The Japan Times: ” The radioactive water woes at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant got worse over the weekend after the tritium concentration in a groundwater sample surged more than tenfold this month.
A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that heavy rain caused by Typhoon Phanfone probably affected the groundwater after the storm whipped through Japan last week.
Some 150,000 becquerels of tritium per liter were measured in a groundwater sample taken Thursday from a well east of the No. 2 reactor. The figure is a record for the well and over 10 times the level measured the previous week.
In addition, materials that emit beta rays, such as strontium-90, which causes bone cancer, also shattered records with a reading of 1.2 million becquerels, the utility said of the sample.
The well is close to the plant’s port in the Pacific.
The water crisis could get worse as the nation braces for Typhoon Vongfong this week. Although downgraded from supertyphoon status, the storm was still packing winds of up to 180 kph and on course to hit Kyushu by Monday.
The Meteorological Agency said it could reach Tokyo on Tuesday before gradually losing strength as it races north toward Tohoku.
The storm dumped heavy rain on Okinawa, and at least 35 people have been reported injured in both Okinawa and Kyushu, where authorities told 150,000 people to evacuate as the typhoon toppled trees, flooded streets and cut power to more than 60,000 homes.
Tepco also revealed that, at a separate well also east of the No. 2 reactor, a groundwater sample was giving off a record 2.1 million becquerels of a beta ray-emitting substance, nearly double the level from a week earlier.
The cesium activity in the sample was 70 percent higher at 68,000 becquerels.
Tepco has been periodically measuring the concentration of radioactive materials in groundwater at 34 points east of the reactors 1 through 4.
Readings hit record highs at three points after the heavy rain caused by the typhoon, but the utility said it does not know why. ”
* * *
Indo Asian News Service: ” Tokyo, Oct 13 (IANS/EFE) The accident-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant is bracing itself for the arrival of powerful typhoon Vongfong that made landfall in southern Japan Monday and could reach the plant Tuesday, authorities said.
The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Monday said it had installed gutters on the upper part of the tanks storing contaminated water from the plant and reinforced and increased their height to prevent any overflow of the water due to the expected rainfall.
As a precautionary measure against the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan this year, employees would be patrolling the plant facilities at all times in order to prevent overflows or an increase in the contaminated water that accumulates in the basements, the company said.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency Monday said the super typhoon, that is advancing at 35 km per hour, made landfall in the morning in Kyushu and was expected to arrive in Tokyo early Tuesday from where it would head northeast to the Fukushima plant.
Authorities have issued warnings of torrential rains and landslides and have asked citizens to be prepared for strong winds and waves.
So far, a total of 52 people in nine provinces of the country have been injured in accidents caused by strong winds and heavy rainfall.
Vongfong comes barely a week after the Phanfone typhoon ravaged the Japanese archipelago and left nine people dead, three of them in Okinawa, and three missing.
The Fukushima power plant, that was struck by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, accumulates tonnes of contaminated water in more than 1,000 tanks which is proving to be one of the biggest hurdles in the dismantling of the plant. ”