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: Fukushima operator pumps out toxic groundwater

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

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

13 hours ago

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

20 hours ago

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

Finalists named in Bloomberg European city contest

Apr 23, 2014

Amsterdam wants to create an online game to get unemployed young people engaged in finding jobs across Europe. Schaerbeek, Belgium, envisions using geothermal mapping to give households personalized rundowns of steps to save ...

Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

Apr 22, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

User comments : 0

More news stories

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between ...

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.