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.
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