Tokyo Electric, the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has submitted a new plan for handling and discharging contaminated rainwater into the Pacific Ocean. Last month, after a tropical storm hit the site, workers found that the accumulated rainwater had become radioactive, but the operator had no criteria for how to handle it.
In the new proposal submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, TEPCO will collect the water in a individual tank, and once the rainwater has been diluted to under 10 becquerels of beta-ray emitting radionuclides, will discharge it into the ocean. This proposal is not expected to go over well with the people of Japan and the local fisherman, who generally feel that the NRA needs to take a more proactive approach to handling the disaster. In its’ first year of operation, the NRA has handled the situation as if they could establish new rules and standards and the public would immediately cast their trust back upon them, but that hasn’t been the case so far.
In related news, for the last two years, TEPCO has been playing a complicated game of chess with the contaminated water piling up on site – pumping hundreds of tons of water a day through the reactor buildings and storing them in radioactive wastewater tanks above ground. Around 11:50 am on the morning of October 1st, more than four tons of radioactive water spilled out of a tank during these water transfer operations. TEPCO did not announce how much radioactive materials were in the water, or what kind.
Source: JiJi Press