- TEPCO - since June 2013

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TEPCO - since June 2013

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (東京電力株式会社, Tōkyō Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha?, TYO: 9501), also known as Toden (東電, Tōden) or TEPCO, is a Japanese electric utilities servicing Japan's Kantō region, Yamanashi Prefecture, and the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture.
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June 16, 2013

Tepco loses info on nuclear redress
Tepco revealed that one of its employees has lost documents that include the personal information of 22 individuals who have applied for compensation related to the nuclear crisis, adding this was not the first such incident.
“We deeply apologize for causing trouble,” a Tokyo Electric Power Co. official told reporters Friday, explaining that the employee, a man in his 40s, forgot the documents on a train while returning home Tuesday.

The utility has not received any reports of inappropriate use of the personal data.

Tepco further admitted there have been around 60 cases involving the mishandling of personal information linked to compensation claims, and that it decided to disclose the latest incident because it has not been able to contact all of the 22 individuals concerned.
They include evacuees from the town of Futaba, which cohosts Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

According to the utility’s officials, the documents included the names and addresses of the individuals, as well as the details of their compensation claims.
The employee in question noticed Wednesday morning that he had left his bag containing the documents on the train. Tepco reported the incident to police, but the papers have not been found.
source : www.japantimes.co.jp


June 19, 2013

High levels of strontium found at Fukushim plant - NHK world news
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it has detected high levels of radioactive strontium and tritium in groundwater at the plant site.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Wednesday that the concentration of radioactive strontium in the water was up to 30 times higher than the government-set level for releasing into the sea.
The level found equaled one becquerel per cubic centimeter.
TEPCO also said radioactive tritium in the same water was 8 times higher than the government standard, logging 500 becquerels per cubic centimeter.
TEPCO said the water was taken between May and June from an observation well dug by the seaside of the No. 2 reactor turbine building.
But it said no major changes in radiation levels have been observed in the nearby sea water. The firm says it will investigate whether leakage into the sea is happening or not.
The firm also said the levels of the radiation were below the government-set levels in December. It suspects the recent rise in radiation levels may come from moving groundwater that was highly contaminated 2 years ago in the nuclear accident.
The firm plans to take measures including improving the plant's seawalls so that the contaminated water will not leak into the sea. It will also dig more wells to find out the extent and shift of the contamination.

TEPCO to increase groundwater testing - NHK news
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will increase checks for strontium and tritium in groundwater near the damaged reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company workers detected the radioactive materials in groundwater taken from an observation well on the sea side of the No.2 reactor building. Company officials say they found no major changes in radiation levels in nearby seawater.
But they plan to set up more monitoring posts and observation wells. And they will reinforce nearby embankments to prevent contaminated groundwater reaching the sea.
TEPCO officials say wastewater spilled out into the sea near the No.2 reactor building in April 2011. They say highly radioactive materials might have seeped into the ground and ended up in the well about 30 meters from the sea.
Workers will also check a nearby underground tunnel to determine how the groundwater was contaminated.
Tokyo Electric has again drawn criticism for a delay in revealing the latest incident.
Workers took a sample of the groundwater on May 24th.
Officials at the plant were aware by May 31st that tritium levels were higher than the government-set level.
But they did not share the data with TEPCO executives until June 11th. It took another week for the company to make the data public.
TEPCO officials say they were waiting for results of strontium tests, which take longer. They apologized for the delay.

Fukushima Pref. complains to TEPCO - NHK news
Fukushima Prefecture has demanded that Tokyo Electric Power Company quickly determine how the groundwater was contaminated with radioactive material, and take steps to prevent it leaking into the sea.
The prefecture summoned the utility's managing director, Akio Komori, to the prefectural government office on Wednesday.
Komori apologized for the trouble and pledged to determine its cause and to step up monitoring.
The head of the prefecture's environment division, Tetsuya Hasegawa, expressed disappointment that the trouble happened amid repeated requests to guarantee safety in handling contaminated wastewater in the process of scrapping the plant's reactors.
The prefecture later decided to step up its own monitoring of seawater near the plant.


June 22, 2013 - NHK news

More missed safety inspections discovered at Monju

Some 2,300 additional missed equipment safety inspections have been discovered at the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor on the Sea of Japan coast.
Plant operator Japan Atomic Energy Agency conducted an investigation into the way its inspections were carried out.
The operator says the newly-discovered inspection lapses even involved key safety equipment used to monitor the movement of control rods.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority found about 10,000 similar lapses at Monju last month and ordered the operator not to prepare to restart the reactor until its safety can be established.
Japan Atomic Energy Agency says it is extremely regrettable that the revelation of more missed safety inspections has undermined public trust.


