NE Japan Earthquake Day 25: Tokyo Power Says Contaminated Water Leak is Serious and There is No End in Sight

Yesterday, the Fukushima staff attempted to use disposable diapers to capture literal radioactive waste.

Tokyo Power Says Contaminated Water Leak is Serious and There is No End in Sight
Yomiuri Shimbun: 汚染水漏出は深刻、遮断の見通し立たない…東電
Staff Report, April 4, 2011

Power plant staff are fighting to prevent contaminated water with a high concentration of radioactive material from flowing into the ocean.

Highly absorbent materials like disposable diapers, sawdust, and newspapers were thrown into the crack in a shaft near Fukushima I Reactor No. 2’s sluice gate to no avail. Water is leaking into the ocean unabated.

“It’s a serious situation. We want to stem the leak this very instant, but there’s no end in sight yet,” Tokyo Power’s Nuclear Power Chief Junichi Matsumoto said with a grave expression at a press conference the night of the 3rd.

The current plan is to stem the flow by introducing highly absorbent polymers into the shaft through a gap in the tunnel made for the electricity cable. When high polymer absorbents take in water, they grow as much as 20 times in size. Yesterday, concrete was poured into the shaft to try to plug it, but it didn’t harden because there was too much water flowing, forcing a change of plans.

Fukushima I Reactor Report

Fukushima I Reactor Update
Unit 1
Reactor: The outside electrical connection has been restored, and pure water is being injected into the heart of the reactor.
Storage Pool for Used Nuclear Fuel: No activity of note.
Contaminated Water: The transfer of water from the condenser storage tank in the turbine room to the surge tank of the suppression pool has been completed.

Unit 2
Reactor: The outside electrical connection has been restored, and pure water is being injected into the heart of the reactor. The fuel rods have been fully exposed twice. There is suspicion of damage in the suppression room.
Storage Pool for Used Nuclear Fuel: No activity of note
Contaminated Water: Highly absorbent materials like disposable diapers, sawdust, and newspapers were thrown into the crack in a shaft near Fukushima I Reactor No. 2’s sluice gate to prevent water contaminated with highly radioactive material from leaking into the ocean to no avail.

Unit 3
Reactor: The outside electrical connection has been restored, and pure water is being injected into the heart of the reactor.
Storage Pool for Used Nuclear Fuel: No activity of note
Contaminated Water: Preparations are being made to move water from the condenser, which is full, to the condenser storage tank.

Unit 4
Reactor: Fuel rods have been removed from the pressure vessel because it is under repair.
Storage Pool for Used Nuclear Fuel: Water is being injected into the reactor through a concrete pump.
Contaminated Water: Waste water is being transferred to the turbine building in order to use a “concentrated environmental disposal method.”

Original/原稿:

汚染水漏出は深刻、遮断の見通し立たない…東電
高濃度の放射性物質を含む汚染水の流出を防ぐ止水作戦。

紙おむつなどに使われる高分子吸水材やおがくず、新聞紙を投入したが福島第一原子力発電所2号機の取水口近くの立て坑の亀裂から海への漏出を止めることはできなかった。

「深刻な事態。一刻も早く放出を食い止めたいが、見通しは立たない」。東京電力の松本純一・原子力立地本部長代理は3日夕の記者会見で硬い表情で語った。

今回の作戦は立て坑につながる電源ケーブル用のトンネルのすき間を高分子吸水材で埋めて、立て坑への汚染水の供給を断つ計画。高分子吸水材は水を吸って約20倍に膨張する。前日に、コンクリートを流し込んで亀裂を塞ごうとしたが、水量が多すぎて固まらなかったため作戦変更した。

(2011年4月4日07時33分 読売新聞)

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