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Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

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AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

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DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

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DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

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THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

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THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

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FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

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ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

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THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

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  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

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  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

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  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

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  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

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  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

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  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

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  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

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  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

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  • When water becomes a weapon of war

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  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

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  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

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  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

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  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

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Asia-pacific

Fukushima water clean-up halted due to radiation levels

Video by Clovis CASALI

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-18

The operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant halted operations to clean highly contaminated waste water Saturday, only hours after it began, because of higher-than-expected levels of radiation. It is unclear when work will begin again.

AFP - Tokyo Electric Power Co. Saturday halted an operation to clean highly contaminated waste water at a crippled Japanese nuclear plant due to higher-than-expected radiation levels.

The embattled operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi facility said it had suspended the procedure just hours after it started because a new part was needed, adding that it did not know when it would resume.

Part of the system that absorbs radioactive caesium had reached its processing capacity and needed to be replaced far earlier than expected, TEPCO officials said.

Fukushima radiation clean-up halted

The operation started at 8:00 pm Friday (1100 GMT) and was stopped five hours later, said TEPCO, which had earlier expected the part to last for one month.

"We are studying the cause of this," said Junichi Matsumoto, TEPCO official in charge of nuclear operations.

TEPCO officials speculated that highly radioactive mud might have entered the treatment system or that waste water was more radioactive than previously measured.

"We do not have a firm timing as to when we can resume the operation of the water treatment facility," Matsumoto told a press conference.

TEPCO has struggled to cool overheating reactors at the plant, hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and deadly tsunami on March 11.

The wave knocked out reactor cooling systems, sparking meltdowns, explosions and radiation leaks.

The world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 has caused radioactive material to spew into the air, ground and sea and forced the evacuation of 80,000 people in a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius.

Workers have pumped water into reactor cores and fuel rod pools, leaving more than 100,000 tonnes of contaminated water in basements, drains and ditches, some of which has leaked into the ocean.

The water must be decontaminated before it can be stored or recycled back through the reactors to cool them.

Pumping out the highly radioactive water should then allow workers to start longer-term repair work to the cooling systems.
 

Date created : 2011-06-18

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