June 24, 2013 - NHK news

Tritium level rising in Fukushima plant port
Officials from Tokyo Electric Power Company say the level of radioactive tritium has been rising in sea water near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
They say they can't rule out the possibility that contaminated groundwater seeped into the sea.
TEPCO officials said on Monday that samples collected on Friday contained 1,100 becquerels of tritium per liter.That is 10 times the amount detected in previous tests.
But they said the figure is still less than one-fiftieth of the government-set limit for water to be released into the sea.
TEPCO workers said samples collected from wells on the sea side of the No. 2 reactor from late last month to early this month contained tritium and strontium above the official safety level.
TEPCO officials say they will study data from the sea and well samples to determine whether underground water seeped into the sea.
They said if their analysis confirms that's what happened, they will use chemicals to solidify the ground.


June 16, 2013 - NHK news

TEPCO shareholders want out of nuclear power
A group of shareholders at Tokyo Electric Power Company is demanding the utility withdraw from the business of nuclear power generation. TEPCO operates the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Shareholders gathered in Tokyo on Wednesday. It was their first annual meeting since the utility was effectively placed under government control.
TEPCO Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe apologized to shareholders for continuing to cause concern and inconvenience more than 2 years after the nuclear disaster.
The utility has been slow to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi plant and continues to report leaks of radiation-contaminated water.
TEPCO President Naomi Hirose asked shareholders to support the firm's plan to restart its nuclear reactors. He said management will quickly improve safety and strengthen operations.
The shareholders' group is demanding the firm decommission all of its nuclear reactors. They also want more detailed disclosure of information, and cuts in remuneration to board members.
One shareholder said decommissioning the reactors would be a way for TEPCO to compensate survivors of the nuclear disaster.

Fukushima: wrong radiation exposures given - NHK news
Fukushima Prefecture says more than 16,000 residents were given wrong estimates of their external radiation exposure in a survey following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011.
The figures were calculated by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences near Tokyo for all of Fukushima Prefecture's 2 million residents. The figures were calculated using a computer program, based on factors including the residents' activities in the 4 months after the accident.
Of the 2 million residents, calculations using the program have been completed for 420,000 people.
Prefectural officials say more than 12,000 people were given figures up to 0.4 millisieverts lower than the correct estimates because the calculations were based on wrong dates in the computer program.
The prefecture says even with the correct figures, it is unlikely that the estimated dosage would pose health problems. The annual limit for exposure for the general public is one millisievert.
The prefecture has apologized for the mistake and says the computer program will be modified, and the right figures sent to residents.


June 26, 2013

Roadmap revised for scrapping Fukushima reactors - NHK news
Japan's government and the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have officially endorsed a renewed roadmap for scrapping the crippled reactors.
Officials of the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company approved the revision in a joint panel meeting on Thursday.
The revision is meant to accelerate work to dismantle the plant's 4 reactors, which were disabled in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
But officials warn the work could fall behind schedule because engineers have yet to determine the exact state of melted fuel inside the reactors.
The revised roadmap has set different timelines for removing fuel from the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors. No.4 was offline at the time of the accident.
Removal could start in the first half of 2020 at the earliest at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors. That's one and a half years sooner than the previous plan.
Officials say decommissioning work, including tearing down reactor buildings, could take as long as 40 years.
The panel also decided to form a new organization to hear from people in the region about how to proceed with the work. Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi said communications with local people must be strengthened.
Motegi told officials to steadily proceed first with removal of fuel rods from the pool at the No.4 reactor, and make proper decisions for each of the 3 others on when to start the work.


July 6, 2013

Tritium levels on steep rise at Fukushima Daiichi
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the level of radioactive tritium found in nearby seawater is the highest it has been for 2 years.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it detected 2,300 becquerels of tritium per liter of seawater collected from a port near the nuclear plant on Wednesday.
That's twice the amount detected about 2 weeks ago, and the highest since monitoring began in June 2011.
But the figure is still about one-twenty-fifth of the government-set limit for water to be released into the sea.
The tritium found in seawater stayed at around 100 becquerels per liter for one year through April. But it started to rise in May.
On Friday, TEPCO workers tested water collected from a well near the port. They detected 900,000 becquerels of radioactive substances, including strontium, per liter.
That's the highest level ever found in samples from observation wells.
TEPCO officials say they have yet to confirm the cause of the spike in readings, but they cannot rule out the possibility that contaminated groundwater seeped into the sea.
The company plans to build more observation wells and solidify the ground to prevent underground water from reaching the ocean.

