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Tepco to Dump Radioactive Water in Sea to Keep Reactors Stable

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will dump radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station into the sea for the first time as it runs out of space to store fluids used to cool the plant's six reactors.

The government approved a plan by the utility known as Tepco to release water with low radioactive contamination into the sea to make room for liquids with higher radiation levels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

"We didn't have any other alternatives," Edano told reporters in Tokyo today. "This is a measure we had to take to secure safety."

Tepco said it plans to discharge as early as tonight 11,500 tons of water containing radioactive iodine levels about 100 times the regulatory limit [...]

The latest deaths bring to seven the number of workers killed at the utility's two nuclear power complexes in Fukushima, including five employees of sub-contractors whose deaths were confirmed on March 12 and 14.

It may take several months to stop the emission of radioactive material, Goshi Hosono, a lawmaker in the Democratic Party of Japan in the ruling coalition, told reporters. Hosono is an envoy between the government and Tepco [...]

A Tepco executive said yesterday he isn't optimistic about the prospect of containing damage at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant's No. 3 reactor.

"I don't know if we can ever enter the No. 3 reactor building again," Hikaru Kuroda, the company's chief of nuclear facility management, said at a press conference [...]

Wind at the Fukushima plant will blow from the northwest this evening at a speed of two meters to six meters a second, and will blow from the west tomorrow, Japan Meteorological Agency said in a forecast [...]

by das monde on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 at 07:19:34 AM EST
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