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Tepco Hopes Radioactive Water Removal Will Slow Down Contamination of Pacific Ocean


Fukushima nuclear plant's parent company Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) revealed that it has started pumping out the toxic groundwater from one of the three contaminated areas near the No 1 plant in hope that it will be able to slow down the massive outflow of radioactive substances into the Pacific Ocean.

However, the entire process of clearing the ocean of highly contaminated water will take at least two years, the Japan Times reports.

About 1,000 tons of groundwater flows from the mountainside into the reactor compound each day, including 300 tons released to the sea after being contaminated with radioactive materials, like strontium and tritium, from the damaged plant, the report added.

Tepco has started digging a pit near the coast between Reactors 1 and 2, which is believed to be getting about 100 tons of contaminated groundwater every day.

However, it will take several months for the company to start pumping 200 tons per day of tainted water from two other contaminated areas near the coast.

The government alongwith Tepco, after a series of meetings, have decided to use taxpayer's money for creating a barrier of frozen soil around reactors 1 to 4, by sinking a vast network of coolant pipes.

This facility will require a steady supply of electricity in vast amounts because in an extended power failure, the soil would thaw, Tepco officials revealed.

The government officials said that the concerned action has been delayed since it was revealed, as early as in June, that radioactive water was found in the samples taken from a monitoring well near the coast within the plant compound.

The water leakage crisis is likely to raise further concerns about local seafood and could severely harm Japan's credibility, if both Tepco and the government fail to solve the problem.



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