TEPCO to dig more wells to check contamination
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to build more wells to monitor the spread of radioactive contamination under the ground.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected high levels of radioactive substances since May in samples of underground water collected at a newly dug well close to the ocean.
The company detected on Friday a total of 900,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive substances, including strontium that emits beta particles, in underground water collected from the well. That's the highest level ever detected in samples from observation wells.
The newly dug well is close to a pit from which highly radioactive water was found seeping into the sea in April 2011, shortly after the nuclear accident.
TEPCO suspects that the water leak more than 2 years ago may be linked to the level of contamination of water inside the well.
But the company says it's hard to determine just what happened.
For instance, the reason for the level of strontium is not known. Previously, strontium was thought unlikely to show up in measurable quantities in water because it is believed to remain in the soil.
TEPCO says the level of radioactivity in nearby waters has not greatly changed, and that it is also unknown whether there has been any further leak into the sea.


July, 09, 2013

Cesium levels soar in Fukushima plant groundwater - NKK news
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says radioactive cesium levels at one of the plant's observation wells have soared over the past 3 days.
Tokyo Electric Power Company regularly monitors groundwater around the reactor buildings to check for radioactive substances and analyze the accident's affect on the environment.
On Monday, TEPCO recorded 9,000 becquerels of cesium 134 and 18,000 becquerels of cesium 137 per liter of water at a well between the No. 2 reactor building and the sea.
Both radioactive substances were up about 90 times from the level logged 3 days ago.
The same well also showed high levels of beta rays on Friday. The rays would have been emitted from strontium and other radioactive materials.
TEPCO officials say they do not know why cesium levels have risen suddenly, or what effect the spike is having on the nearby ocean.
Seawater in the port next to the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been showing increasing levels of radioactive tritium since May. A water sample taken Wednesday last week contained 2,300 becquerels of tritium per liter, the highest reading since June 2011.

Embankment reinforced at Fukushima Daiichi plant - NHK
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is trying to prevent contaminated groundwater from seeping out to sea by reinforcing embankments on the coastal side of the plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company began work on Monday on a 90 meter-long embankment.
Workers using heavy machinery drilled 14-meter-deep holes at 80-centimeter intervals along the embankment, and then poured in chemicals to harden and waterproof the soil.
Tokyo Electric hopes to finish the work by the end of this month.
High levels of radioactive materials have been detected in groundwater from one of the wells used for monitoring contamination. The well is located between the No.2 reactor building and the sea.
This suggests that radioactive wastewater from the plant is seeping into the ground and spreading.
The utility has been taking samples of nearby seawater to check for possible seepage.
It says it cannot rule out the possibly that some contaminated water has already made its way out to sea.


July 10, 2013 - NHK news

Expert: TEPCO must stop groundwater leaks
A Japanese researcher says the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant must step up measures and monitoring to stop radiation-tainted groundwater from seeping into the sea.
The operator of the plant has said radioactive cesium levels at one observation well near the sea soared over the past several days.
Groundwater expert Atsunao Marui of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology made the comment after levels of radioactive substances surged over a 4 day period at one of the plant's observation wells.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Tuesday that levels of cesium 137 had risen to 22,000 becquerels per liter of water, or more than 100 times the level logged last Friday. It also reported on Monday that radioactive cesium levels soared 90 times from last Friday.
Marui says TEPCO must take a multi-layered approach to stop what may be new leaks of contaminated groundwater from the building that houses the No.2 nuclear reactor. He suggests that the utility install steel plates around the reactor in addition to reinforcing embankments on the coastal side of the plant, and fill the gaps with clay or other water-resistant materials.
Marui also says TEPCO must grasp the overall flow of the groundwater, including vertical streams. He says the firm should dig more observation wells on the plant compound and monitor groundwater springing forth under the sea.
TEPCO started drilling holes along the sea bank on Monday ahead of pouring in chemicals to harden and waterproof the soil. It also plans to increase observation wells to strengthen monitoring.


July, 11, 2013 - NHK news

TEPCO: Soil in water could raise well's radiation
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says high levels of radioactive cesium in groundwater may be due to soil mixed into the water.
Tokyo Electric Power Company announced on Tuesday that the level of radioactive cesium in a newly-dug well between the No. 2 reactor and the ocean increased 100 times over the previous 5 days.
The reading was taken close to a site where highly radioactive water from the reactor leaked into the ocean after the nuclear accident in 2011.
In a news conference on Wednesday, officials said that after they filtered the water sample and measured it again, the cesium reading dropped to levels recorded 5 days earlier.
They said contaminated soil could be to blame for the higher readings in the groundwater, and that the soil was likely mixed with the water when workers pumped up a sample for testing.
But the operator said it has not ruled out other causes, and will continue investigating.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority says it will check other wells near the No. 3 and 4 reactors, as water in those wells is contaminated with cesium as well.


