that atomic bombs are cleaner (in terms of fallout) than exploding npps.
Fukushima fallout was what? 150 times Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not bad for a civilian installation.

Post a Comment