Friday, February 7, 2014

#Fukushima I NPP: TEPCO Admits Error 7 Months Later, Says All-Beta from Observation Hole Along Embankment Was 10 Million Bq/L, Not 900K Bq/L

(UPDATE) It may not just be about groundwater samples along the embankment. All the high-density all-beta/strontium analyses done at Fukushima I NPP, including the analyses of all-beta/strontium in the RO (reverse osmosis) waste water, may be wrong. Or TEPCO says they "cannot deny the possibility that the analyses were wrong." (from a tweet by @jaikoman who tweets just about every single TEPCO and NRA press conference)

Jiji Tsushin just reported the same thing. The information is from the press conference on February 7, 2014.

For more information about the RO waste water leak of August 2013, go to this link.


Of that, strontium-90 alone turned out to be 5 million Bq/L. The reason (excuse)? Wrong measurement method used. Or something to that extent that even people who know a lot about nuclide analysis are scratching their heads trying to figure out how that happened.

Yomiuri Shinbun has the best summary of the situation (2/7/2014):


On February 6, TEPCO announced that 5 million Bq/Liter of radioactive strontium was detected from the groundwater sample taken on June 5 last year from one of the observation wells on the embankment of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant [the embankment is located between the turbine buildings and the plant harbor].


The density is 160,000 times that of the legal limit for release into the ocean, and it is about 1,000 times that of the highest density in the groundwater that had been measured so far (5,100 Bq/L). TEPCO didn't disclose the result of measurement of strontium alone, as the company believed there was a possibility that the result of measurement was wrong.


As to this particular sample, TEPCO had announced on July last year that the sample had contained 900,000 Bq/L of all-beta including strontium. On February 6, TEPCO explained that they had "underestimated all of the results of high-density all-beta, which [in fact] exceeded the upper limit of measurement." This particular sample may contain about 10 million Bq/L of all-beta, according to TEPCO. The company recently switched to a different method of analysis that uses diluted samples when the density of radioactive materials is high.

So this is the lowdown of the case of strontium more abundant than all-beta, all thanks to the faulty measurement by TEPCO.

Browsing through the documents released by TEPCO, the particular observation hole was No.1-2, which is no longer used as the result of waterglass injection into the soil in the embankment. It is close to where the extremely contaminated water from Reactor 2 turbine building had been found leaking in April 2011 (via the underground electrical trenches).

From TEPCO's document for the press (2/6/2014; English label is by me), the location of No.1-2 observation hole:

TEPCO inserted the newly disclosed 5 million Bq/L for strontium-90 but the number for all-beta remains uncorrected, at 900,000 Bq/L (which TEPCO now says 10 million Bq/L instead):

10,000,000 Bq/L of all-beta, or 10,000 Bq/cubic centimeter of all-beta. That's the same order of magnitude of all-beta in the water that gets contaminated after circulating through the reactors (see my September 2013 post), but the levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137 in this sample water is too low for this water to be the contaminated water that is currently circulating the reactors.


Anonymous said...

Another day, another shocking new revelation of record high levels of contamination. This time it's Strontium 90, a far more poisonous radionuclide than Caesium,

Another day, another shocking revelation of incompetence.

Isn't it about time some of the senior execs of Tepco were rounded up and summarily shot? It might make the rest of the fuckwits a little more careful and honest,

Meanwhile it seems Tepco can't even be bothered to offer the meaningless grovelling apology for this new 'error'

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I'd have to ask a nuclear expert about the technical details of how TEPCO screwed up badly. Those I've found so far are too technical for me...

As to not having said anything for 7 months, there is no good explanation either - that they'd been too busy, that there were too many binders to flip through, etc. No apology yet for those unfortunate workers who were doused with this extremely high all-beta water as they injected waterglass in the embankment all night.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those poor unfortunate workers will be seeking recompense from their nth tier yakuza employers???

The cost of a bullet is 50 cents too much for these low-lives. At least a well boiled hemp rope can be reused many times.

Anonymous said...

Laprimavera, there is a very good explanation why Tepco kept it to themselves. Seven months ago Tokyo was in the running for the Olympics.!

It's all politics ( and money ) and nothing else. The fact that Tepco can get away with the excuses that they were to busy ( with what ??? ) says it all. They know they are covered.
Too bad for those doused workers, but oh well, we got the Olympics! isn't that great ?
Those doused workers do not have the money for a TV anyway, so they are not missing anything if they are still alive by that time. Better spent that money on people you might need another favor in due time. That;s the true spirit of politics in Japan!

Anonymous said...

So, does this affect the plan to release "uncomtaminated" water into the ocean?

Slightly OT, any comments on this?

Anonymous said...

Check the historic readings for this same well. Cesium was 11,000 and 22,000 a few days before they sampled the 5 million SR 90 reading.

Anonymous said...

Why is there no independant, third party organisation mesuring these??? We all know some kind of answer I guess. But giving lame excuses won't make it better TEPCO! Of course TEPCO wouldn't let anyone on their grounds... exept nearly all workers there who are sub(sub(sub(sub)))contracted... how ironic and shameful, but who cares let's dump it in the sea, all eyes on Sochi right now...

Anonymous said...

I guess, if this accident were ongoing in the US, the EPA would be doing measurements (or at least I sure as hell hope they would). No equivalent government body in Japan to do measurements? Or the NRC (US) would be measuring on NPP grounds, whether the energy company likes it or not? So why not the NRA in Japan?

Maybe I'm just naive, but I simply cannot wrap my head around a "measuring error" of this magnitude and months of silence and no one doing anything about it - whereby "it" would be that the polluter remains the entity in control of collecting and releasing the data that reveals the magnitude of the pollution.

Maybe it's not "only" the decision on the Olympics location TEPCO waited for, maybe the ice wall work needed to be done first too. Oh, and obtaining the ok for releasing relatively uncontaminated groundwater into the ocean. The timing of admitting the error is rather suspicious.

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