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Thursday, 18 September 2014

TEPCO: Groundwater bypass helps lessen waste water

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the strategy to pump up groundwater before it reaches the plant has been effective in reducing contaminated water.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been struggling with a buildup of radioactive water at the plant due to the inflow of groundwater that amounts to about 400 tons a day.

As one of the ways to combat this, in May TEPCO started pumping up groundwater on the hillside of the plant to prevent it from reaching the contaminated reactors and other buildings.

They call the method a "groundwater bypass" and have discharged 36,000 tons in to the sea since May.

The operator on Thursday said the measure may by decreasing the buildup of radioactive water at the plant by 50 to 80 tons per day.

Engineers calculated the figure by excluding the estimated effect of rainfall from the increased volume of contaminated water in the reactor and other buildings and wastewater tanks.

TEPCO also says the groundwater levels at three monitoring points near the pumping sites have been lowered by 20 centimeters compared to before the plan was implemented. It says it will continue to monitor the effect of the bypass operation.

The operator is also considering pumping up contaminated groundwater around the plant and discharging it to the sea after purification.

But local fishermen are against it due to concern about the operation's safety and how negative public perception might affect their business.
 Source: NHK
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