This is a press release from Tokyo Electric:
Press Release (May 21,2014)
Commencement of Operation of Groundwater Bypass at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
May 21, 2014
Managing Executive Officer
Tokyo Electric Power Company
Fukushima Daiichi D&D Engineering Company
“Today, we have commenced operation of the groundwater bypass at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to many parties, including Fukushima Prefecture and members of the fishing industry, for their understanding in the operation of the groundwater bypass, which plays an important role among the countermeasures to suppress the increase of contaminated water.
In operating the bypass, we will pay strict attention to the management of the relevant facilities and, in conjunction with analysis by third parties, maintain the water quality to conform to operational targets.
In addition, with regard to the countermeasures for decommissioning and contaminated water, we will notify the people of Fukushima Prefecture and Japan at opportune moments about our various on-site operations, such as the groundwater bypass operation made public today. At the same time, we will continue the decommissioning operation safely and diligently, with the knowledge gained from our domestic and other international partners, and dedicate all our efforts to the rapid recovery and revitalization of Fukushima.
What this press release actually means is that tons of low-radiation level water has started being dumped into the Pacific in controlled batches. We’re quite impressed by the wording which appears to us to studiously avoid actually sharing what’s going on. We’ve seen conflicting reports including: One says that there could be a ‘controlled dispatch’ roughly every week; another that they may dump up to 80 (or 100) tons a day.”
Tokyo Electric said that dumping this huge amount of radioactive water is necessary because of the massive volumes of contaminated water building up inside the Fukushima complex which isn’t being decontaminated.
There is still a daily accumulation of about 400 tons of highly radioactive water, with groundwater seeping into the basement of reactor buildings where it is being mixed with the reactors’ highly toxic coolant water.
A water treatment facility, installed to remove the most dangerous nuclides, was completely shut down again this week. It has not been fully operational since it was installed almost two years ago. Tokyo Electric has said that the repeated leaks and technical malfunctions at the plant have been a constant embarrassment.
The Chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority ( NRA) faults Tokyo Electric for incorrectly measuring levels of radioactive materials in groundwater. He said that even though three years have passed since the reactor meltdowns at the plant, Toykyo Electric is still “utterly inept” when it comes to taking accurate readings of radioactivity at and around its facilities and “lacks a basic understanding of measuring and handling radiation.”