RICHLAND, Wash. -- Workers at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have a problem - tens of thousands of gallons of groundwater are bubbling up through cracks in the basements of the of reactor buildings.
It is heavily contaminated with radioactive strontium. The Japanese are building large storage tanks at a rate of two per day to hold the water, but they can’t keep that up much longer.
The Kurion Company, which designs and builds products for the Hanford cleanup, has developed a mobile treatment system that will soon be handling 300 tons of that water per day.
The system, which looks like a row of shipping containers, separates the radioactive materials along with other dangerous chemicals and stores them in filters. The filters take up very little space and can then be stored safely until they are converted to a stable glass form.
Kurion was one the first U.S. companies at the scene of the Fukushima disaster and provided a similar system to treat heavily radioactive water that prevented workers from making emergency repairs.