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Trial test for groundwater

August 20, 2014

TEPCO starts test-treating groundwater


Aug. 20, 2014 - Updated 12:30 UTC+2

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun a test on a new water management plan. It is removing radioactive materials in contaminated groundwater that would be released into the ocean if deemed safe.

Tokyo Electric Power Company started the trial at the plant on Wednesday.

Earlier, TEPCO pumped up about 500 tons of radioactive groundwater from drainage wells around the reactor buildings.

In Wednesday's test, workers put about 290 tons of the water into the system to find how much it can reduce radioactive materials.

So far, the results of the test have not been available. TEPCO says the treatment system will be able to reduce radioactive substances in the water to a range of one-thousandth to one-10 thousandth.

The move aims to prevent tainted groundwater from flowing from the plant into the ocean. The utility also hopes to reduce the daily flow of groundwater into reactor buildings of around 400 tons by half.

TEPCO says it will release treated water into the ocean only if local residents and municipalities accept the plan.

The company is planning to meet officials from local governments and representatives of the fishing industry to explain the test results.

But members of the local fishing community are concerned that discharging treated water may cause reputational damage to the industry.

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