The Australian just reported:
The trouble-prone system used to decontaminate radioactive water at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant was switched off (Sunday) because of a chemical leak, the plant’s operator said.
Hydrochloric acid, used to neutralise the alkaline water being decontaminated, was found seeping from a pipe joint, the Tokyo Electric Power Co said.
The joint was wrapped in a vinyl bag to contain the leakage, TEPCO said, and the company was investigating the cause.
The systems are vital to the decontamination effort:
The systems are expected to play a crucial role in treating the huge amounts of toxic water accumulating at the plant.
The troubled system was one of two units that had been in trial operation and were due to go into full operation yesterday.
This was not TEPCO’s first problem with the system:
In late September, plastic padding clogged up a drain in the same system, causing it to shut down. In October, it was halted due to a programming mistake.