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Tepco dumps concrete to plug radiation leak at No. 2 | The Japan Times Online
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that a cracked storage pit at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant was the source of a radioactive water leak contaminating the ocean and that it is attempting to fill it with concrete.

According to the utility and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the square, concrete-covered pit is situated near an intake used to pump seawater into reactor No. 2.

Although the pit is small, it contains highly contaminated water with a radioactivity exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour that is leaking into the ocean from a 20-cm crack, Tepco said.

The pit, which is 1.2 meters x 1.9 meters and 2 meters deep, is usually used to store cables. But it is also connected directly to the reactor building through a cable trench, raising the possibility that the source of the contaminated water is the reactor itself, a NISA official said.

The cable trench is different from the pipe trench at No. 2, where water with the same level of radioactivity was discovered Monday. Although the two trenches are connected, no water has been found in the cable trench because it is at a higher elevation, the official said.

How much water has leaked and for how long were not known as of Saturday afternoon.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 04:05:46 PM EST
Workers shift to Plan C in bid corral radiation from stricken plant

Workers at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are onto Plan C in their bid to stop highly radioactive water from gushing directly into the Pacific Ocean through a cracked concrete shaft, a Japanese nuclear official said Monday.

Neither of the first two attempts to fill up the 20-centimeter (8-inch) crack outside the No. 2 reactor's turbine building -- on Saturday by pouring in concrete, and then Sunday by using a chemical compound mixed with sawdust and newspaper -- has been successful [...]

As they mull other ways to cut off the leak at its source, workers will install a silt fence along a damaged sea wall surrounding the plant, Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency said Monday. The aim of this screening, which is usually used to halt erosion at construction sites, is to prohibit the spread of radioactive particles into the sea.

Workers also have injected a dye tracer into the water to allow them to track the dispersal of such particles [...]

In some cases, authorities don't even know how much radiation is getting out.

After some high-profile errors while offering regular radiation measurements on seawater, groundwater and the air, little such new information has been released since Thursday. One reason is that the dosimeters being used don't go above 1,000 millisieverts per hour, Junichi Matsumoto, an executive with the plant's owner Tokyo Electric Power Company, told reporters Sunday [...]

The amount of emitted radiation, be it into the water or air, is also unknown. Authorities do believe there had been at least a partial meltdown of nuclear fuel -- thanks to intense heat, at one point, topping 2,700 Celsius (4,800 Fahrenheit) in the No. 1 reactor and 1,800 Celsius (3,200 Fahrenheit) in the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors, according to an analysis from Areva, one of the world's top nuclear energy companies based in France.

by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 04:28:28 AM EST
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Tepco to Dump Radioactive Water in Sea to Keep Reactors Stable

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will dump radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station into the sea for the first time as it runs out of space to store fluids used to cool the plant's six reactors.

The government approved a plan by the utility known as Tepco to release water with low radioactive contamination into the sea to make room for liquids with higher radiation levels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

"We didn't have any other alternatives," Edano told reporters in Tokyo today. "This is a measure we had to take to secure safety."

Tepco said it plans to discharge as early as tonight 11,500 tons of water containing radioactive iodine levels about 100 times the regulatory limit [...]

The latest deaths bring to seven the number of workers killed at the utility's two nuclear power complexes in Fukushima, including five employees of sub-contractors whose deaths were confirmed on March 12 and 14.

It may take several months to stop the emission of radioactive material, Goshi Hosono, a lawmaker in the Democratic Party of Japan in the ruling coalition, told reporters. Hosono is an envoy between the government and Tepco [...]

A Tepco executive said yesterday he isn't optimistic about the prospect of containing damage at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant's No. 3 reactor.

"I don't know if we can ever enter the No. 3 reactor building again," Hikaru Kuroda, the company's chief of nuclear facility management, said at a press conference [...]

Wind at the Fukushima plant will blow from the northwest this evening at a speed of two meters to six meters a second, and will blow from the west tomorrow, Japan Meteorological Agency said in a forecast [...]

by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:19:34 AM EST
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