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Japanese authorities doubtful of removal process of Fukushima radioactive sandbags

Japanese authorities have expressed doubt over the removal of radioactive sandbags at the Fukushima nuclear plant as the plant operator aims to start the recycling procedure this fiscal year, NHK reported on Monday.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said the recycling approach needs to be fully verified, adding that it was unclear whether the procedure can be carried out as expected.

The zeolite-packed sandbags were put on the basement floors of the factory building as an emergency measure to lower radiation levels of contaminated water after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Although their radiation levels have weakened with time, the sandbags can still emit radiation levels of up to 4.4 sieverts per hour, which could kill people exposed to the high reading for two hours.

The plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) plans to use robots to collect the sandbags and store them in other receptacles. The company is expecting the plan to be approved in September.

The regulator said tests need to be carried out this summer to verify the plan’s safety.

May 2, 2023 - Posted by | Japan, wastes

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