More woes for Fukushima’s decontamination system

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IOL pic apr1 Fukushima Daiichi AFP The Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. File picture: Toru Hanai

Tokyo -

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Tuesday it had again suspended a trouble-plagued system used to clean radiation-tainted water.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) put its Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) on standby mode after it found processed water was cloudy instead of clear.

Higher-than-usual levels of calcium were believed to be the cause, but why the levels had become elevated was not known, a TEPCO spokesman said.

ALPS has three lines. One has already been stopped for the same problem and another is not functioning properly.

It is unknown when the company will switch the system back on.

ALPS is used to clean the radiation-tainted water that has been used to cool reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where Japan's devastating 2011 quake-tsunami disaster sparked meltdowns.

TEPCO has repeatedly switched the system off because of a series of glitches since trial operations began last year.

The utility is struggling to handle a huge - and growing - volume of contaminated water at Fukushima, the site of the worst atomic crisis in a generation.

Thousands of litres of contaminated water are being stored on site, with no permanent solution so far agreed. - Sapa-AFP

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