jeudi 21 février 2013

TEPCO to try new water decontamination device

Regulators have told the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant it can finally begin testing a new device to decontaminate radioactive wastewater accumulating at the facility.A panel at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Thursday gave Tokyo Electric Power Company permission to begin the trial operation, after hearing the company's plans to increase the safety of the device.TEPCO was forced to suspend the test after a storage vessel for the device was found to be unsafe.The failure set the start of the decontamination operation back by six months.The device can filter 62 types of radioactive substances including strontium. Older models could not remove strontium from water.The device is considered key to dealing with the steady rise in the amount of onsite radioactive water, which is accumulating at a rate of about 400 tons every day.The test operation is expected to last for several months. The authority says it will discuss again whether to allow full-scale operation of the device.Even after the new device is in full operation, filtered water must be stockpiled in onsite tanks.The utility says it can secure tanks for the next two years but has no plan after that.

Feb. 21, 2013 - Updated 14:07

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