Fukushima leak may have flowed into Pacific: TEPCO

Apr 05, 2012
Workers wearing protective suits and masks construct water tanks at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in February 2012. About 12 tonnes of radioactive water has leaked at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and TEPCO says that some may have flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

About 12 tonnes of radioactive water has leaked at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, with the facility's operator saying Thursday that some may have flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the leak was found early Thursday from a pipe attached to a temporary decontamination system, and the water had already gone through some of the cleansing process.

The water, once it has been used to cool the reactors, contains massive amounts of and is put into the water-processing facility so it can be recycled for use as a .

"Our officials confirmed that cooling water leaked at a joint in the pipes," a TEPCO spokesman told AFP, adding that "it is possible that part of the water may have flowed outside the facility and poured into the ocean".

The leak has since been plugged, the spokesman added, saying the utility was probing the cause of the accident and how much, if any, water flowed into the Pacific.

The accident was the latest of several leaks of radioactive water at the troubled plant, undermining the government's claim made in December that the shuttered Fukushima reactors were now under control.

In one incident last month, about 120 tonnes of leaked at the plant's water decontamination system and about 80 litres (21 gallons) seeped into the ocean, according to TEPCO.

The plant about 220 kilometres (135 miles) northeast of Tokyo was crippled by meltdowns and explosions caused by Japan's and tsunami in March last year.

Radiation was scattered over a large area and made its way into the sea, air and food chain in the weeks and months after the disaster.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes around the plant and swathes of this zone remain badly polluted. The clean-up is proceeding slowly, amid warnings that some towns could be uninhabitable for three decades.

Explore further: German scientist starts four-week swim down Rhine river

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fresh radioactive runoff at Japan plant

Dec 05, 2011

A fresh leak of radioactive water into the open ocean has been discovered at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear complex, its operator said Monday as cleanup efforts continued.

Areva to set up treatment system at Japan plant

Apr 19, 2011

French nuclear group Areva said Tuesday it will set up a system to treat radioactive water from a quake-hit Japanese power plant to allow power supplies and cooling systems to be repaired.

Japan minister questions radioactive water dump

Dec 13, 2011

Japan's industry minister Tuesday rejected a plan by the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to release low-level radioactive water into the sea without approval by local fishermen.

Radioactive water leaked at second Japan plant

Dec 11, 2011

A Japanese nuclear plant leaked 1.8 tonnes of radioactive water from its cooling system, the government said, heightening safety worries as an atomic crisis continues at another plant.

Recommended for you

Australia approves huge India-backed mine

8 hours ago

Australia has given the go-ahead to a massive coal mine in Queensland state which Environment Minister Greg Hunt said Monday could ultimately provide electricity for up to 100 million Indians.

User comments : 0