Adversity seems to see no end where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is concerned. In the latest blunder of the clean up process, 203 tons of highly radioactive water were pumped into the wrong building, adding to the delays and difficulties plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is experiencing.
Akira Ono, manager of the crippled plant, attributed the blunder to situations and areas they have no control over. “It’s embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don’t have full control,” he told reporters. But it seemed that lack of control is the least of their worries. The quality of clean up program the plant operator is employing is also a concern. He noted that pressed for time, tanks built to store the radioactive water were lacking in quality, which resulted in leaks. Ono said, “We need to improve the quality of the tanks and other facilities so that they can survive for the next 30-40 years of our decommission period.”
While TEPCO previously said treatment of contaminated water would be finished by March 2015 with much confidence, now it has stepped back and described it as a “tough goal.” With the government helping in ways it can, such as funding a filtration system and building more tanks and an underground ice wall, TEPCO’s work still remains difficult and under criticism. As loopholes continue to appear in every plan TEPCO puts up, the operator, which previously said things were “under control” must now “find better ways to handle the water problem.”
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