Bloomberg News

Tepco Halts Water Decontamination as Cesium Absorption Limited

June 18, 2011

June 18 (Bloomberg) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. halted a water decontamination system today after five hours because a cesium-absorption unit supplied by Kurion Inc. needed replacement sooner than expected.

Tokyo Electric is investigating the cause and doesn’t know when it will be able to restart the system, Junichi Matsumoto, a spokesman for the utility, said at a news conference streamed over the Internet. The decontamination system uses technology from Kurion and France’s Areva SA.

Tepco, as the utility is known, began the decontamination process at 8 p.m. yesterday as a part of its plan to reduce the amount of radiation in about 105 million liters (28 million gallons) of water in basements and trenches at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. Tepco expects the volume of contaminated water to almost double by the end of the year.

The system was halted at 12:54 a.m. after the level of cesium in the absorption unit reached 4.7 millisieverts of radiation, Matsumoto said. Such units generally need replacement at a level of 4 millisieverts, and the company had expected the unit to last about a month, Matsumoto said.

--Editors: Jim McDonald, Richard Dobson

To contact the reporters on this story: Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo at kmatsuyama2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net


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