Power outage at Fukushima plant, water release suspended

THE release of treated wastewater into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has been suspended as a partial power outage affected the site, operator Tepco said.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said in a statement that the system to cool reactors remained operational and “no meaningful change” had been detected at plant facilities that monitor radioactivity.

In 2011, the Fukushima-Daiichi plant on Japan’s northeastern coast went into meltdown after a huge earthquake and tsunami that killed 18,000 people. It was one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

“At around 10.43am, electricity source line A stopped,” Tepco said in a statement yesterday without giving details.

The release of water treated through a filtration process called ALPS also stopped at the same time, it said.

It added that a worker had been injured during an excavation operation.

“We are trying to figure out other details, there seems to be a link between this electricity loss and suspension of the ALPS operation,” a Tepco spokesman said.

“We are trying to figure out a potential link between the injury and the electricity loss.”

The worker was conscious and not contaminated, but was seen by an on-site doctor and an ambulance was called.

Last year, Japan began releasing treated wastewater from the plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The facility was running out of space to build more water tanks, and Tepco needed to clear the area for the much more hazardous task of removing radioactive fuel and rubble from three stricken reactors.

Japan argues that the water being released gradually over decades is harmless and heavily diluted with seawater.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many leading economies have endorsed the release.

IAEA officials and international experts are currently in Japan to review the water release. — AFP

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wastewater , ocean , Fukushima , nuclear plant


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