Complications arise in radioactive water removal at Japan’s Fukushima nuke plant

March 31st, 2011 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar. 31 (ANI): The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency in Japan has said that complications have risen in efforts taken to remove radiation contaminated water from a reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The agency said the crisis is showing no sign of abating, adding that a high concentration of radioactive iodine-131 was detected in a seawater sample taken near the plant’s drainage outlets in the Pacific Ocean. The level of Iodine found was 3355 times higher than the maximum level permitted.

The agency also said workers were trying to pump out radiation-polluted water that was filling up the basement of reactor No 1’s turbine building and the tunnel-like trench connected to it, but found that the tank accommodating the water from the building had become full.

At the Daiichi plant, radioactive water has also been filling up the basements of reactor Nos 2 and 3 buildings and filling the underground tunnels linked to them.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) continues work to secure enough space to accommodate the polluted water at the plant’s tanks.

The engineers have also spotted water polluted with low-level radiation at a building designed for radioactive waste disposal at the plant, where the trench water was to be transferred.

On Wednesday evening, smoke was seen rising from a power distribution panel at the reactor No 1 of the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, located 10 kilometers south of the Daiichi power station, but it soon disappeared.

No radiation leak was confirmed from the site and nobody was injured in the incident, TEPCO.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the governmental nuclear regulatory body has said that the stagnant water has been obstructing attempts by TEPCO to revive the cooling functions at the plant, which were paralyzed after the March 11 magnitude 8.9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

TEPCO has been pouring massive amounts of water into the reactors and spent nuclear fuel pools at the plant as a measure to cool them down, as overheated fuel rods could lead to the release of enormous amounts of radioactive materials into the environment.
TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said that the firm’s attempts to bring the nuclear emergency under control will take a long time, adding that it will be difficult to stabilize the reactors for several weeks. (ANI)

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