Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

The last week at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant brought more water woes and actions by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Japanese government alike to shore up the utility’s finances.

Recent developments at the plant inundated by the March tsunami include:

Fukushima water treatment leak. Source: TEPCOIrradiated Water Leaks From Treatment System

TEPCO reported that on Sunday 150 liters of water containing 26 billion becquerels of radioactive contaminants leaked from a water treatment system and reached the environment. The leak occurred in the desalination stage of the process. A breach in the treatment system, initially feared to have released 45 metric tons of water, allowed a total of 15 tons of water to escape. A much smaller amount seeped through a crack in the wall, and an estimated 150 liters made it to the sea.

TEPCO Proposes Ocean Release of Water Flooding Buildings

With 400 tons of groundwater flowing into plant basements each day and nowhere left to put it, TEPCO has proposed discharging some of the least contaminated water at the plant into the ocean. The Asahi Shimbun reported storage facilities assembled at the site can hold 100,000 tons of water but will be full in March. TEPCO has also considered installing additional treatment equipment to deal with the water, much of it left over from the March tsunami.

Asset Sales, Additional Government Funds Said to Assist TEPCO

The Daily Yomiuri on Thursday reported TEPCO and the state-backed Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund will soon release a corporate restructuring plan to raise money for compensation and decommissioning costs. Within it are proposals to: cancel new thermal plants not already under construction, purchase electricity from outside providers and potentially sell existing thermal plants. Additionally, the Japanese newspaper reported the government plans to increase the limit on public support for the fund from 2 trillion yen to 5 trillion yen. Kyodo news also reported the utility is considering a 10 percent rate increase for next fall.

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