A short announcement on March 30, 2013 from TEPCO:
At 9:56AM today (March 30, 2013), we started the hot test of the multinuclide removal equipment (ALPS) using the water treated by the contaminated water treatment system.
The multinuclide removal equipment (ALPS) has three lines (A through C), but we are starting the hot test using the line A to observe the effectiveness of the treatment.
The vessels ("high-integrity containers") for the system managed to pass the test of being dropped onto concrete surface.
TEPCO's information on ALPS, released on March 29, 2013, "Overview of the Multi-nuclide Removal Equipment (ALPS) at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station":
On hot testing:
- At hot testing, the capabilities of the multi-nuclide removal equipment to “remove radioactive materials” and to “maintain its capability to remove radioactive materials while in operation” are evaluated.
- In accordance with a direction given by NISA (at the time) “perform testing in a minimum amount of time/scope to evaluate the specified capabilities”, the hot testing will be performed on system A first.
[Evaluation of capability to remove radioactive materials]
- Confirm that the radioactivity densities of target 62 nuclides are below the density limit specified by the Reactor Regulation.
- Perform evaluation during the period in which approx. 1000-2000m3 of water is treated per system.
[Evaluation of capability to maintain its capability to remove radioactive materials while in operation]
- Confirm that the capability to remove radioactive materials is maintained until the timing of adsorbent replacement.
- Considering that the longest adsorbent replacement cycle (adsorbent 7) is 121 days (Flow rate of treated water: approx. 30,000m3), perform evaluation during the period in which approx. 30,000m3 of water is treated per system.
In the big scheme of things, ALPS is at the end of the treatment cycle:
Detailed schematics of ALPS:
Is housing this (photo taken on September 16, 2012):
The hot testing of the line A is to continue till the end of July. The first analysis of treated water is scheduled in mid April, according to TEPCO's timeline (on page 8 of the handout above).
ALPS can remove 62 different nuclides, including strontium and americium. Pages 13 to 17 shows the nuclides and removal performance of ALPS (on a small-scale test, I suppose).
What's missing is tritium, which cannot be removed.
As space to build more temporary storage tanks becomes scarcer at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and some materials used to build these tanks (which are bolted together not welded) reach the end of useful life in 3 years, the company (and its effective owner, the national government) will try harder to win consensus on releasing the water treated by ALPS into the ocean.
Not before another politician, this time from LDP, does another performance of drinking the treated water to prove safety, I'm hoping.