This is a considerable development. Tritium is a considerable contamination problem at Fukushima Daiichi, with hundreds of billions of becquerels of it leaking to the sea each day. The big problem with tritium is that it can not be easily removed from contaminated water.
METI has been holding meetings all summer to look at possible ways to deal with the tritium problem. Experts from the US and France both suggested that TEPCO not bother to deal with the tritium problem and just continue to allow it to leak into the environment, citing the difficulty in filtering the substance. Luckily METI opted to continue exploring the issue and consider options.
While the issue of removing tritium is complicated there are some existing technologies to remove the substance. Scaling them up to the massive volumes at Daiichi is still a challenge. We submitted a number of options for dealing with tritium in our submission to IRID.
Three companies have now been awarded proof of concept contracts with METI to build and prove prototype tritium removal systems.
Kurion, GE Hitachi and Rosatom will each be given 9.5 million USD to develop their concept tritium filter systems.
What is tritium?
Why is tritium dangerous?