JAPAN | TEPCO races to restore decontamination system

Posted on June 20, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Monday, June 20, 2011 05:53 +0900 (JST)

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been working to restore a water decontamination system that had to be shut down after a brief operation on Friday.

The operator conducted a more than 4-hour long experiment on Sunday night to determine the cause of a rapid rise of radioactivity in the system.

On Friday the utility put the equipment into full operation to remove radioactive materials from the highly contaminated water accumulated in the plant.

However, the operation was stopped after about 5 hours as the radiation level in a part of system that removes oil and sludge rose more rapidly than expected.

TEPCO says greater than anticipated amounts of radioactive substances flowing into the system may be the cause of the trouble.

The company investigated the system’s ability to absorb radioactive substances on Sunday. After examining the results on Monday, TEPCO may add more equipment to remove oil or lower the amount of water flowing into the system.

Contaminated water is increasing by 500 tons a day as fresh water is continuously being injected into the reactors to cool them down.

The storage facilities for the contaminated water are filling up and a delay in restarting the system could cause the water to overflow in about a week.

TEPCO is planning to reduce the injection of the fresh water.

It wants to start full operations of the water decontamination system, but troubles such as water leakage have been blocking the way.

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Posted in: JAPAN