TEPCO Admits Contaminated Water Leaked Into Fukushima Groundwater "Due To Erroneous Gauges"

In a revelation that, for some, will dredge up memories of TEPCO’s stunning admission back in 2013 that nearly 300 tonnes of radioactive material had leaked from the ruins of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant into the water outside, contaminating virtually the entire Pacific Ocean, officials at the Japanese power company told the Associated Press that contaminated water may have leaked into the soil surrounding the plant after human error caused safety mechanisms to fail.

TEPCO officials said the settings on six of the dozens of wells surrounding the plant’s ruined reactors were accidentally set 70 centimeters below the required levels, briefly causing groundwater at one well to sink below the contaminated water inside in May, possibly allowing radioactive water to leak into the soil.

Fortunately, groundwater samples have shown no abnormal increase in radioactivity and leaks to the outside are unlikely, according to TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki.

The problem with the wells – most of which were drilled in April to help pump groundwater, reducing the possibility that it would be exposed to contamination -  was discovered earlier this week while the company was preparing to drill another well. While Tepco maintained several wells around the plant before the disaster, many more have been drilled since to try and stanch the flow of radioactive materials from the plant.

It has been six-and-a-half years since a massive earthquake and tsunami critically damaged the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear-power plant, located about 200 miles away from Tokyo, triggering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl – and the Japanese people are still uncovering new evidence of TEPCO's dishonesty and incompetence demonstrated during the aftermath of the disaster.

Of course, while the coverup was happening, few in the media dared to entertain suspicions that the company might be acting in bad faith – after all, what serious organization would so brazenly defy the public’s trust, not to mention local laws?

But five years later, those conspiracy theories were transformed into conspiracy facts when TEPCO’s then-President Naomi Hirose admitted last year on NHK that his company intentionally concealed the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima plant immediately after the storm. The power company didn't officially admit the meltdowns until more than 2 months after the accident.

"I would say it was a cover-up," Hirose said during a news conference. "It's extremely regrettable."  

Earlier this year, TEPCO ignited a public controversy after sharing its plans to start pumping radioactive water contaminated with tritium into the Pacific Ocean – a tactic that has met with vociferous opposition from Japan’s fishing industry.

Tepco has claimed that the radioactive water, pumped from inside the three reactors that melted down following the tsunami, would quickly disperse and not pose a threat to marine life. With the cleanup effort expected to take decades (although we imagine that President Shino Abe would like to accomplish as much as possible before the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo), TEPCO has this year dispatched robots into the reactors to try and find the damaged nuclear core material, to mixed results.

Back in February, TEPCO revealed that it had discovered a hole at least one square meter in size beneath the pressure vessel in the plant’s damaged No. 2 reactor, potentially exposing the surrounding area to record-high radiation. Back in 2011, radiation levels of 530 Sieverts per hour had been detected inside the reactor (8 Sieverts is enough to kill a human).

These reports should be particularly dismaying for the thousands of Japanese who’ve begun returning to their homes inside the exclusion zone after the Japanese government ended its subsidy payments to disaster victims earlier this year, effectively forcing many of them to choose between financial hardship or living in a home they believe to be unsafe.

Meanwhile, photos taken earlier this year by journalists who traveled inside the Fukushima exclusion zone – a 20 kilometer perimeter around the plant - depicted a “nuclear nightmare” consisting of eerie ghost villages populated by radioactive wild boars...


…not exactly the kind of place we’d want to raise our kids.


Cognitive Dissonance Troy Ounce Sat, 09/30/2017 - 21:46 Permalink

Many understand perfectly the choice. Either beleive whatever lie you are told or do something about the lies you are told.This is precisely why "We the People" prefer our lying leaders to lie convincingly and believably. It makes it much easier to swallow the spoiled gruel we are fed.Thank God tomorrow is Sunday. Let the (NFL) games begin. Plenty of beer and knockwurst to drown your sorrows in.

In reply to by Troy Ounce

IH8OBAMA rejected Sat, 09/30/2017 - 23:01 Permalink

I wouldn't worry about a little radioactive water leaking into the ground water.  Imagine your surprise when you realize that your teeth glow in the dark.  You won't need a flashlight anymore.  Just smile and walk through the darkness!But what about those cancerous lumps you are growing, you say? (Stopping here.  What I was about to say would gross out even you thick skinned ZHers.) LOL

In reply to by rejected

HockeyFool IH8OBAMA Sun, 10/01/2017 - 07:12 Permalink

ZH posts another fake news doom porn article on Fukushima. They understand 99% of you have no understanding of radioactivity or health physics, so it makes the perfect topic to try and scare and mislead people.They even post links to previous scare monger articles that contain little factual information:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-02/fukushima-radiation-has-contam… article has a scary looking graph that is completly misrepresentative of what it is.Note the scale on the colorful "radioactivity" graphic. It is in CM (centimeters). Radioactivity is not measured in CM, but they know you won't catch that.This looks like a graph of wave height, or a sunami height after an earthquake. It is NOT related to any radioactivity measurements.So if any one has wondered if the quality of articles on ZH was going down hill for the last 3 years, your suspicions have been validated. 

