Tepco says it will begin full-scale operation in December of its trouble-plagued radioactive water treatment facility at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after taking steps to improve its performance.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. began a test-run of the facility, called the advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, back in March 2013. It initially planned to start full-scale operation in April to accelerate efforts at tackling the toxic water buildup at the complex.
It was forced to delay the plan due to a series of problems.
ALPS, which Tepco says will be capable of removing 62 types of radioactive substances from toxic water generated in the process of cooling the damaged reactors, has also not been as good as expected because some of the substances remain untreated.
With treatment lines at the facility having been suspended intermittently due to filter gasket corrosion caused by radiation and other problems, the utility said Thursday it has replaced the gaskets and will also introduce new absorbents to improve the facility’s performance.
ALPS has been developed to substantially reduce the radiation level of the highly contaminated water generated in the process of cooling the reactors. It is said to be capable of removing almost all types of radioactive materials except tritium from the toxic water.