JAPAN | Tepco begins water cleanup test treatment system in Fukushima crisis

Posted on June 15, 2011


JAPAN | JAPAN TIMES | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun testing part of a newly installed radioactive water treatment system at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, with several more days needed before it can begin fully operating the system, the utility said early Tuesday.

The treatment system is designed to remove highly radioactive materials from a massive amount of water accumulating at the plant for eventual reuse to cool the crippled reactors. Optimal operation of the system is considered critical to bringing the three-month-old crisis under control.

The trial run is being conducted at a cesium-absorbing installation developed by Kurion Inc. of the U.S., one of the two main components of the tainted water treatment system.

The other component is a decontamination installation developed by France’s Areva SA that removes radioactive cesium and strontium by concentrating them with a chemical agent and depositing them as sediment.

Tepco hopes to process about 1,200 tons of highly radioactive water per day.

The contaminated water accumulating at the reactor facilities, including coolant liquid leaking from damaged reactors, has been diverted elsewhere at the plant to prevent it from overflowing, but those locations are nearing full capacity.

Tepco had planned to begin a trial run at the treatment facility last Friday but was forced to postpone it after water was found leaking from a pipe.

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