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Post: The start of weak radioactive water discharge from the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant postponed to summer


TEPCO employees conduct emergency work at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. archive photo

The start of weak radioactive water discharge from the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant was delayed from spring to summer.

TOKYO, January 13 – RIA Novosti. The start of weak radioactive water discharge from the emergency Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant was delayed from spring to summer this year, such a decision was taken by the Japanese government commission on Friday.

Tomoaki Kobayakawa, head of the station operator, said: “The government has set a spring-to-summer distribution (period). We understand that, but we believe our role is to focus on the spring to keep construction working and moving forward.” Energy company TERSO made statements to journalists after the meeting.

The delay is linked to a detailed calculation of the actual timing of completion of the construction of an underwater tunnel through which water will be drained. Previously, the construction was scheduled to be completed in April this year.

The meeting reiterated the importance of outreach to minimize the negative impact on the image of seafood produced in Fukushima Prefecture.

By spring 2023, Japan plans to discharge all radionuclides-free water, except tritium, into the ocean, 1 kilometer from the station.

During the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, nuclear fuel melted in the first, second and third reactors. The radioactive water used to cool the reactors passes through the multi-stage ALPS system, which removes 62 types of radionuclides except tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, otherwise called “superheavy hydrogen” or 3H, making it difficult to clean water from it. Tritium is found in natural conditions, its effect on humans is limited due to weak beta radiation, at the same time it is dangerous to enter the body.

The water, free of radionuclides other than tritium, is now stored in giant tanks at the station. About 140 tons of radioactive water are added to these every day. About 1,000 giant tanks have been placed at the station, but almost 90 percent of their 1.37 million-ton volume has already been filled. The issue of water disposal methods has been addressed since 2013. Among others, options such as mixing it underground with cement and concrete, separating hydrogen by electrolysis, and others were considered. Eventually the government decided to start dumping water into the sea after diluting the water and bringing the tritium concentration to 1,500 becquerels per liter; this is 40 times less than the accepted norm for discharging water into the sea from operation in Japan. operation of nuclear power plants – 60 thousand becquerels. According to the Ministry of Industry of Japan, 1.25 million tons of water accumulated at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant contains 860 trillion becherel tritium. Before the accident, the station was dumping water containing 2.2 trillion tritium into the sea annually.

The IAEA commission visited the station last year and gave a generally positive preliminary assessment of Japan’s dewatering preparations.

Source: Ria

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