Tokyo Electric Power Company managers on Thursday announced they had detected 400,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances in water collected from a monitoring well.Tepco's plan for this water will have to be reworked:
They said the figure is more than 6,000 times higher than the level recorded the day before.
They also said the level of radioactive tritium also tripled to the highest-ever figure of 790,000 becquerels per liter.
The well is some 10 meters from a storage tank that holds radioactive water. More than 300 tons of the water leaked from the tank in August. Some of it is believed to have seeped into nearby soil and also reached the ocean through a ditch.
Tepco was planning to pump groundwater up from different wells about 100 meters from the leaky tank for release into the Pacific before the water flows into the damaged reactor buildings and becomes heavily contaminated with radioactive materials.
But that plan appears in jeopardy because the sharp increase in the levels of radioactive materials in the observation well suggest the radioactive groundwater is spreading.
By law, water containing beta particle-emitting substances exceeding certain levels cannot be released into the sea. The upper limit is set at 30 becquerels per liter for strontium-90 and 60 becquerels for cesium-134.
Tepco also said water collected Thursday from a drainage ditch near the leaky tank contained 34,000 becquerels of beta particle-emitting substances per liter, compared with 2,300 becquerels the day before.Why are the radiation levels so high?
Water contaminated with radioactive materials flowed into the ditch when Typhoon Wipha hit the area this week, but then much of the water evaporated, leading to the surge in the density of beta particle-emitting materials there, Tepco officials explained.So no matter what Tepco plans to do with radioactive groundwater, it seems to be out of its control. But one brighter sign---it is finally soliciting help from outside nuclear experts.
It is believed some 400 tons of radioactive groundwater is flowing into the Pacific daily.
Officials said Thursday they will solicit proposals from both domestic and overseas nuclear experts and firms on how best to scrap the ruined reactors at Fukushima No. 1.h/t ENEnews