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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Japan : TEPCO to start removing tainted water at No. 3 reactor on Tuesday

Via Japan Today :

" TOKYO : The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Monday it will start transferring highly radioactive water at the No. 3 reactor to a waste-disposing facility on Tuesday to prevent it from leaking into the environment.

The move is believed to be essential to contain radiation leaks from the power station crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami as well as to allow workers to get access to the damaged vessel, from which the contaminated water may be leaking to its adjacent turbine building and other places.

Tokyo Electric Power Co has been injecting more water into the reactor than in the past to cool down its vessel as the temperature of it has been rising recently, pushing the level of water up there, company officials said.

Under a plan by TEPCO, a total of 4,000 tons of water is expected to be pumped out from the No. 3 reactor turbine building to a nuclear waste disposal facility by using hoses.

The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said it has already given the green light to TEPCO’s plan.

The tainted water, the level of which has been rising by around 2 centimeters a day in the No. 3 reactor’s turbine building, may be leaking into the sea, forcing the plant operator to remove it as soon as possible.

But TEPCO is also being forced to keep injecting sufficient quantities of water into the reactor as workers have been struggling to cool down its vessel stably."

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