Japan Prepares To Release Thousands Of Tons Of Fukushima Groundwater Into The Pacific

Tyler Durden's picture

A few days ago, with over a three year delay, Japan finally admitted what was clear to most from day one: the consequences of the Fukushima disaster have been far, far worse than officials had reported, and not only is the containment effort out of control, but that more nuclear fuel had melted at the Fukushima nuclear reactor than previously reported, suggesting that neither TEPCO nor the government have had any success in mitigating what is now the worst - and ongoing - nuclear disaster in history.

So now, perhaps to celebrate its truth-telling ways, TEPCO has announced that it is planning to release thousands of tons of radioactive groundwater from the Fukushima disaster site into the ocean. Actually scratch that: officially the water dumped into the Pacific will be "decontaminated", because TEPCO has that rare habit of "telling the truth." It will also do so only after getting permission from local fishermen, who apparently have a choice: whether to catch five-eyed tuna after giving TEPCO "yes" for an answer, or merely catching five-eyed tuna, period.

As NHK confirms, TEPCO "is seeking approval from fishermen to discharge decontaminated ground water into the ocean."

The spin: dumping "decontaminated" water into the ocean is an improvement because Fukushima is already leaking some 200 tons of contaminated ground water per day into the ocean. So why not slap a "treated" sticker on the water and just dump it all. It's not as if the idiotic plan lifted straight from Game of Thrones, which Japan came up with last year to encase Fukushima in a frozen sarcophagus had any chance of working. So now it is straight to what anyone with a functioning frontal lobe said would happen anyway: thousands if not millions of tons of radioactive water will enter the Pacific anyway. Only this time TEPCO is at least pretending to care about the truth and/or the environment.

More from NHK:

Highly radioactive water at the plant is seeping into the earth and mixing with ground water. Experts estimate around 200 tons of contaminated ground water are leaking into the ocean each day.


Engineers with Tokyo Electric Power Company are building an iron barrier along a coastal embankment in a bid to contain the problem.


TEPCO officials say they plan to pump the water and remove radioactive substances using a decontamination system they are building. They say the barrier and the decontamination system will be in place in September. But they have limited capacity in storage tanks at the plant, and want to discharge the decontaminated water into the ocean.

In other words, to avoid dumping radioactive water into the Pacific, Japan has to... dump radioactive water into the Pacific. Brilliant.

The officials say they explained the plan to the Fukushima prefectural fisheries association, and they will seek approval from the local fisheries cooperative.

And if the fishermen say no, because guess what: selling glow in the dark toro tartare just happens to cut into the radioactive top and bottom-line, well... tough.

They say they also want to decontaminate ground water collected at wells near reactor buildings before releasing it into the ocean. They will apply to the government to build drainage pipes and other facilities to do so.

But the officials say they will not go ahead without the consent of the fishermen. They say their plan is an improvement on the current situation, as contaminated water is spilling directly into the ocean.

So to summarize: TEPCO will politely ask the local fishermen if it is allowed to dump thousands of tons of "decontaminated" radioactive water into the ocean, and if it doesn't get the green light, it will continue to dump thousands of tons of contaminated radioactive water into the ocean.

Surely some Keynesian professor in some radioactive Tokyo ivory tower has found a way that this idiocy will add to GDP.

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TeamDepends's picture

It's for the children.  But not the fish children.

knukles's picture

No more MGS for you, bitchez.
The whole fucking world has gone absolutely mad

Ineverslice's picture


I remember when fish was good for you.....Cesium and methane taking it's toll.


NoDebt's picture

Where are the environmentalists screaming about this?  Where's Al Gore?

Try to alter the path of drainage ditch in Texas and they're all over your ass.

But not a damned peep about this.  ZH is one of the only places I've seen continuing coverage of the ongoing AND WORSENING Fukushima disaster.

Stuck on Zero's picture

There is a certain insanity to pumping radioactivity out of the ground into the ocean.  It's like pumping arsenic contaminated water out of the ground into the ocean.  Why?


ZerOhead's picture
"TEPCO officials say...  But they have limited capacity in storage tanks at the plant, and want to discharge the decontaminated water into the ocean."

Can anybody here think of an alternative solution?

zerozulu's picture





but why every one else too?

smlbizman's picture

second biggest pur water filter ive ever seen.....

Elvis the Pelvis's picture

Radiation sure beats Ebola.  I try to look on the bright side.  Bitchez.

Taku's picture

Irradiated ebola

BTW, someone awesome - please graph a visualization how many times and how much Tepco is dumping and lying and getting away with it.

N2OJoe's picture

@ZerOhead: Uhh, shut the whole thing down and send the nuke fuel to a storage site somewhere else? What do they do with all that fuel elsewhere when they are waiting to use it?

Scarlett's picture

So what is the trade here?  How do I make the bernankes?

random999's picture

long geiger counters mate.

zhandax's picture

SEP Iodine calls.  Load the boat!

Manthong's picture

long half-life..

short whole life.

maybe they need a very long 3 meter pipe and some pumps  to discharge that stuff to the west. 

