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New tanks to hold toxic water

Sun., April 24, 2011

TOKYO – Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to build temporary storage tanks for highly radioactive wastewater at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, a news report said today.

Tepco, which runs the plant, has been struggling to remove some 67,500 tons of highly contaminated water accumulated in reactor turbine buildings and adjoining trenches, as the water has hindered workers’ efforts to restore key cooling functions in the plant’s reactors.

The plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, which left more than 14,000 people dead and some 12,000 missing.

Tepco is to transfer the contaminated water to an on-site waste processing facility and temporary storage tanks, and the company plans to install water filtration and cooling systems for each reactor, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Each system is designed to remove radioactive substances from the contaminated water and recycle cold water into the pressure vessel to cool down the nuclear fuel in the reactors, NHK said.

Tepco plans to build 31,400 tons of storage capacity by early June and to add tanks with a total capacity of 20,000 tons every month from June to December, in case the water filtration and cooling systems cannot start operating on schedule in June, NHK said.


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