The publication by Reuters on August 5, 2013 of a news report about the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (read) has revived questions concerning the management of the contaminated water on the site of Fukushima-Daiichi.
For IRSN, there was no sudden aggravation of the situation in recent days, but statements by the authority present at the site reminding the operator TEPCO of the need to put in place as quickly as possible corrective actions regarding the diffuse contamination of the Pacific Ocean.
Volumes of contaminated water at the site are estimated at several hundreds of thousands of cubic meter. The natural phenomena that led to the accident that affected TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011 also led to flooding of the site leading to an accumulation of water in the basements of the power plant buildings. Furthermore, since the accident, the water used to cool the damaged cores of the reactors has been flowing into the basements of the buildings from where it is pumped in order to be re-used, after treatment, to cool the reactors.
However, the galleries below the plant are not completely sealed; there is a suspicion of contamination of groundwater. Tepco is trying to strengthen the leak tightness of the ground by injection of sealing products and by creating a first barrier between the facilities and the ocean (expected to be completed by mid-2014).
For more information on the situation, download the information notes by IRSN:
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident: Management of contaminated water from the damaged reactors (PDF)
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident: Contamination of the ground between the damaged reactors and the Pacific Ocean (PDF)