Some 7,000 tons of radioactive water at risk of leaking into the ground still has to be removed from underground tunnels and other locations at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is trying to get rid of tainted water from the cable tunnels for reactors 2 and 3. That work is expected to be mostly completed by the end of this month.
As of Monday, such water could still be found in at least 16 such locations at the plant, where three reactors suffered a meltdown after being heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
According to Tepco, numerous underground tunnels, ducts and pits hold radioactive water, in addition to the reactor and turbine buildings. Some of the water is more radioactive than the contaminated water already in storage tanks.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has urged Tepco to immediately remove the water in the cable tunnels for reactors 2 and 3 due to extremely high levels of radioactive materials it contains and the high risk of the tainted water leaking into the ocean. These tunnels are located relatively close to the Pacific shoreline.