30 Août 2016
August 30, 2016
Workers at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have suspended some of the decommissioning work and are bracing for rain and winds from a powerful typhoon.
Typhoon Lionrock is expected to make landfall along Japan's northeastern coast on Tuesday afternoon, passing off Fukushima Prefecture.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says workers secured electric cables and hoses on the plant compound on Monday.
On Tuesday, the operator suspended work at the plant's port. It also stopped the operation of a crane being used to demolish a temporary cover over one of the reactor buildings. Officials say they are closely watching to make sure the cover is not blown off by the typhoon.
TEPCO says it has also taken measures to prevent contaminated rain water and groundwater from leaking into the ocean.
In past typhoons, it was thought that contaminated rainwater flowed into the ocean through a drainage system. There were also concerns that radioactive groundwater might leak into the ocean as rain could increase the groundwater in the compound.
This time the operator has installed stronger pumps and increased their number.
The utility says as of 11 AM Tuesday, there were no changes in groundwater levels at the plant's site.
Other measures taken earlier include rerouting the drainage system into the plant's port instead of directly into the ocean. TEPCO also raised the barriers around tanks that store tainted water.
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People doing decontamination work in areas affected by radioactive fallout from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident are preparing for Typhoon Lionrock.
Last year in September, about 400 bags of radioactive soil and waste were swept away when a river in Iitate Village, Fukushima Prefecture, overflowed its banks.
On Monday, Environment Ministry officials instructed local authorities to take measures to prevent such incidents. Workers secured bags of radioactive waste with ropes and covered contaminated soil with vinyl sheets.
The officials plan to suspend clean-up operations for Tuesday, and to send workers to safeguard waste sites.