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Radioactive water pumped out of Fukushima basement

The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant has begun pumping highly radioactive water from the basement of one reactor’s turbine building to a makeshift storage area − a key step in stabilising the complex.

Removing the 25,000t of contaminated water which has collected in the basement of Fukushima Dai-ichi’s Unit 2 will allow workers access to the reactors to restore vital cooling systems that were knocked out by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami which left more than 27,000 people dead or missing.

The step is one of many in a lengthy process to resolve the crisis.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) projected in a road map released over the weekend that it would take up to nine months to reach a cold shutdown of the plants.

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