Date: Monday, July 25, 2011 14:12 +0900 (JST)
Tokyo Electric Power Company is injecting fresh water from a nearby dam to make up for the shortage of water in its system for cooling the reactors at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The system decontaminates radioactive water that has accumulated in the plant and circulates it.
TEPCO halted the process of removing salt from contaminated water after an alarm went off around noon on Sunday due to a problem with the installation of the desalination equipment. It resumed the operation in the evening after installing another device.
The new device is only able to treat half the amount of water. The amount of contaminated water has been increasing since the problem occurred.
TEPCO began using the new circulatory water injection system late last month. Last week, the government and the utility announced the completion of the first stage of the plan to stabilize the cooling of the reactors.
NHK's reporter points out that as a result of Sunday's trouble, the amount of contaminated water is increasing. He adds that the recycling of cooling water, a key element of bringing the accident under control, cannot be maintained.
TEPCO is investigating the cause of the problem. The utility says the decontamination system as a whole is not operating stably and it needs to improve its reliability.