TOKYO, April 25 (Kyodo) — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Wednesday that work is now fully in progress to build a wall along the Pacific coast, where the nuclear complex is located, to reduce the risks of further contaminating the sea with radioactive substances.
The wall is intended to prevent highly radioactive water accumulating in the plant's reactor turbine buildings from leaking out into the sea by getting mixed with groundwater, although Tokyo Electric Power Co. believes that such an incident is unlikely to happen.
The utility known as TEPCO plans to finish building the wall, to be made by placing steel pipes in the sea area close to the plant as long as 780 meters, in 2014.
TEPCO has carried out boring surveys and it started full-scale construction work from Wednesday because the Fukushima prefectural government gave the utility necessary permission to start building the wall.
A massive amount of highly radioactive water is accumulating inside the plant's reactor buildings and adjacent reactor turbine buildings as a result of the continuing injection of water to cool the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, which have suffered meltdowns due to last year's nuclear accident.