July 18, 2013 Japan Times

Steam seen in Fukushima reactor 3 building
Unit still subcritical, Tepco assures; vapor on fifth floor near MOX in fuel pool
Steam has been spotted in the reactor 3 building at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, but there was no sign yet of increased radiation, Tepco said Thursday, speculating the vapor was just evaporated rainwater hitting a hot metal surface.
The incident, which Tokyo Electric Power Co. said was not “an emergency situation,” is the latest event underlining how precarious the plant remains more than two years after it was wrecked by tsunami and subsequently suffered three meltdowns. One of them, reactor 3, is the only one at the plant to use the highly lethal mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel, some of which is in its spent-fuel pool near the top of the reactor.

“Steam has been seen around the fifth floor of the reactor 3 building,” a Tepco spokesman said. The spent-fuel pool is on that floor.

The roof of the building was blown away in a hydrogen explosion at the beginning of the crisis in March 2011, sparked when cooling systems were flooded by tsunami after the huge March 11 undersea quake.
“(The steam) was drifting thinly in the air and it’s not like a big column of steam is spurting up,” the spokesman said. “Neither the temperature of the reactor nor readings at radiation monitoring posts have gone up.
“We do not believe an emergency situation is breaking out, although we are still investigating what caused this,” he said.
The temperature readings on reactor 3 pretty much stayed the same as before the steam was found, as have the radiation figures around it.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, the steam was still coming out, Tepco said.
What is creating the steam is unclear, but Tepco said the best explanation is that rainwater, which had fallen from Wednesday night, dropped onto the containment vessel’s lid and evaporated.
The steam appears to be emanating from a seal over the top of the reactor.
The lid of the containment vessel is just below that seal and the rainwater is dropping onto the lid from some inner space, Tepco speculated.
It added that the temperature of the containment vessel’s lid is probably around 40 degrees, so if rainwater reaches it, steam could form depending on atmospheric conditions outside.
The utility said it had actually witnessed the steam last July, too, but it was very short-lived, unlike this time.
Tepco said it had confirmed the reactor remained subcritical at 9:20 a.m., one hour after the steam was first spotted. Criticality is the term used for reactors in which there is a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
Workers were continuing to pump water into the reactor and spent-fuel pool as part of on-going cooling efforts, Tepco said, adding it would measure dust near the building as well as the air above it to gauge radiation levels.
The steam is the latest in a growing catalogue of mishaps that have cast doubt on Tepco’s ability to fix the world’s worst nuclear disaster in a generation.

A series of leaks of water contaminated with radiation have shaken confidence, as did a blackout caused by a rat that left cooling pools without power for more than a day. The company has admitted in recent weeks that water and soil samples taken at the plant are showing high readings for potentially dangerous isotopes, including cesium-137, tritium and strontium-90.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority said last week the reactors are very likely leaking highly radioactive substances into the Pacific Ocean.
NRA commissioners voiced frustration with Tepco, which has failed to identify the source and the cause of the groundwater radiation spikes.


July 25, 2013 NHK world news

Fishermen file protest against TEPCO over leaks
The head of a national federation of fisheries cooperatives has lodged a protest against the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant after revelations that contaminated groundwater has leaked into the sea.
Federation chief Hiroshi Kishi visited the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company on Thursday.
Kishi handed a letter of protest to TEPCO president Naomi Hirose. He said the federation has repeatedly asked the utility to ensure that no radioactive water reaches the sea. He accused TEPCO of betraying fishermen's trust.
Kishi demanded that TEPCO outlines how it will contain tainted water accumulating in the complex. He said TEPCO must take immediate measures to stop the water leaking into the sea.
He also urged the power company to increase its monitoring for radioactive substances in waters near the plant.Hirose said he would work to comply with the requests.
A representative of a fisheries cooperative in Fukushima accompanied Kishi. He said he wants TEPCO to know that the leaks of radioactive water are the worst mistake since the nuclear accident.
High concentrations of radioactive substances have been detected in monitoring wells near the shore at the plant as well as in adjacent waters. TEPCO admitted the leaks on Monday.


July 27, 2013 NHK world news

Water in plant's tunnel still highly contaminated
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says contaminated water found in one of the plant's tunnels is as highly radioactive as the water that leaked into the sea in April 2011, soon after the accident.
Highly radioactive substances have been detected in coastal observation wells on the plant's premises and in nearby seawater since May of this year.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, admitted that contaminated water was leaking into the sea but has not been able to identify its source.
The firm says 2.35 billion becquerels of cesium per liter was detected in samples collected on Friday in a tunnel located near the plant's Number 2 reactor and 50 meters from the coast.
Contaminated water with a similar level of radioactivity leaked into the sea in April 2011, soon after the nuclear accident.
The utility says contaminated water that accumulated after the accident is believed to have remained in the tunnel.
The company says there may be other causes, but that it has not been able to identify them.
TEPCO plans to continue to measure the concentration and level of contaminated water in coastal tunnels near the Number 2 and 3 reactors.
It also intends to take measures to reduce the amount of contaminated water and prevent it from leaking into the sea.


