Fukushima Suspends Decontamination Process, Water Filtering System Malfunctions Yet Again
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 20, 2014 2:17 PM EST
A defect in the water filtering system at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant had forced operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) to suspend yet again its decontamination process at the facility.
The radioactive water cleanup systems has been collectively called Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS. One of the water filtering systems, called B, has been found not purifying contaminated water as designed.
People pray for victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami as Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen in the background at Namie town, Fukushima prefecture March 11, 2014. Tuesday marks the third year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
"Water samples from System B on Monday showed that levels of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, such as strontium-90, only dropped to several tens of millions of becquerels from several hundred million becquerels, instead of decreasing to several hundred becquerels [as expected]. Tepco suspended water decontamination work with the other two systems [A and C] as well due to concerns about similar problems," the Japan Times reported.
This serves as the second time the beleaguered operator shut down the system since trial operations began in 2013. It treats only less than 200 tonnes of wastewater per day.
An email obtained by blogspot GSBuzz that TEPCO reportedly sent to the press said that because "the nuclide analysis of the water treated by Line B (collected on March 17) showed [that] there is a possibility that the treatment by ALPS is not adequate [to remove all-beta radiation]. As a precaution, we stopped Line A at 1:38PM and Line C at 1:39PM."
TEPCO sad hoped to bring the system fully online on May 2014. But with the latest suspension, concerns are brewing contaminated water may have seeped into the water storage tanks at the plant.
TEPCO still has to determine the cause of the malfunction.
"We don't know yet when we can resume operating the system as we have not detected the cause of the defect yet," a TEPCO spokeswoman told AFP.
Contaminated water stored at the site is placed at about 436,000 cubic metres in about 1,200 purpose-built tanks.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Gennady Golovkin Next Fight Options: Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto Or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Travel Alert: Over 200 Canadians Infected with Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus
- Economic Growth In US And Sub-Saharan Africa Allay 2015 Recession Fears
- US Dedicates 5 Airports for Travellers From Ebola-Stricken Nations, Lawmakers Want Travel Ban
- Canadian Ebola Drug: Tekmira Firm Starts Limited Manufacturing of Vaccine, Available By December; Shares Up
- WHO Races to Release Ebola Serum in 2 Weeks, Vaccines in January
- No Mercy: ISIS, Father Stones to Death Daughter for Alleged Adultery
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date is Doomed as Team Evad3rs Opts Out, Pangu Hits Snag – Report
- Google Nexus 6 vs. iPhone 5S: 4 Important Things to Consider Before Switching to Android Lollipop
- Swedish Military Spots ‘Russian Submarine’ Off Stockholm Coast, An Alarming ‘Security Game Changer’