TOKYO, June 18 (UPI) -- A system to remove radiation from water at Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear plant was shut down after just five hours, power company officials said in Tokyo.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. fired up the U.S.- and French-designed system Friday night to decontaminate radioactive water in the plant's cooling ponds, but shut it down early Saturday when it became clogged, the BBC reported.
Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged four of the plant's six atomic reactors, some 110,000 tons of radioactive water has accumulated and officials are trying to avoid further spillage into the Pacific Ocean from the coastal site.
The clog in the decontamination unit was found when crews attempted to change a filter designed to remove highly radioactive cesium from the water, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It wasn't immediately clear how long the system would be out of commission, engineers said.
TEPCO has set a goal of bringing the reactors to "cold shutdown," or stable status, by January.