August 8, 2013 NHK world news

300 tons of nuclear water leaks to sea daily
Japan's industry ministry estimates that about 300 tons of radiation-tainted water leaks from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea daily.
The ministry says some 1,000 tons of groundwater flows from a mountainside into the plant premises every day.
Of the volume, 300 tons is tainted with radioactive substances when it flows through an area near wells before leaking into the sea. High levels of radioactive materials have been detected in the wells.
Some 400 of the remaining 700 tons flows into the basements of the plant's No.1 to No.4 reactor buildings. 300 tons of untainted water flows into the sea.
The plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Company has been solidifying an embankment of ground at the plant to prevent contaminated water leakage into the sea.
It is also paving the ground surface with asphalt to keep out rainwater.
The ministry expects some 60 tons of tainted water to continue leaking into the sea even after these steps.
It says the figures are based on water table data offered by the utility, not detailed analyses of various data.
The ministry also says it cannot rule out the possibility that contaminated groundwater started leaking into the sea just after the nuclear accident at the plant.

Govt. considers financing nuclear water-leak work
The Japanese government is considering a plan to fund efforts being made by the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to contain radioactive groundwater from leaking into the sea.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday that the government should support the efforts being made by Tokyo Electric Power Company.
TEPCO has been trying to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the sea by solidifying an embankment on the grounds of the plant.
But the utility discovered last week that water was likely spilling over the top of the hardened soil.
Suga said TEPCO has now decided to create an underground wall that surrounds the crippled reactors and prevents contaminated groundwater from leaking.
He added the government needs to think about helping the company pay for the project, as building such a large underground wall for damming water is unprecedented.
The walls will be made by freezing the soil around the reactor buildings.
Suga said the industry ministry is studying the costs of the project. He said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will instruct industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi to quickly deal with the matter at a meeting of government officials on the nuclear disaster.

Levels of radioactive substance on seabed surveyed
Researchers say the concentration levels of a radioactive substance are very high in the seabed near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that had an accident in 2011.
The researchers are from the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science. They spent a year, ending in July, measuring the concentration levels of radioactive cesium 137 in the mud in the seabed for 400 kilometers off Fukushima Prefecture.
They found that within 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant the radioactive cesium levels at 40 locations were more than 5 times the surrounding areas.
The researchers explain that these locations coincide with dips in the seabed.
They also say radioactive cesium levels near the mouth of the Abukuma River in Miyagi Prefecture, about 70 kilometers from the plant, were more than twice those of surrounding areas.
Researchers note radioactive cesium discharged by the nuclear plant disaster probably flowed into the river and was carried into the sea.
Project Associate Professor Blair Thornton at the Institute of Industrial Science says the researchers have been able to identify places where radioactive substances are likely to build up.

TEPCO to pump out contaminated groundwater

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will start pumping out contaminated groundwater in an attempt to stop it from leaking into the ocean.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will begin work on Friday.
The company has been solidifying an embankment to prevent groundwater from leaking into the ocean. But there are concerns that the level of tainted groundwater has already overflowed the embankment.
The company says it will bore a small-scale well near the embankment and then pump out contaminated water in an effort to lower the water level.
The utility says it will then sink nearly 30 pipes measuring 5 meters long into the ground along the embankment and pump out groundwater from them as well starting next week.
It hopes to drain 100 tons of water per day.
Industry ministry officials said on Wednesday that 300 tons of tainted water is estimated to be leaking into the ocean daily.
TEPCO says it still does not know the exact amount of water that is leaking.
The utility has also failed so far to identify the cause of a recent surge in the radiation levels of groundwater in a well in the plant. The well was newly built near an underground tunnel where highly radioactive water had collected.
A government panel will meet on Thursday to discuss how best to deal with the contaminated groundwater.


August 10, 2013 NHK world news

- - - - - TEPCO knew about water flow two years ago 
A spokesperson for Tokyo Electric Power Company says the company has known for the past 2 years that a massive amount of groundwater was flowing beneath the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Masayuki Ono said on Friday that TEPCO experts estimated hundreds of tons of the water could reach the ocean daily.
Ono said the estimate was based on rough records of groundwater that TEPCO workers had collected.
Until last month, TEPCO officials had denied the possibility that contaminated groundwater was leaking into the ocean.
Ono said he is unable to explain why it took two years to disclose this fact.


