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Friday, June 10, 2011

Japan : TEPCO testing water treatment system

Article from NHK News :

" Tokyo Electric Power Company is conducting a test-run of a new system to treat the highly radioactive water that is flooding facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

On Friday, the first day of the test-run, relatively low-level radioactive water will be sent into a device designed to remove cesium using zeolite, in an attempt to determine if it works without problems.

The system also includes equipment that settles radioactive substances using special chemicals.

TEPCO expects the concentration of radioactive material in the water to be reduced to one-thousandth to one-ten-thousandth of the current level. Oil and salt will be also removed through the process.

Each component of the system will be tested over a period of around one week.

More than 105,000 tons of highly radioactive water has accumulated on the plant's premises. The amount is growing by 500 tons a day as fresh water is injected into troubled reactors to try to cool them down.

The system is believed to hold the key to TEPCO's efforts to stabilize the plant, amid growing fears that the contaminated water could start overflowing in late June.

The company wants to treat 1,200 tons of highly contaminated water daily and process a total of 250,000 tons over a year. It is aiming to recycle the treated water and use it to cool the reactors.

There are concerns, however, that some of the devices used in the new system may not meet government standards for earthquake resistance.

But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that, given the urgency of the situation, there is no choice but to use equipment designed for general industrial use."

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