Tepco pumping more groundwater

Kyodo, JIJI

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday it started pumping more groundwater from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant with new vacuum pumping equipment to prevent radioactive water from flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

Tepco plans to install 28 pipes underground at 2-meter intervals along the coast. Groundwater is pumped through the 4.6-meter-long pipes. Tepco started to use the first one at around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Tepco is expected to finish installing all the pipes Sunday, which will increase the amount of groundwater removed each day to about 70 tons.

The water will be transferred to an underground tunnel connected to the reactor 2 building.

After the government announced an estimate last week that about 300 tons a day of contaminated groundwater may be flowing into the sea, Tepco started collecting groundwater from a well it has created as an emergency measure.

Tepco said Wednesday it estimates that 210 tons of highly radioactive water has accumulated in a cable trench at the nuclear plant.