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French company to decontaminate Daiichi water

French nuclear reactor maker Areva says it has agreed with the Tokyo Electric Power Company to build a facility to decontaminate radioactive water at the compound of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

CEO Anne Lauvergeon told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday that Areva -- one of the world's largest nuclear energy firms -- will build the facility to remove radioactive substances from the contaminated water.

The facility is to use chemical agents to remove radioactive iodine and cesium from contaminated water. The concentration of the radioactive substances is to be reduced to one-one thousandth to one-ten thousandth of the current level. A similar system is already in place in France.

Lauvergeon said it is most important to decontaminate the water at the plant, and that her company will try to do this in every possible way.

TEPCO told reporters on the same day that it has adopted Areva's proposal. The company says it will first transfer the contaminated water into a waste processing facility at the plant, and then decontaminate 1,200 tons of the water per day. It hopes to use decontaminated water to cool the reactors.

TEPCO hopes to start operating the decontamination facility in June.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 21:47 +0900 (JST)