Radioactive water a problem for Tokyo

Japanese officials worked on Monday to determine what to do with highly radioactive water collected in Fukushima Daiichi plant, and to address other problems, including increased temperature in a nuclear reactor.

Starting Monday morning, there was no place to put the water accumulated in the basement of the turbine reactor No. 2, said

Hidehiko Nishiyama, an agency official Japanese nuclear and industrial safety.

The water has caused confusion in recent days after the release of alarming - and ultimately incorrect - the levels of radiation.

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That water is a release of radioactivity at a level of 1,000 mSv per hour, said an official owner of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

This amounts to more than 330 times the dose that the average person in a developed country receives each year, and four times the maximum dose Japanese Ministry of Health has established for emergency workers struggling to avoid collapse in the damaged plant.

However, Tokyo Electric said the figure is only 100,000 times the normal levels of reactor coolant, not the 10 million times normal on Sunday.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Edan Yukio said Monday that the owner of the plant among its workers cited fatigue as a reason for the error.

"However, the measurement of radioactivity is vital for the safety of workers there," said Edan journalists. "So this error is not something that should be condoned or acceptable."

Nishiyama said the plan is to pump contaminated water from the No. 2 turbine building basement with what he called a condenser. But the device is "almost complete", as well as several storage tanks nearby.

"So first you have to drain some of the tanks," he said, without giving a timetable on when this might happen. "Once the process has finished, the pond is removed."

While high levels of radiation in water at No. 2 and 3 turbine buildings - and to a lesser extent the No. 1 unit - have been the main focus in recent times, are not the only problems at the facility, which is 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

Most concern has focused on unit numbers 1, 2 and 3, which were the only operation - and with the active fuel rods in its reactor core - 11 March. The earthquake of 9.0 magnitude and tsunami hit the backup generators to run their cooling systems and water-damaged pumps in the plant, forcing workers struggling to avoid collapse.

Despite the alarms decreased in recent days, Nishiyama said Monday that the temperature is increasing inside the reactor No. 1.

To solve this problem, the flow of fresh water in the reactor core will be more accurate, the official said the nuclear safety.

That water is directed through a fire truck and the temporary pump driven electricity generator with a permanent energy likely place on Tuesday.

The authorities also plan to have different sources of energy for cooling systems for units of the numbers 2 and 3. Fresh water is being pumped into the two reactor cores, using a fire truck and temporary pumps supply of electricity.

Between Monday and Tuesday, officials hope to change the use of sea water to fresh water in these three units of the spent nuclear fuel pools, where some fuel rods are located.

In addition to cover and cool the nuclear fuel, fresh water will help flush salt for cooling systems may work better.

The increased heat in the unit No. 1 could be a sign that nuclear fuel rods are overheating.

If the fuel rods are either fully or partially exposed, which could lead to a buildup of pressure that could cause an explosion or the release of more radiation in air, soil or water.

That's what experts fear that has happened in the No. 2 reactor, after high levels of radioactive material that biproducts the nuclear fission process were found in the basement of his building turbine.

"The radioactive material found in the water through the reactor itself or the spent fuel pool," Nishiyama said. "At the moment, we believe that the chances are higher that water reactor."

High levels of radiation persisted in the Pacific Ocean near the power station by the sea, with subsequent follow-up to 1850 times background levels normal on Sunday.

However, Nishiyama, said Sunday that "can not" was that was leaking radioactive water into the sea of ​​the plant.

Suggested that runoff from the area around the damaged plant could have led to radioactive particles into the sea, but said that there is no definitive source was identified.