TEPCO locates groundwater inflow into reactor turbine building for first time

September 05, 2013

By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer

The location of an underground water leak into a reactor turbine building of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been spotted for the first time since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

TEPCO said Sept. 4 it confirmed groundwater is flowing into the first basement of the No. 1 reactor turbine building from the junction of the building and outside piping.

To locate underground water influx, TEPCO drilled a hole on the first floor of the No. 1 turbine building and lowered a video camera into the part connecting outlet pipes with the building. TEPCO said the video camera recorded images and sound of underground water flowing into the building basement.

The operator will decide what measures to take to stop groundwater inflow after assessing the current amount of water flowing into the building.

While an estimated 70,000 tons of radioactive water has already accumulated in the basements of the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 reactor and turbine buildings at the plant, 400 tons of underground water is newly flowing into the basements on a daily basis.

It has been said that groundwater is coming from junctions of the buildings and outside piping, as well as other areas.

TEPCO has been adjusting water height in the reactor and turbine buildings to make underground water levels around them higher. The effort is intended to prevent additional radioactive water accumulated in the basements of the buildings from spilling into the soil surrounding them.

By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer
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Underground water flows into the basement of a reactor turbine building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from the site circled by the dotted line. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Underground water flows into the basement of a reactor turbine building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from the site circled by the dotted line. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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  • Underground water flows into the basement of a reactor turbine building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from the site circled by the dotted line. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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