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» TEPCO still failing to process radioactive water by own deadline

TEPCO will likely fall short of fulfilling its pledge to process all highly radioactive water stored at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant by the end of March.

Another key TEPCO deadline in March is also on shaky ground because of technical failures and other issues at the site.

Contaminated water has been a persistent problem. Every day, tons of groundwater becomes highly radioactive after seeping into the basements of the reactor buildings where melted nuclear fuel remains.

On Jan. 15, 280,000 tons of radioactive water remained in storage tanks on the plant’s premises.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority in February last year ordered TEPCO to lower radiation levels derived from tanks storing contaminated water to below 1 millisievert by the end of March 2015.

Even after the highly contaminated water is processed, low-level radioactive water would remain on the premises.

And the problem of highly radioactive water generated every day at the plant will continue unless TEPCO’s plans to deal with the issue bear fruit.

The company has set another March deadline in resolving the problem of accumulated contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

The utility is proceeding with work to create an underground frozen wall of soil to divert clean groundwater away from the reactor buildings toward the ocean.

TEPCO aims to start freezing the soil around reactor buildings by March. But preparations have yet to be completed at some locations because of delays in the work schedule.

<Media report>
TEPCO racing against time to process 280,000 tons of tainted water at Fukushima plant (asahi newspaper)

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