Storage tank leakage feared when tanks constructed
According to the Japan Times, the subcontractor involved with constructing the water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant admitted last month that leakage was a concern. The primary focus was on construction of the tanks as quickly as possible with little time for quality control. One worker stated there was poor management of the building of the tanks.
The estimated lifespan of these tanks is only 5 years. I believe early on in the process of trying to bring the situation under control, Tepco must have been desperate to find a means of storing the huge amounts of contaminated water being created each day. This is understandable given the situation.
However, I believe a more permanent solution must be found. As I mentioned yesterday, the use of supertankers has been suggested. 1 supertanker is capable of holding 2 million barrels of oil. 1 barrel holds 55 gallons. So theoretically one tanker could hold 110 million gallons of water. This solution is not without risk. Tankers can and do spill or leak, but certainly a tanker is a far sturdier storage space than the current makeshift tanks being used.
There is another risk with the current storage tanks. Should the tanks leak substantially due to another quake or simple deterioration, this could cause instability of the ground on which the badly damaged reactor buildings are resting. Reactor building 4 has already needed some shoring up as it appeared to be listing.
As I have stated, I have no expertise in this area. I am only concerned with the dangers of the current situation. Is it really a good idea to build make shift storage units ad infinitum in an area where one large aftershock could cause a large number of these tanks to crack or leak?Clearly as difficult as it is, a safer way must be found to store this water.