Japan’s efforts to soak up contaminated water still unsuccessful

Sunday, April 3, 2011
By Paul Martin

News.xinhuanet.com
2011-04-03

TOKYO, April 3 (Xinhua) — Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Sunday that efforts to stem the flow of radioactive water leaking from the troubled No. 2 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean have as yet been unsuccessful.

Earlier Sunday engineers injected 80 kilograms of a polymer- based powder into pipes leading to a pit connected to the plant’s No. 2 reactor’s building, where a 20-centimeter crack has been found to be leaking radioactive water.

The polymeric powder is water absorbent and can soak up 50- times its own volume in liquid and was used in conjunction with 60 kilograms of sawdust and three bags of shredded newspaper, the agency said.

But the flow of contaminated water continues to exude from the seafront pit, the agency said, although the rate of leakage has remained the same and the concoction of absorbent materials have not been flushed into the sea, the agency said.

Earlier moves to stem the flow including attempts to encase the cracked pipe in concrete also failed leaving the agency to now wait until Monday until the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) can provide new data to check if Sunday’s efforts to prevent radioactive substances flowing freely into the ocean have had any effect at all.

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