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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Liquid glass didn't help

August 1, 2013


Liquid glass fails to stop radioactive water leak into ocean from Fukushima No. 1 plant



Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) confirmed on July 31 that its efforts to firm up the seawall by inserting liquid glass into the earth has failed to prevent radioactive water from leaking into the ocean from its Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The foundation improvement construction was a major supplemental initiative aimed at preventing the leakage of tainted water into the ocean. It proved impossible to solidify shallow areas of earth using the glass, however, resulting in the contaminated water leaking into the ocean when groundwater levels were high.

TEPCO officials said that they had constructed a liquid glass shielding wall around 100 meters in length, at a depth of two to 16 meters underground, in order to cover the seawall near the plant's No. 2 reactor.

At present, however, the level of the groundwater near the seawall is exceeding that of the shielding wall by a depth of around one meter below ground level.

"We cannot deny that now (even after the shielding wall was constructed), the groundwater is leaking into the ocean," TEPCO said.


July 31, 2013




Stopping leakage of tainted water to be studied

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is struggling to come up with new ways to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the sea.

The operator learnt on Wednesday that its efforts to prevent radiation-tainted groundwater from seeping into the sea are failing.

High levels of radioactivity have been detected in monitoring wells in the plant site and nearby waters since May.

TEPCO has been trying to solidify the embankment of the crippled power plant by a depth of 16 meters to stop the tainted water from reaching the ocean.

But TEPCO says water levels in one of the contaminated wells have risen by about 1 meter since the work began in early July.

It says this is likely the result of its work to solidify the ground, using chemicals.

The company says soil up to 2 meters below the ground cannot be hardened, and water may be seeping out.

TEPCO says it's also studying why the level of radioactive tritium has been rising in seawater near the plant's embankment.

The failures prompted the head of the state's nuclear regulator Shunichi Tanaka to step up his criticism of the utility on Wednesday. Tanaka said TEPCO had no sense of crisis, despite the emergency.

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