The construction of large steel tanks on the site around Fukushima nuclear power plant to store highly contaminated water running through the nuclear site continues. There is a planned further construction of 20 more steel containers which are expected to store 30,000 tons of contaminated water. In addition to the steel tanks that are being constructed with no end in site, there are more than 9 million large black vinyl bags piling up in neat rows around the site filled with radioactive contaminated soil that has been scraped off the surface around the nuclear plant. Heavy rain during September, 2015 around the area of Fukushima caused flooding and swept more than 700 of these bags containing Fukushima-contaminated soil and grass into local rivers. Many of these bags are still unaccounted for with some spilling their radioactive content into the water system.
More than 1,100 water storage tanks at Fukushima plant … and counting
February 13, 2016
By Satoru Semba
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–From the air, the rows of different colored water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant resemble a giant integrated circuit board.
As the fifth anniversary approaches of the earthquake and tsunami disaster that unleashed the nuclear catastrophe, the stricken facility is fast running out of space to position the tanks holding highly contaminated radioactive water.
As of Feb. 12, there were 1,106 massive water tanks on the premises.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the plant, constructed the tanks to store radiation-contaminated water that has been accumulating at the plant since the disaster unfolded in March 2011.
The utility plans to construct 20 more water storage tanks to accommodate 30,000 tons of water that is expected to be generated in the remaining months of 2016.
As the tanks occupy much of the parking lots, green spaces and vacant areas, TEPCO has no choice but to build new tanks in the narrow alleys between the huge containers.
The accumulation of contaminated water has been a persistent problem at the plant, which is only in the very early stages of decommissioning, a process that will take 30 to 40 years.