The crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached an undesired milestone on March 18: Storage tanks at the site now contain more than 1 million tons of radiation-contaminated water. The announcement by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., came as the utility and the central government continue to weigh water-disposal methods while hearing the concerns of fishermen who fear for their livelihoods. Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has repeatedly said a decision must be made soon on how to deal with the contaminated water. “We are entering a period in which further delays in deciding what measure to implement will no longer be tolerable,” Fuketa recently said. The government has spent about 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) to build a frozen underground earth wall around the three reactor buildings to divert the groundwater to the ocean. The “ice wall” has cut down the flow of groundwater, which at one time reached about 500 tons a day. But still, groundwater continues to flow into the three reactor buildings at a rate of about 100 tons daily.
Asahi 19th March 2019 read more »