Contamination levels at tsunami-damaged Japanese facility lowered since June 17
Kurion Inc., a company in nuclear waste management, announced that as of Aug. 17 cesium levels in the contaminated water within the facilities of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant had dropped more than 40% since startup of the Kurion Ion Specific Media System on June 17.
As a member of the site’s unprecedented reactor water cooling Water Treatment Facility, the design goal of the Kurion 50 MT/hour (220 gpm) rated system is to remove approximately 99.9% of the cesium, the principal source of radioactivity in the contaminated water. In fact, when originally operated in its design configuration, the system was removing cesium by a factor of 70,000 (99.999% removal).
The Aug. 16 analysis confirms that pump redundancy in the Kurion system allows for prompt resumption of operations following a pump trip, minimizing throughput impacts. Because of its pump redundancies and high design margin, the system has recently been operating at its design throughput with only three of its four lines, limited by the processing capacity of downstream water treatment facility systems. Since its cesium removal technology is a passive approach, the Kurion system is capable of operating using no system pumps with sufficient pressure at the inlet connection.
Additional processing capacity started Aug. 18 with the goal of polishing the Kurion effluent by removing the small amount of remaining cesium or operating in parallel to increase the water treatment facility processing rate to 100 MT/hour.