Salsipuedes's picture

Ask our masters. Same as their masters.

weburke's picture

wave made by bomb, explosions at plant made by bombs. notice the fuke explosions smoke signitures. mininukes. 

Manthong's picture

..thank God for that news.. the radiation will scrub the Ebola after the Ebola scrubs the hosts.

..the earth will be good..  sayonara.........

OK, so much for the black humor.. speaking of black humor..

 Obamabola-Care will fix all of this. 

max2205's picture

Remember the good old days when mercury was the bad guy.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

It's under control.

I trust them.

If this were significant we would be hearing about it on the TV news not crazy internet blogs.

zhandax's picture

Will someone please tell me they will at least strain it through a couple of coffee filters?  A handkerchief?  A pair of panty hose?  Anything?  Not that it will do any better than just lying about it.

Number 156's picture


'Ive got a cunning plan'.

g speed's picture

bottle it--sell it to the public school system in Japan and let the little kidneys filter it---Its a win win for TEPCO  --no more radioactive water to deal with and the fishermans assoc., I'm sure, will approve the plan---

ZerOhead's picture

No no no and NO... the answer is MORE STORAGE TANKS

Geeesh... You guys should work for TEPCO. Clearly you would be top executive material over there...

Manthong's picture

OK.. OK.. there has got to be some kind of good marketing hook over there with the giant mutant tuna angle. 

kinda like the sexy man buys JGBs thing..

ThroxxOfVron's picture

NO.  The answer is to send in:

1. the politicians that approved the building of Fukushima.

2. the regulators that proclaimed it safe.

3. the bankers and businessmen that made enormous profits designing and building the doomed facility.

4. the TEPCO executives and board that lobbied for and reaped profits from the peroid where the true costs of the plant were hidden, obscured and/or denied.  The Fukushima plant was/is in fact a giant negative sum gain extractive project: the 'profits' that were taken by everyone down the chain were fantom accountings based on a brief utility that is now followed by the inevitable damage and costs that are multiples of the aggregate of those phony 'profits'.

Send those people physically into the plant that profited so mightily from it.  The bill is due for their malfeasance.  It's time for them to take their proper place and do the job of mitigating the disaster until their are fully expended.

Environmental hazards of such magnitude are unacceptable prices to pay for the enrichment of a minority.   


The oceans must cease to be utilized to secretly dispose of wastes whether they be from agriculture, manufacturing, energy production, or any other activity.


...& by the way: do some reasearch on what the French are doing with large amounts of the waste effluvent from their nuclear industry and related sub-industries.

FreedomGuy's picture

Don't take it personally. Just go with the humor. It is better natured on this thread than most.

Buck Johnson's picture

First of all how do they decontaminate water?  I've always wondered how that is possible.  And two there is no solution, that is the solution.  You see the reason why most of the world and govt. are ignoring this in the media is because they already know that this is a catastrophe of epic proportions and for one Japan will become an unliveable island forever and a day.  And two, our ocean wildlife is going to be contaminated and not edible for food.

prmths2's picture

Ion exchange resins for solutes; not much to be done using off-the-shelf technology for tritiated water.

ZerOhead's picture

It may be good but it sounds expensive... I don't think it will fly.

Do you have something that sounds cheaper?

man of Wool's picture

Distillation. Expensive. Need another power station tp boil the water.

man of Wool's picture

Distillation. Expensive. Need another power station to boil the water.

Matt's picture

Genetically modify Giant Pacific Kelp to use Melanin instead of Chlorophyll, so it is radiotropic instead of phototropic. The Kelp will thrive on and absorb the radioactive material to help it grow faster. Then just harvest the Black Kelp, dry it, and put it in an old mine or gravel pit somewhere.

prmths2's picture

Ion exchange resins are used in the initial production of uranium through in situ extraction and in the processing of high level nuclear waste. Whether it is "cheap" or "expensive" for treating low level waste depends upon the cost/benefit analysis that is applied to the alternatives available, including dilution by dumping it into the ocean.

Abitdodgie's picture

decontaminate , just put the water in big tanks and let the radiation settle to the bottom of the tank and you can drain the rest of , like making home brew its easy.

Matt's picture

How long does it take without any disturbance for water with a tritium atom to settle down? Will a 5.0 Earthquake undo the progress? 400 cubic meters of water per day seems like you're going to need a lot of storage tanks.

peter4805's picture

Rent a super tanker park it off shore and pump the water into it. It would take a long, long time to fill one of those.

ZerOhead's picture

Exzcellent idea. Now add the dillution solution.

Baltic dry tanker rates are low... perhaps the Indian ocean is in need of some cesium and strontium enrichment?

zhandax's picture

There has to be a desert somewhere where an experimental irrigation project would be welcome.

BeansMcGreens's picture

Then when full cruise by Somalia.

Pirate leader 'Why be no one provide ransom allah be praised'?

First Mate 'Don't know boss man, by way your beard dont look so good'.

Matt's picture

"Rent a super tanker park it off shore and pump the water into it. It would take a long, long time to fill one of those."

About 120 days at 400 tons per day, not counting existing backlog. How much is a tanker worth?

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

raise the limit determining 'contaminated' and voila....problem solved.