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Fukushima Plant

Fukushima plant failed to probe cause of faulty filters

TOKYO (AP) — Officials at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant have acknowledged they neglected to investigate the cause of faulty exhaust filters that are key to preventing radioactive pollution, after being forced to replace them twice.Representatives of the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, made the revelation Monday during a regular review of the…

TOKYO (AP) — Officials at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant have acknowledged they neglected to investigate the cause of faulty exhaust filters that are key to preventing radioactive pollution, after being forced to replace them twice.

Representatives of the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, made the revelation Monday during a regular review of the Fukushima Daiichi plant at a meeting with Japanese regulatory authorities. Three reactors at the plant melted following a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The filters are designed to prevent particles from escaping into the air from a contaminated water treatment system — called Advanced Liquid Processing System — that removes selected radioactive isotopes in the water to below legal limits.

“At the core of this problem is TEPCO’s attitude,” a Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner, Nobuhiko Ban, said at the meeting.

TEPCO has been repeatedly criticized for coverups and delayed disclosures of problems at the plant. In February, it said two seismometers at one reactor had remained broken since last year and failed to collect data during a powerful earthquake.

Company officials said that 24 out of 25 filters attached to the water treatment equipment had been found damaged last month, after an alarm went off as workers were moving sludge from the unit to a container, temporarily suspending the water treatment.

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