TEPCO moves all radioactive water from leaky underground tanks

June 10, 2013

By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said June 9 that it has transferred all 24,000 tons of highly radioactive water from leaky underground tanks to surface tanks at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO built seven underground storage tanks in 2012 and 2013 to hold contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The utility moved highly radioactive water to steel surface tanks after leaks were found in the No. 2 and No. 3 underground tanks in early April. The cause of the leaks remains unknown.

At one of the surface tanks, water was found spilling from around a bolt connecting the steel plates that form the tank’s wall on June 5. TEPCO said the leak stopped after some of the water was removed and put in another storage tank.

The No. 4 underground storage tank holds 3,000 tons of low-level radioactive water that had accumulated in the basements of the No. 5 and No. 6 reactor buildings.

TEPCO plans to begin moving the water to the basement of the No. 6 reactor turbine building in mid-June.

A total of 300,000 tons of contaminated water is stored in tanks and other facilities on the plant premises. The amount is increasing 400 tons a day as groundwater and rainwater flow into the buildings.

By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer
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A bus carrying workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant passes by newly constructed surface tanks to accommodate contaminated water on June 6. (Minoru Nagata)

A bus carrying workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant passes by newly constructed surface tanks to accommodate contaminated water on June 6. (Minoru Nagata)

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  • A bus carrying workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant passes by newly constructed surface tanks to accommodate contaminated water on June 6. (Minoru Nagata)

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