Japan, Fukushima – The crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached an undesired milestone on March 18: Storage tanks at the site now contain more than 1 million tons of radiation-contaminated water.
The announcement by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., came as the utility and the central government continue to weigh water-disposal methods while hearing the concerns of fishermen who fear for their livelihoods.
Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has repeatedly said a decision must be made soon on how to deal with the contaminated water.
Groundwater becomes contaminated when it flows into the buildings of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns in 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Water that is used to cool the nuclear fuel debris is processed to remove radioactive substances, but the system cannot get rid of tritium.
These problems have forced TEPCO to store the contaminated water in hundreds of tanks installed at the Fukushima plant.
If more storage tanks are constructed, the overall capacity of 1.37 million tons at the site will likely be reached by the end of 2020.
Source and full English article: The Asahi Shimbun
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