A new device capable of purifying 500 tons of radioactive water a day will go into operation at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant by the end of the year. After purification, the water can be safely released into the sea.
About 180,000 tons of contaminated water remain at the Fukushima plant, which was nearly destroyed by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The device, which uses a special resin, can lower concentrations of 62 types of radioactive materials, such as cesium and cobalt, to levels that can be released into the environment.
Levels of radioactive strontium can be reduced to about one-10 millionth. Strontium cannot be removed by conventional methods.
The device, developed by Toshiba Corp. and other organizations, was shown to the media at a plant in Yokohama on July 24.
Trial operations will start in September. The purified water will initially be stored in a special tank.
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