Fukushima wastewater levels rise

The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said wastewater levels rose 6 cm (2 in) inside the turbine building of reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and in its utility tunnel during a 24-hour period through June 2, according to news agency NHK. The report raised concerns that a recent heavy rain and the upcoming wet season would cause the water to overflow into the sea.

The water level in the utility tunnel was 28 cm (11 in) from the surface outside of reactor 2 and 24 cm (9 in) from the surface outside of reactor 3, NHK said. Water level increases were also seen inside the turbine buildings of reactors 3 and 4.

TEPCO plans to resume the removal of radiation-contaminated water flooding the turbine building of reactor 3 by securing additional outside storage capacity, company officials were quoted by the Kyodo News agency as saying. TEPCO recently stopped transferring contaminated water from reactors 2 and 3 to a waste-disposal facility after the water reached the facility’s capacity.

The operator also plans to transfer water in a condenser to a temporary storage tank and then fill the condenser with contaminated water.

With the wet season approaching, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reportedly urged TEPCO to secure new storage sites.

Meanwhile, water temperatures in the spent fuel pool of reactor 2 have reportedly been falling steadily since a water circulation system started to operate May 31. The temperature of water in the pool of reactor 2, which stood at 67 degrees C (153 degrees F) Tuesday had dropped to 42 degrees (108 degrees F) June 2, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

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