TOKYO, April 9, 2014- Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced it started pumping upstream groundwater at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to a storage tank today at approximately 10:29 AM (Japan time), the first step towards bypassing clean groundwater and flow in a controlled manner into the sea. It followed an agreement between TEPCO and the fishermen, who had been discussing the start of operation for nearly two years.
The groundwater is due to be discharged to the ocean after its quality checked via a third party monitoring, under stringent safety and environmental standards. The check is expected to take approximately a month.
TEPCO plans, at the first stage of the operation, to aim reducing the groundwater well water level by approximately 1 meter and check if any unexpected fluctuation of groundwater flow occurs.
Once in full operation, the groundwater bypass system will divert the flow of naturally occurring groundwater between the hilltop and the contaminated building basements built on lower ground. This is expected to reduce the amount flowing into the building basements by a maximum of 100 tons from the current amount of around 400 tons/day to 300 tons/day.
Diverting this groundwater will reduce the volume of water that becomes contaminated and then needs to be cleaned and stored on site. This, in turn, is expected to reduce the burdens on the storage facility by slowing the pace of contaminated water accumulation.
Photos of pumping up groundwater are seen at http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2014/201404-e/140409-01e.html
A video explaining the bypass system may be seen at http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2014/201404-e/140404-01e.html
Water discharge criteria for the system is explained at http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2014/images/handouts_140203_04-e.pdf
Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) is Japan's largest power company, supplying energy to the greater Kanto area, including Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 35,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 28.8 million customers, diversifying energy resources to ensure sustainability, and contributing to economic growth while fully meeting its responsibilities after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
In Order to view the PDF documents, you will need a software product called Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. You can download this software product for free from Adobe's Web site by clicking the left button: