Monday, February 3, 2014

Fukushima- soon dumping in the ocean.

I haven't been posting all the stuff on Fukushima for a good while- it's mostly just too depressing, and there's nothing we can do about it in any case.

But today they're getting ready to cross a new line- and no, it's not in the news.  Unless you're a Japanese fisherman in the area.  The "government" (no longer "Tepco", since they've gotten nothing done) is asking local fishermen to agree to them - dumping radioactive groundwater, directly in the ocean.  They just can't handle the 400 tons a day, in any other way.  Here's the entire story, from NHK, Japan National TV English news feed.  Note that for PR purposes, this is a "bypass plan" - not "ocean dumping".  As always, their PR advisors are earning their keep, bigtime.

Government explains groundwater bypass plan

"The Japanese government has sought the understanding from the nation's fisheries industry to release groundwater into the sea at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

"The government presented measures under a new policy to fisheries industry representatives on Monday.

"At the Fukushima plant, groundwater flowing into reactor buildings coming into contact with water used to cool nuclear fuel continues to increase the amount of contaminated water.

"The central government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, which operates the plant want to introduce a bypass plan for the groundwater.
The measure is aimed at reducing the amount of water flowing into the reactor buildings by altering the flow of groundwater.

"The groundwater will be pumped up at the mountain side of the compound before it reaches the reactor buildings, where radioactive water has been accumulating, to reduce the amount that flows in. Then, the groundwater will be discharged into the sea. (italics mine)

"But the government and TEPCO have yet to obtain consent from local fishermen following a string of leaks into the sea of contaminated water, which has raised concerns over harmful rumors.

"Senior vice economy and industry minister Kazuyoshi Akaba met Chairman Hiroshi Kishi of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations on Monday.

"Akaba explained the measures to reduce the amount of contaminated water and new policies the government has been studying since last fall. Akaba reportedly told Kishi the radioactive levels of the water in the bypass plan will be set lower than the standard set by the state for releasing water into the sea. He also said the government will release information to the public to prevent harmful rumors.

"After the meeting, Kishi said he acknowledges the need for the bypass plan, but it can't move ahead without the understanding of local fishermen. He also said he plans to make a final decision after carefully examining how the bypass process will be monitored, and measures to prevent harmful rumors.

"Currently, 400 tons of groundwater is flowing into reactor buildings every day. The groundwater bypass plan is expected to reduce the amount by about 100 tons.
Feb. 3, 2014 - Updated 11:58 UTC"

So - they're asking the local fishermen for permission.  Not you, nor I, nor the world community- nor the Pacific Islanders...  And, what do you suppose they'll do if the local fishermen say "no"?  That's right- they'll dump it anyway.

This story avoids addressing what's in that "groundwater" - that "has been in contact" with water leaking directly from the reactor cores - but it's the bad stuff; radio-strontium and tritium along with the normal cesium stuff.  Might even be some radio-iodine, depending on how long it's been "in the ground"- that's short lived, but the reactor cores are making new, all the time.

Troll in the dungeon.  Thought you ought to know.