In reply to by IH8OBAMA

cbxer55 logicalman Sat, 09/30/2017 - 22:44 Permalink

That's what they tell me when I've had some nine CAT scans the last two years. Don't worry, it's safe! Yeah, CAT scans only have like 400 times more radiation than a regular old x-ray. Sure are pretty pictures though. Look at an x-ray of kidney stones, then look at a CAT scan. World of difference. Sure it makes the doc's job easier, but are they curing me of kidney stones and killing me with cancer? That's the 64 dollar question!

In reply to by logicalman

DisorderlyConduct cbxer55 Sun, 10/01/2017 - 00:26 Permalink

Well, a chest x-ray is about 20 micro Sieverts exposure. A chest Cat scan is about 7000 micro Sieverts. A single chest Cat scan is about 2x the normal background dose for a year. Not a lot.The lowest yearly dose proven to be linked with increased cancer risk is 100 milli Sieverts (or 100,000 micro Sieverts). Thats risk, not certainty of cancer. So I wouldn't be too concerned unless you are having like 15 Cat scans a year...

In reply to by cbxer55

Urban Roman logicalman Sat, 09/30/2017 - 23:40 Permalink

Figures I've seen mentioned a level of radioactive cesium at Hawaii (due to Fukushima) on the order of a hundred thousandth of the natural radoactive potassium already in seawater. You'll hardly notice it. Scientists require specialized equitpment and techniques to measure it. Of course as with everything, YMMV.What's incredible about it is that the Nips have polluted the whole fucking ocean with it! The level exceeds the residue from all those atomic tests back in the '50s and '60s by an order of magnitude or so.On the other hand, I think there are still places in the ruined nuke plant that would kill you just standing there for a few minutes... and certain types of sea life have been completely wiped out along the coast of Japan.

In reply to by logicalman

Endgame Napoleon Solio Sun, 10/01/2017 - 08:43 Permalink

Believe it or not, even those who do not have children care about stuff like this. But, according to authorities, chemical contamination hurts very young organisms more.

Issues like this are a good way to unveil the way politicians use children as a 1) grandstanding means to opportunistic / careerist ends and 2) as a way to get more free stuff for the parents who they assume are the main voters.

We have our own examples here in the USA, where toxic levels of lead were found in the drinking water in Flint, MI and other cities. Lead hurts developing children the most, say the authorities.

People suggested that HR Clinton, a fake feminist who constantly gushes about her grandchildren and how she devoted her life to children, should give some of the massive vats of money she raised from dictator contacts around the world after her husband's presidency to help the children of Flint, MI. When asked this question during one of the presidential debates--the one in MI--she casually said other cities were affected, too.

In reply to by Solio

GUS100CORRINA serotonindumptruck Sat, 09/30/2017 - 20:56 Permalink

TEPCO Admits Contaminated Water Leaked Into Fukushima Groundwater "Due To Erroneous Gauges"My response: What a tragedy!!! So very sad to see because so many innocent people are going to get sick because the JAPANESE GOVERNMENT would not admit wrong doing and present the TRUTH to the public.It is going to take JAPAN decades to clean this crap up. In the mean time, the PACIFIC OCEAN is being polluted with toxic waste,

In reply to by serotonindumptruck

logicalman GUS100CORRINA Sat, 09/30/2017 - 21:31 Permalink

Funny how Chernobyl was an international disaster because Russian reactors are crap while Fukushima is a problem to be ignored because GE (US) reactors aren't crap, they are just overtaken by circumstances.All the nuclear power stations we have are based on the concept of being able to produce weapons from them.Not a single pound of high level waste has yet been permanently dealt with - permanently, in the case of some of that shit, meaning about 5 billion years. The Pyramids are the best humans have done so far - a factor of a million less.Fukushima will NEVER be cleaned up.As per fucking usual, the average guy gets to suffer the consequences of short-sighted decisions being made by those who have decided they have the right to run the place for their own financial advantage.As for 'innocent people are going to get sick' that's not the case. They are going to die, but hey, at least someone made a profit. 

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

Ms No logicalman Sat, 09/30/2017 - 21:59 Permalink

Puerto Rico had a prototype nuke in the NW part of the island.  It was decommissioned and official sources say there are no rods left there.  They supposedly entombed some things.  How they hell did they transport that shit out of there?  Were they shipping in across the ocean and then bringing it into some port?  Did they dump it in the ocean?  Is it still there?  When I first read about it sources said there were still rods there but official sources say there isn't.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_Nuclear_Superheater_(BONUS)_Reactor_Facility 

In reply to by logicalman