IWAKI, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Tokyo Electric Power Co. started work Tuesday to fill an underground trench at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant with cement while pumping up radioactive water inside at the same time.
The power company reported the beginning of the cement-pouring work for the cable trench for reactor 2 at a meeting in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with government representatives on measures to deal with increasing radioactive water at the power station.
Tepco expects to finish the work by the end of next March. The company will begin next month pouring cement in reactor 3’s trench, hoping to complete the work also by the end of March.
The trenches for the two reactors are estimated to hold 11,000 tons of radioactive water in total. The water is believed to be causing the pollution of groundwater under the seaside section of the power plant.
On Tuesday, Tepco injected 80 cu. meters of cement in the reactor 2 trench in an operation that lasted two and a half hours from around 9:30 a.m. The trench holds radioactive water that has flowed from the reactor’s turbine building.
At first, Tepco planned to stop the flow by freezing water inside the joints between the turbine building and the trench so that it can entirely remove the radioactive water from there.
But Tepco could not fully freeze the water or block the flow. So, the firm switched to the current plan to inject cement in and remove the radioactive water from the trench simultaneously.