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Japan:Work under way for transfer of contaminated water

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Laaska News April 17,2011

The level of radioactive water that has accumulated on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant keeps rising amid concern that the water might overflow, further polluting the ocean.

The radioactive water is believed to originate from water injected to cool the Number 2 reactor, which was seriously damaged by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

In the utility tunnel outside the reactor, the contaminated water is rising despite the firm’s effort to move some of it to a condenser tank last week. As of Sunday morning, the water reached 85 centimeters below ground level, threatening to overflow into the ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Company hopes to begin transfer of the water some time this week to a nuclear waste facility that can hold 30,000 tons of such water. It is now conducting final checks so that leaks of radioactive material will not occur from the facility.

Underground water at the plant is no exception from radioactive contamination. The level of radioactive substances is increasing at facilities where underground water from the Number 1 and 2 reactors is collected. The concentration of cesium-134 on Wednesday was 38 times the reading a week earlier.

In another development, the utility firm will start using US-made robots on Sunday for measuring radiation levels and taking pictures inside the reactor’s buildings.

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High levels of radiation have kept workers from entering the area to contain the situation.

NHK.

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