Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said Sunday that it plans to start full-scale operations of its system to decontaminate highly radioactive water at its stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex on Monday.
The system has been experiencing a number of glitches since last week. TEPCO said it had replaced the chemicals in the absorption equipment and made the necessary repairs.
Goshi Hosono, director of the government’s nuclear crisis task force, said the system has met operational requirements and had decontaminated nearly 5,000 tons of tainted water in test runs on Saturday.
Workers have cooled the reactors and spent fuel by pumping in fresh water, which becomes contaminated with radiation. About 110,000 tons of tainted water have accumulated, and it could start overflowing in early July unless workers get a trouble-plagued water treatment system working properly.
The system became fully operational a week ago but shut down after a few hours when one of the radiation absorbing cartridges reached its limit much more quickly than expected.
Hosono told NHK that one problem is that heavy rain due to the rainy season might increase the amount of contaminated water.© Compiled from news reports