TOKYO: Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said Wednesday that it will begin Thursday the construction of facilities to release treated radioactive water into the ocean from its disaster-crippled nuclear plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima.
TEPCO aims to finish construction work for the facilities including an undersea tunnel by around next spring. The company, however, said that the work might take until around summer next year if bad weather or other factors delay maritime construction.
Meanwhile, TEPCO ruled out the possibility of the treated water “overflowing” from storage tanks located within the premises of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant even if the release is delayed until next summer or later.
The storage tanks will not reach full capacity until October next year if treated water increases at the current pace, according to the company.
On Thursday, pipe laying work to transfer the treated water, which contains radioactive tritium, from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to a dilution facility will begin.
Excavation of the undersea tunnel will start soon after the completion of a shield machine inspection.
Understanding from related local people is essential for TEPCO to start releasing the water into the ocean.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Akira Ono, president of Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Company, a TEPCO internal organization, expressed TEPCO’s resolve to keep offering information.
“It’s important that we address everyone’s concerns and try our best to offer explanations,” Ono said.
Last month, the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved TEPCO’s water release plan.
On Tuesday, the Fukushima prefectural government and the town governments of Futaba and Okuma, where the Fukushima No. 1 plant is located, gave the green light for the firm to begin construction of the facilities necessary for the water release.