Fukushima update: cooling water disaster

On Friday 18th June 2011 the long awaited cooling water decontamination system went into operation. It is designed by AVEA of France and can decontaminate 1200 tons of water a day. Water from inside the reactor cooling system is pumped through a filter which removes cesium isotopes. Then this water can be used again for cooling and replaces the need for fresh water.

Estimates calculated that the system can run for about 400 to 500 hours, then the filter is saturated and needs to be replaced. The system run for 5 hours on Friday before reaching the saturation point.

They have obviously miscalculated the amount of isotopes caused by a melted down reactor. There never was a melted down reactor before, so all calculations are based on theory. The same theories predicted that tea plantations at a distance of 370 kilometers cannot become contaminated.

Now there are more than 100.000 tons of contaminated water and 500 tons of fresh water added daily. Nowhere to store and some 10.000 tons have been spilled already contaminating ground water and the sea.

Here is the official NHK report which puts the emphasis on “experiment to determine the rapid rise of radioactivity”. Perhaps they may even find that a melted down reactor is the cause:

TEPCO races to restore decontamination system

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been working to restore a water decontamination system that had to be shut down after a brief operation on Friday.

The operator conducted a more than 4-hour long experiment on Sunday night to determine the cause of a rapid rise of radioactivity in the system.

On Friday the utility put the equipment into full operation to remove radioactive materials from the highly contaminated water accumulated in the plant.

However, the operation was stopped after about 5 hours as the radiation level in a part of system that removes oil and sludge rose more rapidly than expected.

TEPCO says greater than anticipated amounts of radioactive substances flowing into the system may be the cause of the trouble.

The company investigated the system’s ability to absorb radioactive substances on Sunday. After examining the results on Monday, TEPCO may add more equipment to remove oil or lower the amount of water flowing into the system.

Contaminated water is increasing by 500 tons a day as fresh water is continuously being injected into the reactors to cool them down.

The storage facilities for the contaminated water are filling up and a delay in restarting the system could cause the water to overflow in about a week.

TEPCO is planning to reduce the injection of the fresh water.

It wants to start full operations of the water decontamination system, but troubles such as water leakage have been blocking the way.

Monday, June 20, 2011 05:53 +0900 (JST)

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