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Wells to be built near damaged reactors

April 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM
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OKUMA, Japan, April 24 (UPI) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. says it will build wells to redirect groundwater away from the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Groundwater has been mixing with highly radioactive cooling water at the plant, increasing the amount of contaminated water at the complex, Kyodo News reported.

TEPCO said the wells will direct about half of the groundwater into the Pacific Ocean before all of it goes into the reactor buildings and elsewhere.

"By creating a groundwater bypass, the amount of water flowing [into the] reactor buildings is expected to be reduced by about 50 percent," TEPCO said in a progress reported on its work to decommission the plant.

The groundwater will be tested for radioactive levels before being released into the ocean, TEPCO said.

A government official said the wells will likely become operational in September or October.

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