Fukushima Groundwater Radiation Level Jumps Several Dozen Times In One Week, More Measurement Devices "Fail"

TEPCO continues to be stuck between a rock and a liquid place. Following recent efforts to stop the spillage of radioactive water into the ocean, the pseudo-nationalized utility is now experiencing the aftermath of radioactive water retention. From Kyodo: "The concentration levels of radioactive iodine and cesium in groundwater near the troubled Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have increased up to several dozen times in one week, suggesting that toxic water has seeped from nearby reactor turbine buildings or elsewhere, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday. According to the latest findings, a groundwater sample taken April 6 near the No. 1 reactor turbine building showed radioactive iodine-131 of 72 becquerels per cubic meter, with the concentration level growing to 400 becquerels as of Wednesday. The concentration level of cesium-134 increased from 1.4 becquerels to 53 becquerels." Conventional thought is that this is due to contaminated water used to cool down overheating reactors: "A total of around 60,000 tons of contaminated water is believed to be flooding the basements of the Nos. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings as well as trenches connected to them, and the water is hampering work to restore the cooling functions of the reactors lost since the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami." Yet the most troubling news once again comes from the plutonium containing Reactor 3 where the temperature rose suddenly. Not to worry though: "TEPCO officials said the data were likely due to a glitch in a measuring instrument." And with that we have another data reader which indicates unpleasant information being thrown away (this follows the halt of readings from the Drywell radiation counter in Reactor 1 following a reported surge).

On the spike in radioactive groundwater.

TEPCO pumped out around 660 tons of highly radioactive water Tuesday and Wednesday from one of the trenches to a ''condenser'' inside the nearby No. 2 reactor turbine building, where during normal operation steam from the reactor is converted into water.

But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the water level in the vertical part of the trench as of 11 a.m. Thursday had increased by about 4.5 centimeters from the level observed at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The level of the water is now only 1.5 centimeters lower than shortly before the water-transfer mission started at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday.

And on what happens when deteriorating data breaks the norm:

Meanwhile, concern grew over the state of the No. 3 reactor at one point, as the agency said in the afternoon that the temperature of part of its reactor pressure vessel was found to be rising suddenly.

But TEPCO officials said the data were likely due to a glitch in a measuring instrument, because other temperature data related to the vessel has not shown a similar rise.



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