- - - - - the crisis deepens - I will stop adding more info now . . .

August 21, 2013 NHK world news

Leaking tank at Fukushima plant has no water gauge
The operator of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it may have failed to find a leak of radioactive wastewater from a tank because it lacks a water gauge.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, on Monday found a massive leak of highly contaminated wastewater from a tank near the No.4 reactor. Water had seeped outside the barrier around the tank.
The tank is 11 meters high and can store up to 1,000 tons of wastewater. TEPCO said the tank's water level had dropped nearly three meters. That means more than 300 tons had been lost.
The utility says the tank has no water gauge, so workers at the plant did not notice the leak until they saw water outside the barrier. The tank is one of about 350 at the plant made from steel plates and bolts. Four cases of leaks have been reported so far.
TEPCO officials say workers conduct patrols twice a day to check the tanks for possible leaks.
Tokyo Electric is trying to find the cause and location of the current leak. It will carry out emergency inspections on other tanks, and determine whether other tanks have water gauges.

TEPCO nuclear chief to be stationed in Fukushima

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will station its nuclear power chief near the facility to oversee its decommissioning process, particularly handling of radioactive water.
Tokyo Electric Power Company revealed last month that contaminated groundwater at the plant is seeping into the sea. This week, it said more than 300 tons of wastewater had leaked from a storage tank there.
On Wednesday, the utility said it will send Vice President Zengo Aizawa, who heads the firm's nuclear power division, to Fukushima Prefecture to take direct command of decommissioning efforts. It said the move is aimed at clarifying the chain of command and facilitating information sharing among TEPCO officials in charge.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Aizawa apologized for the utility's continuing to cause so much trouble and concern nearly 2 and a half years after the accident at the plant. He said he will tackle the water leaks as an issue of the highest priority.

NRA may raise Fukushima leak severity rating

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority may raise the severity rating of the latest contaminated-water leakage at the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant by 2 notches from its initial assessment.

Members of the NRA are discussing the matter at a meeting on Wednesday.
On Monday, highly radioactive water was found leaking from one of the tanks built on a hillside by the Number 4 reactor.
The NRA tentatively ranked the problem as level 1 on an 8-point international scale for nuclear accidents, which is the 2nd from the lowest.

But the authority is now considering raising the assessment to level 3, as it was found on Tuesday that more than 300 tons of contaminated water has been released from the tank.
The water is believed to contain thousands of trillions of becquerels of radioactive substances.
Level 3 incidents are the 5th highest on the international scale, and are classified as serious accidents.

In 1997, fire and explosions at a reprocessing plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture, caused radioactive materials to leak. Thirty-seven people were exposed to radiation. The incident was given a level 3 assessment.
The 1999 criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant, also in Tokai Village, was given a level 4 assessment.
The NRA plans to seek advice from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the current Fukushima leak assessment.

- - - - - the crisis deepens - I will stop adding more info now . . .

Please read the daily news at NHK here


The rest is in the COMMENTS.

For September 2013, there will be a new file about this ongoing crisis.

. - - - TEPCO - September 2013 - - - .

. TEPCO - problems since 2013 - .



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  1. Aug. 24, 2013 - NHK news
    TEPCO continues tank investigation

    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is investigating the leakage of radioactive water from a holding tank.

    Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Company estimate more than 300 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from a tank near the Number 4 reactor this month. Some of the water is believed to have drained into the ocean through a ditch.

    TEPCO officials said on Saturday the tank sank 20 centimeters into the ground in a test carried out in July, 2011.

    They said the sinking may have deformed or damaged the tank. They said they are investigating whether this has anything to do with the leak.

    However, they say workers disassembled the tank and reassembled it at the current site after a contractor confirmed that there were no problems with it.

    TEPCO officials say there are 2 other tanks that also sank during tests. No radioactive water has been found leaking from them but workers will nevertheless transfer the contaminated water to different tanks.

    The utility apologized on Saturday after it was discovered that a valve on a pipe connected to a barrier surrounding the tanks had been left open allowing the toxic water to flow out.

  2. Aug. 24, 2013 - NHK news

    Govt. to help stop radioactive water from leaking

    Japan's industry ministry is studying ways to help prevent further leakage of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    More than 300 tons of highly radioactive water was recently found to have leaked from a tank near the number 4 reactor. Some of the water may have drained into the ocean through a ditch.

    Some say lax inspections by the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Company led to the leak.
    Ministry officials are considering what the government can do to help TEPCO deal with the problem.

