Blog Archive

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Basement Problem

Since July, much of Tokyo Electric’s work in Fukushima has focused on decontaminating highly radiated cooling water that ran off into basements and trenches at the damaged reactors.
In addition, as much as 500 tons, or 500,000 liters, of underground water is leaking into Dai-Ichi buildings every day through cracks in walls and trenches, Tokyo Electric spokesman Hajime Motojuku said today.
The utility has been injecting water into Dai-Ichi’s reactors since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems, causing the worst nuclear accident in 25 years. Reactors need to be cooled below 100 degrees Celsius to shut down the plant.
Levels of contaminated water in Dai-Ichi basements have fallen more than 14 percent in the last month as Tepco speeded up water decontamination by adding a system supplied by Toshiba Corp. and Shaw Group Inc.
The company is in the process of installing a cover for the No. 1 reactor building and aims to put similar covers over units 3 and 4 next year after debris is cleared, Tokyo Electric spokesman Takeo Iwamoto said today. The tops of those three units were blown off by hydrogen explosions in March.
Still, the covers are unlikely to prevent rainwater from flowing into the basements, Iwamoto said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Makoto Miyazaki in Tokyo at; Yuriy Humber in Tokyo at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Teo Chian Wei at
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