Seabed near nuke plant to be paved
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has announced a plan to cover the seabed adjacent to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant with a coating material composed of clay and cement as a new measure to prevent the spread of soil contaminated with radioactive substances.
According to TEPCO’s announcement on Tuesday, the coating material will be placed in areas surrounded by breakwaters and silt fences that had already been installed. The work of laying the coating material on the seabed is set to be started later this month and completed in three to four months.
The coating material, which will be about 60 centimeters thick, will cover areas stretching along a total of 900 meters of shoreline to a distance of 80 meters out. The 72,000-square-meter area is equivalent to 5.5 times the field area of Tokyo Dome.
Seawater pollution is serious around the crippled nuclear power plant, mainly due to leakage of contaminated water. Last November, tests of seabed soil next to the plant’s No. 4 reactor found up to 1.6 million becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.
TEPCO has installed silt fences to prevent the spread of radioactive materials to surrounding areas of the sea. However, as the company expects working vessels to more frequently enter the area around the nuclear power plant, it decided to take more reliable measures.
The life span of the material is estimated at about 50 years. TEPCO will consider later what measures to take after that.