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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

TEPCO cannot keep radioactive water in buildings forever

July 20, 2016


NRA pushes for early processing of radioactive water at Fukushima plant


The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on July 19 instructed Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to begin considering early processing of radioactive water at the disaster-struck Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in order to prevent it leaking and affecting the environment.

The water is contaminated with a high concentration of radioactive substances, and the NRA committee that gave the instruction worries that in the event of another large-scale tsunami, the water could escape and cause massive environmental damage.

A total of around 60,000 metric tons of contaminated water is held in the reactor and turbine buildings for the No. 1 through 4 reactors at the plant. TEPCO is processing the water to remove the radioactive contents other than tritium, and it is storing the processed water elsewhere in tanks. However, new tanks are not being constructed quickly enough to allow large-scale processing of the water, and with new underground water flowing in, the amount of contaminated water in the structures has not decreased.




July 19, 2016

TEPCO urged to cut risk of radioactive water leak



Japan's nuclear regulator has urged the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to reduce the risk of leaking of highly radioactive water from the facility into the sea, in case of another tsunami.

About 60,000 tons of such water is believed to have pooled in reactor buildings at the plant. The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is injecting water into the buildings to cool melted nuclear fuel, and groundwater is flowing into their basements.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority instructed TEPCO at a meeting on Tuesday to urgently study measures to lower the amount and radiation levels of the water.

The authority proposed 2 measures to TEPCO. One is building more tanks to store the water, even though the plant has about one thousand tanks. The other is treating the water using a system designed to filter out radioactive material, and circulating the water in a cooling system.

NRA member Toyoshi Fuketa said the utility cannot keep the water in the buildings forever. He said TEPCO should handle the water problem either along with that of other radioactive water or first of all.

Following the NRA's instruction, TEPCO is to report the results of its study at a meeting next month or later.


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