    The officials are also drawing up government-funded measures to stop contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea.
    They plan to create a water-shielding wall by freezing soil around the damaged reactor buildings, so groundwater will not flow in and become contaminated.

    Ministry officials will include the cost of the construction of the wall in their fiscal 2014 budget requests.
    They say they will carefully study the cost of the project and how much government funds should be used.

    Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi will inspect the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Monday.

  3. NHK world News 0 August 27

    Regulator orders mandatory nuclear safety checks

    Japan's nuclear regulator will make it mandatory for plant operators to regularly test their facilities for resistance against earthquakes and tsunami.

    The move means utilities will be legally obliged to carry out so-called stress tests on plants and fuel facilities using computer analysis every 5 years. The Nuclear Regulation Authority agreed on the measure on Monday.

    The operators will also be required to calculate the probability of severe accidents, like the one at Fukushima Daiichi.

    After Fukushima, the government ordered idled nuclear plants to undergo stress tests before they could go back online. The latest move for the first time legalizes those tests for both operating and idled plants.

    The regulator plans to introduce the new measures by December after listening to public opinion.

  4. NHK world news

    TEPCO: High radiation found on other side of tank

    The operator of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says radioactive water may have flowed out of a leaking storage tank in 2 opposite directions.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company found on Monday last week that more than 300 tons of highly radioactive wastewater had leaked from one of its storage tanks.

    The utility said at the time that the water seeped out of a low barrier around the tanks through an open rainwater drainage valve on the northeastern side.

    The company now says workers detected last Thursday a radiation level of 16 millisieverts per hour near an open valve on the southern side as well. The reading was higher than in nearby areas.

    TEPCO officials fear contaminated water may have come out from this valve as well. They've decided to remove soil from a wider area as the runoff may have seeped into the ground.

    The utility still doesn't know the cause of the leakage or the extent of contamination. Officials suspect some of the water may have flowed into the ocean through a drainage ditch.

    Aug. 27, 2013

  5. NHK world news

    Storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in Aomori

    A company that's building a temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel has opened the construction site to media.

    The Recyclable-Fuel Storage Company has been constructing Japan's first spent fuel storage facility in Mutsu City in the northern prefecture of Aomori since 2010. The facility is designed to keep spent fuel rods for a maximum of 50 years.

    One of the 2 buildings at the site is now almost complete after work was suspended following the March 2011 disaster.

    Media was allowed on Monday to see the inside of the 28-meter-tall, reinforced-concrete building. The one-story structure can store 3,000 tons of spend nuclear fuel in floor space of about 8,000 square meters.

    Spent fuel rods will be transported into the building after being sealed in containers that prevent fission chain reaction and radiation leakage. The containers will then be fixed with bolts to the floor.

    It has yet to be decided when operations will start at the facility as the structure must now meet new government guidelines that go into effect in December.

    A senior official of the facility operator says the company wants to proceed with preparations necessary to comply with the new guidelines.

    Aug. 26, 2013

  6. NHK world news

    TEPCO sets up task force for water leaks

    Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will set up a task force to manage radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    TEPCO President Naomi Hirose told reporters on Monday that he will directly oversee the task force. He called the leaks an urgent and pressing issue for the utility.

    The task force will have 8 teams at the company headquarters in Tokyo, and 4 at the crippled plant.

    The teams will include officials from company divisions. A leader will gather information from all teams, and address potential risks.
    TEPCO has been criticized for mishandling problems because of insufficient information-sharing between divisions.

    The utility will invite Japanese and foreign experts as technical advisors for the task force. Vice President and nuclear division chief, Zengo Aizawa, will be stationed in Fukushima.
    TEPCO also announced measures to prevent leaks of radioactive wastewater from storage tanks.

    TEPCO says the leaks may have come from open valves connected to barriers surrounding the tanks. The company says the valves will be closed from now.

    The company will also install water gauges on all tanks.
    In addition, tanks with bolted plates will be replaced with those more resistant to leaks.

    Aug. 26, 2013

  7. NHK world news

    TEPCO: Tank leak investigation will take weeks

    Tokyo Electric Power Company has hinted that it will take weeks to find out why radioactive wastewater leaked from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
    TEPCO presented a plan to investigate the problem to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Tuesday.

    About 300 tons of highly contaminated water leaked from the storage tank and it is feared that some of this seeped into the ocean.
    TEPCO officials said possible causes of the leak include loose joints, deteriorated parts and corrosion at the bottom or sides of the tank.

    The officials said radiation levels in the tank are high, and they plan to remove radioactive materials in the coming week to enable investigators to go inside and check the cause of the leak. The plant operator will then dismantle the tank for further checks.
    Nuclear regulators told TEPCO to speed up its investigation. They said if the cause is a problem that could occur in the same type of container, measures must be taken for all of the roughly 300 tanks at the plant.

