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Radioactive water obstructing Fukushima cooling operation  Asahi Shimbun  2011/03/30

The water has filled trenches extending from the turbine buildings at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors and is also lying in pools in the basements of the three reactors' turbine buildings. It is thought that the water in the trenches flowed from the basements.

Dealing effectively with the contaminated water is vital to containing the spread of radiation. It has to be removed to allow the operation to cool the fuel rods in the reactor cores to move forward. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant's operator, said it was planning to pump the contaminated water into storage tanks on the grounds of the plant. That will involve shifting thousands of tons of radioactive water.

The trenches have a capacity of about 13,300 tons, but as much as 10,000 tons of contaminated water may already have poured into them. The trenches house electrical cables and pipes providing seawater to cooling pumps and are normally kept dry, allowing workers to inspect the equipment.

At least they are no longer referring to the radioactive water as "puddles", though I did not see any references to 1 Sievert radiation levels. The article does provide useful detail as to the existing facilities at the plant.

TEPCO officials are putting priority on removing the water from the turbine buildings.


TEPCO workers will first have to move that relatively uncontaminated water to condensate storage tanks outside of the buildings. Those tanks themselves already contain some water.

At the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, temporary hoses are being used to move the water in the storage tanks to a storage tank for a suppression pool located further from the two turbine buildings. That work began Monday.

There are two suppression pool storage tanks south of the No. 4 reactor. Those tanks are used for all of the reactors at the Fukushima plant and their total capacity is 6,800 tons. There is currently only room for about 4,000 tons of water.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:13:32 AM EST

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