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Ocean discharge of contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear power plant may be delayed from this spring to July

January 4, 2023

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on the 4th that the start of ocean discharge of treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is expected to be delayed from the original target of around April this year.

This delay in treated water is due to delays in installation of the discharge port attached to the tip of the undersea tunnel, etc., and TEPCO expects the completion of the discharge facility at the end of June this year, and the discharge of treated water will begin after July, after pre-use inspection. It is likely to become, the media added.

The Japanese government decided at a related ministerial meeting in April 2021 to set the time to start discharging treated water about two years later (from April 2021). Accordingly, TEPCO has set the goal of completing the discharge facility in August 2021 as April 2023.

The plan was to dig an undersea tunnel about 1km off the coast of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and discharge treated water from the discharge port of the fleet into the sea. TEPCO started full-scale construction of the discharge facility on August 4 last year.

However, the installation of the outlet, which was scheduled for August, was delayed by about three months due to deteriorating weather conditions such as high waves, and was delayed to November 18th. Currently, it is said that the construction of filling the area around the discharge hole with concrete is in progress. TEPCO estimates that this construction alone will take about four months.

About 800m of the total length of the undersea tunnel was completed, and the remaining 200m will be excavated over 2 to 3 months after the completion of the concrete work. According to TEPCO, completion of the discharge facility is expected by the end of June this year.

According to Yomiuri, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is requesting that the construction be carried out so that emission can start as planned, but TEPCO says, “We want to shorten the construction period as much as possible with safety as the top priority.”

‘Treatment water’ is water from which most of the radioactive materials have been removed by purifying the contaminated water after cooling the melted and hardened nuclear fuel in the meltdown accident in 2011. Currently, about 1.32 million tons are stored in more than 1,000 tanks on the site of the nuclear power plant.

During the 3/11 Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, contaminated water was generated as rain and groundwater flowed into the reactor building, where the core nuclear fuel (debris) of the decommissioned reactor melted in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident remained.

Japan calls this contaminated water ‘treated water’ by filtering it through ALPS, but it is said that it is impossible to remove radioactive substances such as tritium (tritium) even after purification.

Source: Donga


January 5, 2023 - Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , ,

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