Tepco may use undamaged reactor buildings for water storage

JIJI

Tokyo Electric Power Co. may use the buildings housing the two undamaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as temporary storage for rainwater, Tepco Executive Vice President Yoshiyuki Ishizaki said.

Tepco is looking at whether the basements under reactors 5 and 6 can be used to temporarily store contaminated rainwater, Ishizaki, head of the company’s Fukushima Revitalization Headquarters, said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked Tepco in September to decommission the two reactors in addition to the four reactors that were heavily damaged in March 2011.

Tepco will decide on the fate of reactors 5 and 6 by the end of the year. The two reactors managed to avoid the meltdowns and hydrogen explosions that marked the beginning of the catastrophe.

The site has been hit by a series of leaks and spills of radioactive water since September due to heavy rain.

To prevent such accidents, Tepco is transferring contaminated rainwater from inside barriers surrounding storage tanks to the basements of the No. 2 and No. 3 reactor buildings.

Water levels in the basements have risen considerably and Tepco needs to find new places to store the radioactive water.