vendredi 16 décembre 2011

TEPCO is decontaminating radioactive water

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has decided for the time being not to release decontaminated water into the ocean.Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO is decontaminating radioactive water amassed in the basements of the reactor buildings and then recycling it as coolant for the reactors.But it is having difficulty dealing with the decontaminated water. Amounts are exceeding the initial estimates and underground water is also flowing into the basements. Currently, the firm is storing the treated water in tanks on the plant's premises.TEPCO said on December 8th that it was considering discharging the treated water into the sea after further decontaminating it.However, it has postponed its decision after facing a protest from a national association of fisheries cooperatives.TEPCO disclosed its position in a 3-year management plan for its nuclear plants presented to the industry ministry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Thursday.The firm says it will not release water into the sea until it implements 3 measures: blocking underground water from entering the basements, improving and stably operating decontaminating equipment, and increasing the number of storage tanks.TEPCO says it will not release water into the ocean without approval from relevant government offices, including the fisheries ministry.A TEPCO senior official says his firm will explain its efforts in detail to relevant organizations after taking the 3 steps. He says TEPCO will also properly brief the national fisheries association and local fishermen on its plan.

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