Contaminated water still troubles Fukushima

2014-03-10 20:47
Leaked contamination water around a tank at Tepco's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant at Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (Tepco, AFP)

Leaked contamination water around a tank at Tepco's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant at Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (Tepco, AFP)

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Okuma - The radioactive water that has accumulated at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant remains the biggest problem hampering the cleanup process three years after the disaster.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has stabilised substantially since the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed its power and cooling system, triggering meltdowns.

Massive amounts of water are being used to cool the melted cores at three reactors, but some of the contaminated water has seeped through the ground into the Pacific and leaked repeatedly from storage tanks.

Plant chief Akira Ono said on Monday that improving water management is crucial not only to the plant cleanup but also decontamination of the area so evacuees can return to their homes.

"The most pressing issue for us is the contaminated water, rather than decommissioning," Ono said during a plant tour for foreign media, including The Associated Press. "Unless we resolve the problem, fear of the society continues and the evacuees cannot return home."

Experts say the water leaks are spreading radiation across the plant and into the sea, hampering the cleanup process.

Read more on:    japan  |  nuclear

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