23.02.2012_No38 / News in Brief

Work Starts On Cementing Fukushima Seabed

Unplanned Events & Incidents

23 Feb (NucNet): Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) says it will begin cementing the seabed near the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant to prevent radioactive materials from spreading at sea.

The utility was yesterday scheduled to start pouring cement and clay over a 70,000-square metre area near the water intakes of the plant’s six reactors, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) said. The seabed is about six meters deep.

Tepco said a 60-centimetre layer of cement on the seabed will prevent the spread of contaminated mud and sand for about 50 years.

High levels of radioactive caesium have been detected in the area. The caesium mainly came from melted nuclear fuel rods from three crippled reactors at the plant and contaminated water that leaked into the sea in the weeks following the March 2011 accident.

Fuel rod are delivered to and collected from Fukushima-Daiichi by sea and there is concern that ships will scatter the contaminated sand when work begins several years’ time to retrieve fuel rods from the plant. Spreading cement could help prevent this, JAIF said.

Tepco said it hopes to complete the task in four months.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Japan Plans To Build Fukushima Facility For Radioactive Soil Storage (News in Brief No.5, 10 January 2012)

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NucNet

Editor:

David Dalton

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