The government has started soliciting candidates in and outside Japan for projects to help it separate tritium from the contaminated water building up at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Accepting candidates until July 17, the government will pay up to ¥1 billion per project to build a facility and conduct an experiment by using tainted water from the plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is test-running a trouble-plagued system that is reputed to remove 62 different types of radioactive substances from the contaminated water except tritium.
The Natural Resources and Energy Agency is studying ways to deal with the tritium-laced water, but concrete steps have yet to be decided.
Last year, the government requested information from around the world on separating tritium from water. But an energy agency official said “there was no such technology that could be applied right away.”
The agency said that the subsidized project is only aimed at assessing the ability to remove tritium, as well as the running costs of such a system, but does not mean the tested systems will eventually be employed at the plant.
The buildup of radioactive water from the cooling of the three stricken reactors has created a new crisis in decommissioning the plant.
Tepco goes overseas
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will build a coal-fired thermal power plant in the Philippines as its first overseas investment since the Fukushima disaster.
Tepco will carry out the project at a cost of around ¥100 billion through a joint venture with trading house Marubeni Corp.
Local utility Aboitiz Power Corp. will hold a 50 percent stake in the project.
The 388-megawatt plant will be built to start in November 2017 within the site of another thermal power plant operated by the joint venture in Quezon Province, northern Philippines, according to Tepco.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd. and South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Co. will construct the plant, it said.
Tepco and Marubeni purchased three thermal power plants in the Philippines in 2007 and have been operating them jointly.
Tepco is seeking to expand overseas under its business turnaround plan in January.