Toxic puddles at Fukushima nuclear plant: report

Aug 19, 2013
Reporters and Tokyo Electric Power Co workers look up the unit 4 reactor building during a media tour at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, in Japan on June 12, 2013. Puddles with extremely high radiation levels have been found near water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan's atomic regulator and operator said Monday, according to a report.

Puddles with extremely high radiation levels have been found near water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan's atomic regulator and operator said Monday, according to a report.

The radiation level, measured around 50 centimetres (20 inches) above the toxic water, was about 100 millisieverts per hour, Kyodo news agency reported, citing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

Around 120 litres is believed to have leaked out from a water storage tank.

TEPCO denied that toxic water had flowed into the adjacent Pacific ocean, but the Nuclear Regulation Authority ordered the utility to study the possibility that it had escaped into the sea through nearby drains.

The NRA released a preliminary assessment that the incident was a level one incident on an eight-point international scale, defined as an "anomaly".

A low barrier around the tanks is meant to block water when a leak occurs, but drain valves may have been left open, allowing water to flow outside, the report said.

A TEPCO employee found water leaking from a valve at about 9:50 am (0050 GMT) Monday. One of the puddles outside the barrier had an area of about three square metres and was one centimetre deep.

TEPCO has faced a growing catalogue of incidents at the plant including several leaks of radioactive water, more than two years after the worst in a generation triggered by a huge quake and tsunami in March 2011.

The company—which faces huge clean-up and —has struggled with a massive amount of accumulating as a result of continuing water injections to cool reactors.

The embattled utility in July admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater had been leaking outside the plant and this month started pumping it out to reduce leakage into the Pacific.

While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdowns at Fukushima, large areas around the plant had to be evacuated, with tens of thousands of people still unable to return to their homes.

Explore further: Scientists invent award winning 2-in-1 motor for electric cars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan says battle to stop nuclear plant leaks 'urgent'

Aug 07, 2013

Japan's prime minister Wednesday said Tokyo would get more involved in cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as he described as "urgent" a battle to stop radioactive water from leaking into the ...

Radioactive water 'may have leaked' from Fukushima

Apr 06, 2013

Radioactive water may have leaked into the ground from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator said on Saturday, the latest in a series of troubles at the crippled facility.

Fukushima plant springs another radioactive leak

Apr 11, 2013

Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has sprung yet another leak of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday, the latest in an increasingly long line of mishaps to rattle public confidence.

Toxic radiation in groundwater at Fukushima: operator

Jun 19, 2013

Cancer-causing radioactive substances have been found in groundwater at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, its Japanese operator said on Wednesday, as it pledged to prevent it getting into the sea.

Recommended for you

Engineering new vehicle powertrains

7 hours ago

Car engines – whether driven by gasoline, diesel, or electricity – waste an abundance of energy. Researchers are working on ways to stem this wastefulness. Ultramodern test facilities are helping them ...

First self-contained step dimming LED tube

Sep 30, 2014

Samsung Electronics today introduced the industry's first AC Direct step-dimming LED linear replacement for T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention ...

Battery system will be able to light 2,500 homes

Sep 30, 2014

One of the largest, most environmentally-friendly, battery-based energy storage systems in the nation will be installed at the University of California, San Diego the campus announced today (Sept. 29).

User comments : 0