18 Août 2013
The Asahi Shimbun reported in its front page on August 1, 2013 that: TEPCO did nothing for more than two years despite having pledged to seal a leaking hole between a turbine building (the leakage source) and an underground pit (a trench) in April 2011 when water contaminated with radioactive materials from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was found to have leaked into the ocean; and the company only began preparing for shielding tests this summer after contaminated water was found to be leaking into the sea this time. However, the facts regarding this issue are as follows:
· In "Roadmap towards Restoration from the Accident" we released on April 17, 2011, we included "blockage between trenches and buildings" (corresponding to "shielding the connection between the trench and the turbine building" in the article) among the measures that we had "considered" or "taken" to prevent a recurrence of the leakage of highly radioactive contaminated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 2. On April 30, however, we announced that we encountered technical difficulties in blocking a vertical shaft at the connection between the turbine building and the trench, and planned instead to block a vertical shaft located between the turbine building and the sea. Accordingly, we completed blocking of the latter vertical shaft in early May 2011.
· Further, on May 12, 2012, we disclosed "Implementation Plan on Reliability Improvement Measures at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station", where we clearly stated our plan to study construction techniques for shutting off water at the connection between the turbine building and the trench within FY2012 and then spend several years implementing measures to shut off, collect, and apply treatment to water accumulated in such locations as trenches. Although technical difficulties and a severe work environment should be overcome in implementing this plan, we adopted the plan in order to further reduce the risk of having outflow of contaminated water beyond the trench.
· Since then, we have being bringing forward consideration according to this plan. In our report submitted at a meeting of the committee on countermeasures for contaminated water treatment on May 30, 2013, we disclosed, as one step to implement a concrete measure to remove water from the trench, our plan to conduct a verification test for removing water from the trench after blocking water flow by freezing the connection between the turbine building and the trench and complete evaluation of this measure by the end of December 2013.
· The above facts conflict with the claim in the article that TEPCO completely neglected advancing the consideration and making preparations for more than two years while leaving a leaking hole at the turbine building unsealed.
With regards to the current contaminated water leakage into the port, we deeply apologize to the society for concern and anxiety caused not only by the fact that the leakage occurred, but also by our attitude toward publication about the leakage. We are committed to making further progress in the effort to cleanse contaminated water inside the trench, and to accelerating and devoting ourselves to such efforts as to remove contaminated water from the trench by blocking the connection between the turbine building and the trench.