Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant started up a water management system on Wednesday which will pump groundwater into special storage tanks in the hopes of preventing it from becoming highly contaminated after passing through the site.
The water is being drawn from 12 wells on the mountainside. Workers will allow the pumping to continue for several days.
For the next month the radiation levels of the stored water will be tested. If the groundwater contains less than 1 becquerel per liter of Cesium 134 and Cesium 137, 5 becquerels per liter of beta emitting materials, and 1,500 becquerels of tritium than it will be released.
If the test pumping of water up from the ground is approved for release, Tokyo Electric hopes that it can reduce the amount of water flowing into the crippled reactor buildings by 100 tons per day when the pumping operations are in full operation.
TEPCO officials would not say how frequent water would be discharged from the facility into the Pacific Ocean once the system is in full operation.