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Monday, May 23, 2011

Japan : Contaminated water removcal to be suspended soon

Via NHK News :

" The operator of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant is continuing the transfer of highly radioactive water from 2 reactor buildings to storage facilities within the compound, but the facilities are expected to become full within 3 or 4 days.

About 47,000 tons of contaminated water has accumulated in the turbine buildings and utility tunnels, hampering Tokyo Electric Power Company's efforts to bring the plant under control.

TEPCO is pumping a total of 14,000 tons of such water from the Numbers 2 and 3 reactors to the storage facilities. But one of the facilities is expected to reach its capacity in 3 days and the other in 4 days, forcing the transfer to be suspended.

TEPCO says it is studying whether it is possible for the storing facilities to accept additional radioactive water for the time being, until it starts operating a new facility.

The new facility is designed to lower the radiation level of the contaminated water on a full-fledged basis, and then use the water to cool the reactors. The facility is expected to be completed by mid-June.

The utility says the levels of the remaining contaminated water at the 2 reactors remain almost unchanged and that there is no immediate risk that the radioactive water will leak into the ground or the sea. TEPCO says it is monitoring operations closely to prevent any leaks."

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