Date: Thursday, July 28, 2011 11:48 +0900 (JST)
A water decontamination system at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been operating below its target capacity, resulting in delays to the firm's timetable of about 2 months.
Tokyo Electric Power Company started running the decontamination system in late June to remove radioactive substances from water pooled in reactor buildings' basements. Treated water is sent back into the reactors as coolant.
TEPCO says the system operated at 63 percent capacity from June 17th until Tuesday, though it aimed to run it at 70 percent capacity.
The company was planning to decrease the amount of contaminated water to a safe level by early August. But, it now says the timetable is likely to be pushed back until late September.
The failure to reach the target is mainly attributed to the fact the system's working capacity is at about 30 percent below designed levels. The system has also stopped repeatedly due to various operational problems.
TEPCO says problems seen in the early stages of the operation have been solved, and that it will try to increase the system's treatment rate from now.