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In my post 37 centimeters of concrete it was speculated that things are still looking good because containment has held.

Today we find that contaminated water has leaked from the facility and it is unknown whether that contamination has reached the ocean.

(CNN) -- Workers at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility have discovered a leak of 45 metric tons of radioactive water, operator Tokyo Electric Power Company said in a statement Monday.

It's unclear whether the contaminated water reached the Pacific Ocean.

The water was found Sunday morning inside a barrier around an evaporative condensation apparatus, which is used to purify sea water used at the plant to cool reactors damaged in the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March.

TEPCO said it was able to stop the leak by stacking sandbags around a crack found in a concrete barrier around the condensation unit. The company said the sea water around the drain had a slightly higher level of a radioactive substance -- cesium 137 -- than usual. TEPCO said it is still working to see how much contaminated water may have reached the ocean.

I reiterate that we need to focus on wind, wave, and solar instead of throwing money away to these money pits that do double duty destroying our living space.

H/T to davidwalters:

Apparently the leek has been repaired. 45 cubic metres is a huge puddle. 11887 gallons. A little bigger and it could be the average in ground swimming pool.

A puddle of around 45 cubic metres of water was discovered inside a containment barrier around the evaporative condensation apparatus on 4 December. The apparatus is used to desalinate concentrated salt water produced during the treatment of radioactively contaminated water. Treated water is then re-used for cooling the stricken reactors at the site.

Subsequent investigations revealed a crack in the concrete barrier through which water was leaking into a gutter. The leak was stopped with sandbags, and the water that had accumulated inside the barrier was transferred by pump to a waste liquid storage tank.

The gutter into which the water had leaked is connected to the power station's central drainage channel. Plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) reports that water samples taken from the water channel near the desalination apparatus and also at the seaward end of the drain returned radionuclide analyses that were similar to "or slightly higher" than previous readings, although samples taken the following day showed levels no different to those recorded before the leak.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Leak is fixed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, bryfry

    here.

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:33:46 AM PST

  •  I suspect there will be many more "leaks" (7+ / 0-)

    of stories about leaks from the secretive nuclear industry.

    Investing more in renewables can be contagious...

    Solar Power is contagious, Study finds

  •  What happened to all the suspicion of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, citisven

    criticality underground?

    This leak is not the first... and I suspect not the last.

     Working at Fukushima is probably one of the most dangerous jobs on earth right now.

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:46:51 AM PST

    •  well... (6+ / 0-)

      Here's some answer to my questions...

      Since the March 11 disaster, the utility has reported several leaks of radiated water into the sea, though its estimates of their size have been disputed. In October, a French nuclear research institute said the Fukushima plant was responsible for the biggest discharge of radioactive material into the ocean in history.
      /
      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:06:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "criticallity/China Syndrome" was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry

        simply put out there to sow fear and uncertainty. To keep people on edge and perhaps to garner a few more stress induced deaths (not on purpose, mind you but the inevitable results).

        No China Syndrome and all breaches were out of the RCV not the full containment building.

        Read the Bloomberg story fully and long with our sources.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:28:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  From the Guardian's coverage: (6+ / 0-)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    ...[Tepco] said as much as 45 tonnes of water had leaked ...

    Experts believe the water could contain high levels of strontium-90, a beta-emitting radioactive substance that, if ingested, can cause bone cancer.

    Public broadcaster NHK reported that although caesium levels in the leaked water were low, it could contain up to 130,000 becquerels per cubic centimetre of strontium, which has a half-life of 29 years.

    "130,000 bq/per cubic centimetre." A cubic centimetre translates to 1 gram. I'm assuming these 45 tons are metric (the report being in a British paper), so that's the same as 45,000,000 g.

    130,000 bq/cc would then be 5,850,000,000,000 bq/the whole lot. 5.85 Trillion bq.

    Of course, this is just the one leak.

    I hope someone with the information can tell us how big a pile of bananas you'd need to equal that. But I don't think bananas and strontium-90 happen together.


    "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

    by Jim P on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:45:37 PM PST

    •  Thanks for mentioning (6+ / 0-)

      that, Jim. I just finished a diary about this massive strontium leak - which is being reported in lots of media by virtue of a TEPCO press release, saw this while checking to see if it had been reported yet. Think I'll still post it because CNN is the only major media out there I've seen that is NOT reporting the actual meat of this story.

    •  Let's see ... (0+ / 0-)

      This water was "leaked" into a gutter inside a containment barrier, where it was discovered and pumped into a waste liquid storage tank.

      Big deal.

      But since you like counting becquerels and this diary is apparently so concerned about the Pacific Ocean, perhaps I should point out that the Pacific Ocean already contains over 8 billion trillion becquerels (8 EBq) of radioactive material already.

      How's that for large numbers? Perhaps you can tell me what 8 billion plus 5 equals? ;-)

      Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
      -- Albert Einstein

      by bryfry on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:59:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you think the instant this stuff dumps (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Sandino

        into the water off Fukushima it gets distributed evenly throughout all the oceans on earth? Or is that what you'd wish people would think?

        Why is the Japanese fishing industry suffering then?

        Do you know what "additive effects" means? Here's a surprise for you: if you eat a banana, take a chest x-ray, and then jet 1,000 miles, and THEN ingest strontium-90, say from fish which ingested some, believe it or not, that doesn't mean you have less risk than you did before. No, really!

        I know: radiation added to other radiation means more radiation... must seem incomprehensible to you.


        "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

        by Jim P on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 04:15:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey ... (0+ / 0-)

          You felt the need to take the maximum values in your estimate.

          Why shouldn't I be able to do the same?

          Once this water is released out into the ocean, to you think that it will continue to sit there with a concentration of "up to 130,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter"?

          A more reasonable estimate follows:

          Even if we use your upper estimates and assume that all of this water makes it to the Pacific Ocean, it's still flowing into a huge body of water. Big deal.

          Even if we assume that it all flows into a smaller body of water, say Tokyo Bay (volume ~14.4 billion m3), and even if we assume that (due to currents or whatever) this radioactive water can dilute into only a small portion of this bay, say only 5%, then the specific activity of would be reduced to 8 Bq/liter through this dilution.

          To put this in perspective, let me point out that this is less radioactive than Sapporo beer, which has a specific activity of about 15 Bq/liter due to naturally occurring radioactive materials.

          Then again, people (like me) willingly drink Sapporo. Nobody drinks water straight from the ocean.

          Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
          -- Albert Einstein

          by bryfry on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 05:03:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No but what it will do because it is cumulative is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie, Sandino

            work its way up the food chain to the fish we do eat like tuna.

            Once this water is released out into the ocean, to you think that it will continue to sit there with a concentration of "up to 130,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter"?

            Cumulative- Your exposure increases yet never decreases. The issue is that it is there at all.

            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 05:39:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Eat many tuna bones, do you? (0+ / 0-)

              Strontium mimics calcium within the body. Thus, any of this element that doesn't immediately pass out of the body (about 60-70% of it is never absorbed) tends to go to the skeleton; although even there it is not effectively retained, with much of it still eventually passing out. What little remains is pretty much exclusively found in the bones.

              Thus, if you're getting a significant amount of strontium from the "food chain," then you must be eating a lot of fish bones.

              Sorry to rain on your little parade with a bit of biology, but it's clear to me that your understanding of radiation and exposure pathways is almost nonexistent.

              Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
              -- Albert Einstein

              by bryfry on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:06:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Well, small leaks like that are hard to notice. (6+ / 0-)

    You don't quite twist the bathroom faucet all the way, and before you know it, there's another 45 metric tons of water on next month's water bill.

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