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TEPCO starts up water treatment system, but massive radioactive waste feared

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Mainichi Daily News
June 16, 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) began a trial run of a radioactive water treatment system at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on June 15 in a desperate effort to break away from the vicious cycle of injecting water into reactors to cool them and ending up with more contaminated water.

But even if the system, developed by France’s Areva SA, were to operate smoothly, it would produce a massive amount of high-level radioactive waste that could affect TEPCO’s roadmap to bring the troubled nuclear reactors under control by early next year.

“The water treatment system is moving along as scheduled, although contaminated water leaked from a pipe,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told a news conference on June 15.

TEPCO, the operator of the troubled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, will try to reach “Step 1” of the roadmap, in which radiation emissions are steadily declining, by mid-July. It hopes to reach “Step 2,” in which leakages of radiation are controlled and amounts of radiation are drastically reduced, within three to six months.

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This article was posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 3:51 am

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