The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on July 19 instructed Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to begin considering early processing of radioactive water at the disaster-struck Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in order to prevent it leaking and affecting the environment.
The water is contaminated with a high concentration of radioactive substances, and the NRA committee that gave the instruction worries that in the event of another large-scale tsunami, the water could escape and cause massive environmental damage.
A total of around 60,000 metric tons of contaminated water is held in the reactor and turbine buildings for the No. 1 through 4 reactors at the plant. TEPCO is processing the water to remove the radioactive contents other than tritium, and it is storing the processed water elsewhere in tanks. However, new tanks are not being constructed quickly enough to allow large-scale processing of the water, and with new underground water flowing in, the amount of contaminated water in the structures has not decreased.