Decontamination system stops at Fukushima Daiichi
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is facing yet another problem with its wastewater filtering system. The system came to a halt again on Sunday.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has been filtering highly contaminated water in basements to remove radioactive material and then pump the water back into the reactors as coolant.
Shortly after 7 AM on Sunday, some of the pumps in a US decontamination device stopped and could not be restarted. The equipment is used to remove radioactive cesium.
About an hour later, a pump in a French device also stopped working.
A back-up pump also failed to work, bringing the whole decontamination system to a halt. TEPCO says it is continuing to inject cooling water into reactors by using treated water.
The decontamination system has faced earlier problems. On Thursday, another pump stopped at one time. On Friday, an alarm went off and the system stopped operating.
TEPCO added a Japanese-made decontamination device to the system to make it more stable. But the utility wanted to treat wastewater before the test run of the new device, because there is little available storage space for the contaminated water.
TEPCO is trying to determine the cause of the malfunctions while working to restart the system.
Sunday, August 07, 2011 12:46 +0900 (JST)