Beleaguered Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant announced they will start pumping out the contaminated groundwater to stem the leakage into the Pacific Ocean. They are currently solidfying an embankment to prevent the water from leaking, but it seems the levels have already overflowed.
To lower the water level, they are planning to put up a small-scale well near the embankment and then pump the water through there. By next week, they will also be sinking around 30 five-meter pipes in the ground along the embankment and pump out the groundwater. They are estimating it will drain 100 tons everyday. While they say they still have no idea how much of the water is leaking everyday, officials from the Ministry of Industry estimate it to be at 300 tons per day.
Meanwhile, more and more groups are bothered and angry by all the reports coming in regarding TEPCO‘s clean-up efforts at the plant that suffered a near-catastrophic meltdown in 2011, during the Great East Japan Earthquake. Tetsu Nozaki, head of the Fukushima fisheries federation, criticized the utility operator for their lack of transparency, which is what got them into trouble in the first place. As early as January, local fishermen and independent researchers have already suspected that there was a leakage, which TEPCO denied. But now that it is out in the open through media reports, Nozaki said there must be immediate action to stop the seepage.
Evironmental group Greenpeace has also joined the call to action, and claimed that TEPCO “anxiously hid the leaks”. Dr. Rianne Teule of Greenpeace International said that Japanese authorities need to ask international experts to help end this problem and that there should be “increased transparency” from all sectors to come up with solutions for the crisis.
[ via NHK ]