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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

TEPCO begins pumping up groundwater at Fukushima plant

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday began pumping up groundwater at disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on a trial basis in a process necessary to build a facility for dumping such water into the ocean after removing almost all radioactive materials from it. 

TEPCO plans to pump up about 500 tons of groundwater from drainages near the plant to store in tanks for a while.

The utility firm will then start experiments around Aug. 20 to check whether the level of radioactive materials in the water can be reduced through a cleanup system.

Under the plan filed with the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Monday, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant aims to lay pipes at the complex to transport the treated groundwater to a seaport within the premises.

Local fishermen are expected to oppose the water release plan. TEPCO says the water will not be dumped into the Pacific unless local consent is obtained, and plans to brief those concerned on the plan after the experiments.

About 400 tons of groundwater is believed to be seeping into reactor buildings each day and mixing with toxic water generated in the process of cooling the reactors that suffered meltdowns in the nuclear disaster in 2011.

The amount of toxic water could be reduced to around 200 tons each day with the new facility, according to utility sources.

August 12, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
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