AP Interview: Japan nuke plant water worries rise

MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press Published:

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tons of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors.

About 200,000 tons of radioactive water -- enough to fill more than 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools -- are being stored in hundreds of gigantic tanks built around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has already chopped down trees to make room for more tanks and predicts the volume of water will more than triple within three years.

TEPCO is close to running a new treatment system that could make the water safe enough to release into the ocean. Outside experts worry that if contaminated water is released, there will be lasting impact on the environment.