8 Mai 2013
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to discharge some groundwater that has flowed into the premises of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, after finding that its radiation level is the same as in the rivers in surrounding areas, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
At the Fukushima plant groundwater flows into reactor buildings and gets mixed with highly radioactive water that is accumulating inside. But TEPCO has created a dozen wells to pump out the groundwater before it seeps into the buildings and becomes contaminated.
As a trial, TEPCO has pumped out about 200 tons of groundwater using the wells. Its density of radioactive substances was "the same as rivers in surrounding areas," according to company officials.
TEPCO hopes to hold a meeting with local fishermen next Monday to seek approval of its planned release of the groundwater, they said.
The Fukushima plant has been plagued with highly radioactive water accumulating inside reactor buildings and adjacent reactor turbine buildings as a result of the continuing injection of water to cool the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors that have suffered meltdowns.
Water once used to cool the damaged reactors is currently recycled as coolant. But the total amount of contaminated water is increasing because of an influx of about 400 tons of groundwater every day.
When the planned system for discharging groundwater before it seeps into the complex buildings begins fully operating, TEPCO expects the total amount of groundwater inflow to be reduced to about 300 tons a day.
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