Disasters & Accidents

Second phase of treated Fukushima water dump begins

Tokyo, Oct 3 (EFE).- The operator of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant began Tuesday the second phase of the discharge of contaminated and treated water from its facilities, after confirming that the first discharge was carried out within the established safety limits.

Tokyo Electric Power Company carried out a first phase of the discharge into the Pacific between Aug. 24 and Sep. 11 of 7,788 cubic meters of water, with a volume of tritium of approximately 1.1 billion becquerels, according to data provided by the energy company.

Becquerels (Bq) are an indicator of the radioactivity emitted by tritium, the main radioisotope remaining in the processed water, and which the company has committed to maintaining at a concentration of less than 1,500 Bq per liter in the discharge, a level considered safe for humans and the environment.

The samples taken daily by the company of the liquid before its first discharge into the sea showed that the established limit was respected, while other analyzes carried out by the Japanese authorities and by the International Atomic Energy Agency in waters around the plant did not show abnormalities.

After verifying that the water filtration and dilution system works as planned, the company on Tuesday began to transfer part of the processed liquid into its pipelines and test it to confirm that it meets the standards set by the Japanese authorities and supported by the agency.

If no unforeseen events occur, this process will continue Thursday with the new discharge into the sea, which will continue over the next few days and will consist of another 7,800 cubic meters of water and a similar amount of tritium to that of the first discharge.

Millions of tons of contaminated water have been generated in the plant facilities, either by the cooling work of the damaged reactors and the fuel melted in the atomic accident of 2011, or by rainwater leaks over the years.

This water is treated through a complex filtering system that eliminates most of the harmful radioactive elements, except tritium (a nuclear isotope present in nature), before being stored in tanks to be discharged.

There are currently more than 1,000 tanks on the plant grounds and their discharge is expected to last at least 30 years. EFE


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