The Fukushima Updates have not been posting Tepco’s numbers on waste water treatment and storage this year. Why? Because the water levels in the four flooded building basements have stayed essentially the same for the entire period. Until the groundwater flows into the buildings are stopped, the water levels will remain as they are, and the total volume of decontaminated water will be increasing because the auxiliary decontamination system processes more water than is being used to cool the three damaged cores. The volume of stored water is now in excess of 250,000 tons, and it’s getting bigger all the time. This is the reason Tepco is busily installing more and more storage tanks to handle the buildup of decontaminated fluids.

However, there’s a bit of light at the end of this tunnel. The radioactivity of the raw waste water inside the building basements is steadily being reduced. Tepco reported the concentration of radioactive Cesium found in the basements was roughly 2 million Becquerels/cc (cubic centimeter or one milliliter) in August of 2011. Tepco’s most recent posting (9/11/12) shows the raw water level is down to about 110,000 Bq/cc. In other words, the auxiliary decontamination system, routinely called “makeshift” by all Japanese Press, has lowered radioactive content by about a factor of 20! Please keep in mind the volumes of waste water being processed are enormous. The contamination levels being lowered this much in little over a year is actually noteworthy! However, there has been exactly zero Press coverage of this exemplary success story. Nothing! Obviously, the Japanese Press doesn’t feel such information is newsworthy. Could it be that dissemination of this might put their “makeshift” moniker in question?

It should! The auxiliary waste water decontamination system at Fukushima Daiichi is an serious success story. Before 3/11/11, no such technology for handling such massive volumes existed in Japan. The relatively rapid design, testing and operation of the process are a tribute to the professionals within the Japanese nuclear community. That the Press conveniently ignores the truth is, and will forever be, a black mark on their reporting.