– Resumption of decontamination system not in sight (NHK, June 25, 2011):
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has still not resumed operations of a system to decontaminate highly radioactive water.
Tokyo Electric Power Company had planned to start decontaminating and recycling the water by July 17th to cool the reactors.
Water is being injected continuously into the reactors and the resulting contaminated water is starting to fill up the storage facilities, raising fears that it will start overflowing around July 5th.
So far 4,500 tons of contaminated water has been treated in a test run, and work to remove salt started on Friday.
The company says the amount of stored contaminated water will drop significantly, once the decontamination system begins operating. It says it wants to start spraying the recycled water into the reactors by the end of this month.
But first, pipes and valves must be checked thoroughly as the components of the system are located in different parts of the plant, and the contaminated water travels a distance of 4 kilometers during treatment.
Tokyo Electric Power Company hopes to fully restart the decontamination system in the next few days. But it has experienced a number of problems and it is unclear whether the recycling of water can be carried out as planned.