JAPAN | Long-term response needed for radioactive water

Posted on July 10, 2011


JAPAN | NHK | 11 July 2011

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is struggling to deal with radioactive water that is pooling in reactor buildings as the crisis goes into its 4th month.

Water being injected to cool reactors is becoming highly radioactive and accumulating in the basements of reactor buildings. In some facilities, contaminated water is just 20 centimeters from filling the basement.

On July 2nd, Tokyo Electric Power Company stopped using fresh water to cool the reactors and instead, began running a circulatory cooling system. The system pumps out and decontaminates radioactive water before recycling it as a coolant.

But the system has suffered from a series of problems. On Sunday it was suspended for 12 hours as radioactive water leaked from a decontamination device.

Many of the glitches were caused by non-durable materials used in parts of the system.

The power firm is replacing some of the troublesome materials with more durable ones. Preparing a long-term response to deal with contaminated water will require making the entire decontamination device sturdier.

Posted in: JAPAN