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80% of ‘purified’ Fukushima plant water exceeds radiation limits, says TEPCO

Staff Writer |
About 80 percent of water stored at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station after purification work still contains radioactive materials above the environmental standards, officials at the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), have admitted.

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The revelation came at a time when TEPCO and the government are considering ways to dispose of the “purified” water, of which amount has risen as high as about 940,000 tons.

At the Fukushima plant, water used to cool crippled reactors is put through the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, which can significantly reduce levels of 62 radioactive substances other than tritium.

TEPCO has examined 890,000 tons of the temporarily stored water and estimated that 750,000 tons, or about 80 percent, of it contained above-limit radiation levels, with a reading for one radioactive isotope about 20,000 times the standard level, according to the officials.

The results are believed to be attributed to a degradation of radiation-absorbing materials, glitches in the purification equipment or other causes, the officials said.

TEPCO plans to redo purification work for the stored water before disposing of it in some way, but this is expected to take time, given the limited capacity of the ALPS equipment.Speech

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