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TEPCO has started pumping

August 9, 2013


TEPCO begins pumping contaminated groundwater at damaged Fukushima plant



Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) began pumping up contaminated groundwater on Aug. 9 from a well built near the No. 2 reactor of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

An estimated 300 tons of contaminated groundwater is leaking into the Pacific Ocean daily, and TEPCO is trying to reduce the amount of such water flowing into the sea. The Tokyo-based utility hopes to pump up a maximum 100 tons of contaminated water a day to be transported to the No. 2 reactor's turbine building.

In an effort to block water contaminated with radioactive substances at the Fukushima plant, TEPCO encased revetment ground in water glass in a wall-like formation. However, technical difficulties prevented the company from erecting a wall shallower than about 1.8 meters from the surface of the ground. As a result, the level of contaminated groundwater accumulating in the ground rose past the wall's upper edge -- and subsequently began leaking into the ocean.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority ordered TEPCO on Aug. 2 to pump up contaminated groundwater at the Fukushima plant, which was rocked by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

In order to pump up the contaminated groundwater, TEPCO dug a well of 2.5 meters in both depth and diameter inside the water glass wall in the ground. It also plans to drive about 30 tubes up to 3 meters deep into several locations near the well in order to pump up radioactive water. If these facilities are completed, TEPCO says, it will be able to pump up 100 tons of contaminated groundwater per day.

The government will allocate taxpayer money under the fiscal 2014 budget to deal with contaminated water. On Aug. 8, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi ordered a government panel on contaminated water to consider releasing contaminated groundwater into the ocean.




TEPCO starts pumping to prevent water leak




The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun pumping up radioactive groundwater there to keep it from flowing into the sea.

Tokyo Electric Power Company dug a small well near an embankment facing the sea and began the pumping at about 2 PM on Friday.

The pumped-up water is moved to an underground trench and then stored in tanks in the plant's compound.

The utility has hardened soil near the embankment since last month to prevent tainted groundwater from seeping into the sea.

But rising levels of groundwater have raised concerns that it could overflow.
Tokyo Electric Power said it will also put nearly 30 pipes, each 5 meters long, in the ground near the embankment next week to pump up more groundwater.

The utility added that it hopes the measures will allow it to draw about 100 tons of groundwater a day.

On Thursday, a government panel agreed to compile measures to fully deal with the leakage before the end of next month. They may include pumping up and releasing groundwater into the sea so that it is not contaminated in the compound.

Radioactive water is increasing at the plant every day as groundwater is contaminated while passing through the plant's premises.

The government says about 300 tons of contaminated groundwater may be flowing into the ocean every day.

Aug. 9, 2013 - Updated 06:39 UTC

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