    Aug. 27, 2013

  8. NHK - World News

    Fukushima Daiichi leak raised to level 3 severity

    Japan's nuclear regulators have raised the level of severity of the radioactive water leak from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is now a level-3 serious incident.
    The revision from level 1 is based on estimates of the volume of radioactive substances leaked.

    The leak was found earlier this month at one of the tanks storing highly radioactive water. The plant operator estimates 300 tons of contaminated water flowed out of the tank and through a ditch into the sea.
    Officials at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday ranked the incident 2 notches higher on the international scale of nuclear and radiological events.

    The scale is from zero to 7 and grades nuclear events ranging from no significant safety threat to a major accident.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency supports the revision. They say the tank leak can be assessed separately from the Fukushima Daiichi crisis as a level 3 incident. The crisis overall has been ranked as a level-7 major accident.

    Japanese experienced a level-3 nuclear event in 1997 with the fire and explosions at a fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture. 37 workers there were exposed to the leaked radioactive substances.

    Aug. 28, 2013

  9. NHK world news

    Fukushima governor urges govt. to address leakage

    The governor of Fukushima Prefecture has asked the central government to take the lead in dealing with the seemingly endless problems of water leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

    Highly radioactive groundwater has been found to be seeping out to sea from the plant. This month, more than 300 tons of contaminated wastewater was revealed to have leaked from a storage tank. Some of it may have reached the ocean.

    Governor Yuhei Sato visited the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Tokyo on Wednesday.

    Fukushima fishermen halt test fishing over leaks

    Fishermen have decided to suspend test fishing off Fukushima Prefecture due to radioactive water leaks from a nearby damaged nuclear plant.

    The decision was made on Wednesday at a meeting of about 60 representatives of 6 local fishery groups.

    A senior executive of the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, apologized for the repeated leaks of tainted water into the sea.

    Local fishermen started test fishing off Soma, in the prefecture's north, in June last year to check radiation levels. The testing was aimed at a resumption of commercial fishing, which was halted after the 2011 nuclear crisis at the plant.

    But the fishermen now say investigations into the leaks are still underway and countermeasures have yet to be taken. They concluded that convincing consumers of the safety of fish from the area would be difficult.

    Fishermen also planned to start test fishing off Iwaki, in the prefecture's south, next month. Participants at the meeting decided to postpone such testing for the same reason.

    The representatives agreed to decide when to resume or start test fishing after assessing the leaks' effects until at least mid-September. They say they'll also consider radioactivity levels of local marine products.

    Prefectural fisheries federation head Tetsu Nozaki expressed regret that a setback in cleanup work after the accident has hindered consumer understanding.

    Aug. 28, 2013

  10. NHK world news

    Abe: government will resolve tainted water crisis

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he intends to spearhead efforts to contain leakage of highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    He acknowledged the need for the state to deal with the crisis at the plant, hit by a nuclear disaster in March 2011. He said it cannot leave it up to its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company.

    Abe disclosed that he had instructed the industry minister and the head of the state's Nuclear Regulation Authority to look into why massive amounts of contaminated water had leaked from a storage tank earlier this month.
    Some of the water may have seeped into the Pacific Ocean.
    Abe also said the industry minister has begun drawing up responses to deal with the contaminated water.
    The prime minister pledged to be open about its plans both domestically and abroad.

    Aug. 28, 2013

  11. TEPCO in September 2013

    starting with August 29 . . .


  12. TEPCO told to watch out for more tank leaks

    Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has warned the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant that more storage tanks could be leaking radioactive water.

    On August 19th, Tokyo Electric Power Company discovered that about 300 tons of highly radioactive wastewater had leaked from a tank. Company officials said some of the water could have reached the sea through a ditch.

    TEPCO officials told an NRA working group session on Friday that radioactive readings inside the ditch have been rising since August 27th. They said higher concentrations of strontium and other beta-ray emitting substances have been found in recent water samples taken from the ditch.

    NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa said the ditch may have collected more spilled radioactive materials as a result of rainfall. But he did not rule out the possibility of more leaks from other tanks. He urged TEPCO to strengthen its monitoring.

    TEPCO officials also reported a plunge in levels of chlorine and radioactive material inside a utility tunnel after work began to pump out densely contaminated water.

    NRA officials said the readings probably dropped when low-chlorine groundwater flowed into the tunnel. They said this also means tainted water from the tunnel could have been seeping into soil and mixing with groundwater.

    Large volumes of contaminated groundwater are likely to be flowing from the nuclear plant premises into the ocean every day.

    Aug. 30, 2013