30 Mars 2014
March 30, 2014
Water treatment system halted with pump trouble
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant temporarily halted the key water treatment system at the complex.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it suspended the sole working line of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, on Sunday morning.
A pump that takes contaminated water from storage tanks to check pre-processing water quality was found to have a lower flow rate than usual.
Workers washed the pump on Saturday night, but could not bring the intake flow back to normal.
Later, they succeeded in bringing the pump back to full function, and resumed treatment of the contaminated water.
ALPS is capable of removing almost all nuclear materials from radioactive water at the plant and has been undergoing a test run.
But it recently suffered a series of troubles.
On March 18th, TEPCO halted operation of all 3 lines in the system, after the performance of one of the lines sharply decreased due to malfunctioning filters.
Two of the 3 lines had resumed operation, but water in one of the two was found to be unusually turbid, forcing TEPCO to shut it down again on Thursday.
The utility is hoping to process all the contaminated water in storage tanks by the end of March 2015 but has no prospective date for when ALPS will be back in full operation.
Mar. 30, 2014 - Updated 01:53 UTC