At Fukushima, SNCL deployed water treatment technologies, dewatering solutions, and new storage/disposal canisters to support decommissioning. Water being processed consists of sea water used to cool the damaged reactor and ground water that has leaked into the basements of the damaged reactors. The addition of seawater added complexity to the cleanup.
At the time, historic knowledge of radiochemistry had been based on nitrate (fuel reprocessing), not chloride (from sea water). Chloride has a big influence on nuclide speciation. Time sensitive research and testing was conducted in efforts to predict the behavior of nuclides in chloride. Initial emergency responses were highly effective in controlling high radiation dose in water by removing cesium. The liquid waste processing (LWP) systems were modified after numerous laboratory and bench scale testing that focused on creating new media that targeted specific nuclides. The systems have a throughput of greater than 2,100 m3of water per day. These systems are still in operation to date, meeting process requirements including the removal of over 62 nuclides; creating non-detectable levels which are below World Health Organization drinking water standards.