New Radiation Hotspot at Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant discovered. Radiation in Well near Storage Tank spikes 6.500 Times above the Level of the previous Day.
The radiation level in a well near a storage tank at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have risen some 6.500 times above the level of the previous day, adding another chapter to a chain of scandals which may last decades, and has the potential to develop into a global catastrophe at literally any second.
NHK reports that officials of Fukushima Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said on Friday, that they have detected 400.000 bequerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, including strontium in the well on Thursday. The radiation readings are 6.500 times higher than those taken on Wednesday.
In August a nearby storage tank, one of many brittle flange tanks which could rupture during an earthquake, leaked 300 tons of highly radioactive contaminated water.
TEPCO “believes” that some of this water has entered the nearby well through what they described as a“ditch”. The tank which leaked the 300 tons in August is about 10 meters from the well. The well was dug after the leak in the tank was discovered.
After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the power plant, TEPCO decided to buy flange tanks with rubber sealings rather than welded, double hull tanks. The flange tanks could be delivered much faster and should initially serve as an intermediate solution.
TEPCO however, never began ordering any welded tanks but continued ordering the brittle flange tanks which are considerably cheaper. While the number of tanks is increasing, it is noteworthy that the rupturing of one single of the tanks alone poses a serious risk with potentially global implications.
The flange tanks rubber sealings are, according to experts, not fit for the corrosive environment near the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, the flange tanks can rupture even during minor earthquakes and a medium to major earthquake could cause the tanks to burst entirely, releasing their content into the open environment. Fukushima is located in one of the most earthquake prone regions of the world.
With regards to the latest discovery of the radioactive hotspot in the well, the Fukushima operator said, that radioactive substances like strontium have reached the groundwater and that high levels of tritium, which transfers more easy in water than strontium, has already been detected. TEPCO said that it will remedy the situation by removing any contaminated soil around the storage tank and that they will monitor radioactivity levels around the well.
The news about the radioactive hotspot in the well comes only shortly after a powerful typhoon has led to the release of highly radioactive contaminated water being released into a drainage ditch from where it could permeate into the Pacific Ocean.
TEPCO stated on Wednesday, that they had detected high radiation levels in the ditch leading to the Pacific Ocean, and that they expected that heavy rains during the typhoon had “lifted the soil”.
With or without heavy rain from a typhoon, there are severe problems with the humidity of the soil around several of the structures at Fukushima, including the brittle flange-storage-tanks and the crippled, tilting structure which contains spent fuel rods.
The operators have to dowse reactor buildings in the “hope” that some of the water will find its way to the melting core which has melted through the reactor bottoms.
TEPCO also has to continue dousing the tilting, crippled building which contains the pool with the spent fuel rods at the upper level, to prevent that the spent fuel rods begin an open air fission process.
TEPCO plans to remove the spent fuel rods because the water keeps destabilizing the soil around the tilting building and there is a risk that the building may fall.
International experts have repeatedly warned that neither TEPCO nor Japan has the funds nor the expertise to remove the spent fuel rods, prompting the Japanese government and TEPCO to “encourage” experts aid. Some analysts recommend that the containment of the disaster should be organized internationally.