Tank Leak At Daiichi; More Failures To Come, Direct Route To The Sea

TEPCO reported a leaking tank yesterday that initially sounded like nothing new. They have had minor leaks in these tanks and others before.

This tank leak is larger, 300 of the 1000 tons from the tank has leaked. The water leaking out is highly contaminated with readings as high as 96 mSv/h of just beta radiation, this doesn’t include any gamma readings. The water itself read 80 million bq/liter. TEPCO now reports that it was the gasket of the bolt together tank that failed. There have been other instances of these gaskets leaking but in smaller amounts. TEPCO claims that workers check these tanks for leaks twice a day.

The used tanks, about 300 of them, have an estimated 5 year life span for the gaskets and bolts. Many of the tanks already have two years of use on them. These leaks could be the start of failures in these tanks. As seen in the ALPS system, the contaminated water has had a very corrosive impact on storage systems. As these tanks begin to fail TEPCO will have to install replacement tanks and transfer water. This will require even more land and manpower.

The even bigger risk is that TEPCO placed these tanks on either side of an existing rainwater drainage canal that runs directly to the sea. The NRA has asked TEPCO to verify if contaminated water has already made its way to this canal.The location of these tanks that are expected to fail soon, along a drainage canal that leads to the sea is not good news and could end up as another future emergency. The governor of Fukushima has also urged that more be done to determine the full extent of these leaks and that something be done now to prevent further releases to the environment.

Where the water has leaked so far is in an open area that vehicles are allowed to drive through. It is not clear if these high radiation water leaks have had anything to do with the rising radiation levels at the plant yesterday.

These revelations are just a week after it was admitted the plant is leaking to the sea and has been doing so since the start of the disaster. New high radiation leaks near the port were also admitted last week. Now this week a new pending emergency of impending tank failures with a direct route to the sea.

UPDATE: Our research team discovered a oddity in TEPCO’s reporting. They cite that a worker saw water leaking out of the tank dam, then closed the valve. TEPCO admitted this valve had been opened at some point to relieve rainwater. TEPCO apparently left valves open routinely to drain rainwater, effectively defeating the leak dams. If someone were to have seen the water behind the dam and opened the valve assuming it to be rainwater, their personal radiation alarm would have had to have been going off. This would have alerted the workers that it wasn’t rainwater they were about to let out.

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