. Earth Science News .

Japan cleaning radioactive water, says PM aide
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 23, 2011

This handout picture taken by the Japanese government panel to investigate the accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant on June 17, 2011 and distributed by Jiji Press on June 18, 2011 members of the panel inspecting the damaged building housing reactor number three at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture. TEPCO said on June 18 it stopped treating highly radioactive waste water at a crippled Japanese nuclear plant just hours after the system came online because parts needed to be replaced. AFP Photo / Ho / Japanese Government Via Jiji Press.

Despite technical glitches, Japan is confident it can decontaminate vast amounts of radioactive water at its stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo's point man on the accident said Thursday.

Emergency crews have struggled to dispose of more than 100,000 tons of highly contaminated runoff water from over three months of reactor cooling operations since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit the plant.

With the onset of the summer rainy season this week, and the plant's basements, pools and ditches almost full, workers are racing against time to filter and recycle the water and avoid renewed spills into the Pacific Ocean.

Goshi Hosono, Prime Minister Naoto Kan's aide on emergency operations at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, stressed that a water decontamination system was working again after a series of glitches.

Even as the system, built with the help of US and French companies, is working below full capacity now, he said, "we are processing more water than the amount of newly contaminated water. Risks of overflows have fallen."

Speaking to foreign media in Tokyo, he added that under usual circumstances, "a system like that should take a year to build. But we had to build it in two months, given the extraordinary situation."

Embattled plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) brought the system online on June 17, but it has been stopped twice since then because of technical troubles, including low performance and the need to replace parts.

The treatment system was designed to remove radioactive materials as well as oil and sea salt from about 1,200 tonnes of water a day, using equipment from France's Areva group and Kurion Inc of the United States.

As of early Thursday afternoon, roughly 2,200 tons of water had been treated, according to Areva.

"The two systems complement each other. We believe the choices we made are correct," Hosono said, but he added that tough working conditions at the plant made the system's smooth operation more difficult.

Getting rid of the radioactive water will allow workers to start longer-term repair work to the cooling systems at the plant, which TEPCO aims to bring to a state of stable "cold shutdown" by January.

Speaking of the wider radiation impact, Hosono said: "I can say: rest assured that there will not be significant negative impacts from the accident, except for the areas where residents had to evacuate."

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

TEPCO books more than $1.5 bn in additional losses
Tokyo (AFP) June 22, 2011
Japan's TEPCO said Wednesday it had booked an extra $1.1 billion loss to compensate victims of the Fukushima crisis, and would set aside another $473 million to bring the crippled plant under control. In May Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported a $15 billion annual net loss for the year ended March, the biggest ever for a non-financial Japanese firm, on costs related to the world's worst nuclea ... read more

Haiti leader vows to tighten adoption rules

Russia finds nuclear safety faults after Fukushima

New Zealand offers to buy 5,000 quake-hit homes

Japan cleaning radioactive water, says PM aide

Stretching Old Material Yields New Results for Energy

Rare earth minerals prices skyrocket

Tablet war heats up as Asia challenges iconic iPad

Android phones to pit vampires against slayers

Court moves to suspend work on Chilean dam

Discards ban 'will boost fisheries'

'Super sand' for better purification of drinking water

Pacific's California current likened to Africa's Serengeti Plain

NASA to embark on last leg of Arctic sea study

Life Between Snowball Earths

Arctic snow harbors deadly assassin

Glaciations may have larger influence on biodiversity than current climate

Fungicides may not increase corn yields unless disease develops

Artificial light quality affects herbivore preference for seedlings

European And US Consumer Views On Cloned Products Differ

Early-season strawberry tested in high elevation conditions

Stiff sediments made 2004 Sumatra earthquake deadliest in history

Floods kill 24 as rains pound north Nigeria city

Patagonian shepherds fear Chile ash disaster

Japan lifts tsunami warning after strong quake

China's power play for Africa alarms U.S.

World Bank to fund environment projects in Madagascar

Somalia Islamists vow loyalty to Zawahiri

Sudan army 'to fight by all means' in border state

Researchers find smart decisions for changing environmental times

Can humans sense the Earth's magnetism

Walker's World: Here come the 'age wars'

Family genetic research reveals the speed of human mutation

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement