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Friday, 4 September 2015

TEPCO starts pumping up Fukushima groundwater

FUKUSHIMA (Jiji Press) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. started pumping up groundwater from wells at its disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Thursday in an operation to prevent radiation-tainted water from increasing further.

TEPCO plans to remove radioactive substances from the pumped-up water.

The groundwater will be released into the sea if radiation levels fall below preset limits after the cleanup. When to start the water release has yet to be decided.

On Thursday, TEPCO was to pump up a total of 100-200 tons of groundwater from 20 of the 41 wells, called subdrains, located near the No. 1 to No. 4 reactor buildings at the plant, which was damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The water will be stored temporarily at a tank with a capacity of 1,000 tons.

At the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, groundwater flows into the reactor buildings and mixes with water that has become highly contaminated with radioactive substances after being used to cool melted nuclear fuel, leading to an increase in the amount of tainted water.

On Aug. 25, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations decided to allow TEPCO to release purified groundwater into the sea.

Source: Japan News (Jiji)

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