TEPCO told reporters on Monday that groundwater from a monitoring observation well at Fukushima Daiichi was found to contain extremely high levels of radiation including 3,200 becquerels of beta-emitting materials per liter. This most recent finding will likely affect TEPCO’s plans reported last week to pump groundwater into the ocean before it reached the crippled reactor buildings. The contaminated monitoring well is less than 150 yards from where the pumping well is installed.
The finding also infers more sources of contamination than just the reactor buildings. Media outlets in Japan are reporting that TEPCO now admits it is more likely than not that radioactive water from leaking tanks mixed with groundwater. The newest problems also may have implications for the planned ice wall, as it may not be able to contain all of the water generated cooling the melted reactor cores without pumping up groundwater.